Get Cozy on the North Shore
Whether it’s blustery or bright, embrace all things cozy with fun activities, snuggly clothing, and treats to warm your belly and your heart. You can get artsy with an online class, find a sweater that looks cool but keeps you toasty, or dine in style outside — inside heated tents, igloos, and greenhouses. Embrace the season’s particular pleasures with these inspired tips. And no matter the season, you can always find Things to Do on the North Shore
FIRE UP YOUR BRAIN WITH WINTER CLASSES
Kick your New Year in gear with some new mad skills. The North Shore is bursting with online activities
where you can explore unique cultural, educational, and creative experiences. Evanston Art Center Art School
(1717 Central St., Evanston) gets innovative online and in-person with a wealth of wonderful classes, exhibitions, and interactive arts activities — like painting, sewing, flower arranging, assemblage — for all ages. The expert instructors in Chicago Botanic Garden online classes
(1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe) will up your game in identifying backyard birds, cooking demos, gentle yoga, iPhone photography, and scads more. Get your inner chef on with cooking classes from Sur La Table
(Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie). With classes ranging from Knife Skills, to Homemade Ravioli, to Cooking From the Pantry, there's something for every skill level and craving.
WARM UP WITH WINTER COMFORT FOOD & FIREPITS
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
The winner of this season’s comfort food craze has to be the hot chocolate bomb. A chocolate shell filled with homemade hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows bursts into action when steaming hot milk is added. Order yours from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
(300 Happ Rd., Ste. 114, Northfield) or Cake Craze
. Few foods are as warming as delicous cup of Chicken, Matzoh Ball or Mish Mosh soup. Find it at Kaufman's Deli
(4905 W. Dempster St., Skokie) and pair it with one of their homemade bagels or a sandwich like the classic Reuben or, if you need some extra coziness, try The Happy Hanunukah with thinly sliced steaming hot Pastrami piled between two warm Potato Pancakes. If you don’t have a fire pit, you can reserve a spot with one from award-winning brewery Temperance Beer Co.
(2000 Dempster St., Evanston). A two-hour rental includes wood and a barrel for your tailgate outing; BYO chairs, food, etc., but snag some specialty brews from their Tap Room.
DEVELOP A KNACK FOR KNITTING AND NEEDLEPOINT
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Northfield
Pick a binge-worthy show on Netflix or Hulu and bust out your needles for some quality knitting time. Dazzling yarns and any supplies you need for this classic winter craft are available at Close Knit
(1630 Orrington Ave., Evanston), Three Bags Full Knitting Studio
(1927 Cherry Ln., Northbrook), and Vogue Fabrics
(718 Main St., Evanston). Pick up a new stitchery skill or check out the colorful fibers and custom canvases from local needlepoint experts at Classic Stitch
(549 Chestnut St., Winnetka) and The Canvasback
(1747 Orchard Ln., Northfield).
CURL UP IN COZY SWEATERS
Three Bags Full, Northbrook
Before you crack open that new novel or stream the latest movie hit, add a new layer of cozy with the soft warmth of a sweater or gentle fit of loungewear. Pop into Evanston for great finds like a French terry hoodie sweatshirt from Stella
(2116 Central St.), knitwear at Accents Plus
(601 Davis St.), thermal hoodies at Gracie’s
(1939 Central St.), or a super soft pullover from Gigi Bottega
(612 Davis St.). Northfield’s Lori’s Designer Shoes
(311 Happ Rd.) has great loungewear like rib pants, while ENAZ
(309 Happ Rd.) sports a strong sweater collection. Fawn over cashmere finds at North Shore Exchange
(372 Hazel Ave., Glencoe), colorful sweaters at Matti M.
(990 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka), and joggers at Lululemon
(Westfield Old Orchard
, Skokie; Northbrook Court
, Northbrook). The Glen Town Center
boasts two great shops for comfy fashion gems: Apricot Lane
(1951 Tower Dr., Glenview) and Evereve
(2670 Navy Blvd., Glenview).
DINE OUTSIDE INSIDE TENTS
Gigi Bottega, Evanston
Some North Shore restaurants are amping up the adventure by serving their specialties in delightful — and warm — outdoor spaces. Reserve a tent in Evanston for some spicy Jerk entrées at Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine
(711 Howard St.) or elevated Thai food at NaKorn Kitchen
(1622 Orrington Ave.). Ultra swank dining and lounge options await in The Glen Club Igloo Experience
(2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview). While Guildhall Restaurant Greenhouses
(694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe) and Hometown Coffee & Juice Hometown Houses
(700 Vernon Ave., Glencoe) square off in a totally different shape for your intimate dining outing.
The Glen Club, Glenview
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