An engaging hobby can be your key to a healthier, happier life. Try something new or follow your passion to new heights. Flex those crafting, gaming and collecting muscles. You can polish your skills or pick up a fresh one to get creative or get active. No matter what your interests are, the North Shore will help with more Things to Do On the North Shore.
Ayla's Originals, Evanston
Feed Your Need to Bead
Making jewelry is not only a relaxing and creative pastime, the results are dazzling! Add sparkle to your accessories or create amazing handmade gifts with all you need to bead at Ayla’s Originals (1511 Sherman Ave., Evanston). A treasure trove of beads, gemstones and goodies, this crafting mecca is one of the top bead stores in the nation. Seasoned makers can get tools and findings, as well as gorgeous crystals, metallics, cords and more. Newbies can take a range of classes (in person and online).
Cultivate Urban Rainforest, Evanston
Give a Green Thumbs Up
Spring approaches and it’s time to embrace all things growing: commune with the plant life in your home or garden. At Chalet Nursery (3132 Lake Ave., Wilmette) you’ll discover fresh, imaginative ways to design your outdoor spaces to fill with locally-grown trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Cultivate Urban Rainforest and Gallery (704 Main St., Evanston) can help you learn how to find and take care of the right plant for your lifestyle. Anyone can develop a green thumb with their coaching and pretty plant friends.
The Canvasback, Northfield
Sew Yourself Silly
Whether you sew practical clothes, stitch up decorative trinkets or just like to spend time playing with different techniques, North Shore sewers have vast resources. The Canvasback (1747 Orchard Ln., Northfield) features one of the largest selections of designer canvases, fibers, needlepoint supplies and accessories in the country. Enabling “fabriholics” since 1945, Vogue Fabrics (618 Hartrey Ave., Evanston) is a hub for sewing enthusiasts. Specializing in fashion fabrics, you will also find home decor, quilting, corsetry, cosplay and craft materials.
Erik's Bike & Board, Skokie
Get A Move On: Run and Ride
If your passion is to be outside and on the move, North Shore shops will get you outfitted and kitted. Commonwealth Running (1631 Sherman Ave., Evanston) knocks down any perceived barriers for new runners with a one-stop shop. The Midwest's leading bike, ski and board retailer, Erik’s Bike & Board (3801 Oakton St., Skokie) carries premier brands with an expert staff. Wheel & Sprocket (1027 Davis St., Evanston) sells the top brands in bikes, parts and accessories, as well as offering repair, maintenance, bicycle fitting and events.
Glenview Coin & Collectables, Glenview
Collect Shiny Things
Hey, magpie. The whole wide world has much to admire. You can bring some of those treasures home for your collection or fire up a new fascination. Stop by Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop (711 Main St., Evanston) where it’s bursting with authentic fossils, colored minerals, unique jewelry and scads of beads and precious/semi-precious stones. Glenview Coins & Collectables (1713 Glenview Rd., Glenview) lends their deep expertise to beginners, as well as serious collectors, with their impressive array of U. S. and world coins, paper money, stamps and more.
Ignite Gaming, Skokie
Game Your Heart Out
Are you into Halo Infinite, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Forza Horizon 5 and more, but crave game play with the biggest screens and sweetest gear? Do you want to get your hands on new games with your friends? Ignite Gaming (8125 Skokie Blvd., Skokie) stocks hundreds of PC and console games for the ultimate social gaming experience. Premium X-box, racing sims and Rock Band—all with ultra-smooth gameplay. Quality food is handy, too, with small bites, grinders and pizza, plus local craft beers on tap and gamer-themed cocktails.
Backyard BBQ Store, Wilmette
Become a BBQ Legend
Get bragging rights and upgrade your grill and your grilling chops with products and coaching from Backyard BBQ Store (535 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette). With more than 5,000 items, you can snag a Weber kettle or all the BBQ tools and accessories; sauces and rubs; or wood chips, chunks and logs you can carry. Plus, their "indoor-outdoor kitchen" on one side of the store is the hotspot for classes like Grilling 101, Beef Rib/Tenderloin and Butt and Brisket sessions with award-winning chef Chris Marks.
School of Rock, Glenbrook & Evanston
The wicked fun School of Rock (3139 Dundee Rd., Northbrook; 1311 Sherman Pl., Evanston) music programs aim to inspire students to work together and grow as musicians, as well as make some wonderful noise. Among options for all ages, your littler kids (around 6- to 7-years-old) in the “Rookies” class learn fundamentals like chords, rhythm and song structure. Adult students can improve their proficiency or pick up an instrument with no prior musical experience. The classes include a weekly private lesson, weekly group rehearsal and live show performance.