Rest may be a four-letter word but after all the year-end and holiday hubbub, you deserve to hit the reset button! Refresh and revitalize with a bit of self-care inside and out. North Shore purveyors of all things good and green have got treats, treatments and fresh air environments lined up to soothe and replenish.
Cultivate Urban Rainforest, Evanston
Get Your Zen On
Oxygenate your cells with some organic goodness straight out of Mother Earth. Step into the lush world of Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery (704 Main St., Evanston) and bring home a handcrafted terrarium or pretty potted plant. You can fill your place with dazzling color and aromas with a stop by top local floral designers: The Flower Shop in Glencoe 693 Vernon Ave., Glencoe) has a love of all things pretty and a knack for unique designs that delight. Morning Glory Flower Shop (1822 Glenview Rd., Glenview, 1135 Central Ave., Wilmette) customizes fresh flower arrangements to match your style—classic to contemporary.
Maze Home, Winnetka
Treat Your Body Right
Nurture what nature gave you with customized skincare services from Dawn Skin Studio (828 Davis St., Ste. 102, Evanston). Choose from their menu of glorious facials such as “Refresh,” “Revive” or “Age-Lift” (the "non-surgical" face lift). Stock up on all-natural, fresh slices of soothing and gorgeous-smelling handmade soaps at The Alchemists Wife (917 Chicago Ave., Evanston). A warm throw blanket from Maze Home (735 Elm St., Winnetka) in Classic Tartan or yummy lambswool will keep you cozy along with a snuggly sweater from chic boutique Stella (2116 Central St., Evanston). Whether for therapeutic care or simple relaxation, a massage at the Wilmette Massage Center (417 4th St., Wilmette) will provide you service in a safe and relaxing environment.
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
Enjoy a Breath of Fresh Air
Nothing clears the mind like a brisk walk in a beautiful setting. The hidden treasure of Emily Oaks Nature Center’s three-acre savanna (4650 Brummel St., Skokie) is a natural oasis of oak trees, trails and a pond. Really stretch those legs in 145 acres of nature preserve at Grove National Historic Landmark (1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview) through woodland, prairie and natural wetlands. Take the self-guiding trails through Sugar Maple woods near the River Trail Nature Center (3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook). Winter months bring different delights at Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe) like the Dwarf Conifer Garden with the evergreens boasting blue and silver colors on thick, fragrant branches. The long Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park (McCormick Blvd. between Touhy St. and Dempster St., Skokie) runs for two miles and displays 60+ incredible sculptures.
Kneads and Wants, Skokie
Indulge in a Special Treat
Fancy something sweet? Of course you do! How about the World Famous English Toffee from Cora Lee Candies (1844 Waukegan Rd., Glenview) where quality ingredients are hand stirred, dipped in fine melted chocolates, and rolled in freshly ground pecans. You could start your day with flaky breakfast pastries from Beth's Little Bake Shop (1814 Central St., Evanston) but you may end up needing some cupcakes, tarts, cakes for later. A large variety of breads and sweet and savory baked goods can also be sourced across the street at Hewn (1733 Central St., Evanston). Kneads and Wants (8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie) can improve your afternoon with small-batch, scratch favorites like croissants, scones, coffee cakes and cookies. Pies, tea cookies and biscotti reign at Three Tarts Bakery & Cafe (301 Happ Rd., Northfield) as do custom cake creations with their deluxe flavors, fillings and icings. Need a customized specialty cookie? Lawrence Deans Bake Shop (647 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette) is your spot.
Bookends and Beginnings, Evanston
Lose Yourself in a Good Book
Curling up with characters and stories to whisk you away from the everyday is the perfect wintery pastime. Stock up on bestsellers, mysteries, biographies and great lit at the cozy Bookends and Beginnings (1712 Sherman Ave., Evanston) located in Bookman’s Alley in downtown Evanston. The Book Stall at Chestnut Court (811 Elm St., Winnetka) is a North Shore institution that compliments their great selection with awesome author events (virtual, too!). Book Bin (1151 Church St., Northbrook) staff are always delighted to share their favorites and help you start an awesome TBR (“to be read”) stack. Chicagoland's children-focused bookstore Booked (506 Main St., Evanston) carefully curates a diverse selection of new titles and classics for youthful readers of any age.