Skokie's come a long way since the early 1800s, when it was a land of swamps and forests and a place where buffalo, wildcat, fox and deer were plentiful. From those early beginnings rose the Village of Skokie that today, is a culturally diverse and economically progressive community. Skokie's history is rich with influences of American Indians, French and British explorers and the emigration of European settlers. Skokie's preferred proximity, just 16 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, makes it one of the North Shore's most accessible destinations. It's also chock full of world-class arts and cultural entertainment, superb dining options and celebrated shopping venues.
SKOKIE'S MUST-SEE CHECKLIST:
- Westfield Old Orchard With more than 100 specialty stores including retail giants like Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor, this spectacular outdoor mall features beautiful gardens, landscaped walkways, sparkling fountains and children's play areas. For even more shopping options, visit Village Crossing Shopping Center, Skokie Fashion Square and the West Dempster Retail District.
- North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie Catch a show at this dynamic two-theater complex operating as part of the Village of Skokie's plan to provide cultural, literary and educational programs to benefit North Shore communities. The North Shore Center is home to the award-winning Northlight Theatre, the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra and Ars Vivia! Symphony.
- Downtown Skokie Anchored by the acclaimed Skokie Public Library, Heritage Museum, the Illinois Science + Technology Park, Village Hall and home to Oakton Community College, downtown Skokie's vibrant mix of merchants and restaurants is comprised primarily of traditional independently operated and owned businesses. There's also plenty of al fresco dining in the warmer months.
- Diverse Dining Thanks to the diverse ethnicity of its residents, Skokie features a variety of cuisines including traditional American, Russian, classic Italian, Mexican, Asian, Kosher and many more!
- Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park Wander through Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, a magnificent open-air art exhibit displaying more than 70 sculptures positioned along two miles of beautifully landscaped walking, running and biking paths.
- Emily Oaks Nature Center Get back to nature at this 13-acre savanna nestled in the woodlands of Skokie. You'll marvel at the oasis of native wildflowers, grasses, oak trees and 3-acre pond. Bring along a picnic and your field glasses as you may even spot a great blue heron, coyote, flying squirrel, red fox or Cooper's hawk.
- The Exploritorium Named Chicagoland's "Best Rainy Day Activity Site" by Chicago Magazine, the Exploritorium is a place where children and adults can explore together through interactive play. Make-believe in the costumed dress-up area, run your fingers through the water play area, make music, and experience new heights in the Exploritorium's two-and-a-half-story tubes and tunnels.
- Skokie Theatre Nothing compares to the thrill of live entertainment, and you'll get just that at the Skokie Theatre. Home to Skokie Idol, you'll also be able to enjoy live music, cabaret and other unique events at this intimate venue located in downtown Skokie.
- The Great Outdoors & Ice Skating With more than 248 acres of parkland, Skokie features a cultural center, an indoor ice rink, a driving range, a golf course, two water parks and a state-of-the-art rowing center where visitors can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, sculling and fishing on the North Shore Channel.
- Fabulous Festivals Skokie plans an exciting calendar of street fairs, outdoor concerts, neighborhood festivals and annual art exhibits, kicking off with the Skokie Festival of Cultures every May. You can also enjoy the North Shore Art Festival and the Backlot Bash.
- Skokie Farmers Market This fabulous farmers market, celebrating more than 25 years, offers bountiful produce, cheeses and flowers from farmers and vendors from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. The farmers market takes place every Sunday from mid-June through the end of October.
Just north of Chicago, accessibility to transportation is a key advantage in Skokie. With the Edens Expressway (I-94) spanning the community's western edge, seven Chicago Transit Authority and 10 Pace suburban bus lines, and the CTA's Skokie Swift rail line, Skokie offers numerous options for public transportation.
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