Step inside the communities that make up Chicago Northwest. Be a local.
Pop into the Soda Pop Shop, a former turn-of-the-century beverage factory, and then tour the attached Arlington Heights Historical Museum. Take a trip to the Mitsuwa Marketplace, the largest Japanese market in the Midwest, for Japanese delicacies and more. Enjoy a flight of reds and whites in the sleek tasting room or bar of Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant. In the summer, don’t forget to mark your calendar for Frontier Days. The five-day festival culminates on July 4, and it’s a blast.
Elk Grove Village
If you want nature and adventure, Busse Woods in the Ned Brown Forest Preserve offers many family-friendly activities, including a visit to a herd of elk, the Village’s namesake. Enjoy biking, hiking and fishing. You can also rent a canoe, kayak, rowboat or jon boat on Busse Lake. Pirate’s Cove is a kid-friendly oasis, and Rainbow Falls will appeal to your kids’ splashiest instincts, not to mention your own.
Sample the exceptional beers and ales from two of the finest breweries in the region — Church Street Brewing, which is an Illinois Made brewery and Itasca Brewing Company. The Itasca Historical Depot Museum has a train exhibit that will be sure to thrill the kids. In September, the two-day Itasca Oktoberfest features German food, beer, music and a 230-foot tent under which to enjoy them. Kilts are optional at the annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games in June. The unique two-day event, which attracts over 30,000 visitors, brings together everything Celtic, including entertainment, food, games and fashion.
Take a jaunt back in time at the Kimball Hill Museum, an exact replica of a 1953 Kimball Hill tract home. Find the freshest produce at City Markets with Farmers and Food Trucks in the historic downtown. (Check out cityrm.org for specific dates.) And be sure to head over to the unique Opera In Focus puppet theater at the Rolling Meadows Park District headquarters. Enjoy puppet performances of classical opera, rock operas and more, all in a cozy, relaxed setting.
Looking for an action-packed sport played on roller skates? The Dupage Derby Dames bring their muscles and skill to the thrilling sport of roller derby at the Coachlite Skate Center. Enjoy the best of Roselle’s culinary scene at the Taste of Roselle in August. Ready for flights of outstanding, locally produced beer and wine? The historic Lynfred Winery has an extensive tasting program and a standout B&B, and the Pollyanna Brewing Company–Roselare’s tasting room shouldn’t be missed.
With over 300 stores, Woodfield Mall offers one of the finest collections of department stores and specialty shops in the Midwest. And the stunning, new 820-seat Dining Pavilion offers enticing casual dining options. IKEA’s signature, assemble-yourself furnishings are on display at its North American flagship store. The stunning Schweikher House is a mid-century architectural masterpiece, and tours are available.
The Schaumburg Boomers professional baseball team suits up at Boomers Stadium. Kids will love LEGOLAND Discovery Center at The Streets of Woodfield. It’s the ultimate indoor LEGO playground. And the laughs come fast at Laugh Out Loud Theater, featuring sidesplitting Chicago comedy shows.
Once a 19th-century farm, 17-acre Hoosier Grove Park features a historical center, a museum in a turn-of-the-century one-room schoolhouse, original farm buildings and a restored barn that hosts weddings and group events. Anyone for Disc Golf? Frisbee tossers will find a nine-hole course at Shady Hill Park. And Shady Oaks Park hosts an expansive 18-holer. You’ll feel your heart stir as you walk through the Veterans Memorial and the Waldorf Memorial. Dedicated in 1991, the memorial is lined with monoliths honoring all branches of the U.S. armed forces and pays homage to America’s military past.
Topgolf is a unique entertainment and event venue featuring high-tech, point-scoring golf games for all skill levels, upscale bar food, drinks, music and more. Designed to evoke a rustic lodge, U Gazdy Polish Restaurant serves up hearty portions of authentic, Highlander-style (southern Polish) cuisine. FootGolf at the Salt Creek Golf Club substitutes golf balls and clubs with soccer balls and your feet. (Of course you can also play a round of golf, too.) FootGolf is available Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.