3 free north suburban places to visit in 2018


Historic Wagner Farm has plenty of options, like this egg gathering activity, to keep your kiddos engaged.


Credit: Walter John Terry Jr.


It feels like 2018 must be in fast-forward: I blinked and January is ending! Before the whole year flies by, make a plan for some free family fun along the way. These places in the northern ‘burbs combine learning and fun, and won’t make your bank account take a dip.


Historic Wagner Farm


We just ventured out to Historic Wagner Farm for a birthday party and my toddler Isaiah had a blast there! I was thrilled to learn that a regular visit to the farm is free (birthday cake not included), and hope to head back again this year. Indoors, Isaiah could not get enough of the egg gathering game while my husband and I enjoyed snapping photos in the 1930s grocery store and next to the vintage car. We were even able to take our little guy up a two-story silo. The winter weather didn’t stop us from heading outdoors and checking out a tractor, horses and chickens. A gratis visit to this spot definitely serves up a heaping helping of family fun.


1510 Wagner Road


Glenview, IL 60026


Mitchell Museum of the American Indian


This is a very interesting museum that you might have overlooked, and the best part is that admission is free on the first Friday of the month. My son got really excited to see the massive canoe, which I learned is made of birch bark and is from the Ojibwe tribe. Little ones can step inside a replica wigwam, too! I enjoyed our time at the museum, but honestly I might leave the tots at home for this one and take slightly older kids who are out of the trying to eat everything phase. A bonus of this museum is that it’s small enough to see everything in a single visit, without completely wearing out your family. I would be surprised if kiddos (and those big people who drive them around) did not find something to get excited about at this lesser-known Evanston gem.


3001 Central Street


Evanston, IL 60201


Morton Grove Public Library


The library has a cozy play area with a train set that kept Isaiah entertained and happy. The family bathrooms were convenient, too. This library also has a bunch of free ways for kiddos to get artsy! Craftin’ Around is a monthly event for 3rd to 6th graders and families can drop in for a low key Craft Saturday to pick up supplies (while they last) and put the craft together in the library. There are so many free options for families at this library, and you do not have to be a Morton Grove resident to enjoy them. However, many of the events do require advance registration, so I would suggest checking the website before heading over. After patting yourself on the back for finding free fun at the library, you can splurge on nearby Pequod’s Pizza. If you have had Pequod’s, you already know how good it is and if you haven’t, you’re in for one delicious pie.


6140 Lincoln Avenue


Morton Grove, IL 60053-2989

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