Chicago mom gives tips on what to do in Highland Park

I love this whole being a tourist in your town series I am working on.Today we are heading to the north shore and a cute little town dear to our hearts–Highland Park–which is a cool town with a city vibe.

And it happens to be the home to one Richard Marx.

I love me some Dick Marx, so in honor of one of our family’s favorite getaway spots and one of the most prolific songwriters of our time I am using his song titles to help me guide you up and down the must-see places of HP.

When we are hungry, we always head to Buffo’s in Highwood (which is just up the road).

Think burgers, Italian sausage, pizza, you name it. They have street-side seating with umbrellas.

It will leave you SATISFIED for sure.

Right, Richard?

Another great place to eat is The Mean Wiener.

Highwood is a great town to stroll and window shop.

Lots of antique stores and bakeries, as well as being steps from Lake Michigan.

Next stop, downtown Highland Park.

We always park the car and walk around the shopping district.

A favorite place to stop is the toy shop on Central Avenue.

Beanstalk is amazing.

I don’t usually get excited in toy stores but this is one I could get lost in.

And the back book reading room?

I want it for MY home.

It even has a little reading cottage.

My youngest loves to sit on the life-size animals and read books while we look at all the cool toys we never had growing up.

Not at all jealous.

SHOULD’VE KNOWN BETTER than to be born in the 70s, am I right Richard??

Another great place the kids and you will love is Uncle Dan’s outdoor store, also on Central.

It’s essentially a camping store but really an outdoor lovers paradise.

The staff lets you play around with things and there is so much to distract the kids that it has a museum quality.

Without the museum quality price tag.

Unless you buy a tent.

Or a bike.

Then you’re on your own.

I don’t know about you but every perfect day in our world ends with ice cream.

Whether it’s the middle of January or the heat of July, ice cream is always on our agenda.

No fancy ice cream place or hometown creamery here.


Just good old Dairy Queen.

But the kids who work here…..I just said kids…….are so adorable.

Every time we go here, they are so nice, helpful and have lots of suggestions.

That and the Heath Bar blizzard is killer.

If you love music and the outdoors then you need to go to Ravinia.

A lot of concerts sell out at the beginning of the season, but there are a few you can buy tickets for day of.

The twinkling lights, the music, the trees, it is pretty cool.

I have never done the whole picnic wine and cheese group concert thing because I am not good at coordinating something like that.

Someone please coordinate that so I can knock it off my bucket list.


I mean those ENDLESS SUMMER NIGHTS would be amazing.

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