Filled with cobblestone streets and historic charm, Long Grove is Illinois’ first historic district and it’s a close 35 miles from Chicago. The village was settled in the early 1800s by German farmers and a walk through town showcases the plaques of the homes that were built more than 200 years ago.
Historic shops, charming buildings and even a covered bridge give the town character. Fairs and festivals are scheduled year-round, from the holidays with horse-drawn carriages to summers with the Strawberry Festival, families won’t get bored on return trips to town.
Long Grove is in Lake County, about 35 miles northwest of Chicago, with Lake Cook Road at its southernmost border. The village is easily accessed by McHenry Road or Hwy 53.
- Address: 320 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Named in honor of the village’s covered bridge, the creamery serves up coffee, organic teas and some of the creamiest ice cream around. Flavors range from Superman (you know it and love it) to Exhausted Parent (Bourbon-spiked espresso ice cream swirled with bittersweet chocolate chunks).
- Address: 144 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
When you’re planning your trip to Long Grove, give High Tea with Gerri a call to set up a service for your family. You’ll be treated to finger sandwiches, scones and pastries with tea to sip out of antique tea cups and poured from silver teapots.
- Address: 330 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Eat inside a local historic barn with two stories of dining inside. The specials change regularly, but try the bacon-wrapped dates as a starter. Kids’ sides are fun for them (tater tots or potato chips) or will make parents feel better (grapes or celery with ranch dipping sauce).
- Address: 135 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
The oldest bar in Illinois, The Village Tavern was established in 1847 and is known for its antique tavern style and tasty burgers. A fish fry continues every Friday, and don’t leave without a slice of the Apple Haus Pie.
Kids will love the penny-candy feel of this little shop that specializes in sugary sweets and memories. Barrels filled with bulk candy will widen a few eyes, with offerings in a chocolate case as well as gummies galore.
Sports fans will love a look at the shop’s memorabilia while parents can find something unique to brighten the home. Also check out the extensive collection of Wee Forest Folk collectibles.
- Address: 114-128 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Every day is a good day for chocolate, and the Long Grove Confectionery takes its chocolate seriously. Established in Long Grove in 1975, the factory is in nearby Buffalo Grove and offers tours. The retail location in Long Grove has favorites, seasonal chocolates and the most popular offering: Myrtle, the shop’s famous caramel, pecan, chocolate sensation.
- Address: 128 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Find baby gifts – kids will love pouring through the books – or take home flowers and other fun home decor.
May 14-16, 2021
For the Love of Chocolate is a bite-sized 2021 version of the village’s Chocolate Fest. Learn about the history of chocolate, listen to live music and – of course – enjoy a taste of chocolate. Tickets are required and limited and can be found at longgrove.org.
- Address: 350 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Art classes, plus workshops and demonstrations, are offered for kids ages 4 and older. Adults can even get in on the action, with jewelry workshops and paint n sip classes. Check the schedule before you go.
- Address: 344 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Schedule your family’s trip to the village during a weekend event at Brothers’ Field for outdoor fun. From movie nights to princess meet-and-greets, the location is perfect for family entertainment.
- Where: Robert Parker Coffin Road, between Schaeffer Road and Old McHenry Road
Long Grove’s covered bridge spans Buffalo Creek along Robert Parker Coffin Road, and includes a walking path to view the creek. The bridge can hold one vehicle at a time, so crossing over it in a car means taking turns. Built in 1906 to replace a previous wooden bridge, the current version is on the National Register of Historic Places and was last renovated in late 2020.
- Address: Starts at 302 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Enjoy a walking tour of the village, created by the Long Grove Historical Society. Stop by the original general store, multiple blacksmith shops and an old hotel. Your family can earn its steps while learning the background of the village.
- Address: 18163 West Checker Road, Long Grove
Settle in for an afternoon of biking or hiking along 5.5 miles of trails in this Lake County Forest Preserves location. (In the winter, your family can try cross country skiing.) Improvements completed in 2020 include seven new boardwalks, two scenic overlooks and flood restoration.
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.