My perfect summer Sunday: North Shore

A place to eat


Homemade donuts. I repeat, homemade donuts. Get them! Guildhall’s Sunday brunch also features Croque Monsieur, Lemon Ricotta hot cakes, Eggs Benedict and even Pain Perdu (vanilla custard-soaked brioche with fresh fruit). Bonus: They have the swankiest high chairs I have ever encountered and a bundle of outdoor seating for little ones who like to people watch.

694 Vernon Ave. in Glencoe

A place to play

Hubbard Woods Park & Splash Pad

This park was made famous during the filming of Home Alone in 1990 (scenes include a wild police chase across a skating rink with gazebo backdrop). Newly renovated, this place has a little bit of everything for everyone: swings, slides, bocce ball courts and spray/splash fountains. Bonus: Given the intimate footprint of the park, this is a prime spot for making friends with other families and kiddos.

939 Green Bay Rd. in Winnetka

A rainy day option


This toy store is a dreamy, whimsical fantasyland. Life-sized toy soldiers guard the entrance and Thomas the Train chugs along on a ceiling-mounted track. The most magical part? Patrons are actually encouraged to play with the toys displayed! Bonus: Check out the back of the store for a curated selection of bedtime stories and oversized playhouses for exploring.

654 Central Ave. in Highland Park

A place to grab a treat

Black Sheep General Store

Every warm summer day should conclude with a sweet treat, and this store has my sugar fix covered. My son and I love raiding the gorgeous candy jars and packaging up a goodie bag to go. Bonus: After the sugar wears off, walk over to nearby Friends Park.

346 Park Ave. in Glencoe

A place to grab dinner on-the-go

Stacked & Folded

Sometimes, you just need tacos. Lots of tacos. This spot has an awesome kids’ menu and a plethora of seating: counter, tables and al fresco. Bonus: If the kids are acting up, just get those tacos to go.

551 Lincoln Ave. in Winnetka

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