The Dundee area holds a special place in my heart because we used to call it home. Located just 40 minutes northwest of Chicago by the Fox River, the area is always changing for the better so it’s always so exciting to re-discover new things.
Here are a few things we found that families will love!
Things to do
156 S. Western, Carpentersville
For fun for kids ages 2-12, Tyke Play is THE place to go in the area if the kids need to release energy. The newly opened indoor playground has all the fun things you would want – slides, obstacles, things to climb, and an area for little tikes. Parents will appreciate the open floor layout, cleanliness, and free Wi-Fi. Got hangry kids? Outside snacks are welcome here, or you can buy them for just $1.
Tip: Starting in April, Wednesdays will officially be Hump Day Wednesdays with a special admission rate of $5! Read more about our visit here.
555 Barrington Ave., East Dundee
Play with nature at this hidden gem located behind the Fox River Valley Public Library. Fifty acres of unstructured exploration is waiting. Hop from tree stump to tree stump or climb boulders and hay bales. Make a fort using branches and other things they find around them. Check out the shed with bones, stones and nests. Make music with hollow logs. Create a masterpiece on slabs of rock using only water and dirt. The sky’s the limit.
Tip: Check the library’s schedule for fun outdoor programs. Don’t forget the bug spray!
Places to eat
124 W. Main St., West Dundee
When we lived in the area, one of the things lacking was a local coffeehouse. Local parents John and Allison saw the need for a place to grab yummy treats and coffee. With years of experience in the service industry, they got to work and the end result is Craft Donuts + Coffee. Try one (or two) of their popular flavors of the cake-like doughnuts like the vanilla glazed old fashioned, raspberry frosted old fashioned or cookie butter. Feeling adventurous? Try unique flavors like bacon, jalapeno and cream cheese or the everything doughnut. They’re always trying to keep it fresh with new flavors so you’re bound to find a new doughnut to try each visit. Enjoy it and coffee in the cozy cool ambiance in the historic building. Kids will love watching the doughnut-making process through the glass window.
Tip: They offer vegan options including doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. One of the owners, John, swears by the vegan cinnamon roll! Read more about our visit here.
98 W. Main St., West Dundee
Finally, a much-needed farm-to-table option in the area! Bleuroot in downtown West Dundee offers brunch, lunch and dinner and a kid-friendly menu as well (kids get Jones Soda with their meal). Everything on the menu sounds fabulous, but they had me at Bleu Berry Beignets. Recommendations include the flatbread, Not your Mom’s Mac & Cheese, and the Variety Hummus and the Charcuterie + Cheese tray. You’ll be wishing for warmer weather so you can take advantage of the views on the patio overlooking the river.
Tip: Scrambling for dinner? They offer a hot meal ready for curbside pickup for $50.
101 S. 1st St., West Dundee
I’ve raved about the family-owned candy shop in the past, but they have since moved down the street in what was once a former bowling alley and office space. The space is much more open, plus they now have an easy to access parking lot. They still carry all things candy like chocolates, gummies and old school candies that are sure to invoke fond memories.
Tip: On a budget? Grab $1 candy bags or penny candy.ip: On a budget? Grab $1 candy bags or penny candy.
Want more about this great area? Check out our first visit here.