Evanston’s diverse teen population and urban college vibe lends itself to a myriad of cool teens with nowhere to go on the weekends. Enter these five awesome hangouts for teens to get out of your basement and into hangout spots, study spaces and unique eateries.
719 Church St.
Why teens love it: Practically since the dawn of time, teens and ice cream go hand-in-hand. Andy’s does not disappoint and the line that forms at the end of a summer day will prove it. Old school vibe with creamy, delicious frozen custard keep the kids gathering. With outdoor seating, this is a favorite summer destination.
“Rock Beach” behind Northwestern University
633 Clark St.
Why teens love it: Even in the cooler months of fall or spring teens still flock to the locally-named “Rock Beach.” A quick jaunt through the beautiful main campus of Northwestern University leads teens to a beautiful lakeside rock-filled oasis. Climbing the large boulders with selfie photo-ops abound, Rock Beach offers amazing views of Lake Michigan. With no swim-access, this unique spot is very popular with the college students and teens, alike.
1621 Chicago Ave.
Why teens love it: A cafe with old-school charm, a laid back vibe, vintage board games and hazelnut shakes bring Evanston teens to Kafein. They stick around for it’s ‘80s basement feel and it’s super friendly staff. My own kids have been going here for years to hang with friends, play a round of Head’s Up or study alongside the Northwestern students–good to know for parents hoping some of those college ‘smarts’ will rub off on them.
1723 Sherman Ave.
Why teens love it: Teens with a discerning coffee palette looking for a super cool place to hang out will love the Unicorn Cafe. An Evanston staple, ‘Uni’ as locals call it, prides itself on great pie and decorative coffee foam art. Piles of old books beckon teens to drop their phones and peruse the pages of their past.
1703 Orrington Ave.
Why teens love it: The Loft is more than just a library hangout space. Offering an entire 2000 square feet dedicated to video gaming, new reads and private study spots–the Loft has also become a local go-to for teens. The vibe is casual and comfortable without feeling too ‘bookish’. The Loft has comfy chairs and couches where teens can relax and chat with friends, and a stage where there are often poetry slams, theater productions or open mic events.