North Shore Views Blog

If you live on the North Shore or are thinking of moving here, my blog will be your go-to resource for anything and everything you want to know about the area: the communities, neighborhoods, schools, parks, beaches, things to do, and, of course, real estate.

July 5, 2018

Fun Things To Do in July on the North Shore

The July 4th festivities may be done, but there is still tons of fun to be had this month on the North Shore. Featuring various sidewalk sales, art and cultural festivals, summer fests, professional tennis, a family camp out, and Footloose at Wallace Bowl, there is something for everyone including my personal favorite – the Highwood Bloody Mary Fest!


Northbrook Sidewalk Sale/Art in the Park
July 6 - 7
Downtown Northbrook, corner of Church & Cherry Lane (by Sunset Foods)

Find deals galore from your favorite local stores and outside vendors. Enjoy balloon artists, children's activities, contests, food, and fun!

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June 25, 2018

July 4th Celebrations 2018

The North Shore knows how to celebrate the 4th! Here’s our compilation of all the parades, fireworks, and other community celebrations happening around town!


Deerfield Family Days (see also July 4)
Brickyards Park, 375 Elm St.

5 pm: Gates Open
6 pm – Dusk: Live entertainment
Dusk 9:15 pm: Fireworks: Dusk
For more info, click here.

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May 31, 2018

Fun Things To Do in June on the North Shore

The Summer season is upon us and that means art fests, music fests and block parties to your hearts content! Below is a list of some of the most popular events (Glencoe Grand Prix, Winnetka Music Festival, Custer Fair etc.) as well as some hidden treasures we hope you will enjoy as well.


Glencoe Gran Prix
June 2: All day & night beginning at 8 am
Downtown Glencoe, 675 Village Ct., Glencoe

One of the most anticipated events of the year, the Glencoe Grand Prix is a one-day road criterium race and a member of the USA CRITS Championship Series. Additional amateur races throughout the day offer opportunities for the whole family to get in on the action. In addition to viewing the excitement, non-riders can also enjoy live music, food and lots of fun at the North Shore's best block party of the year! For more info, click here.


Dairy Breakfast and Stock Show
June 9: 8 am – 1 pm
Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Rd., Glenview

Enjoy a delicious farm-style breakfast that includes a variety of dairy items, plus live music, dairy demonstrations, wagon rides, and hands-on activities throughout the morning. 4-H and FFA members from Lake, McHenry and Cook counties will exhibit lambs, pigs, dairy heifers and cows, and beef steers and heifers. Professional judges will evaluate the stock and select a top showman in each species. Cash prizes will be awarded for first and second class placings with additional awards for grand champion and top showman. Purchase tickets at the farm the day of the event or in advance online. $10 adults and children 10+. $5 children 2 – 10. For more info, click here.


Block Party at St. Norbert
June 9: 3 pm – 11 pm
St. Norbert School, 1809 Walters Ave., Northbrook

A North Shore summer kick-off party that features live music, beer & food gardens, Baggo tournament, DJ, and Kids Zone with inflatables, petting zoo, games, and much more! The day starts with a 5K Fun Run & Kids Dash at 8 a.m. Block Party gates open at 3 p.m., and live music from local performers starts at 5 p.m., followed by acoustic group Crawford’s Daughter, and 60s/70s rock band EarthMother. Headliner Mr. Blotto, Chicago’s favorite jam band, takes the main stage at 8:30 p.m. $10. For more info, click here.


Evanston Made Kids
June 10: 11 am – 4 pm
Evanston Art Center, 2603 Sheridan Rd., Evanston

Evanston Made Kids is a family-friendly FREE day of making, creating, selling and celebrating Evanston's Young Creatives hosted by the Evanston Art Center! The Art Center opens art studios for demos and making, giving kids the chance to explore creative activities and take home their creations. Kid Makers can sell their wares in the Kids Pop Up Shop. Sign up by emailing Amy at For more info, click here.


Winnetka Music Festival
June 15: 5 pm – 10: 45 pm; June 16: 9 am – 10: 45 pm
Winnetka Elm Street Business District (intersection of Green Bay Rd. & Elm St.)

This FREE music festival features three main stages of music from new emerging artists. There will also be a family stage in Dwyer Park beginning Saturday at 9 am that will feature performance for all ages. In addition, those seeking a more intimate setting can check out the lululemon/Spynergy Chapel Stage which will feature jazz, opera and acoustic rock offerings all day on Saturday. Food trucks and craft beer and wine will be available throughout the festival grounds. For a full line up and schedule of events, click here.


Annual Father’s Day Brunch
June 17: 10 am – 1 pm
Tower Road Beach, 899 Sheridan Rd., Winnetka

Celebrate the male rock star in your family this year by bringing your father to Tower Road Beach for the annual Father’s Day Brunch. Participate in our Inaugural Speed Baggo Tournament, take pictures with the entire family in the photobooth, test how fast you can throw your world-famous fastball, and eat some delicious brunch brought to you by the Grand Food Center! Beach Pass Holders: $5; None beach pass Holders: $10R/$15NR – pre-registration. $5 more per person on-site. For more info, click here.


Custer Fair
June 16 & 17: 10 am – 9 pm
Chicago Ave. to Main St. to Washington St., Evanston

Over 300 local and regional artists, craftspeople, and commercial vendors come together over Father's Day weekend to exhibit and sell paintings, ceramics, pottery, photographs, jewelry, graphic arts, wearable art, country and home craft, antiques and collectables. Over 30 food vendors offer a full international menu featuring the old favorites as well as new fare. The Fair also features three stages of entertainment featuring Chicagoland jazz legends (Festival Stage), theatre music and novelty performers (Arena Stage) as well the newly added School of Rock Stage. There is also a Kids Carnival in Elden Park on Washington Ave. Truly an event for all to enjoy! For more info, click here.


Annual Dog Day
June 23: 10 am – 12 pm
Gorton Community Center, 400 East Illinois Rd., Lake Forest

Enjoy fun activities with your “best friend” including games, crafts for kids, dog agility course, a costume contest, treats and more! There is a $5 entry fee per dog and can be paid online or cash at the door. All the fun will happen in the Gorton Community Center parking lot. For more info, click here.


Craft Beer & Wine Festival
June 23: 2 – 6 pm
Performance Pavilion at Heritage Park, 201 Community Blvd., Wheeling

Come to Wheeling Park District’s Annual Craft Beer & Wine Festival and enjoy tastings of over 60 seasonal beers, wines and ciders from regional and national breweries. Beer and wine lovers will receive a commemorative sampling glass and have access to unlimited two-ounce samples of beer, wine and cider. Live music and food vendors will be on hand. 21+. Tickets: $35 (thru 6/22); $45 day-off, Designated Driver: $10. For more info, click here.


Evanston Chamber Artisan Summerfest
June 23 & 24: 11 am – 6 pm
Downtown Evanston, Sherman Ave. between Davis & Clark., Evanston

Formerly known as the Fountain Square Art Festival, this arts fest returns to Downtown Evanston for the 38th year. The fair will have eclectic works of more than 150 juried artists, including the works of artists who make eco-friendly art from recycled and found materials. Visitors will enjoy strolling street musicians and performers, food, beer, wine and a children’s urban street art installation project that will be completed during the two-day event. A Craft Beer and Wine Tasting will have more than 50 varieties to choose from featuring small craft brewers to boutique wine makers. Tastings are 2:00pm to 6:00pm daily. For more info, click here.


The Art Center’s Festival of Fine Arts
June 23 & 24: 10 am – 5pm
Downtown Highland Park, Sheridan Rd between Park & Central Ave.

Free and open to the public, the Art Center Festival of Fine Arts showcases the work of over 100 juried artists from around the world in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, sculpture and more. In addition to the incredible artwork available for purchase, attendees will be able to interact with artists through demonstrations and booth chats. Live music, kid-friendly activities, and great food from local restaurants will be available for visitors to enjoy. For more info, click here.


Art Festival
June 30 – July 1: 10 am – 5 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe 

Stroll and shop among 100 juried artists on the Esplanade. This one-of-a-kind art festival brings botanic-themed and botanic-made photography, paintings, ceramics, cement, metal, fiber, wood, jewelry, and other pieces to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Find remarkable items to purchase or just admire them during your visit to this annual event. Free, parking fees apply. For more info, click here.


Bitter Jester Music Festival
Friday in June: 7 pm
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park

The Bitter Jester Music Festival (BJMF) is the Midwest's largest professional music competition for rising-star musicians (bands and solo artists alike). BJMF supports and promotes young and emerging talent from across Northern Illinois & Indiana, Wisconsin, and into Southern Michigan. Currently, the event has four preliminary competitions on consecutive Fridays in June. A winner is selected by qualified judges each Friday to compete in the Grand Finale Concert. After all four preliminary competitions, judges and Bitter Jester staff decide on four "Wild Card" bands that will also compete for the title and $25,000 in combined cash and prizes at a Grand Finale concert on July 4 leading up to the City of Highland Park's fireworks display. For more info, click here.

Thinking of selling your home?

If you would like to schedule a seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here. We'd love to show you what we do differently to get our clients' homes sold!

May 22, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

The unofficial start to summer arrives with many local parades, pool & beach openings and hopefully warmer weather! See below for a list of parades and other special events happening throughout the North Shore honoring the service of our veterans and the lives that were tragically lost.


Glenview Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony
10 am
Parade route: Kicks off from the corner of Grove and Depot streets, then heads east on Grove to Pine Street before heading south to Glenview Road and then east to the Veterans Memorial at the intersection of Glenview and River Drive.


Winnetka’s 91st Annual Memorial Day Parade
10 am – 11:30 am
Parade route: Kicks off from the corner of Glendale and Elm Streets, then heads east to the Village Park. If inclement weather, an indoor ceremony will be held in the Skokie School auditorium.


Wilmette Memorial Day Parade
10 am
Parade route: Kicks off at the Joseph School at Ridge and Lake and goes east on Lake Avenue to Park, south on Park to Wilmette, and east on Wilmette to the Village Hall. 

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May 18, 2018

Guide to Private Schools on the North Shore

Kids in uniforms at a private school

Choosing the right school for your family is a difficult decision. While the North Shore of Chicago boasts a plethora of high scoring public schools, for many students, that is not always the best option. Fortunately, the North Shore is also home to a number of top-notch private schools that offer a variety of learning environments to suit your family’s needs. Consider this guide as a starting point for your search for the best school for you and/or your child.

Lake Forest Country Day School

145 S. Green Bay Rd.
Lake Forest, IL
(847) 615-6151

Preschool – 8th grade

Established in 1888, LFCDS, offers a rich educational experience grounded in academics, the arts and athletics. Students from more than 30 communities comprise the student body, and laud the warm community, amenities and inspiring faculty.  Two important beliefs form the basis of their teaching philosophy: social and emotional development is inextricably linked with academic achievement; and experiential learning creates a foundation for deeper understanding. The school features a state-of-the-art hands on learning environment that inspires and challenges students to the best of their ability. A 7:1 student to faculty ratio ensures that students get the individual attention they need. Approximately 350 students.

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Posted in Schools
May 1, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: May 2018

Is that really a light I see at the end of Winter’s long and blistery tunnel? I believe it is and that means it’s time to stow away the parkas (hopefully) and rejoice in the springtime weather. Warmer temps allow for plenty of outdoor fun including: Touch A Tuck, Deer Dash, Mother’s Day House Walk, two Art Walks, a kids’ fishing derby and Skokie’s renown Festival of Cultures. There’s also two impressive ice shows, some fabulous theatrical productions, a vintage market and a special high tea in honor of the Royal Wedding!


44th Annual Winnetka Ice Show
May 4: 7 pm; May 5: 6 pm
Winnetka Ice Arena, 490 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka 


More than 150 local skaters from tots through teens participate in this production, performing jumps, spins, and choreographed routines for the audience. With colorful costumes, energetic music, and vibrant lighting effects, this show is sure to entertain audiences of all ages. Bring the family out and join us for this Winnetka tradition! Tickets: $8. For more info: 847-501-2060.


Touch-A-Truck Family Festival
May 6: 11 am – 2 pm
NIPSTA Parking Lot, 2300 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

toucha truck festival

Forget the toy trucks! Here, children can get a close-up look at the real things! Climb aboard many super-sized vehicles in a safe, protected environment. Train rides, face painting, DJ, balloon artist, raffle prizes, food and more! Pre-sale general admission: $45 (family up to 6); $50 day of. For more info, click here.

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Posted in Things To Do
April 11, 2018

North Shore Real Estate Report - 1st Quarter 2018

North Shore Chicago Real Estate Update - 1st Quarter 2018 vs. Year Ago

 North Shore real estate data 1st qtr 2018

Closed Sales

Closed sales for the first quarter were up only 1% vs. the first quarter of 2017. About half of the villages increased while the other half declined. Glencoe had the biggest increase (+72%), followed by Lake Forest (+60%), Northfield (+44%). Winnetka had the biggest decline (-30%), followed by Kenilworth (-25%) and Highland Park (-24%).

While market growth on the coasts has been dampened by lack of inventory, that is not the case in the Chicago metro market, especially the suburbs. Here we have plenty of inventory, especially in the higher price brackets. For example, there are 7% more listings over $2,000,000 than this time last year.

Why is our area experiencing such a different reality than other large metro areas? It's the confluence of three trends: slow employment growth, population losses (Illinois had the greatest net outflow of residents of any state) and higher taxes. This March 30 article in Crain's Chicago Business gives some good insight into this phenomenon.

Median Prices

While sales were weak, median prices were more respectable, rising 11% overall, led by Kenilworth (+82%), Glencoe (+25%) and Evanston (+22%). Wilmette was the only North Shore village where the median price dropped, declining from $769,000 to $737,500. Average sales price as a percent of list price was 91.4%, down -0.3% from first quarter of last year.

Market Time

Market time for homes that sold was 160 days or 5.3 months. Evanston continues to have the shortest market time at 94 days (3 months), while Lake Forest has the longest, at 250 days (8.3 months). Lake Forest continues to suffer as home buyers opt to stay in or close to the city rather than venturing out to remote suburbs.

Accepted Offers

Accepted Offers is one of the best indicators of market health, as it foretells what closed sales will be over the next couple of months. The fact that accepted offers overall are down 3% vs. last year does not bode that well for the spring market. Other than Evanston, Northfield and Lake Forest the trends are disappointing.

Accepted Offers March 2018 vs Year Ago

Accepted Offers March 2018


If you have any questions about the market or would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Anne West and the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657.

Wondering what your home is worth in today's market? You can get an instant value here.

What's My Hoe Worth

Posted in Market Statistics
April 3, 2018

Fun Things to do this April on the North Shore

Don’t let a few showers here and there spoil the fun. April is chock full events both indoor and out to help you transition from the dog days of winter to some fun in the sun (hopefully)!  This month features a great selection of children’s plays as well as some great opportunities to explore nature and the world around us and even take an archery lesson! Adults can also imbibe in a fresh spring cocktail demonstration and enjoy the musings of Kathleen Madigan! A fun month indeed! 


Simply Stirring
April 6: 5:30 pm
Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, 10 Marriot Drive, Lincolnshire 

Experience this interactive demonstration class that will teach guests how to create fresh spring cocktails sure to impress every palate. Mixologist Carlos Veigas will demo 5 featured cocktails to guests while they sample his fresh creations and enjoy artisan cheeses and crackers from the Resort’s Executive Chef Pierre Daval. $25 per person, space is limited.  To register: call 847-634-0100 and request reservations for the Simply Stirring cocktail class.


Family Archery
April 7: 1 – 2:30 pm
Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park 

A perfect family activity! Learn the basics of archery, then spend time practicing on the range! All equipment and instruction provided. Children (8+) must be accompanied by a paid registered adult. $10 per person. For information call 847-433-6901. To register, click here.

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March 26, 2018

Easter Egg Hunts, Doggy Hunts & Bunny Photo Ops

Let the games begin! Egg hunts apparently come in all shapes and sizes so hopefully your kids (and in some cases, pups) have completed their training and are ready to take on one of these area egg hunts! Fingers crossed for good weather! 


Thornwood Park Egg Hunt
Mar. 31: 10 am
Thornwood Park, 2400 Thornwood Ave., Wilmette 

Bring your baskets and your camera for photos with the Easter Bunny at this intimate, annual egg hunt. Hunt starts at 10:00 SHARP, so don't be late! FREE!

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Posted in Things To Do
March 17, 2018

It's Time to Appeal Your Property Taxes In New Trier Township

Property tax appeal form

New Trier property owners: you have until April 19, 2018 to appeal your property taxes.

Once that's done, you then have until April 29 to provide supporting evidence for your appeal.

Each year the Cook County Board of Review opens each township for property tax appeals. The appeal window is open only for a month at a time and only a few townships are open for appeal at any given time. There's no master schedule published showing when each township will be open. You have to stay on top of it or you will miss the opportunity to appeal. New Trier Township is open for appeals until April 19.

Here's what you need to know:

The grounds for an appeal and supporting evidence needed are:

  • Lack of uniformity with similar properties
    The comparable properties you use should be in your neighborhood and be of similar size, construction and age to your home.

  • Error in square footage of the home or lot
    A survey is required as proof, based on measurements of the exterior of the house, excluding basements, garages and unfinished attics or porches.

  • Overvaluation
    An assessment that is more than 10% of the current market value proven by a recent appraisal or open market purchase (i.e., not a short sale or foreclosure).

There are three ways you can file an appeal:

  1. Go to the Cook County Assessor's website ( and file your appeal online.
  2. Go to the New Trier Township Office at 739 Elm St. in Winnetka and ask for assistance - they are super helpful.
  3. Hire an attorney who specializes in property tax appeals. Contact us for names of recommended attorneys.

And while we're on the subject of property taxes, you can still affect your 2017 tax obligation by making sure you have filed for all the exemptions to which you are entitled:

- Homeowner

- Senior Citizen

- Senior Freeze

- Disabled Persons

- Disabled Veterans

- Returning Veterans

Go to to file for these exemptions. All exemptions will appear as deductions on the second installment tax bills in 2018. You can visit the Township website for more information on these exemptions and how to qualify.

Keep in mind that the Homeowner Exemption is the only one which will continue to renew automatically once established. All the others must be filed for on an annual basis.

Thinking of selling?

If you would like to schedule a seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here. We'd love to show you what we do differently to get our clients' homes sold!

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Posted in Real Estate, Sellers