Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop is a little gem! My little one and I got to Main Street Evanston a little early for the theatre production we were seeing and we decided to give it a look. My small one adored the colors and rocks and things he could touch, we did buy a very reasonable small bag of polished gemstones for 3 bucks. He got about 16 stones and was so thrilled with his treasure. But the real reason for this post is that there is a FREE museum in the basement! The museum houses a variety of fossils for you to look at. My little guy was thrilled to see the cave bear, mammoth teeth, ancient fish, dinosaur fossils and claws, especially the crabs, and Trilobites!
The museum isn't large but it is worth a look if you are in the area! We spent about 15 minutes in it and we really didn't look or read anything, but it kept him fascinated.
I know when I lived in Britian I adored checking out the British Panto's during the holiday season. I was so thrilled to discover that the Piccolo Theatre Ensemble produces their own holiday panto! They also are constantly producing and preforming other comedic peices through out the year.
If you have never been to a Panto, you should take it in stride. Remember that yes there is cross dressing (The lead male character is played by a female, and the older lead female by a man), there is also lots of music (modern and traditional music is adapted to fit the performance), dancing, audience participation ( You are expected to boo the villain, and cheer the good guy, and yes sometimes go “Look out behind you!”, and above all familiar FAMILY stories. This year it is Robin Hood! In the past they have done "Perseus and Medusa: or It’s All Greek To Me" and "Sinbad". This is meant to be family entrainment with jokes both children and adults alike can enjoy. I was thrilled to share this very old British tradition with the little someone in my life!
The Alice Millar Chapel is the chapel for Northwestern University's students and faculty. It was built in the 1960s and features beautiful stained glass windows that stretch to the ceiling and reminded us somewhat of Saint-Chapelle in Paris (although the Millar chapel windows feature much more modern designs). The chapel is open to the public and hosts Protestant church services every Sunday morning. In addition to its beautiful windows, the chapel also features an impressive pipe organ. Construction of the chapel was bankrolled by Foster McGaw, who named the building after his mother (Millar was her maiden name).
The Rock is the most famous piece of stone on the Northwestern University campus. It is a large rock that gets painted and graffitied (along with the wall in front of it) multiple times per week by the university's students.
Northwestern University is a large, private university located in Evanston along the shore of Lake Michigan. The campus is open to the public, and we enjoyed strolling around it one afternoon while we were in town. The buildings on the campus are a jumble of architectural styles, ranging from gothic-style stone buildings to modern glass and concrete monstrosities. Our favorite building was the university's chapel, which has beautiful stained glass windows and an impressive pipe organ. We also like the small gardens which are interspersed around the campus.
When I was a student at Kellogg, the buildings where we held classes in was known as Anderson (after Arthur Anderson) and Leverone and the Dean of the school was Don Jacobs. Now the two buildings are known collectively as the Donald Jacobs Center. The original buildings were built in 1972 and Anderson was renovated in 2001 to include a cafeteria (no more student wives serving sandwiches from the student lounge).
Yes- Northwestern is in the Big 10 conference- although they do tend to get beaten by teams such as Michigan and Ohio State. Still, they have a wonderful, intimate stadium (Ryan Field) to watch football games. Tailgating before the game is fun too as students like to serve up varieties of chili.
The football team (and other Northwestern sports teams thereafter) were given the name "wildcats" by Wallace Abbey in the Chicago Tribune following the memorable Northwestern-Chicago game in 1924.
The Stadium Club is the premier area in Ryan Field in which to entertain clients, business associates and friends. The club, which is located on the first level of the Leonard B. Thomas Press Box, features elevator service, catered meals, snacks and beverage service, private restrooms, coatroom, television monitors, piped-in crowd noise, reserved parking and more.
The Wildcat Den, located under the press box, offers the opportunity for fans to be outside for the games but protected from the elements. Specific amenities include comfortable theater- style seats, at-seat concession service, radiant heat, windscreen and more.
The Box Seats are located on the East and West sides between rows 16-21 and span the 20-yard lines. The seats replicate those in the Wildcat Den. The boxes alternate between boxes of four seats and boxes of eight to accommodate corporate and family needs.
Tickets may be purchased on a season or individual game basis and will be located in Sections 120 -121. Students can attend the game but must show their student ID.
The Skokie Sculpture Park borders Evanston along the western bank of the river and McCormick Blvd.
With a meandering path running through it, the park is a favorite of joggers, cyclists and power walkers. Over 80 sculptures are placed at random intervals along the length of the 2 mile-long park. The Evanston corridor runs from Howard north to Dempster Street. A cluster of International Flags at Dempster honors the ethnic groups living in the community. You can learn more about the artists and virtually tour the park on its own site: www.sculpturepark.org.
As part of our tour , we walked to the Northwestern Campus & out to the Lake Michigan site.
PLEASE CLICK BECAUSE THE PHOTO IS PANORAMIC!
Northwestern campus has been extended into the lake via landfill. I did some research & discovered how this all came about.
By the 1950s, future expansion of Northwestern was stopped: lack of space. The university was faced with 3 choices:
1. Move west across Sheridan road into residential neighborhoods, tearing down beautiful homes.
2. Build an "asphalt campus", crowding new buildings by getting rid of the green spaces east of Sheridan Rd.
3. Extend eastward into Lake Michigan.
The decision was made to fill in the Lake. They purchased 74 acres; cost about $5.2 million. From the state they bought 152 acres of "submerged lake land at a cost of $100 per acre."
Only one "snag" happened. The sand for the lakefill was to come from dredging of a "controversial harbor in the Indiana Dunes", & Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois accused the university of taking part in an act of "environmental vandalism"! It took time, but Douglas finally agreed.
The lakefill took more than 2 years & included a limestone retaining wall around the perimeter of the underwater expansion zone.
In 1964, solid ground was established. The first building on the new land was Vogelback Computing Center.Then The University Library was build as well as the Frances Searle Building & the Norris University Center in about 1972. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall & James L. Allen Center came in the late 1970s.
Recently, the lakefill campus has seen Henry Crown Sports Pavillon, Norris Aquatics Center, Northwestern soccer & field Hockey fields, & Annenberg Hall built.
On the site of that first building (the Vogelback Center), they are now constructing %the Arthur & Gladys Pancoe-Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Life Sciences Pavillion! (Whew, what a name!)
Just remember, when you are walking near Lake Michigan, you are really walking on Lake Michigan!
For the tour of Evanston, Katja gave us a copy of the Evanston Historical Society's Fall Brochure (photo).
1. Evanston Historical Society
At Charles Gates Dawes House, you will find the Evanston Historical Society, a private, non-profit cultural & educational institute. It preserves & tells of Evanston's history. The interactive museum has a research room & educational programs.
2. Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
This museum is dedicated to the exhibition of reproducible art forms such as photography, video, computer art, film. It also has a Sculpture Garden.
3. Kohl Children's Museum
165 Green Bay Road
I realize it's not in Evanston proper but VERY close. They emphasize integration between play & learning; thus, an enviornment to encourage curiosity, self discovery, & creativity. The exhibits are interactive so children are able to explore.
4. Grosse Point Lighhouse & Maritime Museum
2601 Sheridan Road
Since 1945, the city of Evanston controls the lighthouse buildings & grounds. Today it's become the symbol of the city, & in 1999, was designated a NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK. Today it's a seasonally operated educational & recreational location. The Garden Club of Evanston maintains butterfly & wildflower gardens on the lighthouse grounds. During June-September on Sat. & Sun. afternoons (2-4 p.m.) the keepers' quarters museum tours are available. Location: intersection of Central St. & Sheridan Rd.
5. Mitchell Indian Museum of Kendall College
2600 Central Park
This Kendall College Museum is the only Chicago-area museum that exclusively concerns North American native peoples. There are permanent & temporary exhibit galleries.
So, while in Evanston, take advantage of the array of Museums available for your use.