Evanston Things to Do

  • Charles Gate Dawes House
    Charles Gate Dawes House
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  • The theater front
    The theater front
    by ChartIt
  • Things to Do
    by ChartIt

Most Recent Things to Do in Evanston

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    Free Prehistory Museum!

    by ChartIt Updated Nov 30, 2010

    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.

    Fossil Crab
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    British Pantos in the US!

    by ChartIt Updated Nov 26, 2010

    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!

    Part of the stage The theater front
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    Alice Millar Chapel

    by mikelisaanna Updated Jul 21, 2008

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    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 entrance to the Alice Millar Chapel The altar window of the Alice Millar chapel
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    The Rock

    by mikelisaanna Updated Jul 21, 2008

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    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.

    The Rock
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    Northwestern University

    by mikelisaanna Written Jul 21, 2008

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    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.

    One of the entrances to Northwestern University
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    Northwestern Campus: Donald Jacobs Center

    by TRimer Written Jul 30, 2007

    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).

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    Attend a Northwestern Football Game

    by TRimer Written Jul 30, 2007

    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.

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    Wild Horses and Windmills

    by pedersdottir Updated Apr 27, 2007

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    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.

    In place and running free
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    Part of Northwestern Sits on Lake Michigan!

    by deecat Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    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!

    Seeing Chicago Skyline from Northwestern
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    Museums Galore in Evanston!

    by deecat Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    For the tour of Evanston, Katja gave us a copy of the Evanston Historical Society's Fall Brochure (photo).

    Evanston Museums:

    1. Evanston Historical Society
    225 Greenwood
    Evanston, IL
    (847)475-3410
    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
    Northwestern University
    40 Arts Circle Drive
    Evanston, IL
    (847)491-4000
    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
    Wilmette, IL
    (847)256-6056
    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
    Evanston, IL
    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
    Evanston, IL
    (847)475-1030
    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.

    Evanston Historical Society's Fall Programs
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    While in Evanston, Tour Northwestern Campus

    by deecat Updated Jun 3, 2005

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    My first introduction to Northwestern University was as a high school English teacher. I wrote several recommendations for Warren High School students who wished to attend Northwestern. I knew at that time that it was an outstanding university that was frequently named in U.S. News & World Report as one of the best undergraduate programs in the nation. I also knew that the Kellogg School of Management regularly ranked among the top five business schools in the country. The School of Law and the Feinberg School of Medicine, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science were frequently named as tops in their categories.

    An interesting side note:

    During WWII, Northwestern was called "The Annapolis of the Midwest" because of the large naval training programs that went on at both campuses."

    My second introduction to Northwestern was when my husband purchased season tickets for Northwestern Wildcat Football Games. His father was a graduate of Northwestern. For about two years, we took the Metra Train from Waukegan to the Central Street Stop in Evanston and then walked to Ryan Field. Those were fun times, indeed. The Wildcats are a Division one team and play in the Big Ten Conference (the only private school in the conference!) I also attended about two basketball games when Northwestern played Indiana.

    My third and best introduction to Northwestern University came on Saturday, October 9, 2004, when our VT group toured the campus. What a beautiful campus it is, and the lovely Fall weather added to its beauty.

    I should note at this time: Northwestern Universtiy has two campuses: a 240-acre campus in Evanston and a 25-acre campus in Chicago.

    Fall on Northwestern University Campus
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    Northwestern University-"The Rock"

    by Dabs Updated Apr 25, 2005

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    This photo of The Rock, located near University Hall on the Northwestern University campus, is one of a kind (well except for the pictures that the 6 other Vters who were with me took). Students started painting the Rock in the 1940s, originally as a prank, later as a means of expression, and someone new comes along and paints it almost nightly.

    The current grafitti of "Who is your daddy?" is not particularly creative, if I was a parent shelling out thousands of $$$ in tuition every year, I would expect something a little more witty out of my child.

    The Rock has it's own webcam so be sure to smile for the camera and refrain from illegal activity while in the area.

    The Rock

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    Northwestern University

    by Dabs Written Apr 25, 2005

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    Many people in the Midwestern part of the US are familar with Evanston because it is home to highly regarded Northwestern University, the only private university in the Big Ten conference (which is really the Big Eleven since the 1990 admission of Penn State to the conference but who's counting?).

    Although I haven't been to all of the Big 10 campuses, I think Northwestern has the best location, situated right on the shores of Lake Michigan, a short ride away from Chicago, the 3rd largest city in the US.

    Northwestern University

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    Evanston Public Library

    by Dabs Updated Apr 25, 2005

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    The Evanston Public Library's main library is housed in a building that was completed in 1994; the old library was demolished having ougrown the community's needs. The interior is decorated in the Prairie style, popularized by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Stop by to see the architecture and to see some of the public art, in particular Ghostwriter, a suspended sculpture in the main staircase

    Evanston Public Library
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    Evanston Public Library-"Ghostwriter"

    by Dabs Written Apr 25, 2005

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    Suspended from the ceiling in the main staircase of the Evanston Public Library is a sculpture called "Ghostwriter" by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter. The overall sculpture is in the shape of a head (you should be able to make out the nose, eyes and mouth in the attached photo) made out of 1500 aluminum letters. For a more complete description of the symbolism and design, visit the Library's website.

    Ghostwriter

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