Family Neighborhood Guide: Long Grove
Filled with cobblestone streets and historic charm, Long Grove is Illinois’ premier historic district and is 35 miles from Chicago. The village was settled in the early 1800s by German farmers, and a walk through the town features plaques from houses built over 200 years ago.
Historic shops, charming buildings and even a covered bridge add character to the city. Fairs and festivals are scheduled throughout the year, from horse-drawn carriage holidays to summers with the Strawberry Festival, families will not be bored on trips back to town.
Long Grove is located in Lake County, about 35 miles northwest of Chicago, with Lake Cook Road on its southernmost border. The village is easily accessible by McHenry Road or Hwy 53.
Named after the village’s covered bridge, the creamery serves coffee, organic teas and some of the creamiest ice creams around. Flavors range from Superman (you know him and love him) to Exhausted Parent (bourbon-enriched espresso ice cream swirled with bittersweet chocolate chunks).
When planning your trip to Long Grove, call High Tea with Gerri to set up a service for your family. You’ll be treated to finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries with tea to sip from antique tea cups and pour into silver teapots.
Eat in a local historic barn with two floors of indoor dining. The specialties change regularly, but try the bacon-coated dates for a starter. Children’s sides are fun for them (tater tots or chips) or will make parents feel better (raisins or celery with ranch sauce).
Illinois’ oldest bar, The Village Tavern was established in 1847 and is known for its antique tavern style and delicious burgers. A fish fry goes on every Friday and don’t leave without a slice of Haus apple pie.
Kids will love the candy feel of this little store specializing in sweet candies and souvenirs. Barrels filled with loose candy will widen a few eyes, with offerings in a chocolate case as well as erasers galore.
Sports fans will love checking out the souvenirs in the store while parents can find something unique to brighten up the home. Also discover the extensive collection of Wee Forest Folk collectibles.
Every day is a good day for chocolate, and Long Grove Confectionery takes their chocolate seriously. Founded in Long Grove in 1975, the factory is near Buffalo Grove and offers tours. The Long Grove store has favorites, seasonal chocolates and the most popular offering: Myrtle, the store’s famous caramel, pecan and chocolate sensation.
Find baby gifts – kids will love flipping through the books – or bring home flowers and other fun decorations.
May 14 to 16, 2021
For the Love of Chocolate is a 2021 version of the village chocolate festival. Learn about the history of chocolate, listen to live music and, of course, taste chocolate. Tickets are mandatory and limited and can be found at longgrove.org.
Art classes, as well as workshops and demonstrations, are offered to children aged 4 and over. Adults can even join in on the action, with jewelry workshops and painting and sip lessons. Check the schedule before you go.
- Address: 344 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
Plan your family’s trip to the village at a weekend event at Brothers’ Field for outdoor fun. From movie nights to princess get-togethers, the location is perfect for family entertainment.
- Or: Chemin Robert Parker Coffin, between Chemin Schaeffer and Chemin Old McHenry
The Long Grove Covered Bridge spans Buffalo Creek along Robert Parker Coffin Road and includes a walking trail to view the creek. The bridge can hold one vehicle at a time, so crossing it by car means taking turns. Built in 1906 to replace an old wooden bridge, the current version is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was last renovated at the end of 2020.
Enjoy a walking tour of the village, created by the Long Grove Historical Society. Stop by the original general store, several blacksmiths, and an old hotel. Your family can take their steps while learning about the origins of the village.
Settle in for an afternoon of biking or hiking along 5.5 miles of trails at this location in Lake County Forest Preserves. (In winter, your family can try cross-country skiing.) Improvements made in 2020 include seven new boardwalks, two scenic lookouts, and flood restoration.
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