Holiday Day Trip West of Chicago | Midwest Living
More
Close

Holiday Day Trip West of Chicago

Four towns along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train line ring with holiday merriment. On winter weekends, cozy shops and restaurants offer a welcome place to shop and reconnect.

Pages

Blue Feather Books and Botanicals Ltd. in La Grange stocks stress-relieving scents.
+ enlarge
Buttercream-topped cakes fill the window at Kirschbaum’s Bakery in Western Springs.
+ enlarge
Artsy displays invite shoppers into Clever Girl in Western Springs.
+ enlarge
Dozens of trains stop at Hinsdale’s downtown station each day.
+ enlarge

Trip guide

You can ride for $4.25 each way on Metra and enjoy all four towns without a car (it’s about 20 minutes from La Grange to Downers Grove by train). For schedules, visit metrarail.com.

La Grange

The shopping district clusters around the La Grange Road station. It’s a happy medium between small Western Springs and larger Downers Grove and Hinsdale (both can easily take a half day to explore). Scarlett’s Tara offers enchanting Christmas ornaments, like Victorian angels and fairies, as well as candles and other home goods. (708) 354-0051 Cleo Boutique sells trendy, colorful separates for women. (708) 482-8770; cleoboutiqueltd.com Dream catchers, some made by Native Americans, make great stocking stuffers at Blue Feather Books and Botanicals Ltd. (708) 352-8481; bluefeatherforyou.com You’ll find artisan-made sculptures, fiber arts and jewelry in the Art Stop Gallery. (708) 482-9880; artstopgallery.com Hand-dipped chocolates and candy-laden caramel apples tempt at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. (708) 352-6487; lagrangechocolate.com Beautiful light fixtures, wall art and seasonal items shine at Hortons Home Lighting. (708) 352-2110; hortonshome.com Try to resist the holiday outfits at The Urban Mutt. (708) 354-4655; theurbanmuttstore.com Wine, beer and holiday collections at Vino e Birra make great hostess gifts. (708) 639-4466; vinoandbirra.com For lunch, Nicksons Eatery serves American dishes like sliders and the Colorado elk burger, flavored with duck fat and topped with a garlic-infused mayonnaise. (708) 354-4995; nicksonseatery.com

Western Springs

The area surrounding the train station has more banks, hardware stores and real estate offices than boutiques. But two mini department stores—the Uptown Shop (708) 246-1600; uptownshop.com and Clever Girl (708) 246-5050; shopclevergirl.com—are worth checking out. Both carry items like ladies’ sweaters and jewel-tone blouses, hostess gifts, soaps, jewelry, decorative cookware and Christmas ornaments. Then plan to stop at Kirschbaum’s Bakery, which has been in business for 60 years. (708) 246-2894; kirschbaumsbakery.com Foodies love Vie, a farm-to-table spot considered one of the region’s best dinner destinations. (708) 246-2082; vierestaurant.com Mécénat Bistro and Gathering Place offers burgers and seasonal dinner specials in a cozy dining room. (708) 246-8668; mecenatbistro.com

Hinsdale

The shops are fun but pricier in this affluent suburb. Stop at The Green Goddess Boutique and you’ll find gorgeous, soy-based candles alongside hand-embroidered cowboy boots starting at $410. (630) 655-9050; thegreengoddessboutique.com Hinsdale Wine Shop appeals to oenophiles. (630) 654-9862; hinsdalecellars.com Fuller’s Home and Hardware has a seasonal Christmas tree lot. (630) 323-7750; fullershomehardware.com Ooo La La! is a tween magnet, with merchandise walking a fine line between childishly appealing (knit caps with ears and googly eyes) and sophisticated (silver chains roped around sparkly charms). (630) 655-9330; ooolalaparties.com Spectacular sushi anchors the menu at Nabuki, or try the exquisitely light shrimp and veggie tempura served on a bed of crunchy rice noodles. See Midwest Living's review. (630) 654-8880; nabukihinsdale.com

Downers Grove

A down-to-earth vibe anchors this historical downtown. Baubles and More sells boutique clothing at a discount and costume jewelry. (630) 434-4441; baublesandmoreonline.com Find gifts for all occasions, including weddings and showers at Avec Panache Gifts (630) 963-1010; avecpanachegifts.com and classy home decor in a luxe showroom at Dream Interiors. (630) 810-1389; dreaminteriors.com The staffers at Anderson’s Bookshop have a librarian’s grasp on the store’s selection, and many authors stop here for signings. (630) 963-2665; andersonsbookshop.com The menu at Capri of Downers Grove looks like standard Italian fare, but the flavors will wow you, especially the rigatoni in tomato-vodka sauce, slow-roasted chicken Vesuvio and Chilean bass Francese. See Midwest Living's review. (630) 241-0695; capridownersgrove.com

For more info:  Village of La Grange villageoflagrange.com
Village of Western Springs wsprings.com
Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce (630) 323-3952; hinsdalechamber.com
Downtown Downers Grove (630) 725-0991; downtowndg.org

(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® November/December 2013.  Prices, dates, and other details are subject to change, so please check specifics before making travel plans.)

Pages

Add Your Comment