10 Things We Love About Living in Chicago’s Far Northwest Side

Originally posted by atproperties - athome

Chicago’s Far Northwest Side, comprised of neighborhoods like Jefferson ParkNorwood ParkEdison ParkForest Glen and Portage Park, is characterized by tree-lined streets, a suburb-in-the-city feel, and a strong sense of community. From its thriving restaurant scene and excellent transit options to its wide range of community activities, there are plenty of things we love about the Far Northwest Side. Here are 10 of them.

1. The Festivals

Summertime brings tons of festivals to Chicago, and you’ll find plenty of them on the Far Northwest Side. Portage Park kicks off the season with the Windy City Hot Dog Fest, where some of Chicagoland’s favorite hot dog stands compete for who has the best frankfurter. In August, both the Edison Park Fest and Jefferson Park Arts & Music Festival (aka Jeff Fest) offer three days of food, live music, and fun. The weekend after Labor Day, Gladstone Park beckons locals and visitors to soak in the tunes and retro vibes at the Throwback Music Fest.

2. Copernicus Civic and Cultural Center

Named after astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, the Copernicus Center is a hub for cultural and community events. Its 1,852-seat theater hosts a diverse range of shows and happenings, from concerts and dance performances to film screenings and comedy shows. The Center is also home to the Jefferson Park Sunday Market and the annual Taste of Polonia, which draws upwards of 50,000 attendees to enjoy tasty food, beer, live entertainment, and activities on Labor Day weekend.

3. Thaddeus S. “Ted” Lechowicz Woods

Grab your sunglasses and your hiking boots, and head to the Thaddeus S. “Ted” Lechowicz Woods to bask in the sounds and sights of nature. Approximately 29 acres in size, the woods cover about .5 miles of the North Branch Trail and are open year-round, sunrise to sunset.

4. Edgebrook Golf Course

Looking to hit the links? Book a tee time online, grab your clubs, and make your way to Edgebrook Golf Course in Forest Glen.  This 18-hole public course is owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County and measures 4,567 yards with par 3s and 4s

5. Great Parks

Whether you’re in search of a new playground or pool, or just looking to enjoy some nice Chicago weather, the Far Northwest Side has a park for you. In Edison Park, you have Edison Playground (known as “Blackhawks Park” for the Chicago Blackhawks-themed playground), Monument ParkOlympia Park, and Brook’s Park. Meanwhile in Jefferson Park, Jefferson Memorial Park has it all with athletic fields, tennis courts, a playground, and an outdoor pool.

Forest Glen is home to Edgebrook Park and Edgebrook Woods Forest Preserve, which offers hiking and biking trails, picnic tables and more. At nearby Gladstone Park, you’ll find a basketball court, t-ball and soccer fields, and a spray pool, and in Portage Park, its namesake park offers over 38 acres of outdoor recreation, a gymnasium and a cultural center.

6. Noble-Seymour-Crippen House

Known as the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House, the mansion at 5624 North Newark Ave. is the headquarters of the Norwood Park Historical Society and one of the oldest buildings in Chicago. The designated landmark was built on incorporated farmland in 1833, 60 years before Norwood Park was annexed to Chicago. Interestingly, the fireplace scene in The Babe, the 1992 film starring John Goodman, was shot in the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House.

7. Notable Names

Several notable figures have walked the streets of Chicago’s Far Northwest side, including Jim Jacobs, a Taft High School graduate and the playwright responsible for Grease. More recently, Jefferson Park native Michael Patrick Thornton – co-founder and artistic director of The Gift Theatre – has made a name for himself on the stage and screen, appearing on Broadway, in films, and in TV shows, including Private Practice and The Good Doctor.

8. A Stellar Dining Scene

No matter what you’re craving, the Far Northwest Side has a restaurant or bar for you. Two long-time favorites are the Gale Street Inn near the Jefferson Line Blue Line stop and the SuperDawg Drive-In at Devon, Nagle, and Milwaukee. Open since 1963, Gale Street Inn is known for its ribs, steak, and seafood. SuperDawg, a family-owned drive-in that serves the iconic Chicago-style hotdog, has been open in this location since May 1948. And Las Tablas in Portage Park is a popular family-owned steakhouse known for its authentic Colombian fare and fun happy hour.

9. Easy to Get Around

It’s incredibly easy to get around the city and beyond from the Far Northwest side. Most neighborhoods are close to the Blue Line, which operates from O’Hare International Airport to the Loop, plus Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest and Milwaukee District North lines. Major thoroughfares like Milwaukee, Elston, and Irving Park also offer multiple bus routes. And if you prefer to drive, the Kennedy Expressway provides convenient access to other city neighborhoods and nearby suburban communities. Hop on the expressway and head to Park Ridge, Norridge or Niles for additional dining, nightlife, and shopping amenities, as well as corporate headquarters including Shure and The Bradford Exchange.

10. A Plethora of Parades

Before you head downtown to catch a glimpse of a green Chicago River, kick off your St. Patrick’s Day celebration with the 21st Annual Northwest Side Irish Parade. And you can spend your Memorial Day in Norwood Park at the neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day Parade, which is going on its 112th year.

Sources: ; Amanda Harres, Executive Director of the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce; Cathy Voight, Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce; Beth Cadwalader, Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce; B. Elizabeth Mina, gladstonepark.net; Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association, Curt Kessler, Norwood Park Chamber of Commerce; Kamila Sumelka, Copernicus Center, Frank Suerth, Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association and Northwest Chicago Historical Society; Art Krumrey, Norwood Park Historical Society; Eva Skowronski, Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association; Brian Nadig, Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce and Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce; Chicago Film Office; Carl Vogel, Forest Preserves of Cook County.

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