You’ve got hosting friends and family that visit in the summer down to an art. You have a menu of family-friendly activities for them to choose from and a list of places to nosh on yummy and quintessential Chi-town faves. (Hello, gooey deep dish!) You’re also not going to let your guests fend for themselves with cookie-cutter souvenirs at the airport. Instead, you’ll take them to these three cool stores on the North Side.
Local Goods Chicago has some great onesies that would be perfect for a Chicago-themed birthday party. I have wandered around Local Goods Chicago in Edgebrook for a good chunk of time and tried not to buy the whole store. Beyond cute onesies, they have a ton of other awesome souvenirs. Your guests might have trouble choosing from all of the solid options such as rose gold flag necklaces, soy candles in Chicago tumblers and city map tees. Top off the shopping fun with a stop at Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Chicago, where the décor is even sweeter than the scoops.
Take the souvenir hunt to Lincoln Square, a family-friendly neighborhood that is perfect for leisurely strolls. Your guests will fall for Enjoy and its surplus of unique souvenirs. Bookworms can browse for city-centric reads for the little ones, and I like the “Chicago Baby” board book they carry. After you pry your guests away from the book section, they can browse everything from Chicago letterpress notebooks to CTA map trays. After working up an appetite shopping, treat your group to the beautiful baked goods at Café Selmarie.
This Ravenswood shop is the brainchild of Jenny Beorkrem, a trained graphic designer. You can tell she knows her stuff, because the aesthetic of this store is refreshing. Beorkrem designs many of the goods at Neighborly such as the typographic neighborhood map posters. A few summery items that look appealing are the Great Lakes Beach Towel, Chicago Flag Hammock and Chicago Flag Denim Koozie. If your visitors find just the right stuff, celebrate with some quality brunchin’ at Neighborly’s neighbor Marmalade.
A trip to any of these stores paired with some post-shop noshing could be a fun pastime for you and your guests, plus you can sleep easier knowing that you did your part to help them find the perfect Chicago souvenir that totally doesn’t suck. Don’t be surprised if you end up buying a memento or five for yourself, as it would pretty much be mission impossible to return from any of these shops empty handed. Do you know of any other stores to buy cool souvenirs? I would love to hear from you. Chime in!
Josannah is a writer, producer and mom of one from Chicago.
See more of Josannah's stories here.
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