23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Evanston (IL)

Are you looking for the best and most fun things to do in Evanston, IL?, Evanston sure has some cool attractions and activities for a fun exploration

Evanston is every tourist’s dream destination, it is nestled in Cook County along Lake Michigan, Illinois, United States.

The city has a population of approximately seventy-three thousand, nine hundred and seventy-nine according to the 2020 census.

Evanston is a city well known for being home to one of the world’s best universities, It also offers unique fun activities and adventure.

There are many places to visit in Evanston, amongst the numerous places are Evanston History Center, Northwestern University, Merrick Rose Garden, the Downtown Evanston Farmers, American Toby Jug Museum, Lock Chicago Escape Rooms, the Spice House, and more.

Evanston offers you chances to create lasting memories, here are the top things to do in Evanston, IL.

Things to Do in Evanston, IL

1. Northwestern University

Northwestern University
Credits: Minimilian / Shutterstock
Northwestern University

One of the best things to do in Evanston, IL on your first day is a visit to Northwestern University, which was established in 1851.

Northwestern University is one of the most active universities in the World in the world of research and also plays a vital role in promoting its city’s culture.

Being the oldest leased university in the state, it is highly rated as one of the most reputable universities in the world.

Northwestern University is also popular for being one of the best performing arts centers with the likes of Pharell Williams, David Schimmer & Meghan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and more.

The University’s football team, known as the Wildcats, battles on Ryan field against its opponents during the fall season on Saturdays with a music presentation by local artists from the University’s band.

Address: 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208, United States

2. Welsh–Ryan Arena

Welsh–Ryan Arena
Credits: jbjas42 / Flickr
Welsh–Ryan Arena

Whether you are a sports fan or not, add a visit to Welsh–Ryan Arena to your list of fun things to do in Evanston, IL,  you need to check it out.

Welsh–Ryan Arena is a fully equipped multi-use arena in the city close to the Northwestern University’s campus.

The sports center is the venue for Wildcats sports, including women’s wrestling, volleyball, and men’s basketball.

Welsh–Ryan Arena has a seating capacity of exactly seventh thousand, thirty-nine persons; the center recently underwent a series of renovations.

The arena added a fantastic new locker room of over 2000-square feet with essential amenities for women’s volleyball & basketball and, of course, for men’s basketball.

The facility features a lounge, locker room, kitchen, six televisions, kitchen, Atmos air system wet area, and fueling station.

There is also a private exam room in the alley where the locker rooms are and also features cold and hot hydrotherapy.

Address: 2705 Ashland Ave, Evanston, IL 60208, United States

3. Block Museum of Art

Block Museum of Art
Credits: Paradoxsociety [CC BY-SA 1.0], Wikimedia Commons
Block Museum of Art
The prestigious Northwestern University owns Block Museum of Art, it is a renowned art museum in Evanston.

The art museum was established in 1980, housing an outstanding and distinct Chicago graphic art collection dating from the 1930s to 1940s.

Block Museum of Art showcases Midwestern documentary photography, the early 1990s South African prints, and more.

You will find the world of some distinguished artists like Jasper Johns, Barbara Hepworth, Carrie Mae Weems, Chuck Close, Max Beckman, and so on.

Block Museum of Art hosts every exhibition and program, including the artworks showcased as an opportunity to promote the art industry.

The art museum is always open from Wednesday to Thursday from 12-8pm, and on Saturday & Sunday from 12-5pm (closed on Monday and Tuesday)

Address: 40 Arts Cir Dr, Evanston, IL 60208, United States

4. American Toby Jug Museum

American Toby Jug Museum
Credits: Ryan Dickey /  Flickr
American Toby Jug Museum

A perfect addition to your list of things to do in Evanston, IL is visiting the Evanston American Toby Jug Museum with your family and friends.

American Toby Jug Museum is packed with a whopping eight thousand pieces of Toby and Character Jugs.

This one-of-a-kind pottery jug began in England during the 18th century; American Toby Jug Museum houses three hundred Toby Jugs.

American Toby Jug Museum showcases unique antique miniatures for dollhouses, majolica’s works, and character jugs of Royal Doulton.

The museum’s founder is Stephen Mullins, who was just thirteen years old when he started collecting Toby Jugs, and he did this for over sixty-five years.

Stephen housed all his collections in his home; later, in 1985, he transferred the already found right hundred pieces to downtown Chicago where his office is located.

Address: 910 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202, United States

5. Clark Street Beach

Clark Street Beach
Credits: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

Are you looking for a wonderful place to while away time? Visiting Clark Street Beach is one of the best fun things to do in Evanston, IL.

Clark Street Beach requires a day or season passes to gain entry during the summer months, although the locals of Evanston don’t need passes on Monday.

The park features an enormous swimming region for those who want to swim in the crystal blue waters and cool off.

Clark Street Beach also features volleyball nets with a soothing and pristine spread of sand; lifeguards watch the beach throughout the year.

This park has several clean and conducive bathrooms with showers; Clark Street Beach is equally clean and properly maintained.

6. Oceanique

Credits: Kurman Communications, Inc. / Flickr

Oceanique is a one-of-a-kind restaurant founded in 1989 by Mark, who is also an experienced chef, and Renée, his wife, as General Manager with Philíppe, his son, as Wine Director.

The restaurant is housed in a beautiful 1920s Spanish-style building, and it has continued been rated as the number one seafood spot in the region since 1993.

Oceanique offers a wide list of seafood options prepared using the traditional French recipes with a unique American twist.

Some meals offered include Basil Whipped Potatoes Parmesan, Wild Mexican Bay Scallops, Organic Pacifico Striped Bass, Broccolini, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Jalapeno-Red Onion Salsa, Steamed Asparagus, Black Angus Prime Filet Mignon, and more.

Oceanique offers classic wines such as 2020 Chateau Dourthe Sauvignon Blanc “La Grand Cuvee” Bordeaux, France 40, M.V. Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve – Reims, France, 2016 RouteStock Pinot Noir – Wilamette Valley, Oregon 45, and many others.

Address: 505 Main Street Evanston IL 60202 United States

7. Dearborn Observatory

Dearborn Observatory
Credits: J. Crocker / Public Domain
Dearborn Observatory

Dearborn Observatory was built in 1888 in a Richardson Romanesque using rusticated limestone and is located on the Northwestern University campus.

The center was established in the 1860s when it housed and managed the largest refracting telescope in the world as at that time.

Dearborn Observatory is open to everyone every Friday night, during which public viewing sessions are offered inside the dome.

The observatory’s hand-crank device was removed, and an electric motor was used to replace it in 1997.

Dearborn Observatory requires no reservations on the Friday nights; children are also allowed during the two-hour session.

You get the chance to meet and interact with other astronomers; many professionals are also available to answer any of your questions.

Address: 2131 Tech Dr, Evanston, IL 60208, United States

8. Downtown Evanston

Downtown Evanston
Credits: J. Stephen Conn / Flickr
Downtown Evanston

The heartbeat of Evanston, Downtown Evanston is a bustling region in the city that keeps the city alive with its energy and buzz.

Downtown Evanston features lovely stores offering a wide variety of products and services with good quality and affordable prices.

There are several stores that offer vintage jewelry, Belgian chocolate, hemp products, collectibles, fossils, fabrics, craft works, and more.

Downtown Evanston offers a wide array of dining options such as sushi, Korean-American, coffee shops, gourmet pizza, Argentine cuisine, and more.

The farmers’ market is located in Downtown Evanston which is packed with vendors offering fresh farm produce.

Planning to explore Illinois? Get the best of attractions and activities in MolineCarbondaleand Effingham for a fun vacation.

9. Evanston History Center

Evanston History Center
Credits: Steven Martin / Flickr
Evanston History Center

If you’re interested in learning about the history of Evanston, add a visit to Evanston History Center to your list of fun things to do in Evanston, IL.

Evanston History Center is located in the elegant historic mansion established by Charles Gates Dawes, the former United States Vice President.

Charles was the 30th vice president of the United States, he spent a large part of his life in Evanston, and his role in settling the problems of German WWI will never be forgotten.

The mansion was built in 1894, overlooking Lake Michigan, and it is open to both locals and residents alike who want to tour the property.

Although many decades have passed, the mansion is still as glamorous as it used to be with the beautiful furnishing and artwork owned by the Dawes Family.

Evanston History Center uses research materials, innovative programs, and exhibitions to compile, analyze, and preserve the fascinating history of Evanston City and its people.

Address: 225 Greenwood St, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

10. Halim Time & Glass Museum

Halim Time & Glass Museum
Credits: Howard Lifshitz / Flickr
Halim Time & Glass Museum

Are you a fan of stained glass and timepieces? Add a visit to Halim Time & Glass Museum to your list of things to do in Evanston, IL.

Halim Time & Glass Museum is home to an impressive collection that includes pieces made by the American School, such as Sperry, Tiffany, and Lamb.

The museum is home to the Clocks of the World, which consists of over one thousand timepieces, chronometers, tower clocks, automatons, and more.

Halim Time & Glass Museum also features The treasures of Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibit, showcasing the artists’ creative life consisting of pottery, pastels, stained glass, and paintings.

The museum was the dream of one man and his family who had a strong passion for time and started the collection of curated pieces.

Halim Time & Glass Museum features over seventy stained glass pieces of art spread over the five-storey building.

Address: 1560 Oak Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

11. Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre
Credits: antpkr / Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a place that offers you great entertainment, you just found one, add Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre to your Evanston to-do list.

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre opened its doors in 1979 but was then named the Foster Community Theatre and has served the people since then.

The theatre’s major aim is to provide and sustain a desirable environment for play writers, custom designers, directors, performers, and technicians to improve and master their skills.

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre features a play called ” Home” which attracts many people from different parts of the state, being one of the most exciting theatrical events.

The theatre’s stage has been grease with many talented artists such Lewin Johnson, Tuesdial B. Perry, Rachel Blakes, and more.

Address: 927 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

12. FEW Spirits

FEW Spirits
Credits: Jag_cz / Shutterstock

A wonderful place to spend a cool evening in Evanston is at FEW Spirits, just relaxing and enjoying a drink.

FEW Spirits was founded by Paul Hletko, who put so much effort into making his dreams of producing spirits come true.

They offer a unique style of urban whiskey that almost every fan of whiskey would love with a bold and delightful taste.

FEW Spirits offers whisky like straight Bourbon whiskey, straight rye whiskey, American straight whiskey, bourbon whiskey with cold brew coffee, single malt whiskey, and rye whiskey with eight immortal tea.

The company wants to ensure that there is something for anyone who walks in by providing a diverse drink menu to suit everyone.

FEW Spirits features a tasting room where visitors get to try out, and they also offer tours of the distillery and closely how whiskey is made.

Address: 918 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202, United States

13. Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery

Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery
Credits: Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery / Facebook
Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery

Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery is a combination of a store and an art gallery in Evanston committed to providing the perfect decor for your office and homes.

The store offers a variety of artworks and gifts inspired by nature suitable for decorating and adding life to your home or office.

They also offer beautiful and quality T-shirts, plant accessories, candles, and many more; many items will surely catch your attention.

Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery organizes a laid-back gallery shows, poetry recitations, artist talks, and art openings led by the talented and famous regional artists all year round.

They also offer fertilizer and organic soils suitable for different species of plants. Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday from 12-7pm, Saturday from 11am-7pm, 12-6pm, and Saturday from 12-6pm.

Address: 704 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202, United States

14. Evanston SPACE

Evanston SPACE
Credits: Jamie Bernstein / Flickr
Evanston SPACE

Evanston SPACE has one of the best music venues in the state, founded in 2008 as a resourceful music hall.

The stage of Evanston SPACE has been graced by hundreds of bands and artists such as Lucinda Williams, Alabama Shakes, David Lindley, Graham Parker, the Lumineers, and more.

Evanston SPACE provides an audience seating of two hundred and forty with Candle-lit cabaret tables and comfortable seats.

There is a standing room with a seating capacity of three hundred and thirty reserved for only shows of different genres.

Evanston SPACE features a recording studio that allows artists to rehearse and work together before the main shows.

Address: 1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202, United States

15. Dawes Park

Dawes Parker
Credits: Ja Crispy / Shutterstock

Dawes Park is one of the most beautiful public parks in Evanston and a place you should visit with your travel companions.

The park is somewhat elevated and an incredible sight to behold, especially in the early hours of the day when you get to enjoy views of the sun overlooking Lake Michigan.

One of the park’s major highlights is the shallow Arrington Lagoon, which features a set of fountain jets, a stage for outdoor events held in the summer.

Dawes Park is a park of nearly seventeen acres consisting of four baseball diamonds, a spray pool, and a multi-use clubroom.

This park also features soccer fields, a basketball court, and a lovely green area with a lagoon in the center, a perfect spot to chill and relax.

Dawes Park offers a variety of programs for different ages; there is a popular day camp organized by Chicago Park District for youth and other after-school programs for kids.

Address: 1700 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

Are you planning an exploration of Illinois, do not miss our list of places to visit in Champaignplaces to visit in Quincy, and places to visit in Oak Park.

16. Merrick Rose Garden

Merrick Rose Garden
Credits: James Andrews1 / Shutterstock
Merrick Rose Garden

If you truly want to explore all that nature has to offer, Add a stop at Merrick Rose Garden to your Evanston to-do list.

Merrick Rose Garden is well leveled, featuring over two hundred species that make up more than two thousand roses in the garden.

The garden comprises a lovely but little sunken lawn, the historic Fountain Square Centennial Fountain, and geometric beds.

Merrick Rose Garden had some significant addition in 2003, when a new garden lighting, retaining blocks, and irrigation system were added.

Merrick Rose Garden is the best location in the city to take memorable pictures for big and small weddings and engagements.

Address: 1426 Oak Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

17. The Downtown Evanston Farmers

Credits: tashima kazuhiro / Shutterstock

Visiting the Downtown Evanston Farmers is one of the best things to do in Evanston, IL; every tourist will love to shop here.

The Downtown Evanston Farmers is a seasonal market usually open from May to September only on Saturdays from 7:30am-1pm.

The market offers almost everything you need ranging from flowers, baked goods, meat, vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheeses, and more.

The Downtown Evanston Farmers features a large number of vendors offering different services and products which are produced locally.

You will find vendors like 325 Bake: Luciana’s Kitchen, Baked Cheese Haus, Cocina Azteca, Misericordia Hearts & Flour Bakery, Geneva Lakes Produce Farm and CSA, Pappone *

Gotta B Crepes, Richard Oosterhoff & Son, Green Fire Farm, and many more.

Address: 1800 Maple Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

18. Lock Chicago Escape Rooms

Lock Chicago Escape Rooms
Credits: Fer Gregory / Shutterstock

Lock Chicago Escape Rooms is a perfect place to have great fun with your family and friends, including colleagues in Evanston.

Each Escape room has its unique theme, design, and challenges; it involves you and your team being locked in a room while searching for a way to escape.

Lock Chicago Escape Rooms offers you a period to solve puzzles, search for ideas and clues to help you escape the room

These games are highly recommended to family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and so on; it helps build and strengthen bonds as you get to work together as a team to win the games.

Lock Chicago Escape Rooms is a perfect venue for various events like birthday parties, teambuilding events, family reunions, friends get-togethers, and more.

The family-friendly fun center is usually open from Monday to Friday from 5:30pm to 11pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 10am-11pm.

Address: 2510 Green Bay Rd, Evanston, IL 60201 United States

19. Sketchbook Brewing Co.

Sketchbook Brewing Co.
Credits: somchaij / Shutterstock

Wherever you plan a day out with friends, visiting the Sketchbook Brewing Co. is one of the best things to do in Evanston, IL.

Sketchbook Brewing Co. is a top-notch brewery that considers itself a yeast studio and produces the best handcrafted beers.

The brewery has more than four hundred members who simply want a place like Sketchbook Brewing Co. where they can enjoy different beers styles.

Sketchbook Brewing Co. provides a relaxed and comfortable ambiance through its beautiful interior and welcoming staff.

Some drinks offered include sketchbook beer for the soul, sketchbook bud’s corvus nitro, sketchbook honey bird, sketchbook insufficient clearance, sketchbook orange door, sketchbook amistosa, and more.

Address: 821 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202, United States

20. The Lucky Platter

Lucky Platter
Credits: Lauren Parnell Marino / Flickr
Lucky Platter

Are you craving for a delicious meal? A visit to the Lucky Platter is one of the top things to do in Evanston, IL, a nice restaurant to dine.

The Lucky Platter restaurant provides a casual setting with an American-style folk art design for customers to feel at home.

The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a wide variety of options for you to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about not finding something you like.

The Lucky Platter offers meals like omelette, fried green tomato, a bowl of cereal, chicken tenders, avocado salad, fried chicken salad, Yankee pot roast, chicken piccata, soups, tandoori salmon, black bean veggie burgers, and more.

They offer nice drinks like Bottomless coffee, cappuccino, espresso, mimosa, mighty leaf cocktails, sparkling wines, ginger beers, mocktails, slava Ukraine, red wines, CBD drinks, and more.

The Lucky Platter offers fantastic customer service, making guests always come back for more enjoyment and quality.

Address: 514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202, United States

21. Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
Credits: Mitchell Museum of the American Indian / Facebook
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is a place that every history enthusiast will love to visit in Evanston.

The Museum opened its doors in 1977, filled with lots of history focusing on the Native American right from the early days to this day.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to collecting and presenting artifacts related to the American Indian culture.

Visitors are offered tours through the displayed artifacts, where they get insight into the lifestyle of the Native Americans, art, and history.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian showcases bandolier bags, beadwork, dolls, gutskin parkas, masks, weaving, canoes, and more.

Guided tours are also available for schools and large groups, including intensive history storytelling; the library onsite features more than five thousand books, videos exhibition, and journals about the Native Americans.

Address: 01 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

22. Grosse Point Lighthouse

Grosse Point Lighthouse
Credits: Nejdet Duzen / Shutterstock
Grosse Point Lighthouse

Grosse Point Lighthouse was erected in 1873 as the only beacon traffic guide on the lake after several maritime accidents.

Until now, the Grosse Point Lighthouse still works effectively with an outstanding 18 miles navigational range.

On the 8th of September, 1976, Grosse Point Lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Grosse Point Lighthouse offers an amazing view of Lake Michigan when you get to the top of the 113 feet structure.

You find the light keeper’s house with lots of interactive exhibits; close to the Grosse Point Lighthouse is the beautiful Harley Clarke Mansion designed by Jens Jensen.

Address: 2601 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

23. The Spice House

The Spice House
Credits: Jay Kleeman / Flickr
The Spice House

Are you a professional chef or just want to prepare a homemade meal? Visiting the Spice House ought to be on your list of things to do in Evanston, IL.

The Spice House was established in 1957 and has grown widely over many years into the number one spice chain.

They offer their large customer base a wide variety of the highest quality spices, extracts, blends, and herbs.

The Spice House offers rare spices and blends sourced from their team of hardworking growers and distributors, to ensure their customers get the best of everything.

This is one place that offers fresh spices from different parts of the world, which have been tested and certified by professional Glover producers and chefs.

The Spice House is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10am-6pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 10am-5pm (closed on Monday).

Address: 1941 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201, United States

Meet the top attractions in Illinois, here is a guide on the top things to do in Napervillethings to do in Schaumburg, and the best things to do in Bloomington.

Plan a Trip to Evanston

Evanston offers exciting opportunities which go beyond outdoor adventures and fun.

You will be amazed by all this city have to offer, especially if you feel you have visited the best cities in the United States.

Start making plans to go on a vacation to this city today. Pin this guide to help explore the top places to visit in Evanston.