15 Best Things to Do in Glenview, IL

Glenview, IL
PHOTOARTDESIGN / shutterstock.com

Glenview, Illinois, is a charming village located 15 miles northwest of Chicago.

Most of Glenview was still farmland when it was incorporated into Cook County in 1899, but the following World War II, developers like Tom Sullivan began to give the community its modern suburban look.

Because of its suburban atmosphere and proximity to the wider Chicago area, it is regarded as one of the most desirable areas to live in Illinois.

Glenview is known for its top-rated public schools, gorgeous parks, and a plethora of coffee shops and restaurants, all of which contribute to it being a wonderful place to raise a family.

Take your folks on a trip and discover what makes this place great for families with our list of things to do in Glenview, Illinois!

Shop at Glen Town Center

Exterior of the Glen Town Center
Payton Chung from DCA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Glen Town Center is your one-stop shopping destination for all your needs.

Located at Tower Drive and sitting close by Kohl Children’s Museum, The Glen Town Center features 52 stores, including specialty shops, a cinema, restaurants, office spaces, and luxurious apartments.

Opened in 2003, this 450,000 square foot mall resembles a European town with streets beautifully lined with restaurants and shops.

The Glen Town Center also holds events to make shopping and dining out more enjoyable and the ambiance more lively and fun.

Visit Glenview’s premiere lifestyle center and shopping district, a great place for you to stroll, shop, dine, watch, live, and work, all in one location.

Take the Kids to the Kohl Children’s Museum

The Kohl Children’s Museum, located along Patriot Boulevard, features hands-on and interactive displays for children up to eight years of age.

The exhibits and events are all designed to make learning enjoyable and exciting for young children.

In 1985, the Kohl Children's Museum received around 300,000 visitors annually and had about 7,000 member families who could enjoy membership perks valid for one year.

Children can explore and play around the museum's 17 interactive exhibits, such as Adventures in Art, Baby Nursery, Build It, Habitat Park, Pet Vet, Play Cafe, Whole Foods Market, Water Works, and more.

Grab a coffee and lunch at the museum’s in-house cafe offering healthy food options for the entire family, including children who are picky eaters and those with allergies.

Not only does Kohl Children’s Museum caters education to children, but healthy and sustainable food choices to everyone as well.

Gallery Park is Glenview’s largest community park, located at Patriot Boulevard.

The Gallery Park was a major development project of the Glen Redevelopment Plan after the Glenview Naval Air Station closed down in 1993, which covered about 1,121 acres of land.

With an area of 142 acres, Gallery Park has five tennis courts, a 1.8-mile walking path, a garden park, a playground for kids, and a lake.

The park serves as a recreational spot for the community, including the 45-acre Lake Glenview as a boating and stormwater management area.

Gallery Park was developed in 2002-2003 with plans to eventually transfer authority and ownership from the Village of Glenview to the Glenview Park District.

Play a Round of Golf at the Glen Club

Chicago has established itself as one of North America's premier golf destinations, and this claims true at The Glen Club, one of the most prestigious golf courses in the area.

Located at the former site of Glenview Naval Air Station at West Lake Avenue, The Glen Club is home to the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame and Illinois Professional Golfers’ Association.

The Glen Club is a 195-acre sanctuary that includes rolling landscapes, placid lakes, winding streams, and stunning panoramas, including the Chicago cityscape.

Their spectacular 48,000 square foot clubhouse provides great dining, stylishly designed overnight rooms, a huge ballroom, and the finest in corporate amenities.

Aside from golf, The Glen Club also caters to events and brunches during special holidays.

Play at Funtopia

Who says playing is only for the young?

At Funtopia, adults and children alike can play and enjoy fun activities together.

Located at Tower Drive, Funtopia is everyone’s playground with tons of challenges that will keep you going and will challenge both your physical and mental abilities.

Activities include climbing more than 30 interactive walls, obstacle rope courses, a caving system replicating natural rock formations, a giant slide for a free-fall experience, jumping in the air where you’ll feel like a hero in an action movie, and more!

Funtopia believes in a healthy, active lifestyle and intends to combine sports with enjoyment.

Funtopia is a great place to visit if you want active, fun, or friendly competition while strengthening your bond with family and friends.

Explore a Historical Landmark at the Grove

The Grove, located at Milwaukee Avenue, is one of Glenview’s busiest attractions, with 150 acres of environmentally diverse area preserved and maintained by the Glenview Park District.

Dr. John Kennicott, an educator and horticulturist, moved to the property from New Orleans in 1836.

His son Robert became a naturalist who kept some of his plant and animal specimen samples at The Grove.

In 1973, the Save The Grove Committee was formed to protect the land's historical significance.

That same year, it was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and was then declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

It had numerous significant upgrades providing historical and environmental education, including the Kennicott House, the Interpretive Center, the Blacksmith Shop, the Redfield Estate, the Program Barn, and more.

The Grove attracts around 200,000 visitors every year.

Learn About Sustainability at the Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie

Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie, located at Compass Road, is a remnant area of a tall-grass prairie that once covered 170 million acres of land in North America.

Restored and preserved by the Village of Glenview, the Kent Fuller Station Prairie offers visitors a peek into the facility’s advanced and sustainable technology.

Evelyn Pease Tyner, a community activist and environmental conservationist helped establish this 32-acre prairie land.

The Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center, the facility in Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie, teaches and promotes how to live “green” and showcases how sustainable innovation can be incorporated into people’s daily lives.

Here, visitors can learn the Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie history, discover up to 160 rare plant species, see red-tailed hawks and crawfish, visit the center’s rooftop garden, and learn ways how to take care of and protect our environment.

Visit the Farmhouse Museum

The Farmhouse Museum is a facility maintained by the Glenview History Center located along Waukegan Road.

The house, built in 1864, was owned by Sarah Hutchings, with whom her family resided for about 100 years.

It is one of Glenview’s oldest homes which remains at the site where it was built.

In 1965, the Glenview History Center was founded and later acquired the house two years later.

From then on, the center maintains, decorates, and furnishes the house to reflect and feature life during the Civil War through World War II.

Artifacts included in the Farmhouse Museum are antique furniture, textiles, and other pieces showing what life was in Glenview during the older times.

Learn Glenview’s History at the Hibbard Library

The Hibbard Library is another facility under the Glenview History Center at Waukegan Road.

Established in 1982, this Victorian-inspired library was named after two of the center’s founders, Jane and Dick Hibbard.

You’ll find an interesting collection of artifacts such as documents, books, maps, photos, and newspapers about Glenview.

The library also contains obituaries, census records, and other information in genealogy research.

The committee in Hibbard Library brings out efforts to help students, authors, and researchers find materials that will help them with their projects.

If you are into history and research, then the Hibbard Library is worth a visit.

Experience Farm Life at the Historic Wagner Farm

Bring your family to the Historic Wagner Farm for a fun and educational experience where history, education, and farm life meet together.

The Wagner Farm, located at Wagner Road, was owned by the Wagner family, who immigrated to the area from Germany in the 1850s.

Julia and Thomas Wagner built the brick farmhouse in 1920, with indoor plumbing and electric lighting.

After Rose, the last living member of the Wagner family, died in 1997, the Glenview Park District purchased the land in 2000 with the goal of preserving the farm's heritage and providing a fun learning experience for the community.

Visitors can now tour the 1920 farmhouse, the surrounding farm, and the Heritage Center featuring many exhibits, as well as shop at the 1930s Grocery Store and purchase souvenirs at the Museum Store.

The Historic Wagner Farm hosts the Glenview Farmers Market and is a popular site for school visits, scout troops, and birthday parties, with over 140,000 visitors each year.

Bring Your Four-Legged Friend to Community Bark West

Bring your best buddy to Community Bark West, a wonderful spot in Glenview where dogs and their owners can run, interact, and have fun.

Located at Zenith Drive, the  park has two gated areas, one for all dogs and the other one exclusive for small dogs.

Community Bark West features a 6-acre off-leash fenced area, walking paths, fountains, benches, shaded areas, and waste disposal trash bags.

A dog pass application requiring vaccination and health screening needs to be secured to ensure the safety of both dogs and owners.

Up to four dogs per family can be registered at the Park Center.

Skate at the Glenview Community Ice Center

The Glenview Community Ice Center, located at Landwehr Road, houses Glenview’s ice sporting facilities.

The center is open all throughout the year for recreation, competition, and training, including hockey and figure skating programs.

Its amenities include three ice rinks that can accommodate 550, 150, and 40 spectators, respectively.

The Glenview Community Ice Center also has a Pro Shop for your wide range of skating gear and equipment needs, a restaurant and a coffee stand, as well as a community room, a training room, and a great hall with wide-open space.

Public skating sessions are available, so come visit and grab the opportunity to learn, develop, and practice your skating skills.

Swim at Roosevelt Outdoor Aquatic Center

Get ready for some fun under the sun at Roosevelt Outdoor Aquatic Center located on Fir Street.

Roosevelt Outdoor Aquatic Center has two pools, one is a semi-circle, zero-depth pool with a water playground, and the other is a five-lane, 25-yard lap pool intended for lap swimming and water walking.

There are also drop slides and a diving platform at the center of the pool area.

Other amenities include cabanas, changing rooms, lockers, food, and drinks at the Island Grill area.

You may also check Glenview’s other aquatic centers, such as the Splash Landings Indoor Aquatic Center, for indoor swimming and swimming lesson programs.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Pay Tribute to the Holocaust Survivors at Illinois Holocaust Museum

Exterior of Illinois Holocaust Museum
Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock.com

About a 12-min drive from Glenview is a museum that may bring about a wave of emotions to visitors.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, located in Skokie, a village in Cook County, is dedicated to the Holocaust survivors by honoring their memories through imparting lessons and principles that oppose hatred and indifference.

Opened in 2009, this 65,000-square-foot museum and educational center was made possible by the Chicagoland Holocaust Survivors.

Memorial wall in Illinois Holocaust Museum
Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock.com

This Holocaust museum is the second largest in the United States, and not only honors the victims but gives tribute to the resilience and courage of the survivors as well.

The museum’s exhibits focus on Holocaust and topics about social justice while also delving deeper into specific topics such as human rights and genocide.

It also has a vast collection consisting of more than 20,000 personal items donated by Holocaust survivors living in the Midwest.

Room of remembrance in Illinois Holocaust Museum
Eddau, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Immerse in Natural Wonders at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Beautiful landscape of Chicago Botanic Garden
elesi / Shutterstock.com

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-hectare living museum and conservation center located in Glencoe, a village in northeast Cook County and a 20-minute drive from Glenview.

In 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden attracted more than one million visitors annually and had one of the largest memberships in any botanical garden in the US, reaching over 50,000 members.

The gardens have a wide collection containing more than 2.6 million plants and perennials, including shrubs, trees, vines, and more.

Wooden bridge in Chicago Botanic Garden
Ariana Trinidad / Shutterstock.com

Explore its 27 themed gardens and four natural areas such as the Aquatic Garden, Bonsai Collection, English Oak Meadow, Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Greenhouses, Japanese Garden, Lake Cook Natural Area, Nature Reserve, Prairie, Rose Garden, Skokie River, Waterfall Garden, and more!

The Chicago Botanic Garden also holds events, community engagements, and provides education through classes and programs suited for all ages, interests, and abilities.

The garden is open all year round for you to enjoy its marvelous beauty!

Japanese island area in Chicago Botanic Garden
elesi / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

It makes sense why Glenview is considered one of the best places in Illinois to live and raise a family.

Almost, if not all, tourist attractions are child-friendly that provide extreme fun!

Experience does make the best teacher, and Glenview does support and promote learning through its tourist attractions.

If you’re planning a family trip, consider Glenview and our list of things to do in the area.

Glenview is a beautiful village and a place definitely worth your time.