Went here once to try out the driving range, and was very pleased. Very nice, well maintined facilities, and very relaxing (or great way to get aggression it, if that's why you like driving ranges :) )
There's also a mini golf course which I did not try, but looked worth checking out. It's on two levels, and the driving range has really cool automation, like a vending machine, which makes it a lot easier to drive. Worth a trip.
PROS: nice facilities, not too expensive
The Adler Planetarium is kind of underrated compared to the other Chicago museums. It seems smaller, but has a lot of stuff inside, including the planetarium dome screen. Regular shows are worth checking out, and the Sonicvision exhibit is worth seeing if it's still going on.
Right on the lake can't be beat, and it's not that congested since not as many people go here as the other museums. It's not the most high-tech place around, especially for a planetarium, but it's a cool place to check out cool displays and shows, and the exhibits that do offer are quite good. If you've never been, go some time.
PROS: great planetarium theater shows
CONS: not that big
A great place to spend a nice day - open, very walkable, right on the lake. Somehow it's still free, even though the other major Chicago museums keep getting more expensive. The gorilla house is always interesting to go to, and the open-air exhibits are great, even though the animals aren't always out. When they are, though, you can get a really up close view. The zoo also does a good job of providing information on the exhibits and animals. Very relaxed place, it's very well maintained and beautiful to just walk through. Take public transportation if possible.
PROS: beautiful zoo and free
The Shedd Aquarium is huge - a very nice facility with countless exhibits. Great location on the lake, and enough to see to spend a day inside. A great variety of sea creatures, and very well kept exhibits with plenty of information offered. Plenty of special exhibits and live shows, so there's always something new to see.
Definitely check out the sharks and beluga whales - not something you get to see often in the midwest.
Given the location, traffic can be a problem, so a weekday afternoon is the best time to go if possible. It is also kind of pricey, but all of Chicago's big museums are these days. Call and ask about free days.
PROS: beautiful interior
I'm not big on zoos, but Brookfield Zoo is deservedly considered one of the better ones. Great location in Chicago, very well maintained! Lots of interesting animals, frequent special shows and exhibits, and though they cost extra it's worth it from time to time. Open all year long, easy to get to, easy to park. Best for kids, but can be enjoyed by anyone.
I've been here a few times to pick up various items, and each time remarked to myself how much stuff they have. The store is so packed it can even be hard to move around, with displays and stacks of boxes everywhere. It's kind of messy, but the staff will help you find what you need, whether it's for model toys, motors, kits, etc. This can be fun if you like browsing, if you need a particular component it could take some time to find, but again, just ask the staff.
Good location in Evanston, and not many others places in the area to get some of this stuff. You won't find *everything*, some things you might have to go online for, but if you're into hobby crafts, check it out.
PROS: very big selection
CONS: not too organized
there aren't too many options in evanston for groceries, and if you hate whole foods, people's market is really your only other choice. all in all it's very comparable to whole foods, but feels roomier inside and less commercial.
The produce is good, though not an extremely diverse selection. The meats are all right, but a great selection of breads and cheeses. Some fresh baked goods, but not as impressive as Whole Foods. A wide variety of unique items, from snacks to dry goods, it's easy to find an organic or healthier variety of something here. It's pricey, as expected, but some good deals can be found when things are on sale.
You need a car to get there, in which case you could just go to Trader Joe's to get much of what you want for much less.
PROS: good selection, quality goods across the board
CONS: need a car to get there, pricey
I think all "luxury" apartments are overpriced, but some are better than others. The Reserve just opened a year or two ago, and as an all-new facility is one of the better ones.
The rooms (2BR at least) are mostly cookie-cutter, but seem of higher quality then comparable buildings in Evanston, and about the same size and price. They have offered good promotions on rent, including free months.
Big windows, nice kitchens with granite countertops, well-lit, clean facilities. The view isn't so great because it's not a high-rise, but they do have their own private outdoor pool with deck chairs and grills, which is great in the summer time.
Management is professional and responsive when you need them, but since the place is so new repairs are unlikely to be an issue. Parking is expensive, but that's just Evanston for you.
The "gym" they offer is small, and not really useful except for an occasional cardio workout, but it's there. They also have a nice internet cafe for residents with free tea and coffee.
The location isn't as good as the other Evanston high-rises that are downtown, but it's safe and you can quickly get to the downtown area, though a car would come in handy.
All in all it's worth a look - nothing spectacular, but for the price and considering the area, you're getting your money's worth, you just need to check it out and decide if it's a good value for you.
PROS: new building, good location
CONS: there are cheaper apartments in Evanston if you don't need a "luxury" place