Best of the ‘Burbs

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The Best of Elmhurst

BEST CULTURAL DESTINATION
ELMHURST ART MUSEUM
The collection of the Elmhurst Art Museum focuses on late 20th-century American art, including one very large piece: a house. It’s the McCormick House, a rare Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–designed residence relocated, then subsumed, by the museum when its current building was constructed. On a smaller scale, the museum shows an admirable commitment to the work of local artists and often brings museumgoers the chance to hobnob with them. Best of all, admission’s a mere $4—and free on Tuesdays. 150 Cottage Hill Ave.; 630-834-0202, elmhurstartmuseum.org

BEST FOR KIDS, OUTDOORS
THE HUB
In the center of Berens Park lies The Hub, an area completed in 2003 with a cluster of kid-friendly activities. There’s a playground suitable for tots, a 6,000-square-foot spray area with fun squirty toys for purchase for slightly older children, and an 18-hole miniature golf course and batting cages for Little League– age kids. The spray park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Labor Day, and the rest of The Hub is open the remaining weekends until November 1st. 493 Oaklawn Ave.; 630-782-4955

BEST FOR KIDS, INDOORS
PIK A POT N PAINT
If your kids are mature enough to be trusted with paint and breakable objects, a rainy day at Pik a Pot n Paint could provide you with both fun and a new jellybean jar. Here’s how it works: Painters buy the pottery they want to decorate, then pay a $6 flat fee to paint as much as they’d like. The owner, Marlene Schraut, runs the business out of a bungalow and says it can comfortably accommodate up to 32 people. 915 S. York Rd.; 630-832-2308, pikapotnpaint.com

BEST WINE BAR
TANNINS
Casual is the operative word at Tannins, the 32-seat wine bar near the Metra station. Conversation-friendly tables and a grown-up crowd bring a laid-back vibe, and the owners allow customers to bring in their takeout if they meet a two-drink minimum. Tannins is serious about its wine, though—at least 30 wines are offered by the glass, along with about 500 bottles running up to $200, priced at retail plus $10 if you’re drinking it there. A wide selection of cheeses and local microbrews on tap satisfy the oenophobes as well. 112 N. York Rd.; 630-834-4800, tanninswine.com

BEST PARK
WILDER PARK
Wilder Park houses tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a formal garden, an herb garden, a rose garden, two museums, a conservatory, two greenhouses, and the Wilder Mansion—a lot of stuff to cram into 17.3 acres, or less than two Chicago city blocks. It’s also just a stone’s throw from the Metra, making for an easy weekend picnicking trip for city dwellers. 175 Prospect Ave.; 630-993-8900

BEST BOUTIQUE
REDE
Not every boutique can sell you an evening gown one day and a T-shirt and jeans the next. Kristen Eder, the owner of redE (“Eder” spelled backward, including capitalization), stocks a wide range of styles—high fashion by Vivienne Westwood and Malene Birger, retro clothing by KRMA, and business attire by Theory and Nicole Farhi, along with loads of accessories. Personal stylists on staff can work with you in the unlikely event you don’t find something that works for you in the store. 146 N. York Rd.; 630-834-7333, redeboutique.com