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A Field Guide to

Tinley Park

Where the holiday festivities are as big as the hair at an Aerosmith concert

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Above:Parade of Lights Photo: Gary Middendorf/Daily Southtown

No judgment if you don’t know a lot about Tinley Park. After all, it’s some 30 miles southwest of the Loop, and the town—excuse us, village—usually comes up only in the context of the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (its fifth name since 1990, by the way), a huge outdoor concert venue that hosts the likes of Blink-182, Toby Keith, and 5 Seconds of Summer (read: basic hit makers).But there's plenty more to do: The sprawling former farming community boasts a charming downtown, thriving craft beer scene, and noteworthy restaurants.

Tinley Park map
Tinley Park Metra station
Tinley Park Metra station Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

1. Forest View Farms

Ride a horse on the lovely nearby forest trails or cuddle up on a sleigh ride. Awww. fvfarms.com

2. Tinley Park Historical Society

Learn about old-timey Tinley (and check out plenty of vintage WWII uniforms) in a former church built in 1884. facebook.com/tphistory

3. Tinley Park Metra Stop

Yes, it’s an impressive Arts and Crafts–style building. But it gets even better when you scale the spiral staircase to the open-air clock tower.

4. Tinley Park Roller Rink

Lace up your skates and relive 1973: This dance-palace-turned-rink still boasts its original lacquered wood floor. (And disco ball!) tinleyrink.com

5. Vogt Visual Arts Center

Check out local artists’ work in this rambling 1882 Victorian mansion, where you can also take a class, host a party, or celebrate a wedding. facebook.com/vogtvisualartscenter


6. The Attic Door

The everyday goods are so nice at this upscale consignment shop that it’s just a bonus when they pull out gobs of Christmas decor. theatticdoor.com

Cakes on display
Creative Cakes Photo: Courtesy of Creative Cakes

7. Creative Cakes

Browse the innovative cakes—a Coast Guard cutter strike your fancy?—then wash down the cupcake on special with a craft beer. creativecakesbakeryandcafe.com

8. The Open Bottle

It’s not really a bar, but you can buy pours or six-packs of craft beer from all over the world. And have a seat and drink. So yeah, kind of a bar. theopenbottle.com

9. The Tobacco Leaf

Settle into an oversize leather chair and enjoy the Bears game with a hand-rolled stogie.

Eat & Drink

10. 350 Brewing Company

Outside: anonymous strip mall storefront. Inside: great food and suds (especially the stouts) made onsite. 350brewing.com

11. Isabella Italian Cafe

This local fave, serving northern Italian fare in an adorable miniature cottage, draws fans for its roast duck with Marsala and dried cherry sauce. isabellacafe.com

Seafood panang at Siam Marina
Seafood panang at Siam Marina Photo: Courtesy of Siam Marina

12. Siam Marina

Turns out you can get Vietnamese-French-Thai fusion cooking (and inventive cocktails) even outside the city limits. siammarina.com

13. Teehan’s Tavern

Grab a pint at this cozy Irish classic that dates back to 1917. (It moonlighted as an “ice cream parlor” during Prohibition.) facebook.com/teehanstavern


December 31:The Noon Year’s Eve event lets the kids boogie in the new year during daylight hours at the Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center.

Did You Know?

In 2009, Businessweek named Tinley Park the best place in the United States to raise a family.

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If You Want to Live Here

Population Median houshold income Median sale price (house)
(89% white, 7% ­Hispanic, 4% black)
$76,000 $210,000

Listing of the month

18315 Peachtree Dr.

18315 Peachtree Dr.
Photo: Tadas Tuata/Z Team

Asking price:$435,000

Specs:3,750 square feet, five bedrooms, four baths

This sprawling house (three fireplaces, a double-­headed shower, vaulted ceilings, a first-floor master suite—with sitting area!) on a roomy lot is basically why people move to areas like Tinley Park.

NOTE: Median sale price is from August. SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau, Zillow
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