That’s right, get on up north of Chicago to my favorite ‘burb’ of Chicago. Evanston is a great city situated just north of Chicago and has cute ‘Christmasy’ shops and all kinds of free holiday entertainment (+ great shopping)! The shops are unique, the food is truly world class cuisine and the streets are decorated with lights, pine branches and wreaths!
You can take the Purple Line (Davis Street), Metra Train or drive because parking will be FREE (see details below)!! If you do take the Metra on the weekend, opt for the “Weekend Pass”, just $7 will get you anywhere the train goes all weekend! (You can buy it on board)
And I’m not just saying Evanston is great just because I live here, but I do have to say, Evanston is a great place to spend the holidays, you’re going to love it….so here’s must must-do list of free things this December!
1. Free Parking!! The free holiday parking started November 25th and run through January 1, 2011. Hours of free parking are weekdays after 5 p.m. to midnight and all day on Saturdays. And as always, Sundays are free.
2. Catch a Holiday movie at the Century Theaters on Maple Avenue. Get a free ticket from LifeSource for donating blood. They have regular Blood Drives associated with Century Theaters.
3. Warm up and snatch some free holiday roasted chestnuts in Evanston – a yummy traditional snack for the winter! They are available on Church Avenue and Maple Street (the plaza between Bravo & Urban Outfitters) on Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 26 – Dec. 18, between 3 and 5pm, where free roasted chestnuts will be passed out, courtesy of Church Street Plaza!
4. Free wine tasting! Here’s my own little creation of ‘Evanston’s Weekend Wine Trail’:
Cost Plus World Market
Saturday Wine Tasting (Holiday Seasonal) 4-7 PM
1725 Maple Avenue, Evanston
Whole Foods Food and Wine Tasting
on Saturday, 2-4 PM
1640 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
Saturday Wine Tasting 2-4 PM
1741 Sherman Avenue, Evanston
Saturday Wine Tasting (BEST) 3-7 PM
1509 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
5. Free Wi-Fi: Check your email (if you must!) with an abundance of free Wi-Fi: http://www.downtownevanston.org/visiting-evanston/wifi-hot-spots/36-wifi-hot-spots
6. See a concert! Evanston is home to Northwestern University….Chicago’s mecca for talented musicians and you can see them for $5-7 for a ticket! Also many churches have free concerts: Sunday December 19, 2010; 10:30 am (free!), Christmas Sunday Special Worship Service, Bach: Cantata 142 – “For Unto Us a Child is Born”, Lake Street Church Choir with members of the Amadeus Consort, Lake Street Church of Evanston, 607 Lake Street Church, Evanston, IL. Coming up @ Northwestern University in the next couple weeks are these interesting events: a Free Northwestern Tenor Recital and The Festival of Lessons and Carols, Alice Millar Chapel, Northwestern University.
7. On Sunday, go to church! It’s not known as “Heavenston” for nothin’! There are as many churches in Evanston as there are free wi-fi hot spots! Many of the churches in Evanston are historic and offer historic tours.
9. Take a walk on the lake-front…it’s beautiful and if your bundled up you’ll enjoy yourself! If you’re not, you will freeze. It’s Lake Michigan….it’s really really cold. Also while you’re on the lake front, bring your ice skates and enjoy Evanston’s own free outdoor lake-front Ice Rink! Be sure to check the ice conditions here before betting on it! Skating season lasts through mid-February!
I'm Stephanie, your local north-sider Chicagoan with advice on everything frugal! I enjoy living joyfully without excessive spending and sharing my 'saving money' advice and practices with others. I am a Christian and love music-making, cooking, traveling the world and of course, blogging! "LIKE" me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Frugirlsteph