10 Things We Love About Elmhurst
Elmhurst’s slogan describes the town perfectly in just five words: Close to everything, unlike anything. This vibrant, bustling town is filled with colorful history, unique shops, an expansive theater and arts scene, and outdoor activities that will make you never want to come inside.
Sounds pretty utopic, right? We think so, too. Here are 10 things we love about Elmhurst:
History and Culture
From the Elmhurst History Museum, which has a variety of interesting exhibits including an upcoming Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition, to the Elmhurst Art Museum that will be reopening in September with a calendar full of socially distant events and activities, Elmhurst has a wide array of cultural offerings.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 isn’t keeping the Elmhurst community from enjoying its rich tradition of performing arts. The Elmhurst Choral Union is currently holding virtual auditions for its upcoming season. And Elmhurst Children’s Theatre is offering virtual theater workshops and, with their partner Broadway from Home, giving students the ability to be coached by Broadway professionals.
A 5-Star Library
The Elmhurst Public Library was established in 1912 and opened with only 830 books in its catalog. Today, the library has five-star status, a recognition it has earned three years in a row by ranking nationally in Library Journal’s annual review.
Today, the local library has implemented social distancing practices to keep Elmhurst residents safely enjoying its many programs. And it continues to find ways to keep the community connected through virtual story times, art classes, remote learning, and meditation lectures. For more information, visit https://elmhurstpubliclibrary.org/.
Elmhurst University – A Firmly “Rooted” Campus
Elmhurst University (formerly Elmhurst College) is a private, four-year university that is known for its tradition of service-based learning. Ranked among the top collegiate intuitions by Forbes magazine, Elmhurst University offers over 60 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate programs – as well as 20 varsity sports – on its gorgeous campus. A unique touch to the campus is that it has its very own arboretum. With nearly 900 trees and a variety of scrubs and perennials, this lush space has won Level II Accreditation from the Morton Register of Arboreta and Tree Campus USA.
An Event For Every Season
Elmhurst hosts a large roster of events throughout the year. Seriously, there is an annual event to tickle anyone’s fancy. In the spring, enjoy the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which is the third largest in Chicagoland, by the way); in the summer, take advantage of Movies in the Park at Wilder Park or the Block to Block Party with live music and food; and in the fall, participate in ‘Cue for a Cause, a barbecue competition with activities, plenty of food, and live entertainment.
Dine In Or Take Out
With a population of more than 46,000 residents, you can bet this Chicago suburb has a variety of cuisines and settings to please the palate of locals and visitors alike. For a little surf and turf, order takeout from local favorite, Victory Meat and Seafood. Looking for unforgettable tacos and a side of guac? Enjoy delicious specialties and mouthwatering tacos at Guac N Tacos. Don’t forget to stop by Roberto’s Ristorante’s patio for Italian classics and homemade pizzas.
Trains, Planes and Automobiles
Living up to its “close to everything” tagline, Elmhurst is about as convenient as it gets when it comes to Chicago’s suburbs. Intersected by I-290 and I-294, the town is a hub for commuters and visitors in every direction. Though it’s quaint and charming, Elmhurst is also less than 15 minutes from O’Hare International Airport. And for those who work downtown, Metra service to Ogilvie Transportation Center is a quick and easy 32 minutes, giving Elmhurst residents a chance to hit the Snooze button a couple of extra times in the morning.
Elmhurst City Centre: A Thriving Downtown
From home decor shops to a comic book store, Elmhurst’s downtown district features a collection of independent businesses that anchor this community. Just about any type of store you could imagine can be found at the City Centre. Find charming decor pieces at Bread and Butter Home or Evelyn on Second; shop the latest fashions at enzee boutique; or pick up a housewarming gift at The Uptown Shop.
It’s an understatement to say that Elmhurst has some terrain to explore. It has nearly 30 parks and 5.5 miles of walking trails, which includes one of our favorites, Elmhurst Great Western Prairie. You’ll also find 68 athletic fields, two outdoor swimming pools, and 500 acres of open space. Whether you’re looking to get your steps in or lay out a blanket for a picnic, Elmhurst is the place to experience the great outdoors.
The Historic York Theater
While currently closed due to COVID-19, the York Theater is a staple in the Elmhurst community. The historic theater was designed by architect Elmer Behrens in the 1920s and has since been fully restored to its original beauty. It’s rather iconic with its original Spanish motif and flashy lights, and offers quite the experience for movie-goers and history buffs alike. With its historic beauty and modern amenities, patrons can enjoy the past and present as soon as they step inside.
The Wilder Mansion
What used to be home to some of Elmhurst’s first families has gone through quite the transformation. From family home to the local library to a beautiful destination for celebrations, the Wilder Mansion has made a name for itself. When it comes to weddings, the venue has been featured in trusted publications like The Knot and has earned Couple’s Choice honors from Wedding Wire since 2012.
Near the property, you’ll find the Wilder Park Conservatory. Open since 1923, it houses a variety of seasonal plants and flowers and hosts seasonal events and youth education programs. For more information, visit https://www.epd.org/facilities/wilder-park-conservatory.