Whether the kids have a day off or you're visiting from out of town, we've got a few ideas for where to go, what to eat and what to do in downtown Evanston!

If you start in the center of downtown at Fountain Square, you can head north on Orrington Avenue to browse the aisles at Bookends & Beginnings with a selection of books for kids of all ages, puzzles and toys including Playmobil sets. If you're not tired of books (is that even possible?), walk to the Evanston Public Library to explore the kids area or perhaps enjoy a storytime with craft project (check the schedule first!) There's one last book-ish shop to visit - Comix Revolution carries a variety of comics, graphic novels and yes, pusheen and squishmallows!

Take a walk down Sherman Avenue to meet Jessica the parrot at The Alley Gallery and find the large painting of the parrot in the alley. Speaking of art, use the Art Encounter Mural Map to find other murals in and around downtown. If you check out the murals on Church Street, make a stop at Evanston Games & Cafe to learn a new board game and pick up a pack of Pokemon cards. Take fun photos and tag @downtownevanston if you share them! 

Getting hungry? There are a handful of kid-friendly spots in downtown including the classic Potbelly Sandwich Shop with a few kids meal combos (think mac 'n cheese, PB & J, ham 'n cheese). Dine inside or bring your meals outside to the plaza on warm days. Just next door is Edzo's Burger Shop with some of the tastiest burgers, fries, hotdogs and shakes! If you don't go for the shake, stop at Coldstone or Kilwin's for an ice cream cone or other sweet treat at Bennison's Bakery, one of Evanston's oldest businesses! If you're kids are more adventurous eaters, find all the dining options here

Need to relax while the kids run around? Raymond Park is just outside of downtown at Chicago Ave & Grove St. and has a grassy area and playground. If you're up for a walk, continue east down Grove Street to the lakefront to explore Arrington Lagoon, Burnham Shores Park and the beaches.

And finally, sit back and enjoy the show at AMC Theaters. While you're there, check out Blick Art Materials, grab a quick bite at Noodles & Company. and get ready for a new kids attraction - Skyzone Trampoline Park. 

We hope you enjoy your visit to downtown Evanston! Find us on Instagram and Facebook if you need other recommendations.