Park Ridge Insider Katie Russ on family dining at Holt’s, Zia’s and Lola’s Diner, finding dresses at Camp Willow, and hitting the splash pads at Centennial Pool
Camp Willow in Uptown Park Ridge
How long you’ve lived here: We made the move from being a city family to a suburb family back in April of 2017 as a family of three that needed a yard. As a now family of five, we couldn’t have picked a better suburb!
What you like best about Park Ridge: It’s hard to pick just one thing, but among our list would be summers at the splash pads, the parks, farmers market, district 64 schools, and the cute downtown area with so many great spots to choose from.
Best meal you’ve had recently: Holt’s is one of our family’s favorite go-to spots. The kids’ order of choice is always the sliders and fries and the salmon BLT, or their sloppy joe sandwiches are a big hit with us. And when we’re feeling up for a pizza night, the meatball and ricotta is the way to go.
Favorite restaurant in the area: Pennyville Station is great spot to try. It has that city vibe and atmosphere we miss, and the food never disappoints. The fish tacos and spinach and artichoke dip are two of our favorites.
Favorite “hidden gem” restaurant: Lola’s Diner on Busse Highway. Big portions, and it’s a great spot to take the kids for a Saturday- or Sunday-morning breakfast.
Best bar to grab a drink or to catch the game: Holt’s is where you’ll find us. It’s a relaxed atmosphere to bring the kids to or great for a few drinks with friends.
A great night out with friends usually includes… dinner at Zia’s in Edison Park followed by a drink at Beer on the Wall. I’m not a huge beer drinker, but let the bartender know your “usual beer choices” and they’ll give you a good flight of beers to try.
The best way to spend a Saturday in the summer: Kick off the day with a stroll through the farmers market for an iced coffee from Off the Wall and a bag of kettle corn from Kernel Dan’s. Then we love to head over to Centennial Pool for the day to play on the slides and perfect our belly flops. 🙂 After we’ve burned off enough energy at the pool, we head home to play in our backyard, BBQ, and end our evening with s’mores over the fire pit.
I’ve been able to snag some adorable dresses for my daughter from Camp Willow that are very unique and trendy, and Dick Pond is my favorite spot for picking up new running shoes. Their customer service is amazing.
What’s do you look forward every summer?
Summer in Park Ridge is so alive, and we love the daily routines with the kids being out of school. Some of our favorite events (that we’ll have to wait until next year for) are the Memorial Day Parade, 4th of July fireworks and Taste of Park Ridge.
Favorite store or best shopping area: Most of my shopping tends to be online, but I’ve been able to snag some adorable dresses for my daughter from Camp Willow that are very unique and trendy. Dick Pond is my favorite spot for picking up new running shoes. Their customer service is amazing, and their suggestions keep my knees and hips in shape for those long runs.
Secret Park Ridge spot: Most people know about the Wildwood Nature Center for Nature Preschool, but this is a great family exploring spot. Our family loves to go hiking on the trails, visit the animals and, of course, find as many puddles as possible to jump in.
Underrated activity in the area: Well I can’t think of an underrated activity, but I know one of our favorite events of the year is Oktoberfest. We love everything about it — from the music to the bounce houses.
What have you heard great things about but have yet to try?
We’ve heard good things about Reyes Steakhouse, but have yet to make it over for a steak. It’s next on our list of places to try.