How an Emerging Destination Village Ties-in the Season to Draw-in Visitors!
It’s that time of year around the Midwest when the leaves have entered their final blaze of glory and the crisp cool air invigorates the soul. There’s no better season than fall for enjoying all the wonders of historic Long Grove village located only 35 miles outside Chicago…
Once upon a time, Long Grove was a booming destination town for tourists. Known for its cobblestone walkways, Victorian-era structures and quaint shops, downtown Long Grove is an island amidst a vast ocean of Chicago suburbia. Visitors enter through a 100-year-old, single-lane bridge, the last of its kind in Illinois, and are instantly transported to a time bygone. Unfortunately, Long Grove, like many other small Midwestern towns, was hit hard by the Great Recession a decade ago. However, instead of throwing in the towel, the existing community here banded together and rallied in the wake of adversity. Championed by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, today a new generation of boutiques and restaurants along with many time-tested favorites have helped recreate the buzz and revitalize the proud destination town.
In addition to being home to one of the most charming shopping and dining scenes, the magic of Long Grove can also be found in its seasonal public events and festivals that capture the imaginations of people young and old from around the region. Whether its Chocolate Fest in the Spring, Strawberry Fest in the Summer, Apple Fest in the Fall, or Vintage Holidays in the Winter, the events here play off the season. Likewise, this October Long Grove is transforming for a first time into “Halloween Town.” Here’s five ways they’re going about it:
- Saturday, 10/13: Scarecrow Day
The suburb’s biggest homage to scarecrow-making returns to Historic Downtown Long Grove. DIY Scarecrow Day is an afternoon dedicated to harvest charm and family fun. Scarecrow engineers around the region are invited to amass in Long Grove’s Towner Green to build their own custom scarecrow modeled after whatever their hearts’ desire. With a $5 voluntary donation per family, each set of builders will receive a wood base, a bale of hay, and building guidance. Participants are asked to bring old clothing, shoes, hats, gloves, and accessories to dress their scarecrow (all leftovers will be donated). Thereafter, all scarecrows are propped up throughout the village for the rest of the month adding a colorful backdrop for Halloween Town.
- Thursday, 10/18: Witches Night Out
From 5pm- 8pm throughout Halloween Town, stores will stay open late for grown-up witches and warlocks to have fun shopping, sipping and dining – with treats and specials planned for all the little pretties who attend. Be sure to stop by Long Grove haunts: Confectionery, Within Reach, Olivia’s, Unwined, Buffalo Creek Brewing, Ma & Pa’s Candy Store, Country House, and Bella Donna.
- Wednesday, 10/24: Pumpkin Carving
From 4pm-7:30pm outside Country House (430 Robert Parker Coffin Rd), families are invited to put their imagination caps on and create their spookiest pumpkins to be displayed throughout Halloween Town throughout October. Guests are asked to bring their own pumpkin if they wish to take it home or come with decoration supplies.
- Friday, 10/26: Trick or Treating
From 2pm-5pm, stores throughout Halloween Town will dole out sweets during a business community-wide Trick or Treating bonanza.
- Sunday, 10/28: Halloween Hound Parade
Pooches throughout the region are invited to don their best Halloween duds and howl at the moon at Halloween Town’s inaugural Halloween Hound Parade kicking off near the historic Long Grove Bridge! Prizes will be awarded for the best pet costume based on originality, creativity, behavior, and theme with owners. It’s a free to watch parade, and all dogs must remain leashed. The event is co-sponsored with Renee Clark Real Estate Team @properties.
Long Grove’s seasonal charms will be on full display before, during and after Halloween Town – so visitors are urged to stay and play. What was once old is now new again as legions of people are rediscovering this historic destination town. Isn’t it time you take the short drive and see what all the fuss is about?!
Blog Author: Jody Grimaldi