Wilmette is a lake front North Shore suburb that is renowned for its stellar schools, parks, and friendly village character. It’s proximity to Chicago and excellent transportation systems make it a popular choice for people who commute to Chicago’s downtown.
New Trier is the high school that services Wilmette. It is nationally recognized for its academic excellence. In addition it has a vast array of sports and extracurricular programs. New Trier provides outstanding education programs for all levels of students. From its college level advanced placement courses to its special education classes New Trier challenges its students and provides an excellent education for all. Its sports teams compete for state titles regularly, its gifted students are admitted to the top colleges, and its special needs students grow and learn in an inclusive environment to the best of their capabilities.
Grades K to 8 in Wilmette are served by two school districts: District 39 and District 37. District 39 is the larger one and consists of Wilmette Junior High for 7th and 8th grade and Highcrest School for 5th and 6th grade. District 39 has 4 schools for kindergarten through 4th grade: Central, McKenzie, Romona and Harper. District 39 also has a superb preschool that specializes in preparing special needs kids for entering grade school. After school programs are big in district 39 with chess, sports and band among the offerings.
District 37 consists of Marie Murphy Junior High for grades 6th to 8th and Avoca School for grades K to 5th. District 37 is one of the North Shore’s smaller districts. The size permits the kids, teachers and administrators get to know each other well which leads to a very supportive and personalized approach to teaching its students.
Wilmette has a tremendous variety of Park District activities. There are many parks throughout the village including Wilmette’s 64 acre lakefront park, Gilson Park, which has swimming, sailing and dog beaches, tennis courts, outdoor theatre, kid play area, boat harbor and more. Other parks include: Vattmann, Thornwood, Mallinckrodt, Langdon, Lockerbie, Bateman, Avoca, Howard, Maple, Hibbard, West, Forest, Shorewood & Wheeler.
The Wallace Bowl at Gilson Park hosts free outdoor concerts all summer long. Boat enthusiasts can take advantage of the harbor or sailing beach to store and launch their craft from. Tennis courts and Playground equipment are located at parks throughout the village.
The Community Recreation Center has a full service workout gym with aerobic equipment, weight machines, free weights and a track. There is a gymnastic gym with a full set of equipment for kids to learn and play on. Art and dance rooms provide a place for art classes, and dance classes ranging from tap and ballet to hip hop. The center has all types of activities for adults and kids.
The Centennial Park facility has a wonderful outdoor swim center with 4 pools. The largest pool has a zero depth side, slides and water falls. There is a diving pool, lap pool and toddler pool. Other amenities at Centennial include an indoor ice rink and indoor tennis courts. Kids can take swimming, skating or tennis lessons at Centennial.
Wilmette has many excellent choices for dining. Restaurants in the downtown area include: Pit and Tap, Torino, Dowize Bistro, Walker Brothers, The Big Tomato, Buck Russell’s, Fuel, Pescadero, Napolita, Lefty’s Pizza, Carlos and Carlos, and The Valley Lodge.
Plaza DeLago has Convito. In east Wilmette is JP McCarthy’s.
On the West side of Town, there is the Ridgeview Grill and Akai Hana.
The library in Wilmette is another hub of activity. Among the activities for kids are story times, live concerts, and movies in the auditorium. For adults there are various roundtable discussions, such as veteran groups, book clubs and movie discussions. Other activities include family reading night and pajama party, concerts, lectures and writing workshops. Basically there is always something going on at the library to enjoy in addition to lots and lots of books.
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