Christa Bennett plays Ti Moune in Fleetwood-Jourdain’s production of ‘Once on This Island.’ Photo courtesy of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre

Spring may be known as the season of romance, but with Chicago‘s often cool spring weather it is summertime that usually brings out the love birds. As part of the series titled “A Perfect Summer Day” the RoundTable offers this suggestion for a perfect summer day for couples in Evanston.



Grab a Cup of Joe

Many people agree that a perfect day must begin
with a perfect cup of coffee. The RoundTable recommends couples begin their day at The Unicorn Café,
1723 Sherman Ave., an independent coffee shop best know for its Metropolis brand coffee and morning
pastries baked fresh daily.


Here, couples can grab a cup of coffee, a warm scone and the latest issue of The Onion to jumpstart their day. The laid-back atmosphere attracts a perfect blend of locals and NU students. The café has had a devoted following since it opened in 1991, which might contribute to the
fact that it has stayed in business despite the presence
of a Starbuck’s across the street.


Get Fresh

Couples can choose to take their coffee to-go and stroll through the streets of Evanston toward the Evanston Farmer’s Market,

University Place


Oak Avenue

. This popular farmer’s market offers more than 40 vendors of fresh and organic produce from local Midwest farmers. Couples can purchase everything they will need for a picnic lunch including fresh flowers, warm crusty bread and even a slice of homemade pie. The Market is open Saturdays 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and runs through October. Check for local artists, live musicians or special events that add to the market’s festive environment. Free parking is available in the

Maple Avenue

parking garage.



Enjoy the View

After a leisurely morning at the Farmer’s Market, couples can head east to any one of Evanston‘s lakefront parks to enjoy the fresh food they have selected.


If people-watching is something the two enjoy, then Dawes Park, located between Dempster and Church streets is the perfect place to throw down a blanket and enjoy a picnic while taking in the bustling activity of the lakefront and its bike path. If seated in just the right spot, a view of Chicago‘s skyline to the south is an added bonus.


Move Those Feet

The day has been fairly relaxed so far, so now it’s time to get moving. Tennis is a great activity for two, whether experienced or not. The City of Evanston has many public courts to choose from and the Evanston Recreation Department provides tennis equipment at no charge. Residents are invited to play at tennis courts adjacent to the community centers listed below.

Courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Couples simply need to provide a photo I.D. as a deposit in exchange for two rackets and two cans of balls. The loan program is available only during center hours.
Call to confirm the hours:

Fleetwood-Jourdain Center,

1655 Foster St.

, 847-448-8254

Robert Crown Center,

1701 Main St.

, 847-448-8258

Levy Center,

300 Dodge Ave.


Chandler-Newberger Center,

1028 Central St.





Wine and Dine

The Stained Glass,

1735 Benson Ave.

, has been an Evanston staple for over ten years and its cozy and intimate space offers couples an ideal spot to enjoy its creative contemporary American food and a wine list designed to suit all pocketbooks.


Boasting 32 wines by the glass and more than a dozen wine flights (three small pours), the Stained Glass allows guests the opportunity to taste many quality wines for the price of one bottle. This is a great place to enjoy a fine dining experience in a relaxed urban atmosphere. Call 847-864-8600 to make reservations.


Experience a Love Story

After dinner, couples can take in a show. This summer, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre is sponsoring “Once on This Island,” written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.


Based on the book “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy, this musical love story takes place on a Caribbean island and explores what happens when long-established class lines collide in a legend about the true price of love.


The play is being performed at Noyes Theatre at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center,

927 Noyes St.

and runs from June13 – July 26 Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 847-448-8260.


Make a Wish


If love is still in the air and the skies are clear, couples can wind down their perfect day with a viewing of the nighttime sky from the water’s edge or, if it’s Friday, from Northwestern University’s Dearborn Observatory. The observatory is open to the public free of charge every Friday night from 9:00 – 11:00. The first hour is by reservation only, and the second hour welcomes walk-ins. Call the Northwestern University Astronomy Department at 847-491-7650 for more information or to place a reservation. There is nothing more romantic than star gazing and ending a perfect summer day with a wish on a star.

Anne Bodine

Anne Bodine, Community News Editor, has been a part of The Evanston RoundTable since 2008 as a reporter covering businesses and institutions; arts and entertainment; and health and wellness. More recently,...