About Forest Park, IL Real Estate
Just 20 minutes from downtown Chicago — and, as its residents would say, worth every minute — Forest Park is the epitome of a live-work-play neighborhood. From original cobblestone streets that speak to the area’s history to some of the best dining and entertainment in the western suburbs, Forest Park checks all the boxes you want for a peaceful, yet vibrant place to live and raise a family.
What to Love
- An active, diverse community with plenty of community events
- Small town charm with a preserved history
- A quick commute to downtown Chicago via blue and green lines
Forest Park residents embrace the “urban-suburban” feel of their neighborhood. They’re active, diverse, and love to celebrate Forest Park’s rich history and small-town charm. Their kids attend excellent public schools and play in year-round parks and rec sports leagues. Families can walk to town for dinner and entertainment, or visit one of the best public libraries in the state. With its generous choice of housing opportunities, multiple transportation options, civic price, and time-honored sense of community, Forest Park is a suburban sweet spot.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
With so much great dining, all the shopping you need, and excellent entertainment choices, Forest Park provides its residents ample reasons to come home at day’s end and stay put and keep them there on weekends, too. (Of course, downtown Chicago is just 20 minutes away, should the need to explore arise.) Start your search for a dinner spot on Madison Street, home to outstanding restaurants and eateries, many of which are locally owned.
Madison Park Kitchen offers “carefree feasting” seven days a week, with a traditional breakfast and lunch menu that caters to all tastes. Order the baked apple pancake or a frittata, or come in one of the homemade daily soups and a burger or wrap. Beloved Scratch Kitchen is all about burgers, beer, and good times, the perfect spot for a Friday night week wrap-up. Share an order of fries that tops a pound - whether you prefer them classic-style or topped with butter, garlic, parmesan, and parsley, European-style. Locals love McGaffer's, a neighborhood favorite since 1979. Come inside the cozy hangout, or sit in the private, year-round beer garden, catching up with friends and enjoying beer nuggets, deep-fried baby bread smothered in garlic butter, and served with a homemade marinara sauce for dipping - who can resist? Over at The Golden Steer, there’s an old-school chophouse ambiance — along with the excellent steak, chops, and ribs, be sure to order the world-famous French onion soup.
As for shopping, you’ll find much to choose from - both from locally-owned shopkeepers and nationally recognized brands - along Madison Street and in the greater Oak Park area. If you’re in the market for art, shop the annual Riverside Arts Festival and Brookfield Fine Arts Festival, or browse the Garage Galleries in August, a casual neighborhood experience during which residents turn their garages into gallery exhibition spaces.
Things to Do
Forest Park residents are an active bunch, including their kiddos. Families can play and swim together at the Aquatic Center, located at the Park District of Forest Park, with its two large water slides and volleyball courts. There’s an upgraded soccer field and an inline skate park on the grounds, too.
The park district also maintains several “pocket parks” around town, including Lathrop, Remembrance Park, Popelka Park, Reiger Park, and the beloved Forest Park Dog Park.
No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something going on in Forest Park. From the Wine Walk & Shop to the tongue-in-cheek Casket Races (an ode to the number of historic cemeteries in town). to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, there’s an event for all tastes. Shop and ship during the Spring Wine Walk, then come back at the holidays for the live window displays, merchant open houses, horse-drawn carriage rides, and ice sculptures.
Residents and visitors alike love Ferrara Pan Candy, home to the classic Lemonheads, Atomic Fireballs, Now & Laters, and Chuckles sweet treats. Don’t forget to visit the Ferrara outlet store. And don’t miss the Altenheim, an original Victorian building that was opened as the American-German Old People’s Home in 1885. Today, you can stroll through the historic cemetery and see where famous Hollywood movie scenes were shot, including The Package and The Babe.
Forest Park is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
Grant White Elementary School, 3-5, well-rated public elementary school
Field Stevenson Elementary School, 3-5, well-rated public elementary school
Proviso Central Math and Science Academy High School, 9-12, well-rated public high school