River Forest

A family-friendly Chicago suburb where life slows down and green spaces abound.

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About River Forest, IL Real Estate

With excellent public schools, a plethora of parks, and a quick commute to downtown Chicago, River Forest is a top choice for families seeking an upscale suburban neighborhood. Located in Cook County, the area is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the state. The attractive community boasts rich architecture, beautiful homes, and friendly residents who are proud to call River Forest home. Most families and young professionals living here own their homes. 

What to Love

  • Upscale suburban lifestyle
  • Ample green space and excellent public schools
  • Easy commute to downtown Chicago

Local Lifestyle 

The vibe in River Forest is relaxed and welcoming. Families and young professionals alike find peace when they need it and plenty of recreation when they want it. From jogging along forest preserve trails to joining neighbors for a summer party in the park to learning about their town’s history at the local museum, there’s an outlet for every interest. River Forest attracts those who sometimes crave the buzz of the city but prefer daily life to be a bit quieter and approachable.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

You’ll find a variety of dining options right in town, plus easy access to nearby communities and downtown Chicago. At La Parrillita, tuck into tacos, burritos, fajitas, and tortas. Craving something sweet? Head to Blackout Baking Co., specializing in bite-size gourmet cookies, from brown-butter chocolate chip to dark-chocolate drizzle coconut macaroons. 
Foodies in the know in River Forest pick up the incredible concoctions of Karl’s Craft Soup. The chef cooks at the River Forest Kitchen in partnership with Schoolhouse Kitchen + Studio (which also hosts great kids’ cooking classes!), collaborating on monthly pop-up markets that provide a variety of family-friendly prepared foods and specialty treats - the perfect dinner items after a late afternoon of soccer practices and ballet lessons. The soup offerings rotate often - favorites include the potato-leek-dill, Cuban black bean, and autumn minestrone. 
Consider dining at the River Forest Country Club after a day on the fairway. From pot roast pappardelle to cedar-plank salmon, the dining room has an entree to satisfy every palate. The cabana serves refreshing salads and kid-favorites like mozzarella sticks and mini cheeseburgers. And over at the pub, you can order up a pizza or some appetizers, from buffalo wings to ahi tuna wontons. 
All the shops you’ll need are at your fingertips, from boutiques and locally owned stores to recognizable brand names.

Things to Do

Many River Forest neighbors mingle and tee off together at the River Forest Country Club, a premier private club serving the Elmhurst and western suburbs since 1926. Follow the long, winding path to the inviting clubhouse and enjoy luxurious amenities such as the championship golf course, racquet sports, swimming pool, and more. Families and couples enjoy a full calendar of age-appropriate activities. 
The River Forest Park District offers a well-curated list of year-round activities and athletics for all ages. From wine tastings to ice skating, family “create nights” and summer camps, the parks department is your first choice when it comes to planning out your family’s weekends and summers. 
Within River Forest, there is plenty of green space for four-season recreation. Three miles of Cook County Forest Preserve trails border the town. Within the forest preserves, you can snowshoe and cross-country ski in the winter, and where you can walk bike, and watch for wildlife in the warmer months. 
River Forest residents come together on summer nights for the Party in the Park. Set out a blanket or lawn chairs, bring a picnic, or grab hot dogs and frozen treats, and mingle with your neighbors. This family-friendly event usually features live music, face painting, and general entertainment for all ages. 
Learn the lore of River Forest at the Oak Park River Forest Museum, including how Girl Scout Troop 1 was formed here and how the area inspired writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs. A fascinating photo exhibit depicts how we’ve moved from tintypes to JPGs over the last two centuries. 
Take a stroll on the Concordia or Dominican University campus, located on the northern edge of River Forest Village and offering an array of academic and cultural programming throughout the year.


River Forest is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include: 
  • Willard Elementary School, K-4, highly rated public elementary school
  • Lincoln Elementary School, K-4, highly rated public elementary school
  • Roosevelt School, 5-8, highly rated public middle school
  • Trinity High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school

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