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Patch Passport: Highland Park Offers Ravinia, Art, Music and Theatre

The city's rich in cultural venues, and also has a beach and an artisanal distillery.

Boredom and Highland Park go together like oil and water. Whether you feel like chowing down on a burger and some sushi or kicking back in a lawn chair and listening to jazz, Highland Park offers residents and visitors a plethora of opportunities to cure yourself from the self-inflicted plight of having nothing to do.  

With your passport to Highland Park it’s impossible to resist some of the tempting offerings:

Not only does The Music Theatre Company (TMTC) , it also performs a vast assortment of shows throughout the year. Each year TMTC performs their take on the “48-Hour Musical,” where a play is written, directed, choreographed and performed for a live audience all in 48 hours. This month TMTC’s theme is “Bizarre Books” that feature titles such as Making it in Leather and Great Locomotive Boiler Explosions

A couple opened this distillery, which makes two kinds of vodka, two kinds of gin, absinthe and aquavit, and it offers tours and a tasting room. 

The Highland Park Summer Concert Series offers scheduled shows on Thursday evenings between June and August. All shows are held outside at and attract loads of listeners. 
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Avenue, Thursdays at 7pm

 When all the other districts have put out the lights and locked the door, North Shore residents and visitors flock to downtown to meet friends, enjoy a drink or a meal and listen to live entertainment that features everything from rock bands, jazz trios or acoustic  guitarballads. Click here for the schedule of Late Nite HP events.


Ravinia Music Festival attracts over 500,000 listeners to their 120-150 events that take place each year. The festival, which runs every June through September, includes an that range from classical to jazz to musical theater.  Some of this year’s artists include Los Lonely Boys, Gypsy Kings and Steely Dan. Later this month, spend an evening with Tony Bennett as the Ravinia Music Festival celebrates his 85th birthday.

Still not enough theater for you?  Head on over to Highland Park Player’s production of at the Highland Park Community House.  With shows running through mid August it’s not too late to see one of the funniest shows the players have ever performed.  

The Art Center offers art exhibitions on a continuing basis.

lets you reconnect with sand, water and sky. 

Once you’ve had your fill of activities, take those hunger pangs to any of Highland Park’s delicious restaurants:

Places to eat:
| 589 Elm Place
| 1636 Old Deerfield Road
| 55 St. Johns Avenue
| 455 Central Avenue
| 1783 St. Johns Avenue
| 2014 First Street
| 474 Central Avenue, Suite 100
| 585 Elm Place
| 1879 Second Street
| 1843 Second Street
| 1905 Sheridan Road
| 1910 First Street
| 1825 Second Street
| 1935 Sheridan Road
| 620 Central Avenue

Upcoming Events:

. 7 p.m.Thursday, Aug. 11 features the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, a troupe of 16 and 17-year old Israeli boy and girl scouts. They’re making their annual stop in Highland Park where they’ll present a showcase of charming songs and folk dances that represent life in modern day Israel. 

This festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, August 26 and features food and drink from 16 of Highland Park’s restaurants. From street food to gourmet, pizza to sushi, burgers to sweets, the Taste of HP offers something for everybody. Abigail’s American Bistro, , , , Moccio’s Pizzeria,  and are just a few of the restaurants participating this year. In addition to stellar eats and libations, Taste of HP is featuring continuous live music and dance performances throughout the day.
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Avenue
August 26, 6pm-10pm; August 27, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; August 28, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Port Clinton Art Festival will be held in conjunction with the Taste of Highland Park. This festival has been recognized as one of the most successful juried art festivals in the country. The event draws more than 250,000 art enthusiasts annually and features fine art from more than 260 of the world’s most renowned artists.
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Avenue
August 27 & 28, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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