River Forest is a lovely suburban neighborhood 10 miles west of Chicago, known primarily for its beautiful architecture and friendly residents. The close-knit fabric of this village, along with its proximity to the economic staple of Chicago, make this area a superb place to raise a fur family. Prospective puppy parents will be happy to know there is a veterinary facility within the neighborhood to take care of their four-legged children, as well as many more in the immediate area.
Local doggos have their pick of parks in the area, with 13 in a span of 10 miles! One such favorite is the White Oaks Dog Park in Wood Dale. Furry residents jump at the chance to run amock at this clean and fully-fenced bark park. No one has to feel left out here, with equally pawesome small and large dog areas. The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily and is one of the few parks around that is totally free for public use!
When you have had your fill of parks and recreation, settle down with your companion for a comfy meal at Noodles and Company. This cozy bistro offers 11 pup-friendly tables where you and your best pal can dine on slurpable entrees such as Japanese pan noodles, pasta fresca, and mac and cheese! They even have gluten-free options for pups with more sensitive palettes! Table service is not available outside, so you will need to secure your fur-iend while you order. Your pup won’t mind the wait when he sees his big plate of spaghetti and meatballs!
Montrose Off-Leash Dog Beach was the first of its kind in Chicago, and quickly grew to be a favorite hot spot for the city’s pup-ulation! It takes about 35 minutes to reach the beach by car, but we promise it is well worth the trip. The dog beach opens at sunrise and closes at 9 PM, and is most popular during the morning hours. Out-of-towners will be glad to know this park is open to them as well, but they will need to bring proof of vaccinations and their dog’s registration papers. The beach is free for use; however, local pups are required to have a DFA tag, which costs about $5. This park is sure to make a splash with your pup!
Set sail with your favorite travel companion with Seadog Cruises in Chicago. Climb aboard and speed off for an action-packed 30-minute speedboat tour of the Windy City! If that isn’t enough for your pooch, there is another 75-minute tour that highlights even more of Chicago’s awesome local spots! The best part of all? If you bring your dog, you automatically get 10% off tickets! Your pup will love feeling the wind in his fur and seeing all the beautiful sights the city has to offer, not to mention all the attention he will get on his voyage!
Less than 15 miles from River Forest, Oakton Street in Skokie is home to a great bark park that has all the dogs howlin’. Pooch Park is an off-leash doggy recreation area where locals can cut loose all their city worries! The agility course is an especially great place for pups to blow off some steam and show off their moves while they are at it! Small dogs can discuss the daily events in their own enclosure, where they don’t have to worry about the ruckus the big dogs bring. Both the gentle giants and small fries agree, this park is one of the best around -- paws down!
Mayslake Forest Preserve Dog Park in Oakbrook is one of the best places around for a doggy day trip. Only a hop and a skip from River Forrest, this convenient park gives owners and pets plenty of space to stretch their legs in a peaceful setting. The small dog area is quite large in comparison to surrounding parks, boasting about a half-acre for them to fetch and yap their hearts out. For some alone time or a post-exercise cool-down lap, owners can take their fur kids for a stroll around the park loop trail. Like most parks in the area, you must have a permit to enjoy this park. Permits are available for purchase online 24/7 -- so grab one and don’t keep Fido waiting!
Midwest Magic is located on Franklin Avenue and has all kinds of props and books to teach you and your pup a trick or two! One of the coolest things about this place is it is staffed by real magicians! Just make sure your illusionist stays on a leash while you explore the store. If your pup is more interested in a treat than a trick, then check out Casa Nostra Bakery, just a couple streets over. With 16 dog-friendly outdoor tables, your pup will always find a seat to enjoy their gourmet sandwiches and fresh baked cannolis. Casa Nostra is a true old-fashioned Italian bakery and only accepts cash, so stop by the ATM before you drop by! This place will have your dog singing “That’s Amore”!
Hi! I'm Hannah and I'm from the Western suburb of Oak Park and going to college in Hyde Park. I'll be walking and boarding dogs in the Chicagoland area and Western Suburbs, as well as Manhattan in New York during holiday seasons. I have always loved working with dogs and have a lot of experience fostering and boarding dogs through programs like PAWS and dog-sitting apps. I can't wait to meet you and your dogs and take them on some great adventures!