Living in The Lou: Edwardsville | A City with a Small-Town Feel


If you haven’t crossed the river to Edwardsville, IL, what are you waiting for?


a black and white drawing of homes in a neighborhood with green trees in the background and a banner above saying, “Living in the Lou, a Neighborhood Series: Edwardsville"


When it came time for my husband and me to buy our first house, we were torn between staying where we were in Maryland Heights or moving to the Illinois side of the river to Edwardsville, IL, where both our parents lived. Once we realized how much childcare would cost and how much more house we could get, not to mention the free retired parent babysitting, moving back to the Metro-East was a no-brainer.


Now that we are adjusted and getting out more, we have realized that Edwardsville has a great small-town feel while also having most of the family-friendly amenities of the big city 30 minutes away (except a Trader Joe’s, we NEED a Trader Joe’s!!).


Here are some of our favorites, as well as some we are looking forward to checking out soon.



parks and kids activities banner for Wildwood, Missouri



Edwardsville Children’s Museum

722 Holyoake Road

The Edwardsville Children’s Museum has plenty of educational activities and exhibits for kids and play spaces for toddlers. They also offer summer activity classes for kids, including toddler classes.



gym mats in primary colors at a gym in Edwardsville, IL



Edwardsville YMCA 

Niebur (Esic) Center: 1200 Esic Drive

Meyer Center: 7348 Goshen Road

Allison Cassen Early Childhood Development Center: 190 Cottonwood Road, Glen Carbon, IL 62034

The pre-school gym offers private hour-long bookings for non-members for up to 6 kids (under age 4), and four adults for a fun way to run some energy out of your little ones. They also have indoor and outdoor pool options, as well as rock climbing and roller skating for members.


We Rock the Spectrum 

1015 Century Drive

We Rock the Spectrum is a sensory gym for children of all ages and abilities.


Edison’s Entertainment Complex

2477 S. State Route 157

Enjoy food, drinks, bowling, an arcade, and laser tag! Fun for the whole family.


Altitude Trampoline Park

91 Fountain Drive, Glen Carbon, IL 62034

We are looking forward to checking out their Toddler Time as soon as it reopens.






Leon Corlew Park and Splash Pad

337 S Main Street


Edwardsville Township Community Park (aka Airplane Park)

6368 Center Grove Road



a picture of a girl and a boy holding a fishing net at the edge of a lake


Leclaire Park

900 Hale Avenue

This park has a great toddler area and fishing lake.


The Gardens at SIUE 

6 Arboretum Lane

Maintained by students, this garden is constantly changing! Student sculptures enhance the gardens, bridges, and landscaping and there are plenty of walking paths and benches to enjoy.


Watershed Nature Area

1591 Tower Avenue

Filled with walking trails nestled in the wetlands, woodlands, and grassland habitats.



Family Fun



Edwardsville Art Center 

Offering art classes for kids and adults, including ceramics, drawing, digital art, and floral arranging.


Arts in the Park

Free summer program of arts, entertainment, and activities in Edwardsville City Park.


Edwardsville Art Fair

September 24, 2021 from 5 – 9 pm

September 25, 2021 from 11 am – 9 pm

September 26, 2021 from 11 am – 3 pm

This is a three-day opportunity for the family to see, make, and buy art!


close up of vegetables on crates at a Farmer’s Market



Land of Goshen Community Market

Seasonally on Saturdays from 8 am – noon.

A farmers market and craft fair.



restaurants banner for Wildwood, Missouri



The Edwardsville food scene has really evolved over the years and continues to get better and better with small local restaurants.


Source Juicery

228 North Main Street

Smoothies and healthy bites, the Green Goddess smoothie is my go-to.


Tacqueria Z 

109 East Park Street

The best ahi tuna tacos and margaritas around.


222 Artisan Bakery

222 North Main Street

Their huge croissant cinnamon rolls alone are worth the drive across the river.



close up of a man eating a burger



Doc’s Smokehouse

6108 Shoger Drive Suite D

The chicken smokehouse nachos and the smokehouse burger are favorites in this house.



1063 IL-157

Check out O’Bar for brunch. This was one place I missed when it closed during COVID. I can’t wait to get back there now that it has reopened. Their Egg Tacos (the eggs serve as the taco shell) are one of the best breakfast items I’ve ever had.


Rocket Bowls

Shoger Drive

We love the salmon teriyaki and Korean spicy pork bowls, and the sweet potato fries are a must-get as a side.


Wang Gang Asian Eats

1035 Century Drive

Fried green beans are soooooo good, I could eat them as my meal, but the regular entrees are also too good to pass up.


Peel Pizzaa close up of a wood fired pizza with pepperoni and black olives

921 South Arbor Vitae

Delicious wood-fired pizza, but their pretzel rolls and salads are not to be missed either.


Annie’s Frozen Custard

245 South Buchanan Street

One of the only places you can find lite frozen custard. It’s delicious even though I top mine with cheesecake, thus negating the lite part. Their mini custard S’mores pies are also my favorite.






Recess Brewing

307 North Main Street

Brewery and Taproom featuring local brews, craft cocktails, and live music


Wildey Theatre

252 North Main Street

Great small venue to see live performances and classic movies





Women’s Clothing


Boheme Boutique

621 Shoger Drive

Women’s clothing, but also has a small baby section.


a rack of boutique clothing



6189 Bennett Drive


Revival Boutique and Gifts

101 East Vandalia Street


Seams For The Soul

216 Buchanan Street



Home and Beauty


Gingham Buffalo

500 North Main Street


Chef’s Shoppe

2584, 2320 Troy Road

All the kitchen gadgets you can imagine, plus the popcorn there rivals Garrett’s (that’s right, I said it!)


bowls of soap displayed on wooden crates on a table at a soap shop in Edwardsville, IL


Water Sweets Soap Company

6108 Shoger Drive, Suite C

Has the most delicious smelling bath and shower bombs.




Happy Up Inc 

6654 Edwardsville Crossing Drive, Suite A

Toy store


Charlie Belle Shop

216 South Buchanan Street


Tot Spot Resale

Montclaire Shopping Center