If you haven’t crossed the river to Edwardsville, IL, what are you waiting for?
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.
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.
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 is a sensory gym for children of all ages and abilities.
Enjoy food, drinks, bowling, an arcade, and laser tag! Fun for the whole family.
We are looking forward to checking out their Toddler Time as soon as it reopens.
This park has a great toddler area and fishing lake.
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.
Filled with walking trails nestled in the wetlands, woodlands, and grassland habitats.
Offering art classes for kids and adults, including ceramics, drawing, digital art, and floral arranging.
Free summer program of arts, entertainment, and activities in Edwardsville City Park.
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!
Seasonally on Saturdays from 8 am – noon.
A farmers market and craft fair.
The Edwardsville food scene has really evolved over the years and continues to get better and better with small local restaurants.
Smoothies and healthy bites, the Green Goddess smoothie is my go-to.
The best ahi tuna tacos and margaritas around.
Their huge croissant cinnamon rolls alone are worth the drive across the river.
The chicken smokehouse nachos and the smokehouse burger are favorites in this house.
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.
We love the salmon teriyaki and Korean spicy pork bowls, and the sweet potato fries are a must-get as a side.
Fried green beans are soooooo good, I could eat them as my meal, but the regular entrees are also too good to pass up.
Delicious wood-fired pizza, but their pretzel rolls and salads are not to be missed either.
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.
Brewery and Taproom featuring local brews, craft cocktails, and live music
Great small venue to see live performances and classic movies
Women’s clothing, but also has a small baby section.
Home and Beauty
All the kitchen gadgets you can imagine, plus the popcorn there rivals Garrett’s (that’s right, I said it!)
Has the most delicious smelling bath and shower bombs.