Ah, the great outdoors: Days spent hiking meandering wooded trails, evenings filled with campfire sing-alongs while roasting marshmallows. How far do you need to drive to enjoy such a rustic, outdoorsy experience? Try one mile from downtown Glencoe.
The Little House of Glencoe, a cabin tucked into the woods in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s Skokie Lagoons, is a few block East of Forestway Drive and south of Dundee Road. Built as a Girl Scout house, the cabin was taken over in the 1950s by a group of citizens when the Girl Scouts could no longer maintain it.
“The place is definitely a throw back in time, in a positive way,” says board member Amy Miller. “It’s simple and rustic, but very clean, heated, with a kitchen and bathroom. It’s a great place for groups to meet, for parties, and for scouting overnights. We even have a local family that books it every Thanksgiving for guests they can’t accommodate in their own home.”
The cabin’s interior consists of a large, furnished room with a full kitchen, picnic tables, bathroom, fireplace and a small stage. The large screened-in porch, outdoor fireplace and fire pit make this a great spot for a barbecue. Miller says that groups of kayakers have often booked the cabin for just that purpose, after enjoying a day on the Skokie Lagoons—although potential barbecuers should note that no alcohol is permitted at the cabin.
“We’ve hosted many family birthday parties there, and, in lieu of driving up to Wisconsin, we’ve done sleepovers there for my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop,” Miller says. “Our rates are very reasonable, basically just covering what it costs to run, heat and insure the cabin.”
Local kids’ party planner Marcy Fortnow of Have A Bashery (haveabashery.com) loves the opportunities the space provides.
“I can envision mystery parties with a rustic element, or craft parties, especially the messy ones you don’t want to have at your own home, like tie dye parties,” Fortnow says. “Sleepovers, with kids making s’mores and roasting hot dogs—Little House is a real jewel for parties like that. People are always looking for locations that are interesting and unique, and Little House provides that, with a lot of coziness.”
The cabin sleeps up to 30 (bring your air mattresses and sleeping bags) and has a capacity of 80 for events. Rates are as low as $65 per day (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and $115 for overnights (5 p.m.-10 a.m.) for Glencoe-based nonprofits and scouting groups. Slightly higher rates apply to non-Glencoe nonprofits, and again higher for private parties ($150 per day; $190 overnight).
For more on this little slice of rustic Americana that’s so close to home, visit littlehouseofglencoe.org. For reservations, call 847-835-7551.