A Better Summer: What We’re Buying From Chicago-Area Stores

Our Chicago summer is fleeting, so why not make the most of it?  Whether you’re by the lake, poolside in your backyard, out for a run or partaking in our #2020ChicagoOlympics, these items from local stores – some even locally made – will help you do just that.

Minnidip – The First Designer Inflatable Pool

Price varies, purchase online or in local Target stores


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MINNIDIP founded by Emily Vaca (@minnidip) on

The Chicago brand is making a big splash in backyards and city balconies, with their trendsetting adult and kiddie-sized pools. Designed by Emily Vaca of La Vaca, you’ll have a hard time choosing a favorite.

GOODR Sunglasses

$25, Fleet Feet, 800 Waukegan Rd, Deerfield

GOODR Sunglasses

If the thought of your sunglasses slipping due to sweat makes you cringe, these no slip and no bounce sunglasses are the solution. Perfect for running, GOOD’s lightweight sunglasses are polarized and come in a wide variety of colors.

MD Everyday Nourishing Lotion SPF 50

$30, Egea Spa, 1521 Sherman Ave, Evanston

Sunscreen Egea Spa
Egea Spa

It would be foolish to head out into the sun without SPF, and this lotion provides some much needed protection. Formulated for your whole body, it also has antioxidants, ceramides, and humectants. Even kids love the way this feels all over.

The ICEMULE Classic Medium

$69.65, REI, 888 Willow Rd., Northbrook

Ice Mule REI
Ice Mule

This flexible 15-liter cooler bag is perfect if you are on the go, allowing you to stay hands free. The sling style backpack can also be secured to a boat, bike or board, and it also comes in bright, summer-inspired colors. 

Ninni Cooling Foot Scrub

$28, Lena Rose Beauty, 4645 N Rockwell St, Chicago

Ninni Foot Scrub
Ninni | Lena Rose Beauty

Need summer-ready feet? This refreshing and uplifting foot scrub is perfect to pamper your toes after a long day outdoors. The natural, vegan and cruelty-free formula contains shea butter and peppermint, leaving your feet feeling soft and refreshed.

SKEEM Citronella Sea Salt Outdoor Incense

$25, Chalet Nursery, 3132 Lake Avenue, Wilmette

Chalet Nursery Skeem Citronella Incense
Chalet Nursery

A combination of sea salt, jasmine and all natural-citronella oils, these incense sticks are formulated to be used outdoors and naturally keep mosquitoes and biting bugs away. To complete the set, pick up the matching Citronella Sea Salt candles, body spray and after sun lotion.

Two-Person Picnic Backpack

$110, Maze Home, 735 Elm St, Winnetka

Maze Home Picnic Backpack
Maze Home

The perfectly chic way to picnic, this backpack contains everything you need to dine outdoors in style. Inside you will find plates, stemmed glasses, silverware, salt and pepper shakers and there is even a spot for a bottle of wine, and room for personal items, too.

Chicago Flag Bandana

$12, Transit Tees, Wicker Park or Andersonville

Chicago Bandana Transit Tees
Transit Tees

Designed and printed by Transit Tees in Wicker Park, this banana, with a lovely plaid take on the classic Chicago Flag design, can be worn as a face covering while out in public places. Dogs love ’em too!

Please check with stores for availability, pricing and social distancing measures.

More from The Look

the giving wick

The Giving Wick

Chicago, 773-974-1640

A Chicago-based company that donated 15% from all sales. All the candles are handmade in Chicago. You’re not only helping a local small business but you’re helping a charity.

lilia sport luxury

Lilia Sport Luxury

Chicago, 708-742-2242

A Chicago-based sport bag and accessory brand, with a collection of sustainable, functional, fashionable, gym-to-office handbags. The launch collection offers four distinct bags designed to take women from the gym, to the boardroom and beyond.


Looking for more ways to help small businesses? Here are some ideas:

More from Better:

Macaire DouglasMacaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate