Toys in Time for the Holidays

An innovative new store has opened in Deer Park Town Center offering a variety of fun & educational toys for kids of all ages. The brainchild of Mauricio Romy, a local father of two young daughters, he and his wife, Angela, opened Happki across from AMC Theater (next door to Dogtopia). A large selection of items are exclusive to this area. Happki (short for “Happy Kids”) is at 21540 W. Field Parkway (Deer Park). Learn more at

Winners Named During Annual Barrington Tastefest

Now in its 16th year, the Great Barrington Tastefest honored a number of local restaurants that participated in the event held at Onion Pub & Brewery. Winners, as chosen by Barrington Area Chamber members and guests, include Francesca’s Famiglia for Best Entrée; Shark Bait Co., makers of Tiburon Rum, for Best Spirit; Nothing Bundt Cake for Best Dessert; and Onion Pub & Brewery for Best Taste. Hosted by Barrington Bank & Trust Co., sponsors of Taste Fest were Brunch Café, GK Development, Marquardt Buick/GMC and SW Lake Lifestyle.

Learning About the Healthful Benefits of an Age-Old Plant

The history of hemp in this country goes back before the Revolutionary War. Now, a new store in Wauconda is helping people understand that products made from hemp contain cannabidiol, a natural compound that relieves pain, helps manage stress, improves sleep and helps address a range of issues. Urban Roots Hemp, 210 W. Liberty St., sells gels, bath products, salves and other items containing cannabidiol (CBD). Some products are derived from small family farms in the area. None of the products are addictive or intoxicating, according to co-owner Josh Bernicchi.

Downtown Improvements Continue in Long Grove

While it seems downtown Long Grove has been “under construction” forever, many of the significant projects are nearing completion, reports Lake County Board Member Craig Taylor. Most recently contractors have backfilled topsoil, reinstalled brick pavers, installed the traffic signal and new streetscaping and relocated mailbox clusters in the vicinity of Old McHenry and Robert Parker Coffin roads. Other improvements include final connections of storm drains and fire hydrant and valve box adjustments.

Winter Sports Season Underway in Lakewood Forest Preserve

Though regular Lake County Forest Preserve hours are 6:30 am to sunset, illuminated trails and adjacent parking lots will remain open after sunset until 9 pm, daily, through Sunday, March 8, 2020. Bicycle and equestrian traffic is not permitted on the lighted trails after sunset. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. To access the lighted trails, park at Lakewood Winter Sports Area on the east side of Fairfield Road just south of Route 176, or at Old School’s main entrance lot on the east side of St. Mary’s Road just south of Route 176. Lake County Forest Preserve Rangers regularly patrol the areas.