Finding Waldo in Evanston

Find Waldo Local is a community-wide scavenger hunt originated by independent bookstores. Local residents can pick up a passport that lists participating stores, and then stroll local shopping districts to locate tiny Waldo cut-outs in the shops.

I believe Bookends & Beginnings instigated the scavenger hunt in Evanston, and it has expanded to various non-book stores in Downtown Evanston and along the Main-Dempster Mile. My first stop was Evanston Stitchworks, where I picked up the Waldo Passport too.

Look at the cute dolls you can make in one of their classes! I need to get to work on my next dress, which won’t be done this summer…

Since Main Street is my thoroughfare, it was easy to angel-bomb and collect my stamps here. It was also a great excuse to visit the newly opened and larger Squeezebox Books.

Now the store has room to display the squeezebox it is named after.

Waldo was twirling among paperbacks.

Ten Thousand Villages had Waldo immersed in some wisdom and zen.

The scavenger hunt got me into GuitarWorks, which I haven’t had reason to visit as a non-guitarist.

Across the street Good’s of Evanston matched Waldo’s outfit to frame mats.

Waldo is also getting his eyesight checked at Evanston Eye Wellness.

I popped in to see my friends at Cultivate, who don’t have a Waldo but showcased Sharon Bladholm’s gorgeous sculptural art.

The vases are so otherworldly.

I love the take on anatomy and nature.

At the Chicago-Main Newsstand Waldo seemed quite relaxed near the shark.

I also visited two pet stores that do not apply to my lifestyle right now. Bentley’s Pet Stuff is a fun and spacious store, and I needed to circle twice to spot him here.

At Follow Your Nose I saw double with Waldo immersed in handmade bath products by The Alchemist’s Wife.

The Evanston Public Library CAMS Branch was eager to assist me in my search.

At the Thrift House, Junior League of Evanston North Shore I couldn’t resist shopping as well, which of course is the point of this exercise. Waldo by a swarm was so appropriate for me.

Day one was a success.

Of course this was a grand excuse to treat myself along the way, with YoFresh offering refreshment on a humid and hot Thursday after my Emily Oaks walk.

The iron collection is fun.

On a 90-degree Friday I collected a croissant from Hewn.

Waldo was easy to spot there.

I returned to Main to get my stamp from Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop, which is closed on Wednesdays.

This was a challenging store to search as well.

Marie Parie was still open on the way home, where Waldo had some sassy company.

Where’s Waldo is a popular children’s book in which Waldo hides among clusters of people in a variety of scenes. Getting 20 stamps in the passport will put participants in the running to win a set of Where’s Waldo books from Bookends & Beginnings. I had well over ten by the time I was done with Main Street.

Angel took a rest by the lake after all that searching for red and white stripes.

The next day I was headed to Downtown Evanston, and did a partial tour of Dempster. Visiting Stumble & Relish is always fun.

I couldn’t find Waldo at Secret Treasures, but did see him puzzling at Shaker Traditions.

I couldn’t resist getting some cards here, and chuckling at the whimsical creatures in this store.

It was hot and I needed to get to downtown, so I skipped two stops here. Ayla’s Originals was on my way though.

The Pop Up Gallery also has a Waldo.

I wonder if he will visit my angels later this month.

Next door, Waldo was located by a kitchen survival kit in the delicious-smelling Spice & Tea Exchange.

I rewarded myself with lunch before heading to the library.

Fountain Square is in regular use as the summer encourages outside gatherings. I love the colorful seating arrangements.

We hope the Fountain will be completed in time for the Sidewalk Sale July 27-29.

Waldo is a superhero at Comix Revolution.

The stroll along Chicago Avenue is always a fun way to see what storefronts are up to. The newly relocated Squeezebox has made way for Nice Lena and Friends, and I am curious at the activity behind the gold lame curtains. I believe all will be revealed in August.

At Soapie’s next door I needed a hint to find Waldo swinging from the chandelier.

With this Evanston walk on the books, I had some chocolate mousse by Belgian Chocolatier Piron, which attracted a squirrel.

I met a friend at The Wine Goddess that evening.

Rifle Paper Company Angel enjoyed the Frose.

I will get a few more stamps before turning my passport in at Bookends & Beginnings for my button and coupon. The book set is for someone else to receive though.

Want to find Waldo near you? Check out this map for participating stores.

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