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Updated 3:39 pm, July 9, 2014

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Check out our checklist of essential Skokie items to pick up and what's new to eat and drink in Evanston.

Fuel for the day Kids of all ages can tuck into easy-to-eat breakfast sandwiches while parents can make a beeline for lattes sweetened with house syrups to fuel up for the day at this neighborhood coffee shop and diner.

Explore new worlds Climb, swim, play and jump around in this interactive indoor park and play area. Kids can explore "underground" tunnels, dress up and build feats of engineering in the DIY station.

Splash around After running around for the better part of a morning, kiddies will be eager to cool off at Skokie Water Playground's many slides and pools. Parents can splash around as well or take advantage of the shady picnic tables and lounge chairs.

Brake for Nutella milkshakes Edzo's Burger Shop has been an Evanston staple for a long time, and it shows every time customers flock for old-fashioned milkshakes, buttery stacked burgers and crisp cut fries.

Ice cream dreams Enjoy Hartigan's flavors of the month, such as firecracker ice cream filled with Pop Rocks for Independence Day. Big windows look out onto Central Street, where picnic tables and benches fill with folks cooling down on a warm day.