A community of around 22,000, Roselle is in Chicago’s northwestern suburbs, a few miles west of O’Hare International.
The village is named after the prominent businessman Rosell M. Hough, a Civil War colonel who led Lincoln’s funeral procession through Chicago.
Hough was the first president of the nascent Chicago and Pacific Railroad Company, and the local station was named in his honor, except misspelled as “Roselle”.
The village has a lively summer events calendar and an exciting downtown area, with a craft brewery, cosmopolitan restaurants, independent stores and the famous Lynfred Winery, established here in the 1970s.
1. Lynfred Winery
Found in Roselle Town Center is the oldest and largest continuously operating winery in Illinois.
Lynn and Fred Koehler founded Lynfred Winery in 1979, setting up in a restored house dating back to 1912, producing wine made from imported California grapes in the cellar.
What began as a hobby and small operation has since burgeoned into a big business with four locations and producing 50 award-winning varietals and 25,000 cases each year.
With a menu that changes with the seasons, you can visit the tasting room for flights or wine by the glass both inside and outside.
2. Roselle Town Center
Roselle has three commercial areas, one for each rose appearing on the village’s logo. The most convenient of these for pedestrians is Roselle Town Center in the heart of downtown.
Straddling the Metra tracks this area is Irving Park Rd and Main St, and intersected by Roselle Rd in the west and Park St in the east.
Valued for its walkability, Roselle Town Center has independent stores that people come from far and wide to visit, and is home to several businesses on this list like Lynfred Winery and Pollyanna Brewing Company – Roselare.
There’s a mix of locally owned restaurants and well-known chains, and you can take a break at the pretty Veterans Memorial Park, with lawns and picnic tables in the shade of tall trees.
3. Pollyanna Brewing Company – Roselare
Headquartered in Lemont, the Pollyanna Brewing Company also has a smaller brewhouse and taproom right here in Roselle within walking distance of the Metra station.
This is called Roselare, a portmanteau of the Flemish city of Roeselare, known for its beer, and Roselle.
As well as a brewhouse for one-off creations there’s a welcoming, 97-seat taproom, a retail area and a 3,000-square-foot beer garden.
Pollyanna Brewing Company is known for its mixed-culture fermentations and wood-aging innovations, and the brewhouse here has numerous wood barrels and Italian foudres.
The year-round flagships poured at the taproom are The Full Lemonty (Golden Ale), Lexical Gap (West Coast IPA) and Eleanor (Porter), along with an award-winning lineup of Lagers, Kolsches, fruit beers, IPAs and Hefeweizens.
4. Rose Festival & Parade
Kicking off the summer season in Roselle for more than 60 years is a four-day extravaganza on the first weekend in June, centered on Main Street.
The main event is the parade, taking place on the Sunday and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Village of Roselle.
Streaming along Roselle Rd and East Irving Park Rd are marching bands, color guards, professional floats, fire trucks, police vehicles, racing cars, beauty pageant winners and plenty of people handing out candy for kids.
This is just one of a huge program of events, with a carnival at the Metra station parking lot, live music, a craft fair, food and drink vendors and much more besides.
5. Taste of Roselle
A giant block party celebrating Roselle’s wonderful food scene takes place on Main Street across three days on the last weekend in July.
Hosted by the Roselle Lions Club, Taste of Roselle is now into its fifth decade, and showcases the excellent food and drink options in and near the village.
Pollyanna Brewing Company, Sammy’s Mexican Grill, Italian Pizza Kitchen, Doctor Dogs, Mylo’s Greek Food and Kona Ice are just a few of the diverse local spots with vendors at the event.
This cornucopia of food and drink is accompanied by carnival rides for kids, bingo, a craft fair and a ton of dance and live music performances.
6. Roselle History Museum
The village’s story is told at this museum on a gorgeous campus close to the library, Village Hall and police department.
The Roselle History Museum is open Sunday afternoons year round, and also Wednesday to Saturday in the summer.
The main building is the Sumner House (c. 1880), in situ and built for Henry A. Sumner, Roselle’s first trainmaster. Next door is the Richter House (1878), relocated to this spot in 1996.
The resident, Malinda Richter lived here even after the house was moved, passing away in 1999 at the age of 105. Almost everything you see inside belonged to Mrs. Richter.
On the Elm St side of the museum campus is the Coach House, containing the foundation office and also transferred here in the 1990s.
7. Schaumburg Boomers
There’s a professional sports team just a five-minute Metra ride away in Schaumburg. The Boomers play at the 7,365-capacity Wintrust Field, built for the now defunct Schaumburg Flyers in 1999.
Playing in the independent Frontier League, the Boomers were founded in 2012 and in the ten or so years since then have claimed three league championships and three division championships.
Games at Wintrust Field are family events, with theme nights, all kinds of family entertainment, sing-alongs and a post-game fireworks display.
If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from a nickname for the greater prairie chicken, once abundant in the Midwest but now rare because of habitat loss. The mascot performs a rendition of the prairie chicken’s dance between innings.
8. Wolfden Brewing
Effortlessly close in Bloomingdale is another craft brewery, opened in 2018 at a property with a large beer garden.
The building at Wolfden Brewing dates back to 1851 and is claimed to be haunted. The beer menu here is updated often as new releases and seasonal beers come out.
When we wrote this list the 12 on tap included Intergalactic Fog (NEIPA), Resurrection (Tripel), Beer Garden Blonde (Blonde Ale), Highlander (Polish-style Pilsner), Draufgänger (Märzen) and Festwölfin (Bavarian-style Festbier).
There’s a menu of beer-friendly bites, like beef empanadas, chicken tenders, pizza pretzels, buffalo chicken dip and mozzarella sticks, and a bustling calendar that includes new release events, yoga, game nights, seasonal celebrations like Oktoberfest and live music.
9. Turner Park
The Roselle Park District’s flagship park is within walking distance of the Metra station, just a couple of hundred yards to the north.
On 15 acres, Turner Park hosts Taste of Roselle and is the main stage for Roselle’s summer Concerts in the Park series.
This spot is also popular with families on summer days thanks to its large splash pad, with a variety of sprays and jets.
There’s a pavilion, gazebo, a conventional children’s playground and an attractive fishing pond on the west side, complete with a fountain.
10. Pirate’s Cove Children’s Theme Park
Under ten minutes away in Elk Grove Village is a summer attraction run by the local park district.
Designed for children up to around eight, Pirate’s Cove Children’s Theme Park combines rides, play areas and children’s entertainment at one location.
Among the attractions are an authentic 1950s carousel, a giant slide, pedal boats, a bounce house, miniature train, climbing wall and a number of kiddie rides.
There’s a stage here for children’s shows, a concession stand and a spacious picnic area that can be rented for birthday parties.
11. Mallard Lake
To the west, Roselle borders an expanse of nature on the Valparaiso Moraine, a ridge created at the end of the last Ice Age, when the Wisconsin Glacier retreated to Lake Michigan.
In the 1950s this land was quarried for peat and gravel, which is the origin of the 85-acre Mallard Lake, the largest lake in the care of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
Mallard Lake is contained within a 950-acre preserve with four miles of trails, including a boardwalk perfect for birdwatching.
Great blue herons are a common sight at the preserve, while birds of prey like kestrels and red-tailed hawks have been seen around the park’s grasslands.
When it comes to fishing, you can drop a line from the shore or use an electric boat. The lake has large numbers of walleye, largemouth bass, muskie and northern pike, as well as channel catfish and bluegill.
12. Kemmerling Park & Pool
The Roselle Park District operates this facility, featuring an open air pool that is open in the summer.
What you get at the Kemmerling Pool is a lap pool with eight lanes, and on one corner this is fed by a wading pool for young ones, with zero-depth entry, a slide, fountains and jets.
There’s also a separate diving pool, and the whole site is surrounded by rows of sun loungers, all with a wooded backdrop.
Elsewhere Kemmerling Park has two tennis courts, an excellent children’s playground, a ballfield and lots of grassy space for picnics.
13. Bowlero Roselle
Formerly the Brunswick Zone, the Roselle location for the Bowlero chain has 32 lanes, with blacklight, soft lounge seating and giant HD video walls showing sports, movies and music videos.
Something that elevates Bowlero Roselle is the 18-hole mini golf course outside, full of fun obstacles and water hazards.
Back in the alley there’s also an arcade, a billiards area, a pro shop and a sports bar serving signature cocktails and craft beer.
Check the website for weekly specials, like unlimited bowling on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
14. Meacham Grove
Spring Brook Creek, a tributary of the East Branch of the DuPage River, rises in Roselle and flows through the village before entering this DuPage County forest preserve to the south.
At just over 250 acres Meacham Grove features a remarkable diversity of habitats, from open water to wetlands, meadows and woodland groves.
The wetlands here are especially rich with wildlife, with great blue herons, great egrets and beavers often sighted.
There are 2.5 miles of trails at the preserve, which continue across N Bloomingdale Rd to the west, into a special nature preserve established in 2012 to protect a parcel of upland forest growing endangered plants. The Meacham Grove Nature Preserve is restricted to foot traffic only.
15. Concerts in the Park Series
From the start of June to late August there’s a program of more than ten outdoor concerts in Roselle.
These can take place at lunchtime (for kids) or in the evening, and, while Turner Park is the main venue, other locations include downtown, the Kemmerling Pool, Odlum Park and the Clauss Recreation Center.
All of the shows are free and open to the public, with no tickets needed. The program includes children’s shows, as well as a battle of the bands, and serving the concerts you’ll find food trucks from local establishments, including Lynfred Winery and Pollyanna Brewing Company.