Incorporated in 1869 and picturesquely situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, just 16 miles north of Chicago, the Village of Winnetka offers tree-shaded streets and neighborhoods as well as three quaint in-town business districts. "Winnetka" is a Native American word meaning "beautiful land", and the village has retained the natural beauty that brought early settlers to the area.
Recreational facilities include four public beaches and a boat launch, numerous parks and athletic fields, indoor tennis club, ice rink, public golf course and forest preserve areas. The Winnetka Community House, a non-profit organization, presents numerous recreational programs and activities for all age groups. Residents also enjoy abundant community organizations involving history, art, music, gardening, sports and other interests.
"Winnetka Community House is a unique non-profit on Chicago's North Shore that receives no tax dollars. Founded in 1911, the mission of the WCH is to enrich the lives of North Shore residents, their families and friends by providing educational, cultural, social and recreational opportunities for people of all ages. In addition to classes, programs and special events for every member of the family, the WCH has a full service Fitness Centre and full gymnasium available to users. Theater and dance productions are held year-round in historic Matz Hall thanks to groups like Children's Theatre of Winnetka, Ballet Entre Nouse and Village Follies."
Founded in 1932, the Winnetka Historical Society owns and operated two sites. The Museum and Headquarters at 411 Linden houses gallery space and is open for research. The Schmidt-Burnham Log House offers visitors a glimpse of life in the 1850s through the interpretation of costumed docents.
Winnetka District 36 schools have a long tradition of progressive education and parental and community involvement. Ten years before the Village was incorporated in 1869, families in the town made private donations to finance the first public school. Today, children in District 36 attend one of three elementary schools (Crow Island, Greeley, and Hubbard Woods); a fifth/sixth grade center (The Skokie School); and a seventh/eighth grade middle school (Carleton Washburne School).
Award-winning New Trier Township High School delivers an academic program comprehensive in scope and providing the rigor of critical thought. Each department creates dynamic, relevant and challenging curricular offerings for students.