Summertime in Evansville has been fantastic. Maybe you took your kids to some of the fun, family activities, or attended one of the local summer events. Or maybe, you and your fam just took time to kick back and relax. Either way, there’s nothing like a good summer break to get you refreshed and recharged in time for the school year.

As you prep to get your people in back-to-school mode, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed at all that needs to be done between shopping for school supplies and signing up for after school activities. Don’t worry! We’ve put together a quick list of the places you can go to get your back-to-school needs met! Best part? They’re ALL local Evansville businesses, so you won't just be helping yourself, but everyone around you, too. Alllll the feels. 

Must-Do Tasks Before the Bell rings:

1. Make sure your kids are seeing 20/20:

- McWilliams Vision Care specializes in vision checks and a wide range of optometry services. The owner, Evansville local Dr. Brittany McWilliams, absolutely loves working with kids! You can read more of her story (and about her tops optometry practice)!

2. Active kids need active gear!

- Riecken's Foot Comfort World sells shoes for all ages and sizes with a focus on comfort and versatility. It seems like kid feet never stop growing! But with a visit to Riecken’s, you’ll find the shoes that fit perfectly for your growing humans.

3. Fresh school year, fresh hair cut

- Loleta's Hair-Nails-Etc is a family-friendly hair salon that provides cuts, styling, and other hair services. A new haircut is not only a confidence boost for your child, but also a way to make sure that hair isn’t getting in the way of learning.

- Image Makers Hair Salon has the fun, fabulous, and expert hair stylists who will have your mini-me looking like his or her best self this semester. Stop in with your pod for a back-to-school cut + style.

4. Did somebody say pool?! C-A-R-P-O-O-L. 

- Zeller’s Master Tire will take care of all of your tire needs to keep you rolling smoothly through the school pick-up line. For new tires, tire alignment, or other general auto services, the experts at Zeller’s are your guys.

- Menke's Auto Repair can help you nip any car issues in the bud before the school year starts. Don’t be late to (name that lesson!) due to car trouble that could’ve been avoided! Menke’s provides complete automotive maintenance and repair work for both foreign and domestic vehicles with a commitment to clear and honest communication. 

- Larry's Automotive Repair not only provides car maintenance and repairs that exceed expectations, but also they have a heart for local education. Read their story here before you stop by their shop for all of your auto repair needs.

5. Help your kids get through the school day with a few SNAX:

- Jerky and More has the protein-packed jerky snacks your kids need to get through the school day. (The one jerk you want in your car year-round. Ba-dum, ching!)

- Las Americas Store and Restaurant is known for its delicious Mexican food, but DID YOU KNOW they sell snacks as well? Grab chips, drinks, and other yummy easy-to-pack snacks for your kid’s school lunches.

Don’t Neglect Yourself. Keep Sane During the Back to School Season.

1. Grab a liquid with a friend! (YES, YOU! You deserve a little TLC, not fight us on this.)

- Honey + Moon Coffee Co. is the perfect spot for a coffee date with tons of hot and cold coffee drinks, ice cream, teas, smoothies, and even some food options. The menu items are delicious and the setting is inviting and cozy. Come by for a little pick-me-up when back-to-school shopping and scheduling gets toooo intense.

- Carson's Brewery is open seven days a week and serves award-winning craft beers at a low price. Have a drink or two, and (if you stop by on a weekend) enjoy live some live music. Don’t forget to take a breather in between the back-to-school craziness, okay?! You can do this!

2. Don’t stress – relaaaaaax with a massage or spa day

- Anti-Gravity Pole Fitness and Massage Studio will have you feeling incredibly relaxed no matter what back-to-school tasks you’re scrambling to complete. Massage is great for relieving tension and increasing blood flow. At Anti-Gravity you can choose from Ashiatsu or Deep Tissue/Swedish massage, or a calming Reiki sesh.

- Head to Toe Salon & Spa will give you a spa day that washes all of your worries away. Come in for a facial, a massage, or a complete spa package for hours of deep relaxation. Help your kids conquer the school year from a peaceful state of mind.

3. Feel READY to take on the school year with a new wardrobe (or a few new things!)

The Blue Barn Boutique has cute clothes for all you women out there. Moms, teachers, and women of all shapes and sizes– there’s something stylish yet comfy with your name on it. (No, not literally. But I do have a smocked dress from 1983 if you'd like that.)

Amerie has stylin’ clothing, shoes, and accessories that will have you rockin’ the school year with flair. When you shop at Amerie, you not only LOOK good but also FEEL good as all of their items are fair-trade and ethically made. Learn more about the Amerie story here. P.S. - Amerie also has cute, fair-trade backpacks and messenger bags that are perfect for the bag a books comin' at you + yours!

4. Take a break from cooking at some of Evansville’s tastiest restaurants (take the fam!) 

Big Bang Mongolian Grill is the perfect spot for a meal that’s both tasty and nutritious. It’s also great for picky eaters since their stir-fry bowls are totally customizable.

Pangea Kitchen serves up fascinating flavors from Italy, Thailand, and all over the world. Bring in the family for a delicious meal and a tasty gelato dessert. Want to know more about Pangea Kitchen? Read the story here.

Pizza Chef Restaurant & Pub of Newburgh has been serving the Newburgh area for more than 35 years. Hoo, boy! Enjoy the dinner buffet and salad bar with special pricing for children aged four to 12.

The Pizza Revolution is known for its 1986 Leyland Olympian double decker bus-turned-restaurant. They’re also known for their tasty wood fired brick oven pizza. Let The Pizza Revolution handle dinner for ya, k? 

El Rio Mexican Cuisine is a family-owned business with some of the best and most fresh Mexican food in town. Name your favorite Mexican dish and they’re sure to have it (they have more than 60 items on the menu!).

Clearly, when it comes to the back-to-school season, your local Evansville businesses have your back! You can find all of these ^ guys and more on Towny – your totally free guide to local perks in Evansville.