Lake and northern Cook counties saw the most snow overall. North suburban Gurnee saw two inches fall in 30 minutes.
Northbrook saw seven inches of snow, and North Shore communities in general received between seven and ten inches.
People seemed to take the snow in stride the day after Christmas.
"We're from New Jersey, so actually we're missing the big blizzard back east, so this is nothing," said Henry Klingeman.
Road conditions in fairly decent condition overall Sunday afternoon, but overnight and early in the morning was a different story, with some drivers heading north finding expressways turning white with the lake effect snow.
In downtown Highland Park, most sidewalks were covered by snow, leaving city workers struggling to clear a path.
"There is no place to put it," said Salomon Barrera. "We are just trying to make some spots so people can go through to the stores."
In neighboring Deerfield, the snowfall was just about as heavy. The Cook family was working Sunday to dig out from under the snow. Mom and dad attempted to shovel the driveway and at the same time play with sons Griffin and Andy.
"I have a snow blower in the back and it needs gas, so we're doing old school," said Scott Cook. "This is our 'green' initiative today, and we have a long way to go."
Meanwhile, the neighbor's daughter was enjoying a play date.
"She had friends over today for our dog's first birthday party, and so a lot of little girls over," said Susan Stancliff. "The dogs are inside playing, and the girls are outside playing."
More kids were spending the afternoon sledding down a nearby hill.
"We're having a great time - it's the perfect day for it - it's beautiful and sunny out," said Sheryl Helpburn. "We got a huge amount of snow last night."
"You can do so many things," said Quinn Helpburn. "[You can] have a snowball fight, build a snowman, go sledding."
In the city, the North and Northwest sides got hit with the most snow. Residents were out Sunday afternoon clearing off their cars and shoveling sidewalks.
Snow command had 200 snow-fighting trucks out clearing the main routes. In the early evening, the trucks were tackling side streets.
Airports strained by east coast storm
A winter storm moving up the east coast has prompted blizzard warnings for New York City and parts of New England.
Sixteen inches could fall on New York City. Nearly 1,000 flights have already been canceled at airports there.
The storm is having a ripple effect on flights in Chicago. More than 175 have been canceled at O'Hare, but there were no delays at last check Sunday evening. More than 40 flights have been canceled at Midway, where delays are running up to one hour for some flights in and out of the airport.
The storm has already caused problems to the south in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Delaware.
The entire state of North Carolina is under a state of emergency because of the storm.
The NFL postponed the Eagles-Vikings game that was supposed to be played Sunday night in Philadelphia because the city could get up to 20 inches of snow. The game is now scheduled for Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.