Chicago is ready for spring. It was a long winter for parents
with children raring to get outside. While the flowers may have
been hibernating, the green scene has not. This spring brings the
best of the old and some exciting new hot spots. The Green Mama's
Five Favorites include places that are specifically family friendly
and where green-in both the health sense and the eco sense-are
How do you try to be "greener" as a family? Leave a comment!
The only year-round farmers market in Chicago, the Green City Market provides local, organic
produce, meat and dairy, often for less money than the conventional
stuff at the grocery. You can find the market every other Saturday
at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. In May, it moves outside at
the south end of Lincoln Park and is held every Wednesday and
In the summer, hit a farmers market in your neighborhood.
Find when and where with the help of The Local Beet's market
Eating organic can have a major impact on your carbon
footprint (even more than driving) and a major impact on your
child's health. Eat local, organic and delicious food and have a
family-friendly night out at Uncommon Ground, where the organic rooftop garden, left, provides food
for the restaurant (1401 W. Devon Ave., Chicago). Friday
nights 6-8 p.m. are free Honky Tonk Happy Hours where kids can
dance while you eat. In the summer, the fun moves outside with
Farmer Fridays. Other child-friendly green restaurants include Heartland
Cafe (7000 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago); Blind Faith
Cafe (525 Dempster St., Evanston); Bleeding Heart Bakery (1955 W. Belmont
Ave., Chicago); and new on the scene, City Provisions Delicatessen (1820 W.
Wilson Ave., Chicago).
We all know movement is healthy and doing it with your
kids is particularly fun. All this and more is possible at the new
Hip Circle Studio, 709 Washington St., Evanston. If this doesn't
fit your schedule, you and your kid can get classes at these other
great locations as well: Bloom Yoga Studio (4663 N. Rockwell,
Chicago); Grateful Yoga, (1108 Davis St.,
Evanston); Be By Baby, (1654 W. Roscoe St.,
Chicago); and Bellybum Boutique (4347 N. Lincoln Ave.,
There is more and more evidence about the importance of
limiting exposure to toxins, such as those found in plastics, skin
care products and food. Get the green goods locally in Chicago at
Bellybum; Green Genes, (5111 N. Clark St.,
Chicago); Little Green Baby, left, (4654 N. Rockwell
St., Chicago); Be By Baby; Greenheart
Shop, (1911 W. Division St., Chicago); grow,
(1943 W. Division St., Chicago); Nat &
Helens (3125 N. Broadway St., Chicago); and Healthy
Green Goods (702 Main St., Evanston).
The Garfield Park Conservatory
is a great year-round destination in Chicago (warm in the winter,
beautiful and fragrant in the summer). As spring finally arrives,
the conservatory continues to please with activities such as
Discover the Power of Plants and a Family Make and Take, both of
which happen every weekend and are free. There are also imagination
playground dates, Wild Wednesdays and more.
For some education to go with your exploration, check out
the Peggy Notebaert Nature
Museum. The public face of the venerable Chicago Academy of
Sciences, the museum is geared toward younger kids with its
butterfly house and knee-high exhibits.