Old Town Aquarium
The Fudge Pot
When we took my nearly 2-year-old nephew to the zoo last summer,
the highlight wasn't the lions or tigers or bears. It was the
"fishies." So it was a welcome realization that there's a spot in
town where tykes can admire fish according to their attention
spans-and adults' wallets.
We visited Old Town Aquarium, an aquarium specialty store that
has supplied exotic fish to the Shedd and other museums. The
50-plus tanks house fish of every imaginable shape and shade, and
sharp eyes may even find Nemo, not to mention coral, sea anemone
Kids will get a kick out of seeing just how unique each tank is,
and I even said a few "ew"s and "ah"s (hairy hermit, anyone?). With
displays changing regularly, there's something new to spy each time
For those who prefer their fish up-close-and-personal, there's
an open-air pond in the store, which simultaneously intrigued and
scared my toddler companion.
From an educational standpoint, each tank is well labeled, so
you can look up fun facts later. True fish aficionados will do well
to ask questions of the staff.
After our excursion under the sea, we headed next door to The
Fudge Pot, operated by the Dattalo family since 1963. The
stroller-friendly store smells like heaven for chocolate lovers,
with cocoa confections displayed in its glass cases.
Popular items include toodles, chocolate-dipped fruit and solid
chocolate molds that come in shapes ranging from cars to sports
items. My nephew gobbled up a chocolate-covered pretzel while I
enjoyed the creamy sweetness of the store's signature item:
The confections are made in-store, so families can watch fudge
being whipped up in copper pots or taffy apples being hand-dipped
via a large picture window, giving it the feel of a real-life Willy
Since our chocolately treats were our only expense for the day,
the whole trip was a welcome option for me and my little
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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