Walking tour of Wicker Park for families


Wicker Park is known for its world-class restaurants and trendy nightlife. But it is a very different scene by day. Parents push strollers to the park. Kids ride bikes up and down the sidewalks. Families take advantage of all that this neighborhood has to offer. Wicker Park is relatively small, making it an ideal neighborhood for a strolling tour.

The boundaries of Wicker Park are North Avenue to the north, Division Street to the south, Ashland to the east and Western Avenue to the west. Within those boundaries, there are many wonderful spots for families to play, eat, shop and explore.



Wicker Park is known for its many independently owned boutiques and specialty stores. When it comes to toys and games, you can't beat the selection or helpful staff at Building Blocks Toy Store (2130 W. Division St.). For organic baby and kids' clothes and furnishings, try newcomer Sprout San Francisco (1943 W. Division St.). The Greenheart Shop (1911 W. Division St.) also offers a unique selection of fair-trade items for the whole family.



The crown jewel of the neighborhood is, of course, Wicker Park (1425 N. Damen Ave.). Hit the playground, baseball diamond, basketball courts or chill out in the grassy fields. The fieldhouse is home to activities for everyone from toddlers to adults. The bustling dog park is an attraction all on its own for little animal lovers! On Sunday mornings during the summer and fall, the park fills up for a lovely local farmers market. Nearby, the recently rebuilt Dean Playground Park (1344 N. Dean St.) features a water spray area and open field for playing soccer or baseball. Its cul-de-sac location means that most of the neighborhood doesn't even know about this quiet gem.



Wicker Park is home to a wide range of activities and sights for curious little minds. The Kids' Table (2337 W. North Ave.) offers hands-on cooking experiences for the whole family. The Color Wheel Studio (2016 W. Concord Place) is a great spot for budding artists to drop in for studio time and to get creative. The Bucktown/Wicker Park Library (1701 N. Milwaukee Ave.) offers story times, free concerts and more for neighborhood kids. This eclectic enclave is also known as a home to many artists and performers. As you explore the neighborhood, keep your eyes open for displays of public art including community murals (like the one at the corner of Hoyne and Division) and sculptures (like the one at the north entrance to Wicker Park).



For breakfast, grab a muffin on the back patio at Letizia's Natural Bakery (2144 W. Division St.) or pancakes from Milk & Honey (1920 W. Division St.) if you can get there early enough to beat the lines of devoted brunch-goers. Lunch options include a grab-and-go sandwich from Bagel on Damen (1252 N. Damen Ave.) or Cipollina (1543 N. Damen Ave.) for a picnic in the park. Dining out with the kids doesn't mean you have to miss eating at some of the most popular restaurants in town. Most local eateries welcome little ones. Try an organic meal at Prasino (846 W. Division St.) or a south-of-the border dinner at the popular Big Star (1531 N. Damen Ave.). For dessert, you can't beat a scoop of gelato at Caffe Gelato (2034 W. Division St.) on the outdoor patio. A word of advice: order the stracciatella.

Kids Eat Chicago

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