An insider look at your kids’ new happy place

Birds. Bunnies. A toddler room with a mini ball pit. A dramatic play room. And last–but certainly not least in the toddlerverse–an entire room dedicated to trains.

If you go

Happy Play Café

2346 North Clark Street

(Includes 1 adult admission, each adult is an additional .)


Do I have your attention yet, parents? Happy Play Café in Lincoln Park has hit the indoor play spaces scene thumping.

This little turquoise shop on Clark is sure to turn anyone’s day around and its proximity to Lincoln Park and the zoo makes it perfect for a stop-in during nicer weather (wishful thinking?) or a destination in and of itself.

Here are six reasons to go visit Happy Play Café today, tomorrow and the next day after that:

They rescue bunnies

Is your child a pro at “patting” bunnies from their bedtime stories? Time to take that theoretical work to the practical world! All the bunnies at Happy Play are up for adoption and your entrance fee helps take care of them until they find their new forever homes.

You can feed birds

While I personally have an irrational and paralyzing phobia of birds,* I can see where others might enjoy this. Happy Play also operates as a parakeet shop. Pick up a seed stick, go into the bird room and enjoy these friendly flappers all around you.

There’s a separate toddler room

Padded climbing structures, a miniature ball pit and tunnels are all included here. This room is for little ones three and under, so your youngest ones will be in perfect company without getting run over.

The dramatic play space

Tiny houses with various themes (kitchen, dollhouse, hospital, etc.) as well as a teepee all stand here, ready for play and imagination to run free.

The train room

I am not sure I need to say more than “a room dedicated solely to trains” for parents of young children, so I’ll just go ahead and say “a room dedicated solely to trains” and hope that’s enough. If you get it, you get it, and you’re already planning your next trip to Happy Play.

There are plenty of seats for parents

There are comfortable chairs outside all the play spaces. Parents can have adult conversations and kids can let their imaginations go wild with each other. If that’s not a win-win I don’t know what is.

*It’s a long story.**

**It’s my mother’s fault.

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