If your kids love superheroes, encourage a love of reading about their favorite characters by visiting a comic book shop with them. Whether you’re fans of the classics, enjoy role playing games or want to learn how to illustrate, these Chicago shops have something for everyone in your family.
This Andersonville shop is hidden so well behind storefront businesses on Clark that it can be hard to spot at first (hint: look between Starbucks and Potbelly for the sign!). Once you do make your way inside AlleyCat, you’ll have no problem spending an afternoon there. Peruse through mainstream and indie comics, check out their impressive toy selection and make sure to read with the kids on their sunny courtyard patio during the warmer months.
5304 N. Clark St. (rear), Chicago
Graham Crackers is the largest comic book chain in the United States, with nine convenient locations around Chicagoland for families to check out. True collectors will love the huge back issue collection here, and kids will fawn over the game cards, Funko Pop figurines, t-shirts and posters. If you have Magic the Gathering players in your family, check out the weekly tournament at the Lakeview store. Meanwhile, budding artists will love sketch night from 6-8 p.m. every Wednesday at the Wheaton location.
Various locations around Chicago and the suburbs
Located near the Loyola University campus, Third Coast may not be the biggest shop, but it gets rave reviews for customer service and a loyal following of customers that regularly attend meetups and events. Kids are always welcome and there’s even comfy chairs for families to hang and browse through comic books. Diehard fans won’t want to miss the shop’s monthly comic book meetup, where members share items from their collections.
6443 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago
Challengers Comics & Conversation
If your kid has ever dreamt of meeting their favorite comic book author, this is the place to take them. Creators frequently do signings at Challengers, including DC Kids graphic novel authors, and children are encouraged to attend. The Bucktown shop even has its own kids section called Sidekicks, featuring age-appropriate comics and graphic novels for littles.
1845 N. Western Ave., Chicago
Live outside the city? No problem. Amazing Fantasy has stores across the southwestern suburbs. Using your imagination is highly encouraged at this shop, where role playing games are a popular activity. Pokemon, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic and more are played here on a weekly basis. If you’re not a gamer family, there’s still plenty to keep you entertained, including back issues, books, Manga, games and action figures.
Various locations around the suburbs
You have to love a store that not only welcomes kids, but encourages families to bring them along. On their website, Aw Yeah says, “If you have children and have been looking for a family friendly store, look no further. Kids reading comics are a huge part of our reasons to open the shop. We want them reading comics as much as you do.” The colorful Skokie shop sells a variety of action figures, artwork and even comic series for kids, along with hosting events with artists and authors. Aw Yeah also offer a free subscription service, so families can save money on their favorite monthly series.
4933 Oakton St., Skokie
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This story originally published on April 7, 2016. It has been updated with the most recent information.