New mom checklist to explore Chicago with babies

Being a new mom doesn’t mean you’re now banished to kids-only events or required to stay home. Get out and show your baby all that Chicago has to offer. In the process, you’ll find out that you may be gaining even more from the experience than your little one.

Make a day of it in Lincoln Park

Free things are hard to come by in life, but the Lincoln Park campus remains the best place to spend the day for free. Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo to wave to the roaring lions, then hit up the Lincoln Park Conservatory to smell the roses, and stop by the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to fly with the butterflies. The zoo and conservatory are always free and the nature museum is free every Thursday.

Indulge and don’t feel guilty

Sometimes mom deserves to seriously treat herself, and the occasional fried chicken really hits the spot. Take a trip to Honey Butter Fried Chicken in the Avondale neighborhood to enjoy the amazing outdoor patio with picnic tables and twinkling lights, while chomping down on delicious chicken topped with to-die-for honey butter. Bring baby and meet other friends for a sweet treat.

Go green at the market

You will not regret spending your spring and summer mornings at the Green City Market in Lincoln Park. On Saturdays and Wednesdays, you can enjoy a freshly prepared crepe with a homemade smoothie, all while picking up fresh veggies and bread for dinner.

Dine alfresco in a hidden garden

Whether you are looking for a relaxed place for a meal or a morning sweet treat, Enoteca Roma and Letizia’s Natural Bakery in Wicker Park are calling your name. The two-storefront space offers delicious Italian fare and homemade baked goodies and coffee. Head to the quiet, spacious rear patio to transport yourself to a serene, garden-like dream with your littlest companion.

Soak up the sun and sand

Grab that umbrella and beach blanket and head to the best kept secret in Chicago. Foster Avenue Beach is the most kid-friendly and easy beach to bring kids of all ages. With easy parking, bathrooms and a stroller ramp all the way down to the water, it makes a trip to the beach less daunting. Suit up that little cutie so she can snooze in the shade with all that fresh beach air, while mama works on her glow.

Branch out and buddy up

Know that you are not alone in this new mom territory. Sign up for Bump Club and Beyond’s new mom monthly playdates at Little Beans Café in Chicago for a little adult interaction, lunch and sanity. It’s for babies 0 to 8 months old and gives mama that social break and companionship she deserves.

Stop, shop and stroll

The intersection of North and Sheffield near Clybourn is the ideal location to get all your errands done and throw in some entertainment for baby. Stop in West Elm or Land of Nod for your home needs, pick up a new dress at Anthropologie or Gap and even grab groceries. Plus every Wednesday and Thursday at Whole Foods, Bubbles Academy has free kids’ concerts from 10-10:30 a.m.

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