My family has the pleasure of calling Portage Park home. Located in the Northwest side of Chicago, Portage Park has budding charm alongside its most notable area, the Six Corners shopping district.
Set by its boundaries–Gunnison to the north, Belmont to the south, Kenton to the east and Narragansett to the west–Portage Park has truly evolved into a family-friendly neighborhood over the years with plenty of places to enjoy due to the revitalization of businesses.
You can’t say you’ve been to the northwest side neighborhood until you’ve visited its green space playland by the same name, Portage Park (4100 N. Long Ave.). It’s a perfect spot in the summer with its Olympic-size pool, awesome splash pad and renovated playground; and a great place to visit during winter months with its indoor gym and swimming pool.
Dickinson Park is another great option that includes a spray pool and kids will love interacting with cute dogs at Hug a-pup pet shop (4950 W Irving Park Rd). ABC Dance Academy (4444 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will keep you on your feet with their classes that teach everything from salsa to ballet, and include lively Mommy & Me classes. Our favorite pastime of snacking and playing happens at Josi’s Frozen Yogurt (4032 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The lovely space offers a delicious and nutritional selection of more than 40 flavors of froyo (mostly gluten-free) including huckleberry, cookies and cream, pistachio, and, my personal favorite, pink lemonade sherbet. A big plus is the kid’s corner, complete with a play kitchen, board games and plenty of toys.
Chicago Newsstand and City News Café (4018 N. Cicero) is an amazing place to grab a cup of coffee and you can catch local farmers markets at Portage Park.
For all your costume needs, visit the largest costume store in Chicago, Fantasy Costumes (4065 N. Milwaukee Ave). Opened all year round, you can rummage through their fantastic collection of costumes for all ages, plus wigs and professional makeup.
Tea’se Tea Shoppe with its 300 special loose leaf tea varieties will have you head over heels. Pick your selection–perhaps Sweet Peach, Enchanted Forest or Butterflies in the Tummy–and enjoy on-site or at home if you purchase your choice to go in a decorated mason jar.
Who doesn’t like tacos? Cochinita Taco Co. (3938 N. Central Ave.) will amaze you with their menu. Think empanadas and tacos like you’ve never tasted them before. Trattoria Porretta (3656 N. Central) has delicious Italian food. For a good cup of joe and baked goods visit Portage Grounds (5501 W. Irving Park Rd.). Hagen’s Fish Market (5635 W. Montrose Ave.) has been a staple of Portage Park for 60 years and whoever walks in is sure to enjoy their terrific seafood.
You can get a dose of history at the National Veteran’s Art Museum (4041 N. Milwaukee Ave.), where you can walk through the art exhibits that are collected, preserved and inspired by combat and created by veterans.
Catch a variety of films at The Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee). The elegantly restored space features independent films, film noir, classics and the occasional concerts. If you’re further west, newly restored Patio Theater (6008 W. Irving Park Rd.) shows current movies for $5. You’ll also absolutely love the magnificent plays at Filament Theatre (4041 N. Milwaukee Ave.) whose mission aims to create immersive performances for young and family audiences.