Chicago is ready for spring. It was a long winter for parents with children raring to get outside. While the flowers may have been hibernating, the green scene has not. This spring brings the best of the old and some exciting new hot spots. The Green Mama’s Five Favorites include places that are specifically family friendly and where green-in both the health sense and the eco sense-are prioritized.
How do you try to be “greener” as a family? Leave a comment!
From family yoga to your neighborhood farmer’s market, we’ve got five easy ways to go green this spring – and more than 20 places to do it.
Eating organic can have a major impact on your carbonfootprint (even more than driving) and a major impact on yourchild’s health. Eat local, organic and delicious food and have afamily-friendly night out at Uncommon Ground, where the organic rooftop garden, left, provides food
for the restaurant (1401 W. Devon Ave., Chicago). Friday
nights 6-8 p.m. are free Honky Tonk Happy Hours where kids can
dance while you eat. In the summer, the fun moves outside with
Farmer Fridays. Other child-friendly green restaurants include HeartlandCafe (7000 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago); Blind FaithCafe (525 Dempster St., Evanston); Bleeding Heart Bakery (1955 W. BelmontAve., Chicago); and new on the scene, City Provisions Delicatessen (1820 W.Wilson Ave., Chicago).
Eat green with your kids
We all know movement is healthy and doing it with yourkids is particularly fun. All this and more is possible at the newHip Circle Studio, 709 Washington St., Evanston. If this doesn’tfit your schedule, you and your kid can get classes at these othergreat locations as well: Bloom Yoga Studio (4663 N. Rockwell,Chicago); Grateful Yoga, (1108 Davis St.,Evanston);Be By Baby, (1654 W. Roscoe St.,Chicago); and Bellybum Boutique (4347 N. Lincoln Ave.,Chicago).
Dance or exercise together
There is more and more evidence about the importance oflimiting exposure to toxins, such as those found in plastics, skincare products and food. Get the green goods locally in Chicago atBellybum; Green Genes, (5111 N. Clark St.,Chicago); Little Green Baby, left, (4654 N. RockwellSt., Chicago); Be By Baby; GreenheartShop, (1911 W. Division St., Chicago); grow,
(1943 W. Division St., Chicago); Nat &Helens (3125 N. Broadway St., Chicago); and HealthyGreen Goods (702 Main St., Evanston).
The only year-round farmers market in Chicago, the Green City Market provides local, organic
produce, meat and dairy, often for less money than the conventional
stuff at the grocery. You can find the market every other Saturday
at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. In May, it moves outside at
the south end of Lincoln Park and is held every Wednesday and
In the summer, hit a farmers market in your neighborhood.Find when and where with the help of The Local Beet’s marketlocator, thelocalbeet.com.
See, shop, eat
The Garfield Park Conservatory
is a great year-round destination in Chicago (warm in the winter,
beautiful and fragrant in the summer). As spring finally arrives,
the conservatory continues to please with activities such as
Discover the Power of Plants and a Family Make and Take, both of
which happen every weekend and are free. There are also imagination
playground dates, Wild Wednesdays and more.
For some education to go with your exploration, check outthe Peggy Notebaert NatureMuseum. The public face of the venerable Chicago Academy of
Sciences, the museum is geared toward younger kids with its
butterfly house and knee-high exhibits.