Your Bucktown bucket list

If you are looking to check out this fantastic, bustling Chicago ‘hood (or its hard-to-distinguish neighbor, Wicker Park), here are some things to put on your Bucktown Bucket List!

Bucktown bakes

Head down the rabbit hole to this spot, voted the best bakery in Chicago last year. The folks at A Baker’s Tale believe in sweet fairy-tale endings and see tasty treats as the impeccable diversion to a wicked day. Since I believe in making the mundane fun, I’m sold. Add some fairy tale sweetness to your day and gobble up some goodies.

2127 W. Division St.

(872) 206-5581

Building Blocks of Bucktown

There’s always time to play in Bucktown, especially since it’s home to two great toy-and-game stores that are a far cry from your typical big box nightmare. Building Blocks features carefully curated toys from brands like Brio and Fat Brain Toys, plus suggestions on the website for great gifts for all those birthday party invites you’re fielding this spring. (Insider tip: gift wrapping is free!) Older kids will love the brainteasers and strategy games found at Cat& Mouse Game Store, which hosts weekly Game Nights, 6:30-10 p.m. Tuesdays.

Building Blocks Toy Store, 2130 W. Division St.

(773) 235-1888

Cat& Mouse Game Store, 2212 W. Armitage

(773) 384-4454

Brand new in Bucktown

Top it off with … tater tots? You’ll love the Tater Tot Pizza and Chocolate Bacon Breadsticks. Pizza is a

staple for busy Bucktown families, and lots of pizza-craziness arrived in Bucktown as Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza made its debut in February.

2428 N. Lincoln Ave.

Balloons in Bucktown

If you’re looking for snuggle-ready jammies, Chicago-themed tees or a personalized gift (we love the Keepsake Birth Story Blanket!), The Red Balloon fits the bill. And special promotions, from ice cream socials to luaus, ensure the kids have a blast while mom and dad browse to their hearts’ content.

1940 N. Damen Ave.

(773) 489-9800

Belly up to Bucktown’s Belly Shack

At the Belly Shack, Korean meets Puerto Rican. They call it a joyride of flavors. You’ll find creative comfort food, half-priced cocktails every Thursday, and BYOB on Sundays. Try the Belly Dog, an all-beef hot dog topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya and Togarashi spiced fries.

1912 N. Western Ave.

(773) 252-1414

Birds of a feather flock to Bucktown

There’s more than just finger-painting here! One Strange Bird offers not-so-strange art classes for the toddler set, plus all-ages events like a Family Photo Collage class (April 25) or Painting with Mom Class (May 10). Your little artists are certain to produce masterpieces destined for framing—or at least the fridge.

2124 W. Division St.

(773) 276-4420

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