5 Northside activities parents will always say “yes” to

There are so many things we selflessly do for our children and their artistic, spiritual and physical well-being. This is not that list. The following is a compilation of five Northside activities which my husband and I will always – always – say “yes” to, namely because we really want to go. Hey, looking like a hero AND getting coconut ice cream? Maybe this parenting thing is easier than we thought.

Welles Park summer concert series

2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.

Yes, we’re totally exposing them to all types of fantastic music in a casual, open-air setting. Yes, we’re publicly drinking wine out of sippy cups in a casual, open-air setting.


4610 N. Kedzie Ave.

Summer = childhood = ice cream, right? The fact that half the menu is in Spanish makes a strong case for encouraging their everyday foreign language skills. The fact that their coconut ice cream is to die for is just a really nice, delicioso perk.

The Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N. Clark St.

The kids really need to see how that adorable little armadillo is doing. Why are you denying your children the activities of the armadillo? (“Can we get one now, please?” “No, Mom.”)

Sweet Mandy B’s

1208 W. Webster Ave.

Children, gather ‘round. Here’s an important lesson: I support local, independent businesses. You should, too. And one of those lemon squares? I want that on my plate. I know you do, too, but that’s mine. Here’s a butter cookie shaped like a flower, so please take a step back.

Sulzer Regional Library

4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

Anyone who doesn’t believe in spending as much time as humanly possible at the public library pretty much hates America. The regional branches especially are a veritable wonderland for my kids’ spongelike brains – and are way more likely to have that copy of Gone Girl that I never got around to reading last summer. Now run along, children, mother is reading.

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