Walking tour of Wicker Park for families

Wicker Park is known for its world-class restaurants and trendy nightlife. But it is a very different scene by day. Parents push strollers to the park. Kids ride bikes up and down the sidewalks. Families take advantage of all that this neighborhood has to offer. Wicker Park is relatively small, making it an ideal neighborhood for a strolling tour.

The boundaries of Wicker Park are North Avenue to the north, Division Street to the south, Ashland to the east and Western Avenue to the west. Within those boundaries, there are many wonderful spots for families to play, eat, shop and explore.

Take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant and family-friendly neighborhood by foot.

Shop.

Wicker Park is known for its many independentlyowned boutiques and specialty stores. When it comes to toys andgames, you can’t beat the selection or helpful staff at Building Blocks ToyStore (2130 W. Division St.). For organic baby and kids’
clothes and furnishings, try newcomer SproutSan Francisco (1943 W. Division St.). TheGreenheart Shop (1911 W. Division St.) also offers a unique
selection of fair-trade items for the whole family.


Play.

The crown jewel of the neighborhood is, of course, Wicker Park (1425 N. Damen Ave.). Hit the
playground, baseball diamond, basketball courts or chill out in the
grassy fields. The fieldhouse is home to activities for everyone
from toddlers to adults. The bustling dog park is an attraction all
on its own for little animal lovers! On Sunday mornings during the
summer and fall, the park fills up for a lovely local farmers
market. Nearby, the recently rebuilt DeanPlayground Park (1344 N. Dean St.) features a water spray area
and open field for playing soccer or baseball. Its cul-de-sac
location means that most of the neighborhood doesn’t even know
about this quiet gem.


Explore.

Wicker Park is home to a wide range of activities and sights forcurious little minds. The Kids’ Table (2337 W. North Ave.) offers hands-on cooking
experiences for the whole family. The Color Wheel Studio (2016 W. Concord Place) is a great spot
for budding artists to drop in for studio time and to get creative.
The Bucktown/Wicker Park Library (1701 N.
Milwaukee Ave.) offers story times, free concerts and more for
neighborhood kids. This eclectic enclave is also known as a home to
many artists and performers. As you explore the neighborhood, keep
your eyes open for displays of public art including community
murals (like the one at the corner of Hoyne and Division) and
sculptures (like the one at the north entrance to Wicker Park).


Eat.

For breakfast, grab a muffin on the back patio at Letizia’s Natural Bakery
(2144 W. Division St.) or pancakes from Milk & Honey (1920 W.
Division St.) if you can get there early enough to beat the lines
of devoted brunch-goers. Lunch options include a grab-and-go
sandwich from Bagel onDamen (1252 N. Damen Ave.) or Cipollina (1543 N. Damen Ave.)
for a picnic in the park. Dining out with the kids doesn’t mean you
have to miss eating at some of the most popular restaurants in
town. Most local eateries welcome little ones. Try an organic meal
at Prasino
(846 W. Division St.) or a south-of-the border dinner at the
popular Big Star (1531 N.
Damen Ave.). For dessert, you can’t beat a scoop of gelato at Caffe Gelato (2034 W. Division
St.) on the outdoor patio. A word of advice: order the
stracciatella.


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