According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more. [Read more…]
See what’s happening around town this month!
Selling a home with young children can be stressful. Keeping a spotless home and catering to buyers’ showing schedules isn’t always easy, especially when the littlest family members have unpredictable sleep schedules.
Fortunately, when you need to leave the house because of open houses and showings, there are so many places to discover. Make the most of the chaos, and explore these kid-friendly play areas throughout Chicagoland.
Purple Monkey Playroom. Located in Bucktown, this bright 1,500-square foot playroom is a relaxing space for both young children and adults. While the kids play, adults can enjoy free coffee, tea and Wi-Fi. Day passes are good for a full day and include a weekly storytime and special events.
Sod Room. In the South Loop, Sod Room is an eco-friendly indoor play space made of only sustainable and responsibly-made toys and materials. The space is designed to use as much natural light as possible, features reclaimed wood, and has cork flooring. It also features a retail boutique that offers local and organic products.
Present Place. This Lakeview favorite has an extensive selection of toys, an oversized playset and a play kitchen. Parents can enjoy the free coffee, tea and Wi-Fi.
Monica and Andy Guideshop. This favorite children’s clothing brand also hosts regular events — such as music classes, dance classes and storytimes — at its Lincoln Park Guideshop. With a wide selection of classes during the week, this is a great option to visit for a quick song and dance break — and maybe pick up a new spring outfit while you’re there.
Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo. A lesser-known area of the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo is a kid-friendly, indoor space that includes a treetop canopy climbing adventure. Little ones can climb into the treetops that are meant to mimic a tree canopy. If the weather is nice, extend the afternoon by exploring the rest of the museum.
Waterlemon. Located in La Grange, Waterlemon is a one-of-a-kind play place-boutique-cafe hybrid. Relax with an almond milk latte while the kids explore the tree-house inspired play kitchen, set up a pretend campfire and work out their pent-up energy on the trampoline.
Ball Factory. This Naperville-based indoor playground includes play structures, slides, pedal tractors, obstacles, a ball pit, an imagination playground and more. Little ones (under 42”) can enjoy the parent and tot open concept gated play area, filled with padded cushions, balls and soft lego blocks. While the kids play, parents can take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and relax on the comfy sofas.
Little Beans. Parents come to this Evanston staple for the ambiance and specialty coffee drinks, while kids play, learn and create in the indoor play area. After an afternoon of imaginative fun, stay for some healthy and delicious cafe fare for dinner.
Chicago TreeHouse. Lake Zurich is home to this 7,700-square foot indoor playground that lets kids enjoy a multi-level climbing structure, enclosed slides, swings, a soft basketball court and more. As an “unplugged” zone for kids, there are no electronics, flashing lights or arcade games — all play experiences encourage them to stay active and use their imagination. Parents can enjoy the comfortable leather seating, while sipping a gourmet coffee drink and using the free Wi-Fi (with kids always in view!).
Whimsy Play. This Buffalo Grove play space calls itself “a kids’ indoor playground with foodie aspirations”. It is designed around staying active and creative play. Kids can expand their imaginations in the individual play stations, such as a construction zone, hair salon, market and cafe. Before leaving, enjoy a freshly-made panini or cheese plate to return home with full bellies.
As National Pizza Day approaches (mark your calendars for Saturday, February 9!), we must share our favorite local pizza spots. From deep dish to pizza cooked in a coal-fire oven, we’re dishing on some of the best slices in our favorite town, Chicago.
No matter how you slice Chicago-style (see what we did there?), Bartoli’s is serving it up hot and fresh. They have original deep dish that is layered with cheese, fresh toppings, and crust with the perfect amount of doughiness and crispiness. Plot twist, they have a Chicago-style THIN crust, too. Again, layered with the freshest and most delicious toppings, this pie is light and crisp. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, Bartoli’s has you covered through thick and thin.
While Chicago is known for deep dish, this thin crust pizza will offer you a whole new outlook on crust. Their cooking method comes straight from the name. Coalfire’s thin crust pizza is cooked inside a 1,500-degree oven powered by coal. The result is a bubbly, slightly charred, bursting with flavor pie. With over 15 specialty pizzas (including vegan options) and the option to build your own creation, there is no shortage of deliciousness for anyone.
Delicious creativity at its finest. It is clear Dimo’s looks at pizza like a blank canvas to create something unique and tasty. ‘The Classics’ section houses the usual suspects, but you can also enter a world where mac and cheese adorns pizza, or a world where pulled pork and spicy ranch happily create the ‘Dad Bod.’ (By the way, we’ve only scratched the surface on toppings). With over eight veganized pizza options, no one is left out of devouring these masterpieces.
Serving up wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza, Parlor creates these delectable pies with seasonal and local ingredients. Such unique ‘zas include Eggs Benedict (in pizza form, of course), Burrata Be Kidding Me, and Chorizo & Potato. With a menu that rotates seasonally, you’ll always have a slice to excite your taste buds.
Just when you thought Chicago deep dish couldn’t possibly get any better, Pequod’s added a caramelized cheese crust. They started serving up their irresistible, pan-style version of the Chi-town classic back in 1970. To say locals have taken notice would be an understatement. This heavily awarded spot has claims to fame such as “#1 Best Pizza in Illinois” by NBC Chicago and one of Food Network’s “Top 5 pizzas in America”. Drop in their city or suburb location to try out the cheesy greatness for yourself.
If authentic, Southern Italian style pizza is what you’re craving, look no further than Pompei. A family business located right on Taylor Street (in the Italian Cuisine mecca of Chicago), this spot serves up square Napolitano-style pizza, exactly the way Grandpa Luigi intended. Pompei has 20 signature pizza options out for display daily, along with 12 unique ‘Pizza Strudel’ flavors for those looking to step out of the box (or pizza box, that is). You can’t get much more authentic than that.