My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Ukranian Village

Written by: Sarah Davis

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  Ukranian Village with Sarah - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

We moved to Ukrainian Village a little over 2 years ago after living in Lincoln Park for many years. My husband and I wanted a neighborhood that was quiet and family friendly for our three kids, ages 5, 3 and 1.  We certainly found it!

One of my favorite things about this area is the people. Our next door neighbors are sisters of the church and couldn’t be more sweet and friendly. On the other side is a family with 3 little kids. There is a mix of old and new and I love that we know most everyone on our street. When we first moved to the neighborhood we were told we would see Ukrainian woman sweeping their porch and it’s true! We love the culture in this little area.

We also love all the food options we have.  My new favorite restaurant that just popped up is Bleeding Heart Bakery and it’s amazing.  They not only serve all the goodies that are on Belmont but it’s also a sit down restaurant. If you go for breakfast, I recommend the Root Veggie Skillet, it’s to die for. We also have Old Oak Tap, a local restaurant and bar (with great “not so barish” food). Roots Pizza just opened and serves fabulous pizza and MANY great beers on tap. They give the kids dough to play with….thank goodness for that! My kids want to go just for the dough!

We also have great parks. Our favorite is Commercial Park on Rice and Wolcott. It’s a new park and was just put up a few years ago. I love that it’s not worn down, is super clean, and has a water area for those hot summer days. We also walk up to Wicker Park in Bucktown. My two oldest kids played soccer there over the summer. Smith Park is also close. They have all of the park district classes, a great playground and a huge field perfect for running around.

If you’re looking for more kid things to do, there is a Westtown Branch of the Chicago Public Library on Ashland and Chicago with an amazing kids section.  While you are on Chicago Avenue, stop and take a horse ride – your kids will love that it’s a fun-filled 10 minute ride and you’ll love that it’s only a quarter!  A staple this summer was also Black Dog Gelato, corner of Iowa and damen. Most unique gelato flavors I’ve ever seen!

Ukrainian Village has it all! I think you get more bang for your buck over here too!


     Insider tips to kid-sized Chicago:  We too love the new Bleeding Heart Bakery.  If you are looking for a gluten free birthday cake that is also yummy, they are just the place.  In addition to the great suggestions above, here are a few more family-friendly places to play, shop and learn with the wee ones in Ukrainian Village:

Bend Yoga & Movement Studio (906 N. Damen Ave.) offers prenatal, mommy and baby, kids yoga and even yoga & dance birthday parties.

Greenheart (1911 W. Division St.) sells eco-friendly and fair trade toys, rattles, books, backpacks, blankets and more.  It’s a great place to pick up a unique and beautifully crafted baby shower or birthday gift.

Dream Dinners (740 N. Damen Ave.) will help you answer the daily question, “What‘s for dinner tonight?”  They offer 17 different dinner selections each month, and in less than an hour you can plan, put together and purchase a month’s worth of dinners.

For more tips on where to go eat, play, learn and shop in Chicago, visit!

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:34 AM