My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Andersonville

Written by: Robin Brannigan

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:  Andersonville with Robin - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

After living in Wrigleyville for 6 years, I moved to Maryland for love.  My husband and I moved back to Chicago about 5 years ago settling in Andersonville.  When living in Wrigleyville, I thought any thing north of Irving Park was considered the suburbs.  Was my love of city living ending?  Not in Andersonville!  I love all the great restaurants, easy access to public transportation, and the awesome fun activities within walking distance.

Winnemac Park is our top hang out spot for the playground, park district activities, movies in the park, and watching the many sports being played.  My son loves watching the high school football and baseball games.  It's a great way to show him the sports without paying for a ticket.  Chase Park offers a great play ground and track for stroller runs.  The Andersonville Play Lot on Clark doesn't look like much, but is a great spot on Sundays to stop after a walk to Starbucks to enjoy your coffee and scone while the kids play.

There are awesome breakfast places to take the kiddos, Pauline's on Ravenswood & Balmoral offers lots of seating and a great outdoor patio.  m.henery on Clark has the best pancakes in town or Over Easy on Damen for it's banana split french toast.  If you're not looking for a sit down breakfast, pick up a pastry from the Swedish Bakery then the best cut of coffee at The Coffee Studio.

If you are looking for a fun girls night out try HamBingo on Monday nights at Hamburger Mary's.  The table top s'mores will keep you coming back for dinner with the kids.  Anteprima offers a great outdoor patio for date nights out.  You can't beat Calo Restaurant for dinner with the kids or pizza night at home.  The new Lady Gregory's offer a great kids menu and can make anything gluten free.  You can't go to Andersonville and not get a scoop from George's Ice Cream and Sweets.

During the week my son loves going to story time at Women & Children First book store, or Toys Et Cetera for their in store Jam Express Band where the kids get to play instruments along with the band.  Head up to Chicago Aquarium to let the kids watch all the fish. 

In the summer there is a great farmer's market on Wednesday nights. Or take the Metra from the Lawrence stop up to Ravinia for the kids concerts on the weekends.  In the fall you don't want to miss Dessert Crawl, it's trick or treating for adults.  Gethsemane Garden Center offers a great Halloween Fest for the kids. 

With so much to offer, Andersonville is the perfect place for me and my family!  Come take a stroll along Clark street and see for yourself!

        Insider tips to kid-sized Chicago:  Great tips.  We love George’s Ice Cream too.  In addition to fabulous ice cream, they have a private room in the back you can rent for parties.  Also, don’t miss The Midnight Circus at Chase Park this Fall.  Here are a few more family-friendly places to eat, shop and play with the wee ones in Andersonville:

Big Jones(5347 N. Clark) has delicious food (contemporary southern coastal cuisine), takes brunch reservations and kids eat FREE daily from 4-6pm.  What’s not to love? 

The Red Balloon(5407 N. Clark) is one of my favorite kid’s clothing stores.  They are known for their initial tees, but I also love their small, but adorable shoe collection. They also have a Shop For Schoolsprogram, where they donate a portion of your purchases to your child’s school.

Green Genes(5111 N. Clark) carries a great selection of eco-friendly toys, clothes and baby accessories. They offer free gift-wrapping, and have a cute little corner beside the register with a kitchen and other toys to keep your little one busy while you shop.

Alamo Shoes(5321 N. Clark) has been serving Chicago families for more than 30 years.  They have a surprisingly large selection of kids' shoes, especially Robeez, Merrell and athletic shoes. They also carry a small selection of dress shoes. Don’t forget your free balloon!

Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration(5211 N. Clark) is located on the 3rd floor of the Swedish American Museum, and is a wonderful place to play and learn for toddler through young school age kids. They also host classes, special events and birthday parties.

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

Posted on August 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM