With their funky vibe, cool art scene, great parks, and the 606 trail, there’s no shortage of things to do in the sister neighborhoods of Bucktown and Wicker Park in Chicago. From the trail to the treats, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly places the whole family will enjoy. We’re talking some of the best burgers in town, one-of-a-kind murals, indoor play spaces, an elevated train trail, and more — all in one area of Chicago.
If you’re looking for more local adventures, check out our 100 Things To Do in Chicago with Kids post and the Mommy Poppins Travel Section.
Parks and Outdoor Recreation for Kids in Bucktown/Wicker Park
The 606, also known as the Bloomingdale Trail, is one of the best things to do with kids in Bucktown and Wicker Park. It’s bike, scooter, and stroller friendly and it’s also great for walking. The trail also allows kids and families to travel the neighborhoods by bike without being near busy streets. There are several different access points along the 2.7-mile trail from Ashland Avenue through Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square. Hop on and off for coffee, ice cream, parks, and adorable local shops.
The 606, also known as the Bloomingdale Trail - Photo courtesy of 606.org
Wicker Park isn’t just the name of a neighborhood. It’s also the name of the beautiful park located in the heart of Wicker Park/Bucktown. With over 10,000 square feet of garden to explore, a park, a field house, there’s something for everyone at this free gem. There’s even a dog park for the furriest member of your family to stretch their legs.
The Wicker Park fountain in Chicago, photo courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers, Flickr
Holstein Park is a 3-acre green space that includes an Olympic-sized, free, swimming pool, splash pad, field house, park, and sports fields. Whether you’re just in town for the day or you’re a resident looking for kid’s activities, Holstein Park is a great place to play and burn some energy.
Floor Hockey, one of the many fun activities for kids in Holstein Park. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District
Located on the west side of Bucktown, Lucy Flower Park is a little hidden gem. This park is tucked away in the neighborhood but a short walk from the train and busy Armitage Avenue. In the summer months, kids can splash around and enjoy the free watering flower and splash pad.
Kid-Friendly Eats and Treats in Bucktown/Wicker Park
While Wicker Park and Bucktown are known for their nightlife, there are plenty of kid-friendly places to grab a bite to eat or a sweet treat.
Small Cheval is the fast-casual cousin of the famed Au Cheval in the West Loop. This concept features adorable picnic tables inside and out and the best burger in town. The kids will enjoy burgers, fries, and milkshakes while you get to savor your new favorite burger.
Kids will love eating outdoors on picnic tables at Small Cheval. Photo courtesy of Small Cheval
Paradise Park is a whimsical place to grab a slice of pizza. With eclectic outdoor furniture, swings, and flamingos, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into the coolest park/campground in Chicago.
Stan’s Donuts is located right near the intersection of North Avenue, Milwaukee, and Damen. You’ll find classic raised and cake donuts mixed with fun and seasonal flavors. A donut from Stan’s is a great way to kick off a morning in the neighborhood.
Because adults need a pick-me-up too, be sure to stop by Dark Matter for an amazing cup of coffee or espresso drink. This iconic Chicago coffee house pours a cup of coffee that’s sure to give you the boost you need to keep up with the kids on your neighborhood adventure. For kids, you will find a selection of pastries, donuts, and breakfast tacos available while they last.
Piece Brewery is a cool spot for adults that’s also super kid-friendly. With homemade brews and New Haven-style pizza, the whole family will have something delicious to enjoy.
Big Star isn’t your average taco. With specials like walking tacos in a bag of Fritos, these elevated tacos are crave-able. They have an awesome outdoor patio located right next to Wicker Park. For dessert, check out the Pretty Cool Churro made by neighboring Logan Square’s coolest ice cream shop, Pretty Cool Ice Cream.
Photo courtesy of Big Star
Bucktown/Wicker Park Kids Play Spaces
The Purple Monkey Playroom is an awesome indoor play space. On those cold or rainy days, this is a great place to let the kids play and let off some steam. You can also rent it for kid’s birthday parties. You’ll find indoor climbing structures, costumes, toys, a playhouse, and more.
Play spaces are perfect for when bad weather hits Bucktown and Wicker Park. Photo courtesy of the Purple Monkey Playroom
One Strange Bird is an adorable gift shop and kids' party and art space. You can find amazing kid’s gifts, baby gifts, and craft boxes. Shop in the store or stop by for one of their adorable kids’ arts and crafts classes. You can also order subscription boxes for crafts at home. The indoor and outdoor spaces are also available to rent for kid’s parties.
Bubbles Academy offers indoor places spaces, art and music classes, pre-school, and tons of fun for little ones. If you’re not signed up for a class, you can still enjoy the free nature playground during the off-season. Bubbles Academy also rents its spaces for birthday parties and private events.
Bucktown/Wicker Park Murals
Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra painted this Bucktown mural of artist Vivian Maier- photo courtesy of Terrence Faircloth, Flickr
Wicker Park and Bucktown have some of the most amazing murals and public art displays. The concentration is so high, there’s actually an interactive map available here showcasing where you can find them and learn more about the artists. Any budding artist will love this make-your-own adventure mural hunt throughout the neighborhood.
Posing near one of the many neighborhood murals in Bucktown and Wicker Park - photo courtesy of the author