When the weather is good for outdoor browsing, what better place to spend the day than on Chicago’s trendy West Division Street? With a hip strip of boutiques and trendy eateries, this area known as Bucktown is becoming quite a popular hangout. Even moms with strollers are in tow are among the crowd.
A perfect day starts with a great brunch spot- Milk and Honey, a quaint yet eclectic eatery and popular “mom spot” according to Jolyn Boland, a Bucktown local who says you’re likely to see plenty of moms with their children there during the week. After filling up on gourmet sandwiches and jasmine sugar cookies, you’re ready to roll.
A leisurely walk down the shop-lined strip is always nice, however, who can resist the chic display in the windows of boutiques like Noir or Pump Shoes and Accessories? Moderately priced and making bold, unique fashion statements, these shops keep mamas looking hot. And it’s not uncommon to see strollers emerging from fitting rooms. Who says you have to lose the sexy just because you have a baby?
To keep your kids looking just as fashionable, check out some of the children’s boutiques like Sole Babies where you’ll find designer brands ranging from Nike to Ralph Lauren. If you stop in Goldilocks & Gremlins, you’re not only in for kids’ clothes, but maybe even a themed birthday party depending on when you show up.
Whether shopping or just traipsing about, there are plenty of places to stop and refuel on West Division Street. Both moms and kids will love the array of elaborately shaped decorated cakes in the window of Alliance Bakery. The red velvet cupcakes are to die for but there are more than enough sweets to meet the needs of everyone’s sweet tooth. If you’re not up for pasteries, try an exotic hot chocolate like White Chocolate Almond at Coco Rouge, a contemporary coco lounge. From exotic truffles to beverages, it’s a chocoholic’s paradise.
After getting a bit of delicious, moms and their kids can head over to Beadniks, a store with beads galore. As one of the few stores open until nine in the evening, it’s a place for making jewelry in a zen-like atmosphere. It’s easy to get your creative juices flowing after browsing the myriad of jewelry designs and zillions of beads. With a patient staff ready to assist, before long you and the kids will be stringing together your own custom made pieces. With the Christmas season coming up, this is a perfect place to help the children make their own gifts.
To top off the evening, there are plenty of places to dine that are child friendly. It’s always nice to do sushi with the kids without the glare, right? At Aki Sushi, the whole family is welcome. This cozy sushi bar has an excellent menu and attentive staff. The kids will get a kick out of the real pond loaded with colorful fish. “It’s common to see children in the evenings with their families,” says waitress, Lili Park. “The area is not only child friendly, but dog friendly too.”
Just because you have a child doesn’t mean you’re banished to the mall and have to completely lay down your love for the “chi-chi-foo-foo”. After a walk-about day with a variety of good shops and good food-all moderately priced on Bucktown’s West Division Street, you can’t help but feel content. Most moms would agree that shopping getaways are nice alone, but it helps to know that one of Chicago’s up and coming hot spots welcomes the ladies with their little ones.
What & Where:
Pump-Shoes & Accessories (1659 W. Division St; 773-384-6750)
Sole Babies (2033 W. Division St; 773-342-7653)
Milk & Honey Café (1920 W Division St; 773-395-9434)
Noir (1726 W. Division St; 773-572-6084)
Goldilocks & Gremlins (1905 W. Division St; 773-252-5055)
Alliance Bakery (1736 W. Division St; 773-278-0366)
Aki Sushi – Fusion Sushi Bar (2015 W. Division St; 773-227-8080)
Coco Rouge (1940 W. Division St; 773-772-2626)
Beadniks (1937 W Division St; 773-276-2323)
Nikki Smith has been freelance writing for over 4 years. Documenting her vacations overseas to friends awakened a dormant passion to write. A contributor on Igougo.com, a travel writing website, she’s also been published on Blackenterprise.com and US Express. Nikki resides in Chicago with her 10 month old son, Brian.