You know Duck Duck Goose as the head-tapping chase game that makes kids giddy. Now get to know another Duck Duck Goose — the new Bucktown playspace that’s also likely to make little ones squeal with delight. It’s open for drop-in play and parties, welcoming all (particularly those ages 0-4) with toys, puzzles and even a ball pit and climb-on school bus.

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The Scoop
Local mom Mariel Salgado opened Duck Duck Goose as a place where young kids could play and learn alongside their parents or caregivers. When the grownups need a break, they can kick back in the cafe, situated in the same room. This spot isn’t as big as the other playspaces in town, however that’s to everyone’s advantage because it’s targeted to little ones that you might not want far from sight.

The room has a fresh, romping-through-summer feel. One wall is painted grass green and sky blue and features colorful decals of outdoor adventures (a boy blowing bubbles, a girl flying a kite). Up front near the cafe is a special gated area with a padded floor, where babies can play safely. The rest of the space is arranged by theme area. There’s an art corner, book nook, dress-up zone, play kitchen and a small fleet of ride-on cars.

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Toys, a Ball Pit & a Big School Bus
Throughout this oasis, you’ll find developmental playthings, ranging from sorting toys to puzzles to small drums. When kids really want to put those arms and legs to work, they can scoot into circus tent that contains a ball pit or climb aboard the big wooden school bus (it has a slide and deck).

There’s also a wall chalkboard for doodling and a kitchen/grocery stand for those that love pretend play. When it’s time to unwind, retreat to the corner and nest in the small sofa, lounge chair or hanging hammock — perfect for snuggling up with a book.

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The Cafe
Chairs and tables are scattered throughout the play area so parents can stay close to their kids. You can order coffee and tea, and there are snacks for sale, too. Anyone is welcome to bring their own food.

Parties & Story Time
Parties range from $150, which allows you semi-private use of the space for an hour-and-a-half; to $875, a full-service three-hour shindig including food stations, a bounce house, bubble machine, favors, decorations and more. Once a week, for all guests, there will be story times and arts and crafts workshops. Also happening regularly (keep your eye on the Facebook page for updates) are special bounce house and bubbles hours.

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Plan Your Visit
Duck Duck Goose is open for drop-in play Mon.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Weekends are reserved for parties, but if none are scheduled, it will be open Sat., 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Admission is $12/child; $10 for the first sibling; other siblings and non-crawlers are free.

This summer, there will be drop-off camp for toddlers (2 ½-4 years) with the option of 1-3 days per week from 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The camp features music, art, story time, a light snack and free play. One-day camps are $25; two-day camps are $45; three-day camps are $65.

Have a blast romping around this new spot!

Duck Duck Goose
1727 N. Western Ave.
Bucktown
773-360-8240
Online: duckduckgooseplayground.com

What do you think of this just-opened playspace? Let us know in the Comments!

— Kelly Aiglon