Stretch out, strike a pose and think calm, happy thoughts. Then chow down on candy. Sound like a good time? We thought so. Do it all in Lincoln Park, where a kids’ yoga studio and sweets shop have opened in one building.

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Elate Yoga is an oasis specializing in parent-and-me classes for babies through teens and it sits on the second floor of a charming brick building. On the ground level is Sweet Buddha, a modern candy shop stocked with treats that will remind you of your own childhood. Together, they’re the neighborhood’s newest hotspots.

Elate Yoga
Owner Jennifer Mahoney is expecting her own child, which makes the opening of her kid-focused yoga studio all the more special. The space — eco-friendly from its low-VOC paint to energy-saving lights — offers 14 classes every week for babies through teens, and welcomes parents and caregivers to participate.

Elate is an especially inviting place for new moms because of its special set of classes for young ones ages six weeks through toddler. Strollers and slings are welcome; if your child is active you can involve him or her in gentle massage techniques, poses and stretches. If you’d rather go with your own flow, kids may stay in carriers and you can take to the mat.

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For kids ages 2-5, another series of classes focuses on building social, motor and emotional skills. Kids get swept into things with yoga-themed Sesame Street music and props like scarves and feathers (one exercise is to practice breathing techniques and watch the feather flutter). The overall feel is relaxation mixed with active play. That’s not to mention the adorable plush mascot, Nami the Elephant, which is used as a class tool.

A toy-stocked waiting room welcomes moms and siblings who aren’t participating in classes. There are also extras like free story time on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. and Fridays at 3 p.m.; and pre- and post-natal Pilates classes, and Vinyasa and candlelight yoga classes for adults only. Next year, Elate will start hosting movie nights for families.

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Sweet Buddha
Below Elate Yoga, kids stumble into sugar-high paradise. The sweets shop is owned by two moms who are also jewelry designers. They’ve put their heart into creating a whimsical shop, from the bubblegum-pink walls to the paper lanterns that hang from the ceiling.

You’ll find candy, both nostalgic and new (think everything from Wax Lips to Top Pops), and a hefty selection of bulk candy. Bulk sweets are sold in three sizes for $4, $8 and $15; and there are gift jars starting at $10 that you can fill however you please. You’ll also find treats from local chocolatier Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate, from suckers to chocolate-covered Oreos to toffee.

The space can be used for private parties. Chances are you might want to move right in. You can at least pretend to; there’s a huge comfy couch, a stocked refrigerator and a plasma TV.

Home sweet home, indeed.

Elate Yoga & Sweet Buddha
912 W. Armitage Ave.
Lincoln Park
Elate Yoga: 312-772-6459
Sweet Buddha: 312-532-5666

Online at elateyoga.com & facebook.com/sweet-buddha

Have you checked out these new spots? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

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Photos: Courtesy of Elate Yoga and Sweet Buddha