Just in time for summer picnics, playground romps and being in a sunny state of mind, a store has opened that celebrates exactly those things. Get ready to frolic, because Peek … Aren’t You Curious? has come to Bucktown. Already celebrated at its locations in the north and west suburbs, Peek sells clothes that make you smile. The colors are bright, the patterns are playful, and the vibe is as relaxed as a spontaneous game of hopscotch.

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The Shop
Peek got started in San Francisco in 2006, where everything continues to be designed and manufactured, and has since spread its wings across the country. It sells clothing, accessories, shoes and gifts for girls, boys and babies, ages 0-12. This is the first location in Chicago, and it’s breezing in with a California look and feel. The store’s layout is clean and simple, with walnut picnic tables and vintage furnishings. It’s a sophisticated little spot, but doesn’t feel overly chichi — just check out the monkey bars affixed to the floor and snappy quotes on the wall.

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The Goods
Peek’s clothes are made for kiddos, but have a wink of nostalgia that makes adults melt, too. It’s best known for boys’ and girls’ tees with funny and inspiring messages (think “Beach Day” and “Let’s Wrestle”); they start at $28. You’ll also find lots of colorful patterns including Liberty-print and Indian block-print skirts, tops and dresses starting at $48. Because these are clothes fit for the sleep-eat-play routine, everything is comfy enough for kicking around the neighborhood park, especially the dungarees (starting at $39.50) that are softer than everyday jeans.

For babies, there’s the Little Peanut Baby seasonal collections, which mirror cute big-kid styles; and Little Peanut Baby Essentials, a go-to line made of pure Supima cotton. Gifts — including books, plush toys, art supplies and games — round things out. To make shopping easy, everything is arranged in vignettes, with displays of pairing options.

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The Awesome Factor
To combat antsy-kid syndrome, Peek hides a few surprises. There are oversized glass jars filled with free toys and treats to keep little shoppers happy. If you don’t feel like braving a shopping excursion with your kiddo in tow, ask the employees to do personal shopping for you; just tell them what you need and they’ll pick out something fitting. They also offer gift wrapping and a Peek Kids’ Birthday Club, which offers a discount for the month of the child’s birthday, a birthday card and special gift when you come in during your birthday month.

This is an adorable shop that adds even more flavor to the neighborhood. We bet you’ll duck in for more than just a peek.

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Peek … Aren’t You Curious
1723 N. Damen Ave.
Bucktown
773-649-4810
Online: peekkids.com
Open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-5:30 p.m.

What do you think of the new Peek store? Let us know in the Comments!

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— Kelly Aiglon