There are more and more Chicago-centric apps out there — which means family outings (like playground visits!) are more fun and everyday stuff (like finding parking!) is less hassle. We sifted through them to give you the 12 must-haves, including ones that help you park, pay your dinner bill and even find a potty. Flip through our photo album for the scoop.

Playground Pointers

Sure, your local park is nice, but you can’t help the serious swing envy you get while driving past others around town. This ingenious app created by a fellow Chicago mom puts practically all of them at your fingertips, cataloging over a whopping 600 playgrounds across the city and ‘burbs. More than 400 of those have listings chock-full of details and photos, with specs like whether there’s enough shade or if there’s a splash pad, and listing nearby spots in photo format so you can easily scan. You can even set up playdates through the app via text or email to connect with other parents. $1.99. For iPhone & iPad. Download the app here.

What is your family’s must-have app? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Selena Kohng

photo: Jenny Downing via flickr