A little North Side/South Side rivalry is to be expected in Chicago. And, we must say, the South is rising these days. With more families and kid-friendly hotspots than ever before, it’s a place parents want to be … and not just for Bears game tailgating. Here are the telltale signs that you’re living, loving and raising kids in the South Loop.

1. Grant Park is your backyard. Your very big, very green, very world-famous backyard.


photo: Ken Lund via flickr

2. You take casual and frequent trips to Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium, where your kids can expertly navigate the kids’ areas. And, you have family memberships for all three.

John G. Shedd Aquarium

 photo: Shedd Aquarium

3. You keep sand toys in your stroller just in case you want to splash around at 12th Street Beach after visiting the Planetarium.


photo: Steve Jurvetson via flickr

4. All those play dates you set up? You met the parents in a Music Together class at Sherwood School of Music.

Sherwood Community Music School

photo: Sherwood School of Music

5. You plan your weekends around Soldier Field football game days and concerts. And your kids think it’s totally normal to have a weekly procession of drunk Bears fans or teenage concertgoers on the sidewalks near home.


photo: Jim Larrison via flickr

6. Car? What car? You don’t need one because you can get anywhere with the three train lines and five bus routes that run through the neighborhood.


photo: wisley via flickr

7. Sod Room and the indoor play space at Chicago Women’s Park are your winter playgrounds.


photo: Sod Room / TK Photography

8. You are constantly excited by the many shops and restaurants moving into the neighborhood, and Roosevelt Collection is quickly becoming your hangout for shopping and play time.


photo: Roosevelt Collection

9. Family-friendly Weather Mark Tavern is your “Cheers” every Friday night for the fish fry and balloons.


photo: Weather Mark Tavern via Southside S on Yelp

10. You have so many parks to choose from, you could go “park hopping.” And you know all of those parks by two names: Train Park = Coliseum Park, Circle Park = Daniel Webster Park, Sandbox Park = Cottontail Park, Mary Richardson Park = School Park.


photo: Coliseum Park via RL M. on Yelp

What do YOU think is a sign of being a parent in the South Loop? Let us know in the Comments!

— Story by the fun folks at NPN (Neighborhood Parents Network)

Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN) has been connecting a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city for 35 years! NPN is essential for all expecting, new and seasoned parents.