Need somebody to watch your little one while you work? Nannies and babysitters have your back. But if you have a flexible schedule or just need time to tap out a few emails, you’ll be happy to hear about a new phenomenon in Chicago: coworking spaces with childcare. Here’s the scoop on two options that provide you with quiet working space (WiFi included!) and your sidekick with a supervised place to play (toys included!).


photo: Free Range Office

Free Range Office
What It Is: This communal office on the sunny second story of a Wicker Park building has been buzzing for awhile with individuals and teams that need flexible workspace. Now kids can be part of the bargain, too, thanks to the new Working Parents Weekends. With advance sign-up and membership in Free Range Office, parents can set up shop (aka: BYO computer and grab an open desk) while their kids enjoy free play in an adjacent private room. This is a big space with both communal tables, single desks, couches and quiet nooks, so whether you want to network or huddle without distraction, there is a fit for you.

The Perks: Along with free WiFi, Free Range Office provides printers and complimentary coffee and tea. In the kids’ room, there are a variety of toys, including an exer-saucer, puzzles, action figures, blocks and ride-on cars. Caregivers do story time and sing-alongs throughout the day. A gluten- and nut-free snack is passed out to kids, as well.


photo: Free Range Office

Need to Know: Free Range Office is located at 2141 W. North Ave. Working Parents Weekend is offered every Saturday and Sunday in two time slots: 9:30-11:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. There are 10 kids allowed per time slot, with two caregivers available. The age range for kids allowed to participate is 8 weeks to 7 years old. The cost is $35/child per session, and a 15% discount is given for the second child. Families must be members of Free Range Office to participate and membership is $50/year. Good news, Red Tricycle readers: They will waive your membership fee when you use promo code “WPWREDTRI” (valid through November 30, 2014).

Sign Up: Sessions begin on October 25. To register, email and provide your name, ages of your children, and time and date preference. For more information, go to


photo: Collide Coworking

Collide Coworking
What It Is: This is a new, pop-up option for parents that need anywhere from 2-8 hours of work time while their child is occupied. Collide hosts coworking with childcare events on a semi-regular basis across the city, usually at Little Beans Cafe. There is no membership required, but advance signup is necessary. Parents get access to Little Beans’ private lounge, where they can carve out their work space at a communal table and plug into free WiFi. Kids, meanwhile, have the run of the play space, which has no shortage of toys and pretend-play options to explore.

The Perks: Little Beans Cafe is a proven kid hit and the sheer amount of amusements there (a faux fire station, grocery store, train table, soft play area) will keep kids of all ages occupied. If there is a music session or storytime going on while you are coworking, your child is welcome to join in. There are designated caregivers on site to attend to kids participating in Collide — and you can always expect a 1:3 or 1:4 caregiver-to-child ratio. BYO lunch or take advantage of 25% off all treats in the cafe, a deal offered to Collide families during program hours.


photo: Collide Coworking

Need to Know: The next Collide Coworking event is Wednesday, November 19, at Little Beans Cafe (1809 W. Webster Ave. in Lincoln Park), from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You can choose how long to stay, and price is adjusted accordingly: 2 hours for $30/child, 3 hours for $40/child, or 4 hours for $50/child. Ask about a discounted rate for a second child. The age range for kids to participate is 4 months to 6 years. Future events will be scheduled; check online for details.

Sign Up: To register, go to

Where do you go when you need to get a little work done? Let us know in the Comments!

— Kelly Aiglon