Usually the promise of a cool treat with loads of toppings is enough to get a kid motivated to go to a frozen yogurt joint. Imagine their delight when you tell them the newest froyo spot in town also has an entire playroom for kids that’s stocked with games, toys and art supplies. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Froyo Chicago, which just opened in the Southport Corridor.

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Yo, Check it Out!
This is the second location of the family-owned Froyo Chicago (the first opened over the summer downtown). It’s the only froyo shop in the city to have a kids’ Fun Zone, which features many of the attractions of a full-blown play space on a smaller, more manageable scale.

Serve your own froyo and add your own toppings in the main cafe area. Froyo Chicago is the first organic frozen yogurt shop in Chicago and puts fresh, healthy choices forward. While Mom or Dad chill out in the main lounge — there is plenty of sunlight there, plus plush leather club seats — the kids can head to a separate enclosed area where fun waits.

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Play, Play & Play Some More
The Fun Zone makes this place a draw for moms groups looking for a spot to talk while the kids goof off. It’s enclosed, but has a cafe-facing window wall, so you can keep an eye on things from your seat. There’s no mistaking which room your child should head to; it lures with a hot-pink color scheme, pint-sized furniture and big art table. There, tots can draw and color ’til their hearts are content, and even doodle with chalk on a huge blackboard wall.

There are books and games — many of them Chicago-themed — as well as a TV that plays Disney movies and kid-friendly educational shows. Occasionally there will be special crafts to make, and they will be tied into holidays or the season (expect a create-your-own paper turkey project soon).

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Oh, That Froyo
Froyo Chicago’s mission is to offer families healthy choices and, with that, all options are gluten free and vegan. A lot of the froyo flavors are fat free, with no sugar added. The shop worked with a nutritionist to come up with the varied menu, which includes more than 80 rotating froyo flavors (everything from apple pie to salted caramel corn) and create-your-own smoothies. The toppings bar is just as diverse; graze Goji berries, chia seeds, spirulina, açai berries and all the usual favorites.

Pop by for breakfast; the menu includes self-serve organic steel-cut oatmeal and quinoa in the raw. You choose what goes in — it could be anything from dates to raisins to brown sugar. There are also baked goods, Metropolis coffee, artisan teas from Octavia Tea Company, and vegan hot chocolate with almond milk.

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Extra Perks
Once the shop really gets rolling, it will host recurring activities, like story times, singalongs and guided art projects; keep your eyes on the Facebook page for updates. The Fun Zone can also be booked for birthday parties. Also of interest: a dedicated breastfeeding area just outside the Fun Zone.

You may not have imagined that a frozen yogurt spot would be your go-to winter hangout. But it has all the makings of a warm and welcoming refuge — even if you’re spooning up a chilly treat.

Froyo Chicago
3746 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
Online: froyochicago.com

What do you think of this new local hotspot? Let us know in the Comments!

— Kelly Aiglon

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photos: courtesy of Froyo Chicago (that’s kindie rock musician Mr. Singer in the top pic — he rocked the opening party!)