You love being where the action is, and enjoy a little gritty with your city. It pays off: As a Bucktown/Wicker Park parent, you’re always within steps of a cool new restaurant, shop or cafe — and you can take your kiddo along for the ride. Here are 10 signs you’re raising a family there.

1. Your Sunday morning dilemma: Stan’s Donuts or Glazed & Infused? Or both?


photo: Stan’s Donuts via @stevisavage

2. You know summer has officially begun when you can’t get a seat at the picnic tables outside Big Star’s pick-up window, but you can get Italian ice at Miko’s.


photo: Big Star via Ericka A. on Yelp

3. Your hipsters-in-training take art classes at One Strange Bird and Colorwheel, drink hot chocolate made by a barista, and never turn down a vegan treat.


photo: One Strange Bird

4. You remember your summers based on the pool you frequented, starting early at Holstein and graduating to Pulaski.


photo: Holstein Park Pool 

6. You walk your kids to school through the one of the city’s busiest intersections at Damen/North/Milwaukee, side-stepping the street’s remnants of last night’s revelers and avoiding questions about that mystery food someone left in the crosswalk.


photo: North/Damen/Milwaukee

7. You daydream about future stroller walks and bike rides along The 606 (will it ever be done?!).  


photo: The 606

7. You’ve had several conversations about the wait lists at Drummond, Burr, Pritzker, Pulaski and LaSalle II.


photo: Brad Flickenger via flickr

8. Your kids point at strangers with pink hair, body art and unusual piercings and say, “I want that when I grow up.”


photo: Joseph Novak via flickr

9. Your neighbor’s pub crawl is your ice-cream crawl … Letizia’s, Jannick’s Cafe, Starfruit, Forever Yogurt, Red Mango, I-cream … the list goes on.


photo: Forever Yogurt via @maui_k 

10. Your kids like to chase pigeons at the Polish Triangle and get wet with spitting bears at Wicker Park.


photo: Wicker Park via discosour on flickr

What do you think is a sign of being a Bucktown/Wicker Park parent? Let us know in the Comments!

— Story by the fun folks at NPN (Neighborhood Parent 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.