Babies in the Loop

Updated on September 17, 2010
J.L. asks from Houston, TX
11 answers

Hi there,

I've just moved from the UK into the Loop (60601) for a couple of months with a bouncing 6 month old and I'm looking for some clues on where to hang out (either in the loop or nearish?) So, here is what I'm looking for...can you help?

1. Nice independent cafes that possibly does delicious cake etc
2. Mom & baby Yoga
3. Good local swimming pool where I can take Louis (i noticed tiny tots swimming group but it said from 18 months!?)
4. Any reading groups/storytime
5. Music Groups
6. Places other than craigslist where I can buy good second hand baby stuff
7. Any other baby stuff / groups that is generally free or cool?!

I hope you can help; we've only been here for a couple of days so far and Chicago looks fantastic, Good times!

Thanks in advance!

J. & Louis

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So What Happened?

Brilliant stuff ladies, thanks so much for this. I'll get my research cap on today and see what we can sign up for!

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answers from Chicago on

you could also join NPN--it's an online community with mainly a local membership
I found a short-term nanny on the site, and there are a lot of discussion groups that you can look at. It does have an annual fee, but I think $45 isn't too bad considering what all you can get out of it.
Welcome to Chicago :)

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answers from Chicago on


Welcome to Chicago - I hope you enjoy your stay here. Please check out, which is targeted to moms in the Chicago area looking for things to do and places to go with their kids. You'll find an Events Calendar to search by a particular day, an Ongoing Activities Section full of museums, nature centers, and other fun indoor/outdoor places; and many specialty guides that direct you to seasonal or topical things (like Indoor Play Areas). If you become a member of kidwinks, which is free, you can then sort any of the search result lists by distance from your house. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Family Activities Guide, and you'll get an email each Monday morning with hand-picked activities for the upcoming week, including a link for area storytimes, open play times, free museum days, and free kids events.

Hope this helps!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Welcome to the US! Check out the Lakeshore Athletic Club in Lincoln Park on Fullerton Ave. They have a great "training" pool for kids, it's a warm water pool and they offer a Mommy and Me class. Enjoy!



answers from Chicago on

I don't know that there's much in your area for babies. Hopefully others will chime in about nearby areas (River North, Streeterville, Gold Coast).

I did want to recommend It's a great community of moms in Chicago and a resource for just about everything.

I also just learned about this sale - - it's not far from you.

If you are interested in taking public transportation, all of the things you are looking for are in the Lakeview (take buses 145 or 146 or the redline to Belmont), Southport (take the brown line El to the Southport stop), and Roscoe Village (take the brown line El to the Paulina or Addison stops) neighborhood. I'm sure others on NPN can suggest places that are closer though.

Welcome - it's a great city!



answers from Chicago on

I want to second the recommendation for, that is really the best way to find groups with similar interests. Also check out the Chicago Park District site and their "programs"--there are tons of listings, and most of them are very cheap! If you visit the Harold Washington Library downtown I'm sure they have a story time and also TONS of information on other children's activities going on. I"m sure you'll get connected in no time, don't worry. good luck!



answers from Chicago on

- The Local Public Library will have story hour / activities
- Book stores (Barnes and Noble or Borders) will have a good children's area / story hour
- Lincoln Park Zoo (Farm) has a free story hour (lots of music too) twice a week
- Parents Magazine (pick up a paper copy or on-line) has goog suggestions
- Old Town School of Folk Music, Gymboree, My Little Gym
- Park District offers many programs

Have fun and good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Bloom Yoga Studio has good mom & baby yoga classes.

While at the library, you can also check out passes to local museums including the Shedd & the Field Museum. Most museums offer free days as well.

My son really enjoyed Music Together classes which are offered around the city in many neighborhoods. At 4 yrs old, an completely out of the blue, he'll start singing a song he learned in class as a 1.5 yr old!



answers from Chicago on

Check out if you want to find some other parents/babies in your area. There are some good groups with lots to do - Big City Babies, Chicago SAHM, etc. - and there might even been some groups in the loop.

You just missed park district sign-up, and things fill up crazy quick (I'm talking within minutes of signup starting), but the classes are dirt cheap. Keep an eye out for the next session. However, various park district pools have open parent/baby swims, so look online at the schedule for those.

I live in Lincoln Square, and many people like the Wiggleworms music classes at Old Town School of Music.

Sign up for freecycle if you'd be interested in secondhand stuff for free.

Welcome to the city!


answers from Chicago on

Check out, a free weekly newsletter of family friendly events, classes, etc. in Chicago.

Also, I live in the South Loop and I can not say enough great things about Music Together at Sherwood Conservatory at 13th & Michigan.

Welcome to the Loop! :)



answers from Chicago on

Check the Chicago Park District web site for many of these things. I would walk around your neighborhood for independent cafes, I don't know where 60601, there are so many bakeries, cafes around. I did swim lessons when my child was 2 years old at the YMCA in Lakeview, again, check Chicago Park District but UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) has a parent-tot swim class. Reading groups - Harold Washington Library has story-time for little kids. Music groups - we LOVED Wiggleworms at the Old Town School of Music on Armitage(Lincoln Park or another location too) or Columbia College also has classes for little kids in the South Loop.
There is a place to buy/sell used baby stuff but I can't recall the name and it is a bit of a distance. Craigslist or Ebay has been good for me to sell stuff.
I know there is a South Loop parent group but I don't know the website.
Since your child is young, you may want to check out the Northwestern Memorial Hosptial- Prentice Hospital, I took classes there when my child was young and I recall there was a yoga class and it is a great way to meet new moms. Gymboree also has music and gymnasatic classes - there is one in the South Loop and one on North Avenue.
If you look in the city of Chicago special events or something like this it shows many free events.
Hope that helps. Enjoys Chicago.



answers from Chicago on

I live in suburbia now, so I can't help with many of your questions, but I do have a number of second-hand baby things that I am looking to sell at very reasonable prices. My youngest (and last) daughter is now 17 months old, so I have no need for many of her infant things (ie, high chair, exersaucer, playmat, bouncy seat, etc). If you are interested in some of it, message me and we can talk more. The items are being stored in the city (Bridgeport neighborhood), so coordinating pick-up could be quite easy.


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