Best of 2020: Kids


Your kiddos will learn valuable life skills and have tons of fun at these top Chicago-area businesses.

Best Kids Clothing (City):
The Red Balloon

1940 N Damen Ave.

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Kiddos outgrown everything in their closet? This Chicago favorite has the coolest clothes for babies, kids and tweens.

Best Kids Clothing (Suburbs):
Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony

1901 Central St., Evanston

From tops and dresses to coats and PJs, you’ll find fun and funky items for kids ages 0-12 here.

Best Toy Store (City):
Building Blocks

Various: Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park

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From trains to science kits, this Lakeview shop has a curated selection of the best toys on the market.

Best Toy Store (Suburbs):
Becky & Me Toys

620 Grove St., Evanston

For the sixth year in a row, you have named this toy store, which “is committed to encouraging play that is active and creative, and that is focused on the concerns, ideas and interests of children,” the best of the best.

Best Kids Haircut:


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Make your child’s haircut experience fun with a visit to this salon featuring video games and car-shaped cutting chairs. 

Best Kids/Family Photographer (City):
Wildwood Photography

2138 W Roscoe St.

This repeat winner is all about capturing those precious, fleeting moments your family will treasure for years to come.

Best Kids/Family Photographer (Suburbs):
Julie Kaplan Photography

1201 Cambridge Ct., Highland Park

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From newborn sessions to senior portraits, Julie Kaplan will capture all the stages of your child’s life.

Best Swim School (City):
Big Blue Swim School

4207 N Western Ave.

With full-time swim teachers, a 3:1 swimmer-to-teacher ratio and time-saving flexibility in scheduling, Big Blue Swim School makes it easy for the busy parent and fun for kids to learn.

Best Swim School (Suburbs):
Goldfish Swim School

3101 Dundee Rd., Northbrook

Goldfish’s The Science of SwimPlay® philosophy builds life skills (both in the water and out). The school is also committed to a max 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio, offers flexible class times, and features a shiver-free 90-degree pool.

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