In a city as vibrant as Chicago, making everyday decisions — where to order dinner, get a haircut, push your kids on the swings — can feel downright dizzying. Enter our (eighth annual!) Best Of awards: You shared your favorite spaces and places, we tallied the votes, and together we’ll celebrate all that makes our beloved communities shine.
Here are the Best of 2018: Kids winners:
Best Day Camp (City)
Lakeview: 3730 N. Oakley Ave., Chicago, 773-219-0133; Lincoln Park: 2625 N. Orchard St., Chicago, 773-219-0332; West Loop: 1340 W. Harrison St., Chicago, 773-219-0496
With endless opportunities for campers to explore their interests, Steve & Kate’s wins best of the best when it comes to day camp.
Best Day Camp (Suburbs)
JCC Chicago’s Apachi J Camps were voted the winner for the fun activities and passion for making camp feel like a home away from home.
Best Overnight Camp
Lake Delton, Wisconsin, 847-763-3551
Committed to fostering an inclusive and fun environment, JCC Camp Chi is the top pick when it comes to overnight camps.
Best Indoor Play Space (City)
3701 N. Ravenswood Ave. #247-248, Chicago, 773-697-7552
A space that fosters fun and creativity for little ones and relaxation for parents, Present Place is the top pick for best indoor play space.
Best Indoor Play Space (Suburbs)
430 Asbury Ave., Evanston, 847-807-3731
A play space set up like a miniature town entertains the kids, while a cafe with coffee and food entertains the parents.
Best Kids’ Clothing (City)
3756 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
Get the cutest outfits from Half Pint Shop, which offers clothing for babies, toddlers, and mommies.
Best Kids’ Clothing (Suburbs)
2750 Dundee Road, Suite 6, Northbrook, 847-272-7133
Style your little one with adorable clothing from Peek-a-Boutique.
Best Kids’/Family Photographer (City)
3726 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, 872-802-0194
No matter the occasion, our readers trust Wildwood Photography to capture their memories.
Best Kids’/Family Photographer (Suburbs)
Dedicated to producing beautiful photos of kids and families, Julie Kaplan Photography wins for best kids’/family photographer.
Best Kids’ Haircut (City)
1251 W. Madison, Chicago, 312-929-3344; 2154 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-755-1000; 3724 N. Southport, Chicago, 773-327-6000
This adorable kids’ salon has different themes that make going to get a haircut an exciting adventure rather than a boring chore.
Best Kids’ Haircut (Suburbs)
Turn haircuts into a fun outing at KidSnips, which was voted by our readers as the best kids’ haircut location.
Best Park/Playground (City)
337 E. Randolph St., Chicago, 312-552-3000
Enjoy the beautiful summer weather at this voter-favorite park and playground.
Best Park/Playground (Suburbs) (Tie)
1500 Lake St., Evanston
Shermer Road and Meadow Road, Northbrook
In a tie, both Penny Park and Village Green Park won our readers’ votes for their beautiful landscape and fun playgrounds.
Best Swim School (City)
1930 W. Hubbard, Chicago, 773-657-5918; 2630 W. Bradley Road, Chicago, 773-530-3826
Loved by our readers for its comprehensive program, Goldfish wins best swim school in the city.
Best Swim School (Suburbs)
2705 Techny Road, Northbrook, 847-272-7250
Get your child comfortable in the water with the highly qualified instructors at the North Suburban YMCA.
Best Toy Store (City)
3109 W. Logan Blvd., Chicago, 773-227-6504
Devoted to making life more playful, Play Logan Square offers toys that will make family time and playtime way more fun.
Best Toy Store (Suburbs)
620 Grove St., Evanston, 847-492-1030
This family-owned shop sells toys that are handpicked by the two owners to ensure the highest quality of playtime possible.