Best of 2018: Kids

Best of 2018: Kids (Steve & Kate's Camp)

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:

North Suburban YMCA Best of 2018 Ad

Best Day Camp (City)

Steve & Kate’s Camp

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


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

JCC Camp Chi

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)

Present Place

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)

Little Beans Café

430 Asbury Ave., Evanston, 847-807-3731

Best of 2018: Kids (Little Beans Cafe)
Photo courtesy of Little Beans Cafe.

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)

Half Pint Shop

3756 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago

Best of 2018: Kids (Half Pint Shop)
Photo by Sydney Walters.

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

Best of 2018: Kids (Peek-a-Boutique)
Photo courtesy of Peek-a-Boutique.

Style your little one with adorable clothing from Peek-a-Boutique.

Best Kids’/Family Photographer (City)

Wildwood Photography

3726 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, 872-802-0194

Best of 2018: Kids (Wildwood Photography)
Photo courtesy of Wildwood Photography.

No matter the occasion, our readers trust Wildwood Photography to capture their memories.

Best Kids’/Family Photographer (Suburbs)

Julie Kaplan Photography


Best of 2018: Kids (Julie Kaplan Photography)
Photo courtesy of Julie Kaplan Photography.

Dedicated to producing beautiful photos of kids and families, Julie Kaplan Photography wins for best kids’/family photographer.

Best Kids’ Haircut (City)

Snippet’s Mini Cuts

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)

Maggie Daley Park

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)

Penny Park

1500 Lake St., Evanston

Village Green Park

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)

Goldfish Swim School

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)

North Suburban YMCA

2705 Techny Road, Northbrook, 847-272-7250

Best of 2018: Kids (North Suburban YMCA)
Photo courtesy of North Suburban YMCA.

Get your child comfortable in the water with the highly qualified instructors at the North Suburban YMCA.

Best Toy Store (City)

Play Logan Square

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)

Becky & Me Toys

620 Grove St., Evanston, 847-492-1030

Best of 2018: Kids (Becky & Me Toys)
Photo courtesy of Becky & Me Toys.

This family-owned shop sells toys that are handpicked by the two owners to ensure the highest quality of playtime possible.

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