Neighborhood Spotlight: Portage Park

 

 

 

If you have been following my posts- you know we landed a sweet new pad in Portage Park on the Northwest side of Chicago. The remodeling is finished (for now) and we are fully settled in. Being the nosy neighbor I am I had to get out and explore! And let me tell you- this neighborhood has a ton to offer!

 

As a first time mama, things I never thought were important, or for that matter things that never crossed my mind are now smack dab in site. A little person is a not only a constant reminder of how life has changed (in amazing ways!) but also changes the way we view a typical outting for our family.

 

When it comes to restaurants we prefer kid friendly... que the other mama who looks at you with love and comfort as your toddler has a meltdown mid french fry.

 

With that being said check out some of our favorite spots in Portage Park!

 

 

THE PARK! 

The portage park neighborhood is the surrounding area around you guessed it.. Portage Park. Portage park offers an amazing fenced in playground with separate areas for littles and bigs, along with a play house, climbing features and plenty of swings to go around! One of our favorite features of Portage Park is the FREE Pool! Not only is the pool free but they also have a kid only section. Perfect for exposing your little to some splish splash fun!

 

Warning- the pool is pretty strict about what you can and cant bring in- even though we live close, I choose to drive over with only baby and towel in hand. Anything else is pretty much not allowed- also the pool times vary so make sure to call in advance if youre wondering about the open swim times.

 

Portage Park Website 

 

Another awesome park within walking distance of us is Wilson Park!

 

A recycled tire padded floor lines this awesome playground complete with swings, a trench and firetruck! There is also a "splash pad" of sorts that is fenced in complete with a slide! 

Our last trip here they were doing some maintenance on the tennis courts but it looked like they were making some serious upgrades to this already awesome park. 

 

Oh and there is a SAND PIT ( well volleyball court) but everytime we go its filled with kids with shovels and buckets in tow.

 

Wilson Park Website 

 

What trip to the park is complete without some Ice cream!

 

 

 

 

I scream you scream... :)

 

Across the street from Portage park on the corner of Central and Berteau is one of our absolute favorite places, Mia's Gelato and Focacceria. Mia's is the kind of place dreams are made of, a candy filled wall- wood fired pizza, frozen yoghurt with all the fixins, massive slices of cake and you guessed it GELATO. You see Gelato has a sweet spot in my heart, not only for the obvious reasons (its amazing) but also because I spent a semester abroad in Italy. A semester filled with love, art and GELATO! Every sweet bite of Mia's brings me back to Tuscan Sunsets and the thought of my pre baby body- lol j/k  But in all seriousness this place is amazing! Perfect for a casual lunch or dinner too! 

The Lavender Gelato is a MUST try.

 

You can also rent their private room for birthday partys!

 

Visit Mia's website HERE

 

One of our absolute favorite dinner spots in the neighborhood is just a stones throw down Central from Mia's- (Its actually the Father restaurant to Mia's) is Legno. If your'e familiar with this northside building you know it was a Superrosa for many many years before making its transition to LEGNO.

 

Legno features italian fare including stone fired pizza- pastas, fish and steaks! Not to mention an awesome assortment of local and craft beers along with a great drink menu.

 

The thing I love most about this restaurant? Its SUPER kid friendly. I often meet other families while dining with mine, and waiters interact with the kids and are very welcoming. The last thing we want as parents is to feel rushed or embarrassed to be out to dinner with our children. For the sake of our sanity we need fresh air and sometimes pizza.

 

Visit Legno's website HERE

 

And before I bore you, or make this post 30000 pages long with all of our favorite Portage Park spots I will pick up where I left off in a future post!

 

Lale Ketcham

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