Women and Children First

One of the largest feminist bookstores in the country, Women and Children First touts a stockpile of more than 30,000 books, with authors as diverse as Kipling and Taylor. You and your child may immerse yourselves for hours in children’s titles for every reading level. Authors from all over the country make it a point to discuss their work with the bookstore patrons through scheduled forums. On your child’s birthday, bring him or her to Wednesday morning storytime, where store owner and storyteller Linda Bubon will announce the big day, feature your child’s favorite stories, and provide snacks afterward.

Contact number: (773) 769-9299

Location: 5233 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640

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Uncle Fun

A trip to this Belmont Avenue boutique of oddities will surely solidify your title as the most fun mom ever. The aptly named “Uncle Fun,” is widely known to be the finest purveyor of the most delightfully bizarre odds and ends your children have probably never seen. Old favorites like sea monkeys and hand buzzers sit alongside toy robots, rubber pigs and appendages. It’s a perfect spot for the young practical jokester in your family to get lost in the mountain of merchandise and come out with their own heap for a decent price.

Contact number: (773) 477-8223

Location: 1338 West Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657

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Super hip children will love the quirky selection of clothes, shoes, accessories and toys stocked at this trendy boutique. You’ll find everything from onesies with ironic slogans, mini-Converse Chuck Taylors, backpacks, strollers, playsets, and even kids’ Crocs. The best part is you’re not paying top price for all that style since the store also boasts plenty of bargains.

Contact number: (773) 772-2815

Location: 1630 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

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Mini Me

Not Austin Powers’ sidekick, it’s instead a boutique serving Chicagoland the very best in kiddie haute couture! Mini Me is where uber trendy parents will go to teach their little ones about the virtues of Prada and Burberry and everything chic in between. Definitely not the place to go if you’re shopping on a string, but alot of fun if you want to spoil your little princess. Boys clothing offered up to size four.

Contact number: (312) 988-4011

Location: 900 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

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Build-A-Bear Workshop — Chicago

At the Build-A-Bear Workshop, share with your kids the experience of creating a teddy bear. The kids will delight in not only the construction of their new plush plaything, but also in choosing a sound chip, clothing, and giving it an official name on a birth certificate. Whatever they create, the little ones will always remember the memory of making it with you. You can book private parties as well.

Contact number: (312) 832-0114

Location: 700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

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American Girl Place — Chicago

Children swept away by this historically correct line of dolls, costumes, and accessories will be even further overwhelmed by the sheer volume of American Girl-related shopping, doll grooming, eating, and theater-going available at the American Girl Place. Have a proper tea party together in the café and check out the American Girl Revue, a show about girls’ contributions to American life over the past few centuries.

Contact number: (877) 247-5223

Location: 835 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Learn more here.