This is the 18th edition of “Parenting Alone in Chicago.” A series of articles I publish that help provide ideas and details for single parents when they exercise their parenting time after a divorce or separation.

Sometimes, when looking for a place for your younger children to play, it makes more sense, especially for parents who are newly single, to stay inside in an enclosed area where they can play within sight and you can take some time to rest and possibly socialize with other parents. Of course, there are places like public parks and fields, but these come with many potential hazards.

If you’re willing to spend money then you’ll definitely be able to find some very good alternatives. One such place is Little Adventures Café, located southeast of Wicker Park and Northwest of Columbus Elementary School.

Little Adventures Café is a clean, neat, and safe environment that’s big enough for children to explore, but also small enough to keep them from getting into any serious trouble. They have toys and play areas for children with a wide range of interests.

Safety truly is one of their priorities for both inside and outside of the café. They state very clearly on their website that they reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone who arrives without a child. As far as inside the café is concerned, they go as far as to make sure to separate toys once they’ve been in a child’s mouth. They also keep an eye on rough-housing, allergies, and they ask that sick children be kept elsewhere until the sickness subsides. Also, I wouldn’t worry about whether or not you’ll be comfortable. The staff at the café have made Wi-Fi and relatively-bottomless coffee available to the parents/guardians.

This is a fantastic and intentionally tailored environment for the young. If desired, there’s also opportunity to host parties at the café. Even if you only join for occasional visits, I’m fairly certain Little Adventures Café will meet most, if not all, of your expectations.

Prices:

  • Daily Passes
  • First child: $13
  • First sibling: $8
  • Additional sibling: $6
  • 5 Day Passes
  • First child: $50
  • First sibling: $30
  • Additional sibling: $20
  • (Valid for one year)
  • 10 Day Passes
  • First child: $90
  • First sibling: $65
  • Additional sibling: $15
  • Monthly membership
  • First child: $120
  • First sibling: $75
  • Additional sibling: $25
  • (Expires 30 days after first visit)
  • Yearly membership
  • First child: $550
  • First sibling: $250
  • Additional sibling: $200
  • After first child’s paid admission, children 8 months and under attend for free.
  • Free admission for adults.
  • Admission is for all day (including multiple visits per day).

Hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
  • Saturday-Sunday: Closed for private parties

Parking:

  • Little Adventures Café is located at 1111 N Western Avenue 1S.
  • If taking public transportation then (from my office) head northwest to just outside of AMC Dine-in Theaters, take the Blue Line north for 6 stops, switch to the Blue Line at Western & Cortland, take that for another 6 stops, then get off at Western & Thomas. The café will be a short walk to your northeast.
  • Metered parking available ($2.00/hr for up to 2 hours) on W Division St just north of the café.
  • SP+ Parking Garage is located just a few blocks north of the café.
  • Divvy Bike Sharing location at W Division St and N Western Ave.

Important Details:

  • Ratings
  • Google: 4.7 stars (19 reviews)
  • Facebook: 5 stars (17 reviews)
  • Yelp: 5 stars (14 reviews)
  • There is a long list of rules available on their website: http://www.littleadventurescafe.com/rules

Rules:

  • There is a long list of rules available on their website.
  • http://www.littleadventurescafe.com/rules

Private Parties:

(Saturdays and Sundays Little Adventures Cafe is reserved for parties)

Orion (private party):

  • Total price: $749
  • Private use of the entire area for 2 hours and an additional 30 minutes prior for party setup
  • 25 children max.
  • One staff member for assistance with set-up and clean-up
  • Your choice of themed party decoration
  • Cheese pizza for the children
  • 5 extra-large cheese pizzas for your adult guests (Additional toppings available)
  • 30 Cupcakes
  • Goodie Bags for all children
  • Drinks (juice, mini water bottles) for all the children
  • Drinks (water, soda, juice) for all adults
  • Free future day pass for all the children attending the party
  • Paper Products (themed and white dinner and also cake plates, napkins, utensils, cups)
  • Unlimited Coffee and Wi-Fi for adults
  • Feel free to bring in any of your own food, drinks, and entertainment at no extra charge.

Atlas (Private Party):

  • Total price: $560
  • Private use of the area for 2 hours and an additional minutes prior for party setup
  • 30 children max
  • Two staff members available for set-up and clean-up
  • Your choice of themed party decoration
  • Cheese pizzas available
  • 30 Cupcakes (chocolate and vanilla)
  • Drinks (juice, soda, and mini water bottles)
  • Paper Products (white dinner and cake plates and also napkins, utensils and cups)
  • Goodie Bags for all the children
  • Unlimited Coffee and Wi-Fi for adults
  • Feel free to bring in any of your own food, drinks, and entertainment at no extra charge.

Discovery (private party):

(Please call them to request specific party times)

  • Total price: $349
  •  Private use of the area for 2 hours and an additional 30 minutes for party set-up
  • 30 children max
  • One dedicated staff member for set-up and clean-up
  • Paper Products (white dinner and cake plates and also napkins, utensils and cups)
  • Unlimited Coffee and Wi-Fi for adults
  • Feel free to bring in any of your own food, drinks, and entertainment at no extra charge.

Pioneer (semi-private):

  • Total cost: $179
  • Private use of the SERVING AREA for 2 hours
  • Available Monday – Friday
  • Available during regular hours.
  • Play area will be shared with other children.
  • 15 children max
  • One dedicated staff member for set-up and clean-up

Add-Ons  

  • Additional Time: $50 for every 30 additional minutes
  • Additional Children: $10 per child​
  • Reservations: $100 non-refundable deposit will secure your date and time. 
  • Additional Pizza and/or cupcakes upon request

Little Adventures Café is 4.1 miles (14-minute drive) from my Chicago law office. Directions below: