Finding Kid-Friendly Venues Around Chicago

I’m a referral person. I was long before I had kids. Although I can read 100 reviews online, I’ll put a lot more weight in one direct experience from a friend.

When I bought a house out in the ‘burbs, I had few friends in my immediate “service area.” As I tossed at night about my clueless self being gouged over electrician and plumber prices, I looked to Angie’s List. When in a bind, that site has served me pretty well.

I’m kind of a fearless mama who craves strong doses of the city and new adventures on a regular basis. It keeps me from going crazy as I battle embrace my role as a stay-at-home parent.

Accordingly, I’ve dabbled on various review sites for restaurants and local entertainment. But, what you don’t tend to see on those sites are the details relevant specifically to parents. Things like:

  • Are there changing stations?
  • Can I park within a mile for less than $30?
  • Are there more than two high chairs there?
  • Can I get in the door with my stroller – What about when it’s lunch rush?

I got tired of heading into restaurants that I loved but who refused to let me come in through their regular door (You try going in a revolving door with a folded stroller and two kids under three), or where no matter how tidily I stashed my gear, the waitstaff would consistently glare at me for being in the way.

I was recently given the opportunity to become a Kidgrade Ambassador. This site is specifically built to review Chicagoland attractions, restaurants and events for information that parents need. I just submitted my first review today and I’m still looking around the site, but so far, I’m in love with the overall concept.

The categories are “eat, play, shop and stay.” The founders of a site held a focus group not too long ago and did some revamping to the site. I found it very easy to navigate, and the review process was short and simple. Signing up is free, and you can set your login to connect with your Facebook information if you prefer.

The biggest thing the site needs is clearly reviews. As I dig deeper into the site and as the community grows, I’ll let you know what I think.

In the meantime, check it out and add your own reviews to the mix. You can find them at their website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Disclosure: As a KidGrade Ambassador, I may periodically receive admission, tickets or other similar items to visit locations.

I am not required to blog about KidGrade. All opinions expressed are my own.

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