Must be something in the water in Bucktown. Babies are everywhere. And so are fun new places to learn and play.
Welcome these recent arrivals.
Purple Monkey Playroom
This mural-dappled haven, open for drop-in play and private parties, fires up imaginations with toys, art supplies, books, and structures to scurry into and climb on. It’s very baby friendly, with visits from lactation consultants and a focus on soft developmental playthings. 2040 North Western Avenue, between Dickens and McLean Avenues (773-772-8411 or purplemonkeyplayroom.com), $6-$12 for drop-in play. Monthly and yearly passes available.
New Einsteins Academy
Everything sprouts green at this ecofriendly childcare center and preschool. Full-day programs (starting for kids age 15 months) include time to paint, build, make music, do yoga, and play with safe, nontoxic toys. Meals and snacks are catered by Gourmet Gorilla, which gets organic ingredients from local farms. 1858 North Damen Avenue (773-489-0900 or neweinsteins.com). Tuition starts at $680 per month.
ABC Daycare and Preschool
The sunny spot cares for bundles as young as 6 months, with comfy places to sleep, frolic, and coo. As they grow, there’s plenty of stimulation with play-based fun (everything from crafts to music) and outside time at nearby Walsh Park. 1634 West North Avenue, at Marshfield Avenue (773-227-4909 or abcdaycareandpreschool.com). Tuition starts at $575 per month.
Get ready to kid around.
Photo: Courtesy of Purple Monkey Playroom
Museum of Contemporary Art Family Day
What: Nose around the galleries and make artwork inspired by the theme of memories.
Why: The chance to create a reflective sculpture alongside artist Kristin Sabatino.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: 220 E. Chicago Ave., at Mies van der Rohe Way (312-280-2660). Admission is free for families with children 12 and under.
Families in the Loop Spring Fling
What: Mocktails, eats, crafts, and music are in full bloom at the bash.
Why: All About Dance stages a family flash mob dance.
When: Mar. 25, 10:30 a.m.-noon.
Where: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., at Fullerton Pkwy. Adults and children, $12; under 2, free. Tickets online at fitlsspringfling.eventbrite.com.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
What: Get inspired for growing season while little sprouts romp around the kids’ garden.
Why: Learn-and-do potting parties for the whole family.
When: Sat.-Mar. 18.
Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., at Lake Shore Dr. (312-595-7437). Adults and teens, $15-$19; children 4-12, $5; under 4, free.