(credit: ExploreChicago.org)

Little Village
3101 W 26th St., Chicago, Ill.

Chicago is home to 237 miles of land, more than 100 neighborhoods, and the largest Mexican-American population in the entire Midwest. ‘Bienvenidos’ to Little Village, a West Side neighborhood offering visitors a gateway into authentic Mexican culture with a family-friendly twist. It all begins west of California Ave. at 26th Street.

(credit: Chicagoparkdistrict.com)

Chicago Park District


There are plenty of communal spaces to share in and around Little Village. Washtenaw Park offers outdoorsy fun with a baseball diamond and district programming (fee based) for children. Shedd Park, named for John G. Shedd—founder of Chicago’s famous aquarium—offers parkgoers room to roam, picnic and play with its open space, eclipsed only by Piotrowski Park, the neighborhood’s largest public space, and the most popular among Little Villagers. Boasting a pool, baseball diamonds and tennis courts, there are also jogging paths and a soft-surface play space for the littlest neighborhood inhabitants to explore.

(credit: Dulcelandia.com)


3300 W. 26th St.

Chicago, IL 60623


Explore the sweeter side of the city with help from Dulcelandia, a Mexican candy store that’s been serving up treats to visitors for more than 16 years. With more than 800 goodies imported from Mexico, the store is the largest distributor of Mexican sweets in the Midwest. Don’t miss the homage to Mexican heritage decking the walls – full-scale, customized murals of Mexican chocolate makers.

(credit: Explore Chicago.org)

Black Hole Arcade Pizzeria

3057 West 26th St.
Chicago, Ill.

Offering the ultimate in casual family entertainment, Black Hole Arcade Pizzeria serves up fast fare and drinks sure to appeal to the littlest gamers. With more than 75 arcade machines, pool tables and televisions, there is something for everyone.

Fiesta for the Senses

Every September sees Little Villagers heralding Mexican Independence Day with a boisterous parade that marches along 26th Street. Known as the second largest Latin American parade in Chicago—the Puerto Rican Day Parade currently reigns as the largest—the event attracts thousands of spectators who swarm the neighborhood for the live music, dancing and general festivities, and also to celebrate their common Mexican heritage.

Maria Pilar Clark is a mom times two and Windy City-based writer who works as a social media consultant. You can follow her work at www.chicagoparent.com/.
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