And while Wicker Park is known for its charm and youthfulness, there's plenty more to explore in the Chicago area. Walking access to the train station off Damen Avenue will get you to the blue line, which connects in a hub downtown to several other lines, getting you to your next urban adventure: Navy Pier, famous blues taverns, Michelin-Star restaurants, Wrigley Field, and award-winning art and history museums.
In fact, getting from Wicker Park to downtown will cost you less than three bucks and take less than 30 minutes, frequently beating out car traffic. There are, however, regulations to follow if you don't own a certified service animal: only small dogs are allowed on CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) routes, must be contained in a carrier, and while inside the carrier, cannot take up a seat.
This region is very flat. A few slants or slopes may present themselves, but it's hardly anything you or Fido will notice. Parks within the area offer both grassy lots, shaded by mature trees, as well as paved walking paths. Because a lot of residents rely on walking or biking for everyday commuting, Chicago's neighborhoods cater to the pedestrian with plentiful sidewalks, bike lanes, and protected crosswalks.
Dean Playground Park is exactly what it sounds like: A playground. This may be a great spot to stop with the kids, but dogs are not allowed within the park. Plan accordingly if you're out with the family four-leggers as well as the kiddos.
Wicker Park is centrally located within its namesake. It has picnic tables, but also open grassy areas which would be perfect for foregoing a table and picnicking on a blanket. The grounds are well-maintained and you'll see many blooming beauties during the spring and summer. Mature trees line the park, giving you the option to rest in the shade when throwing the ball around leads to you and your pup panting. There's also a water feature, playground, and designated dog park where you can enjoy watching your pet socialize. It's not covered with any grass, however, so during rainy seasons, be prepared for mud.
Walsh Park, a two-acre park located along the Bloomingdale Trail (part of the interurban 606), is just a little north of Wicker Park. A popular spot for young families and teens due to its favorite amenities - basketball hoops, open field for sports, and playground - it's also a great place for dog-owners because of its designated DFA (dog-friendly area).