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Chicago's Best Kids' Concert Venues: S.P.A.C.E.


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Just north of Chicago in Evanston, S.P.A.C.E. Is doing what urban dwellers thought impossible... bringing cool to the suburbs. S.P.A.C.E. stands for Society for the Preservation of Art and Culture in Evanston, and despite the lofty name, they do live up to their goal.

There's a diverse and exciting line up of bands in this cool space, including many family friendly shows for all ages. S.P.A.C.E. specifically states that they try to be as inclusive as possible--so all ages are welcome--unless a show specifies having a higher age limit. They do amusingly qualify that by saying you'll be asked to take a nap if there's excessive crying or drooling, but that could apply to the hipster bargoyles as easily as the kindie kids.

My family had the great pleasure of chatting with The Verve Pipe at S.P.A.C.E., last year. The intimate venue, full of small cabaret style tables and a low stage, made for an easy space to negotiate with the entire brook. The Platinum award-winning band got the littles dancing along to their first foray into the world of kindie music. They even had some of their own kids come up to assist. After the show, they invited families up to the stage to try out the instruments.

It was especially helpful that there's a full bar in the same room as the stage, so thirsty parents don't have to trek far to replenish those water bottles for the kids and a grab a little something for themselves. Bathrooms are clean and gorgeous.

S.P.A.C.E., which was developed by musicians for musicians, has excellent sound and lighting in an open and friendly space. It's designed so no seat is more than 25' from the stage – so everyone has a great view.

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players

Grammy nominated Kindie King, Justin Roberts and The Not Ready For Naptime Players have also played S.P.A.C.E., along with a number of other family friendly acts. The venue is owned by Chicago musicians, Dave Specter, Craig Golden, principal of Sterling Bay Companies and Lakeshore Theater partner, and music producer and radio personality, Stuart Rosenberg, in collaboration with Campagnola restaurant owner, Steven Schwartz.

Street parking is easy and the Dempster stop on the Purple Line El Train is close to the venue. If your future rock stars are hungry, get some peace of mind with a pizza pie from Union Pizzeria.
They're located in the front of the same building and you cannot only eat there before or after, but you can also order pizza and bring it to the show! Otherwise, S.P.A.C.E. says no food or drinks from outside of the building, please.

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara writes a photo filled music, theatre and events blog, which includes shows for kids and the 21+ crowd in Chi, IL. She explores adventures in urban-odd ball-off the wall-alternative-eco-punk parenting, including loads of give aways, live show footage, interviews, reviews and more at
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