OK I'm an A&P, I.A. and I have been for thirty years. I'll tell you what to get. I'm that arrogant...
Yes Cubs are cute and fun but GOD they're overpriced. Average about $35K for a little two-seat puddle-jumper. Parts are high-dollar, too. You're paying for the nostalgia and not the airplane. Same thing for the Aeronca (pronounced air-RON-ca, not "Aeronica") Champion. These are both tandem seaters and tandem seat airplanes command a price. Retired Airline Captains have no problem buying them but the rest of us are hard-pressed to justify that kind of money for a big toy. If you've just GOT to have a tandem seater with a joystick look for a Porterfield Collegiate. Around $20-25K but I think you're needing something more affordable than that.
Ercoupes are real cute, too, but they have a list of Airworthiness Directives as long as your arm and they are prone to corrosion in some difficult areas. Their nosegear is a source of constant trouble. An improved fork is available and is a MUST even though it is quite pricey..
RUN, don't walk, away from a Cessna 152. Or any Cessna built after 1977. The 24 volt electric systems are costly to maintain. All the bulbs are twice the price and hard to find out in the country and the batteries cost twice as much and last half as long as 12 volt batteries.
For your purposes a Cessna 150 would be ideal. They can take off and land in very tight areas and with 40 degrees of flaps they come down like an elevator. They can sometimes be purchased for under $13,000, parts are available, they use 12 volt electrics, the Continental O-200 engine is very common and widely supported, and you have an ample baggage area that can even accomodate a third child seat. They are all-metal so they can be parked outside as long as they are flown at least every few days. Letting them sit for weeks outside is detrimental. There's one on my field with a STOL kit and the tail beef-up for $12,000 right now. They have numerous ADs, most notably on the seats and seat rails and the vertical stabilizer nutplates. These ADs are easily complied with.
Other good little airplanes are;
1938-1947 Aeronca Chief models 65LA, 65CA, 11AC, 11BC, etc. (not to be confused with the Champion above)
1939-1953 Taylorcraft "B" Series (BC12D, BC65, etc.)
1938-1962 Luscombe Silvaire 8 Series (8A, 8B, 8C, etc.)
Commonwealth (Rearwin) Skyranger
Piper Vagabond PA15 and PA17
These are side-by-side two-seat taildraggers, 65-90 hp no electrics, hand-prop only. Can be modified to have electrics but that would be a lot of work. Except for a few special ordered stick-control examples the Tcraft and Chief have yoke controls. Luscombe, Vagabond, and Skyranger have sticks. Most Luscombes are all metal but earlier models had fabric wing covering. The rest of the structure was metal. Pretty serious AD on wing spar intergranular corrosion. Luscombe 8E and 8F had factory electric systems.
Aeroncas, Vagabonds, and Taylorcrafts are all-fabric covered with wood spars. Pre-war Aeronca wings were all-wood with fabric. Wood is great but needs to be inspected very thoroughly. Post-war Aeroncas have an AD on wood spars. Taylorcrafts have ADs on the lift struts and strut fittings. All these can be purchased from around $10K to about $25K depending on condition and mod status. They will all require a tailwheel endorsement.
Buy the 150. If you get bored with it go for a taildragger.