(Disclaimer: The Fandads were compensated with a gift card and dinner for this post. All words and opinions are our own and if given the chance we would have moved into the candy store that you will read about later on.)
When I was younger I hated going to shopping malls. I hated the experience of going to the trendy stores and having a sales associate trying to sell me the "in" clothes and my parents shooting down all of their suggestions. There was just something about malls I did not like, I mean I like shopping, but I don't like crowds sometimes.
I did not buy into the hype of the Fashion Outlets of Chicago when it first opened. I immediately had flashbacks of when I was younger and went into the "high end" stores and was followed around by undercover mall security. I knew this mall had stores of this caliber in them, but would there be anything that I would like and possibly afford at this mall.
Recently the Fandads were invited to a Family Press Event at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago (FOC) and here was my chance to see what the hype was all about. I said before that I like going to malls with my kids every now and then, but when I found out there was a Disney Store there I decided to leave them at home. Remember the thing about tantrums...yeah mommy and daddy wanted to have a tantrum free night.
When we arrived at the mall, we were given a few tidbits of information from our tour guide.
Here are a few cool facts about the mall:
- The mall is home to more than 130 designer outlets.
- The "Smart" parking lot is free. Green lights indicate open parking spaces.
- There is a children's wing in the mall. (All the children stores are right next to each other.)
- You can text the concierge with questions about the mall or make restaurant reservations.
- If you are at the airport on a layover, you can take a shuttle to the mall and back.
- There is artwork throughout the mall by 10 national and internationally renowned contemporary artists.
Our first stop of the night was the Disney Store and I thought to myself, my daughter would have loved it here. Then I remembered that she is on a Descendants kick right now and probably would have wanted all the Descendants merchandise that they had there. We dodged a bullet there by leaving her at home, but we will come back with her on her birthday, which is around the corner.
Inside the store we all learned how to draw Mickey Mouse. Mine came out looking ok, I just have to practice a little more. Okay, maybe I have to practice a lot!
|Drawing Micky in the Disney Store|
|I think I'm ready to work for Disney.|
After the Disney Store we walked into Lolli and Pops or better known as "there goes my diet and my dentist is going to kill me". I mean this place was wall to wall sweets and I think I saw some of the other bloggers salivating as soon as we walked in. One thing that I wondered as we walked in was "How many things in this store are we going to try before we leave?"
|Look at all those Gummi bears|
Lollis and Pops was amazing. The young lady that was talking to us about all the candy was hilarious in her description of some of the sweets and she made sure that everyone got to taste the candy goodness that she was talking about. I think we all were on a sugar high by the time we left that place. I am going to make a beeline to this shop and buy some of the sodas that they had there next time I visit this mall.
|I want to move into this room!|
As our night ended we were all given time to explore the mall for ourselves before we had to rendezvous at the restaurants of our choosing. My wife and I walked around and took note of some of the stores we want to visit on our return trip. I am looking for a new pair of running shoes, so I will check out the Nike Factory Store and see what I can find. My wife spent some time in Forever 21 and bought herself a thing or two.
|Are these pictures making you hungry?|
Our night ended with dinner at Sugar Factory located right across the way at MB Financial Park. It was a great way to end the evening. We talked to a few of the other bloggers that were on the tour with us and exchanged tips and tricks on blogging. It was nice to have this time to get to know some of the other people that were walking along side of us for the past hour or so.
The food at the Sugar Factory was incredible and my wife and I decided to come back there again, this time with our kids. Our little girl would have loved the huge dessert that we were served, but I don't think we would be able to finish it ourselves. I mean, it was amazing and huge!
Although the Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a bit of a drive for us, I do see ourselves returning to this mall every now and then. There are some great stores that we would love to visit and just hanging out at the MB Financial Park would make for a fun family activity for us. I think my son would get a kick out of the lights flashing around the little field there and I heard during the winter season there is more to do in the park.
Have you ever been to Fashion Outlets of Chicago before? Tell us what are some of your favorite stores and what places we should visit on our next trip.
Thanks for reading.