You’ve seen my family make lots of trips down to the Windy City (that would be Chicago for you out-of-towners!). While Chicago does get a lot of attention for all of its offerings, there is a smallish western suburb of Chicago that also offers a LOT of things to do – Rosemont, Illinois. We were recently invited down for a sponsored trip to get to know everything Rosemont has to offer and all I can say is WOW!! We were on the go non-stop the whole trip and STILL had more we would have loved to have done. Not sure where Rosemont is? If you’ve ever had a long layover at O’Hare airport and wound up spending the night, you were probably in Rosemont. (After seeing how much there is to do in Rosemont, you might just be scheduling a layover there on your next trip!)
Fun Things to Do in Rosemont, Illinois
First, you are going to need to decide where to stay. We were hosted at the local Loews Hotel and loved how convenient it is to everything Rosemont has to offer. We parked our car at the hotel and walked everywhere (well, except for one cold night when we took their super convenient shuttle). You can read more about why Loews is such a great choice when visiting the area here.
Fashion Outlets of Chicago
The Fashion Outlets of Chicago offer tons of shopping options under one roof. You can find everything from Starbucks to the Bose Outlet to Le Creuset to the Disney Store and everything in between. Some of your favorite anchor stores have outlets there like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue. Looking to buy something a little indulgent for yourself? Check out one of the many jewelry stores, Burberry, Coach, Calvin Klein or Giorgio Armani. There is more to do than just shop and eat, though. The Outlet’s multifaceted art program displays art by both emerging and established artists all over the mall.
During the holidays, the Fashion Outlets of Chicago have an added special attraction – Santa HQ. This interactive “North Pole Village” allows children of all ages to see if they are landing on Santa’s naughty or nice list, use their smart device (or one provided by HQ) to see secret virtual reality surprises hidden all over, and even chat with Santa himself!
MB Financial Park (soon to become Parkway Park Entertainment District in January 2018) is 200,000 square feet of fun things to do! Featuring entertainment and dining options, it opened in 2012 and now houses 12 different venues offering places to eat, live music, bowling, film, and comedy as well as shopping. The common area is utilized for seasonal activities like ice skating in the winter. Some of our favorite stops are:
If you love BBQ, you need to stop in at Bubs! It’s a great way to experience all the deliciousness of southern food without the plane fare. The inside of the restaurant is decorated in a fun themed style and you really do feel like you’re “down south” in an authentic barbeque joint from the moment you first smell the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen. Some special offerings you might want to check out as well are the Sunday Night Rib Dinner and the Weekend Brunch on Sunday mornings. I’m also anxious to check out Live Band Karaoke on Tuesday Nights at 9pm.
Adjacent to Bub City is Joe’s Live. The owner purchased what used to be Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and completely redid the inside to create an upscale feeling live music venue. Despite the luxury feel and fact that there isn’t a bad seat in the place, the prices to see some pretty big names are very reasonable! The space can be rented out for private events or you can just snag a VIP Suite for a smaller crowd.
We had visited Fogo De Chao a few years ago when we first visited Rosemont and the restaurant made quite an impression! A Brazillian steakhouse, the menu offers a variety of steaks, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood and small plate dishes. Bring your appetite as the Gaucho chefs will be circulating throughout the restaurant and will continue to place mouth-watering, insanely tender morsels of meat onto your plate until you beg them to stop. Just be sure to save some room for the caramelized bananas!
If you aren’t completely full from visiting the places I’ve already mentioned, you need to stop by the Sugar Factory’s 9,000 sq ft ice cream shop and indulge. The dining room is true glamour with its crystal chandeliers and mammoth treats like its Kind Kong Sundae. Adjacent to the ice cream parlor is the candy store. My favorite way to indulge is to grab one of their “buckets” and just put a little bit of everything in it until it is full.
Need to work off some of the delicious food you have been indulging in? You can hop into Kings Dining & Entertainment. Yes, they serve delicious food and drink there, but you can also burn a few calories while you are bowling, playing billiards, shuffleboard, air hockey or foosball. If you are there during the warmer months, you’ll want to check out the beer garden patio that overlooks the park.
Still feeling like you need a workout? How about a little skydiving to get that heart rate up! Don’t worry, it’s indoor skydiving so there’s little risk of plummeting to your death. We’ve been a few times and I am always impressed with the instructors and how well they guide both first-timers and veterans at the art of floating on air. Check out Josh’s experience below – he had a BLAST!!
There are still so many places left for us to explore – we can’t wait to make a return trip to see even more of Rosemont!!