If you’re in the Western suburbs of Chicago this holiday season, Oakbrook Center offers seasonal fun for all ages. Here are a few outing options that will be festive fun for everyone.
If you have little ones
What to do: A visit with Santa is a holiday must-do. Make reservations to see the big guy himself at CelebrateYourHoliday.com. If you can go on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, you save $5 on a photo package. Tip: They take several photos with Santa so you have some options, which is great. Consider taking one with your whole family.
Have a little one you’d like to motivate to stay on Santa’s nice list? Register them (and a few facts about them so they know Santa is watching) in Santa’s Naughty and Nice Book and they can see themselves listed in Santa’s Book, located inside Santa’s Glass Pavilion (across from Starbucks), during Santa’s Hours. You can change which list they’re on and stop in as often as you’d like.
Where to eat: The District is a new addition to Oakbrook Center, and it’s a bright and airy 14,000 square foot space with several different food options. Think classy food court with food you’re excited to eat. It’s great for picky eaters or families with diverse tastes. DMK Burger Bar has options for adults and kids alike, with the chicken fries and shakes being especially popular with the younger set. Cilantro Taco Grill, Freshii and Porkchop BBQ are other options.
If you have tweens and teens
What to do: The ice skating rink is a popular place for tweens and teens. Admission for adults is $9 and Children (12 & Under) is $7. The skating rink is open through February 28th so if the December schedule is full, this could be a fun parent-child outing to give as a holiday gift. Also, ask your kids to show you a few of their favorite shops. You may get some gift ideas, as well as a peak into their world and some good conversation starters.
Where to eat: They’ll like the District, too, and don’t miss Stan’s Donuts, located at the entrance to The District. They have some amazing taste treats, and it’s also a popular Instagram location.
If you are headed out with girlfriends
What to do: Shop ‘til you drop. In addition to the permanent stores, check out the unique handcrafted items by local artisans in the holiday market located near the Village Green. The Market will be open Friday, noon – 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Where to eat: Grab crepes at the market or a smoothie at Freshii, if you’re in a hurry. If you have a little more time, grab a drink and some apps at Old Town Pour House.
If you are looking for a casual date night
What to do: Grab a bucket of popcorn and settle in with your significant other for one of the many movies coming out this holiday season. And while date night is fun, there are some great family films on the way, too, if you want to include the younger ones in your outing.
Where to eat: The District has lots of options, or go for pizza. California Pizza Kitchen is nearby or go with Pie Five if you’re pressed for time and don’t want to miss the previews.
If you are looking for a more romantic date night
What to do and where to eat: The holidays are often so focused on the kids that our spouses don’t get a lot of attention and there isn’t time to just be a couple. Change that up and remind yourselves how romantic the holidays can be with a simple with a special dinner for just the two of you. Mon Ami Gabi is a great option, as is Wildfire. If time and weather permit, take a romantic stroll around the Center to see the decorations.
(And if you’re thinking “But the parking … ” there’s a new parking deck and new park assist technology has made it much easier to find a space.)