A Schaumburg Staycation

| December 2, 2010 | Comments (4)

Top Golf ChicagoA post-Thanksgiving family getaway sounded nice in theory, but one by one we eliminated potential destinations. A visit to a hotel with a small water park would pale in comparison to memories of our visit to the Wisconsin Dells a few summers ago. Starved Rock was promising until we considered the late November chill that might keep us from heading outside to enjoy the area’s beauty.

And so, we settle on the world’s shortest road trip and headed to Schaumburg. We kicked off our adventure at Top Golf (pictured) in Wood Dale. This upscale, new-fangled driving range combines country club like amenities (hot cocoa delivered to your tee) with Chuck E. Cheese-like fun ( the grassy area of the driving range is filled with Skee-ball like targets). Each golf ball is electronically tagged with the golfer’s name as well as an RFID code that communicates your score directly to a tee-side monitor.  My husband and the boys drove balls for more than an hour in the cold, but I snuck back into the heated building to warm my numb digits after about 40 minutes.

Eventually my crew joined me and we headed to Medieval Times for lunch. I haven’t been to Medieval Times in nearly 20 years, but I don’t remember it being so crassly commercial. Sure, I knew we’d have at least an hour before our show to see the dungeon (at an extra $2 a person) and perhaps purchase ye olde photo or ye olde sword, but I don’t recall ye olde alcoholic drinks or ye olde glow sticks.

In fact, once we were seated in the royal arena for our meal and jousting tournament, it seemed like every five minutes some sweet cheeked wench or dashing manservant passed by us to offer a bar drink, team flag, or glowy object. It took our focus away from the show and certainly disrupted the opportunity to get lost in the fantasy. Speaking of breaking the fantasy, the sellers were neither sweet cheeked nor dashing, rather they looked dour as though they were doomed to life of serfdom and low wage jobs.

After the show, we headed across the street for a different type of fantasy-Ikea! This store is a Mecca of sleek, Scandinavian home furnishings at low, low prices. Though we don’t currently own a home, we’re looking for one, so we inspected their model kitchens, looked over their lighting options and noted items of interest for when that big day comes.

From there we grabbed a quick dinner and headed to our hotel to swim. I have to admit, I still love a hotel with an old-fashioned pool, the kind that requires kids to actually swim and interact with each other in order to have a good time. DH and I split our time with the boys while we alternated turns in the exercise room for much needed post-Thanksgiving cardio work.

The next morning it was off to Game Works and the Legoland Discovery Center. Though my tween boys have deemed themselves “too old” for the Lego Center, my 10-year-old sheepishly admitted he kind of wanted to go in, but happily settled for at rip to the gift shop, where he spent his own money adding to his collection of bricks and mini figures.

The older one was happy enough at Game Works, which is like a Chuck E. Cheese that appeals to a wider and more mature audience. For example, an adult can kick back with a beer and play pool or any number of first person shooter games upstairs, while the kiddos can collect tickets from all manner of tamer games on the main level. I tend to think of places like this as a training ground for Vegas.

All in all, we spent a lot of money on a getaway that only lasted about 24 hours, but think of what we saved on airfare! Plus, it’s fun to play tourist in your own backyard. At any rate, we’re rationalizing it as a Chanukah present to our children, as well as my parents, who no doubt enjoyed a night peace and quiet in their own home without us underfoot.

Disclosure: Did you see that line about spending a lot of money? Yeah, we paid for everything ourselves, though we we found some great deals online, including our hotel via Expedia.com. And we were driving a Chevy Cruze that was loaned to me for review purposes. Oh, and my younger son got a free ice cream cone at Ikea, but not because of my blog. They’re just cool like that.

Category: New Posts, Travel

About Kim Moldofsky: Kim Moldofsky is a Chicago-area Social Media Mom of tween boys. Blogging since 2005 at Hormone-colored Days and around the web, she has a reputation as an insightful blogger who supports the momblogger community. She connects brands and bloggers for conversations, events and product reviews at MomImpact. View author profile.

Comments (4)

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  1. cher says:

    Sounds like fun! I agree about Medieval Times too!

  2. Lisa says:

    thanks for the heads up on Medieval Times, we were considering that fora birthday trip but I don’t remember them selling stuff either. Ah well, guess times are tough for everyone.

  3. Well, for sure don’t pay full price for tickets to MT; they have coupons all over the place in papers and online. Times are tough, even Medieval ones-the stadium was only about 40% full. That said, we went to a special Friday afternoon show (due to the holiday), perhaps the other shows are more crowded. Does that mean more or less product hawking?

  4. Great idea. We are not heading anywhere warm during winter break and after reading this post, I’m thinking I need to schedule a local staycation for my family in late December.

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