AN HOUR’S DRIVE from Downtown Milwaukee, Rosemont, Illinois is a prime spot for a family getaway, a shopping trip with friends, dinner and a show or a weekend away for the holidays. Here are some of the best opportunities for fun the village offers.
The AMAZE Light Festival made its inaugural debut Nov. 19 at Impact Field (9850 Balmoral Ave.) in Rosemont. AMAZE has over 1 million holiday lights in total. Some are part of light shows. Others decorate the seven specially themed display “worlds.” And still others line the holiday market and candy shop, where you can buy gifts and have a festive beverage or snack. This is a great spot for kids, as the festival includes holiday craft making, mini train rides on the “Arctic Express” and a Santa’s Workshop for them to visit. Or take them to “Thrill Hill,” to get in some tubing fun. For the adults, a VIP ticket ($34), will grant access to “Leinie Lodge,” a tent with an ideal viewing spot for the light shows, where you can also order a specialty cocktail.
Tickets are available at amazerosemont.com ($23 for adults and $18 for children ages two through 12).
Check out over 130 designer outlets at this 530,000 square foot shopping center. Fashion Outlets of Chicago (5220 Fashion Outlets Way) is the only two-level, indoor outlet shopping center in the Midwest, and it offers both luxurious shopping destinations like Prada, Stuart Weitzman and Burberry (all of which are exclusive to the Midwest Market at Fashion Outlets) and other more affordable options such as Nordstrom Rack and Vineyard Vines. Fashion Outlets is also now home to Yves Saint Laurent, Bogner and Brioni, which all opened their first Midwest locations in the shopping center last month. The wide ranging, designer lineup will have something for everyone on your shopping list. And for parents, Fashion Outlets is hosting visits with Santa, so if you want, you can time your visit so the kids get a chance see the big man himself.
Every holiday season, Rosemont welcomes the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at Parkway Bank Park (5501 Park Pl.). Admission to the NHL-sized rink is free, and you can bring your own skates and skate for free or rent them for $8. The rink is surrounded by restaurants and entertainment venues, so you can get in a skate and then grab dinner or see a show. You can stop by every day until Jan. 4, with the full hours included in the link here. The rink will also be open on select Sundays through Feb. 27.
Zanies Comedy Club puts on shows every Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 7:30 and 9:15 p.m., and Saturdays at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Stop by for some comedy and a drink or two (entry is 21+).
For one of the most unique experiences Rosemont offers, strap on a diving suit and step into an indoor skydiving wind tunnel. With a trainer by your side, you’ll learn how to spread your arms and skydive indoors with iFLY. It’s a popular destination for kids, as well as adult groups looking to shake things up with a new activity.
Step up and knock ’em down at Kings (5505 Park Pl.). This spot isn’t your average bowling alley. They step up the atmosphere with bright, fun décor, and the menu is full of delicious burgers, wings, pizza, and for the more waist-conscious among us, salads and sandwiches. You can enjoy sharable plates while you bowl or sit down for a full meal. King’s high-end take on bowling makes for a fun night of friendly competition.
Catch a Holiday Show at Allstate Arena, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center or Rosemont Theatre
Rosemont is home to Allstate Arena (6920 N. Mannheim Rd.), one of the largest indoor entertainment venues in the Chicago area with 18,500 seats, as well as the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Rd.) and the Rosemont Theatre (5400 N. River Rd.). Allstate Arena hosts Chicago Wolves hockey games as well as concerts and holiday shows like Disney on Ice. The Donald E. Stephenson Convention Center hosts events year-round, and the Rosemont Theatre has a wide lineup of family-friendly holiday concerts and musicals to check out every December. Check their event listings, linked above, and you’ll almost certainly find something to pique your interest.
Rosemont has over 40 dining options to choose from (with the full list linked here). There’s Italian, steak, seafood and more, and you can check out our Rosemont weekend guide here for a few of our previous picks. Here are just some highlights for the holidays. The pub fare at Five Roses Pub (5509 Park Pl.) gives classic Irish cuisine an elevated twist. Truluck’s (9860 Berwyn Ave.) is an upscale destination serving up fresh seafood. And if you’ve never experienced the culinary joy of a Brazilian steakhouse, stop by Fogo de Chao (5460 Park Place), where you’ll have more than your fill of tender steak, chicken, lamb and more.
If you want to turn a day away into a weekend, Rosemont has 17 spots for you to kick your feet up, all linked here. There’s the boutique-style Hyatt Rosemont (6350 N. River Rd.), the artsy Rose Hotel (5200 Pearl St.), and just across the street from the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, the Aloft Chicago O’Hare (9700 Balmoral), among many other luxurious options.