John, the kids, and I all spend the entire week looking forward to the weekend. We love having time to get errands done, and especially time to spend some fun time together as a family. It seems like the weekends are never long enough though. If we take care of errands there’s not much time left for fun stuff; if we have fun activities planned then the “to do” list of errands just gets longer.
A couple weeks ago we spent the day at Westfield Hawthorn and hit the weekend jackpot – several things crossed off the “to do” list and everyone had a blast!
Westfield Hawthorn is located in the Lake County suburb of Vernon Hills. Macy’s, JCPenney, Carson Pirie Scott, & Sears can be found on the outer edges of the shopping center, with over 140 shops inside, including places like Banana Republic, Bare Escentuals, Cache, Coach, Gap, Godiva, H&M, LOFT, Mario Tricoci, New York & Co., Pandora, Swarovski, Teavana, and lots more.
Westfield Hawthorn is family friendly – they have a large family room for feedings and diaper changes, including a family bathroom with kid-sized toilet and sink; a play area for toddlers and preschoolers; and an area with coin-operated rides. There are endless dining options – everything from snack shops like Aunt Annie’s and Chill Bubble Tea, to fast food favorites like McDonald’s, Sbarro, and Panda Express, to restaurants like Maggiano’s and Dave and Buster’s. Westfield Hawthorn has shops for kids and parents with books, toys, and clothing, and plenty to do, including YuKids Island, a bright and exciting play place for kids under 48 inches, and Bungee Bounce.
We started our outing by letting the kids stretch their legs at the play area in the mall. After sitting in the car for a while they were happy to have a chance to run around and play for a bit. John treated himself to a drink and we were both able to relax on the benches and watch the kids play.
Our “to do” list included getting a haircut for Dexter, buying new jeans for Cooper, and finding a few new items for my own autumn wardrobe. Right near the play area was a KidSnips hair salon. It was a Saturday so it was a bit busy, but we were able to make an appointment for about an hour later so we could come back after some shopping.
We did a little window shopping and browsing in a few fun stores – Gamer’s World, Spencer’s, and Hot Topic. Cooper nearly convinced me to buy him a Doctor Who TARDIS backpack because it was SO cool, but since he has a perfectly good backpack at home already we decided against it. We did stop into The Children’s Place to pick up some new jeans for him for school. I was pretty happy to find them for only $12 a pair!
Westfield Hawthorn has some really yummy candy stores and treats, like the self-serve bulk candy at this fun kiosk. We stopped at the St. Roger Abbey French Gourmet Patisserie for some amazing macaroons.
Of course, we couldn’t shop without spending some time in a book store; all the kids loved browsing through the books at Barnes & Noble and they each got to pick out a book to buy. We got an early reading book set for Dexter, who’s learning to read, a firetruck book for Campbell, and Cooper picked out a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.
Dexter was pretty excited about haircut time. We headed down to KidSnips for his appointment. He got to choose a show to watch, sit in a special car seat, and he got the haircut he’s been asking for for weeks. It looks so much better now!
After his haircut, we stopped at New York & Company. I used to be a regular customer there before I had kids, but my wardrobe has definitely suffered since I became a mom. I was able to pick up a sweater and a couple of tops for a great price and I feel a little better about my fall wardrobe now.
We just couldn’t resist trying out these awesome riding animals from one of the kiosks. We paid $6 each for 10 minutes of riding. Cooper and Dexter were able to ride alone, and I rode with Campbell. These adorable animals are operated with foot pedals and it was really easy for the kids to operate them and maneuver them around. They moved faster than I expected and we had a large loop around the play area and near JCPenney where we could ride them. I felt a little silly, but I have to admit that it was fun, and everyone who passed us couldn’t resist cracking a smile.
After lots of shopping and playing we were starving. We headed to the Westfield Hawthorn Dave & Buster’s for a late lunch. John and I haven’t been to a Dave & Buster’s in a long, long time, and we’ve never eaten in their restaurant. I thought Dave & Buster’s was really more like a bar, but they had a full restaurant that was really nice. Everyone we encountered was really friendly and helpful. We spent a long time trying to choose our meals – lots of the dishes sounded really yummy.
John and I each ordered from the “Eat & Play Combo” section; these dishes started at $16.99 and you received a $10 game card as well. We opted to upgrade our game cards for a little bit more money. John ordered the Bistro Steak & Shrimp with Lobster Pasta and I got the Crispy Fried Shrimp Platter, which came with seasoned fries and a chipotle honey dipping sauce. The waitress raved about the dipping sauce and she was right – it was amazing.
Dave & Buster’s has a kids menu with several options. Cooper chose the mozzarella sticks with fries (he’s making a weird face, but he loved them!), Dexter got mini corndogs with fries, and Campbell picked out the buttered pasta (but strongly preferred John’s lobster pasta).
We opted to finish lunch before heading to the gaming area (for fear we would never get the kids back to the table once they saw the games), but our waitress was very nice and helpful, bringing us our game cards right away and offering us a buzzer so we could play games while we waited for our food if we wanted.
There are SO. Many. Games. I couldn’t believe the size of the game area – it seemed like it just went on and on. Dave & Buster’s has skeeball, basketball, coin pusher games, shooter games, racing games, and even games you’re used to playing on your phone or tablet like Candy Crush Saga and Fruit Ninja.
The kids had a blast in the arcade area. We collected lots of tickets (all on our card – no fumbling with hundreds of paper tickets!) and then got to trade them in for some small prizes – a slinky, a bracelet, and a small robot that climbs up our refrigerator.
We had a lovely Saturday thanks to Westfield Hawthorn and Dave & Buster’s. We enjoyed having lots of time together as a family doing plenty of fun activities, and we managed to get some new clothes for me and Cooper, books for all the kids, and Dexter’s desperately-needed haircut. We’re looking forward to spending more weekends at Westfield Hawthorn!