By Angela Hazen
The Chicago area is known for its world class shopping choices. Not only does it have all the options customers that are looking for, it also has great restaurants, theaters, and entertainment for those who want to turn a day of shopping into an exciting night out. No matter what you are looking for, the Chicago area's best malls have it all.
Foursquare Favorite: Water Tower Palace
835 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Read all the tips on Foursquare
More than 100 top stores, all-glass elevator banks, and a prime location on Michigan Avenue are the top draws at Water Tower Place, the best mall in the Windy City according to Foursquare users. In good weather, there are often street musicians by the front entrance; in colder months, the mall is a favorite place for escaping the elements.
Head to Foursquare to sort reviews by these tastes:
Oak Brook Center
100 Oak Brook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
www.oakbrookcenter.comHours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The status stores at Oak Brook Center attract crowds from towns all around the Western suburbs, and the mall truly provides a luxurious way to spend a day. Big name shops like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Burberry and Tiffany's show the high end appeal of this mall, and for the little ones Build-A-Bear Workshop and the Disney Store are huge draws. You can even get a beautiful new style at the Mario Tricoci or Aveda salons. If you get hungry from all that shopping and primping, great restaurants like Cheesecake Factory, Wildfire, and Maggiano's can be found for an after-splurge bite to eat.
203 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60302
www.Yorktowncenter.comHours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m to 6 p.m.
Yorktown Center has something for everyone, from department stores like Von Maur and Target to restaurants like Harry Carry's Italian Steakhouse and the Capital Grille. For the young and trendy, there's a Forever 21 and American Eagle Outfitters, and for the athletic there's a Sports Authority and Champs Sports. Yorktown is also great for a night out. If you have to drag your kids along with you to go shopping, promise them an after shopping reward with a movie at AMC 21 Theater or even a game of bowling at Lucky Strikes.
6170 W. Grand Ave.
Gurnee, IL 60031
www.Gurneemills.comHours: Mon to Fri - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat - 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sun - 11a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you're a bargain hunter who thrives off looking for great deals, Gurnee Mills provides more than 200 shops from which to choose from. Visitors come to Gurnee from all around to check out the outlet stores here. Last Call by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Abercrombie and Fitch Outlet, Nike Factory Store and Kenneth Cole Outlet store are a just a few of the reduced price stores at this mall. This year the outlet has tacked on two new additions: Kitchen Collection and Shoe Encore. And with a variety of restaurants like Ruby Tuesday and Rainforest Café to take a shopping break, you could make a whole day out of your trip to Gurnee Mills.
Harlem Irving Plaza
4104 N. Harlem Ave.
Norridge IL 60706
www.Shopthehip.comHours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You can find almost everything you need at the Harlem Irving Plaza. Also known as the HIP, it holds anchor stores like Carson Pirie Scott, Best Buy and Kohl's. Aldo, Pacsun, and Aeropostale also attract trendy shoppers daily. Be sure to check out the "deals and steals" page of the mall's website to see what's on sale before you go. If you have someone to get a gift for who happens to love baseball, HIP is currently running a promotion in which you receive a free White Sox pass for spending $100 on a gift card. After all of that shopping, you can grab a cup of coffee at Gloria Jeans or unwind at the food court which holds a Panda Express and Cinnabon.
Woodfield Mall/Streets of Woodfield
5 Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg, IL 60173
www.Shopwoodfield.comHours: Mon to Sat - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun - 11 a.m to 6 p.m.
Woodfield Mall is a destination for shoppers of all ages and backgrounds. Located in a modernly designed building, Woodfield's customers enjoy stores like Hollister, Talbots, Armani Exchange, Boss and Puma. More unique stores like Dry Goods, which sells sophisticated fashion clothing and accessories, and CO Bigelow, an apothecary shop that claims to be the oldest in America, and Gilly Hicks, a lingerie store, can also be found here. When all of that shopping has worked up an appetite, there are restaurants like Red Robin and Texas De Brazil for a bite to eat. The Streets of Woodfield also hold a variety of entertainment choices: Gameworks and an AMC theater also attract those looking for a fun night out.
Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She has traveled to Europe on several occasions, and keeps her readers up to date with local and international style, shopping, fashion and beauty trends. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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