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Welcome to Dupage Mamas! This blog is a place for Mamas to connect, share their experiences, and recommend great finds and ideas (or let us learn from your mistakes!) If you are raising kids in Dupage County, then we'd love to have you along for the adventure!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Need a Vacation?

Do you ever need a vacation? I sure do. This winter was so long and so cold; my kids and I are fed up with staring at the walls of our small condo. So when my husband suggested a family vacation, I packed our bags.

Where did we go? Hawaii? Paris? Sedona? Nope - Schaumburg.

Yes, you heard right. These days, who has the money to take a two week vacation to someplace exotic? Not me. But I can honestly say we had an awesome time kicking it up in Schaumburg, complete with rest, relaxation, and a change of pace. And the total price? $150.

Here's what we did. On Saturday morning, we booked a Hotel through Hotwire. We ended up staying at the Hyatt Regency for the price of a Holiday Inn. Once I knew where we were staying, I called and requested early check in. We hopped in the car. Twenty minutes later we were there - moving into our posh room at the swanky Hyatt.

The hotel is right across the street from Woodfield mall, so after getting settled we took our sons to the Rainforest Cafe. I don't think Disneyland could have made their eyes bug out any wider - they loved seeing the fish and the animals, and were amazed to experience an indoor thunderstorm.

After lunch, it was back to the hotel for naps - my toddler slept in a sleeping bag for the first time, and thought he was getting the treat of a lifetime. After naps we hit the pool and splashed and yelled and played for the rest of the day.

Tired and hungry, we walked across the parking lot to Sweet Tomatoes. My sons are still young enough to eat for free, so we got our money's worth and more. My toddler loved being able to go through the buffet line to pick out his food, and even managed to swallow a few veggies! Then, back to the sleeping bags (fancy pillow top King sized bed for Mom and Dad).

In the morning we ate at the gorgeous hotel restaurant, explored the beautiful hotel, and did some more swimming. After checking out we went back across the street and wandered through Woodfield mall.

When we arrived home on Sunday evening it felt like we had been gone for a week - in a good way. We had taken a break from our busy lives and focused on having fun together; and we did it in a new environment. Sometimes its not Disneyland or Italy that we want - its just four walls besides the ones we've been living in.


Super Swank Hotel on Hotwire: $85.00
Lunch Menu at Rainforest Cafe: $35.00
Sweet Tomatoes Buffet with two kids under 3 years old: $25.00
Taking time to rest and relax with your family: Priceless

Catherine is one of the co-founders of DupageMamas. When she's not over here you can find her blogging about life at her personal blog, everyday life as lyric poetry.

Do you have a suggestion for a local get away? We'd love to have you guest blog for us. Email us your post, ideas, pictures - whatever!


Miss Kita May 14, 2009 at 11:50 AM  

"Staycations" are awesome. There are so many treasures nearby that it's hard to enjoy them all when we're running around in our daily lives.

I love that the Fox Valley Park District is putting out a coupon book for their "staycations" -- which sells for $29. Here's the blurb from their website:

The Park District’s “Staycation Passport to Fun” is a coupon booklet worth its weight in bills – literally. It sells for just $29, but contains deals and redemptions totaling more than $100.

So envision making a purchase for $29 … and being handed five $20 bills in exchange.

But it’s even better than that, because the Staycation Passport’s value is in how much fun it delivers – for less than it would cost for a tank full of gas on some long-journeyed, driving vacation.

Consider some of the amenities in the Passport to Fun:

· One free admission to Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center or Splash Country Water Park;

· One free admission to Blackberry Farm;

· One free adult fitness pass at any Park District fitness center;

· One free pass to the Vaughan Athletic Center pools and water park;

· 50 percent off a one-hour tennis court reservation at the Vaughan Athletic Center;

· A coupon special rate of $26 for 18 holes of weekday golf at Orchard Valley – with cart.

Not a bad deal, if you can use it! And with more of us saving $$ and gas this summer, who can't?

Catherine May 16, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

Wow, that's great information - thanks for letting us know. I'll have to check it out!

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