I haven't had an "extra" day off work since my vacation at the beginning of June. The kids love hotels and I love getting out of Peoria, so I took Saturday afternoon and today off work and we went to Schaumburg. We were originally planning to go to Chicago, but when I found out the air and water show was this weekend and that Lincoln Park Zoo was charging $30 to park, we decided to skip the city. Actually, we were still planning to go on Monday, but were having fun in the suburbs so decided Monday morning to skip the city.
We had a nice, relaxing weekend. The kids got to swim as much as they wanted and we did all kinds of fun things without the stress of traffic and crowds. We even bumped into my uncle, aunt and two cousins at the hotel breakfast area on Sunday. Weird that we stayed in the same hotel on the same night! The kids needed all kinds of clothes and supplies for school and we took care of all that and even got some great deals :)
Despite warning from a friend, we went to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Schaumburg. It just opened at the end of July. There was one ride, a 3-D movie, a room with a Chicago cityscape, a jungle area, a room with about 6-8 superheros and a large area where the kids could build cars and race them down tracks, build buildings on earthquake plates, build general stuff or play on a McDonald's type play area. We got there right at opening so had no waits for any of the "attractions." Oh, I forgot about the extremely lame factory "tour" that showed how the bricks are made. Yawn. The sculptures were great. Everything else was pretty boring. We did everything other than the Lego building play area in under an hour. Gene and Kaylin spent a lot of time building a car and racing it down the various ramps. Logan liked the huge Legos but mostly played at the McDonald's playland. It was fun, but we spent only two hours and paid something like $60 to get in. That was after getting $12 off with a coupon! Even the store wasn't great. The one at Woodfield Mall is significantly better. I guess unless your kids love Legos more than anything, I couldn't recommend this place. If it had cost $20 I would totally have thought it was great. For the price we paid, we did NOT get enough entertainment! The kids liked it, though.
We then went to the Cosley Zoo in Wheaton. It's the only AZA zoo in Illinois I'd never previously visited. What a great little place! It is small, but very nice and clean and fun. They have mostly native species and farm animals. Kaylin loved the duck pond with many different duck species. Logan loved the map. He studied the map the entire trip and let us know what was coming next. He was so focused on the map I'm not sure if he actually looked at any of the animals. Eh, he had a blast :) This place I will highly recommend! It was even FREE!!! Two hours very well spent!
Otherwise, we just went shopping and goofed around. It was very relaxing. We hit parking lot traffic pretty much the moment we exited 355 onto 55. We were stuck for an hour. We listened to the traffic report and learned that had we gone into the city that morning we would have spent an hour and a half getting to the point where we were stuck for an hour. I hate Chicago traffic! Gimme St. Louis or Indy instead!