Hawthorn Mall, a staple retail destination in Lake County for years, is in the midst of a massive transformation. The first step in that transformation is the transitioning of the center court into a vibrant, exciting, multi-use space called Center Park. We snuck in during construction, and now you can see the new area as it opens for a Party in the Park this Thanksgiving!
Center Park Opening at Hawthorn Mall
We walked through the construction back in October, and the excitement in the Mall was palpable. If you haven’t been to the Mall recently this weekend is a great time to start! In addition to the renovation of the center court, the Mall has transformed empty storefronts into perfect selfie stations filling them with art.
But let’s get back to the star of the transformation Center Park. This indoor park will feature something for everyone and will quickly become the gathering place in Vernon Hills. This open park space will feel like a park without having to deal with pesky annoyances like weather and bugs.
Situated under a domed skylight, it’s flooded with natural light, even on gray days. There will be plenty of seating from quiet nooks to group seating areas. The lawn will provide a space for kids and families to play with the lawn games or the interactive light path. The coffee and wine bar will offer drinks and snacks to those hanging out in the park.
Tree’s reach up to the second floor, where the experience continues with a lounge area just off the food court for guests to relax and watch the activities below.
The coffee and wine bar – 60/21 Coffee & Wine Bar is run by the owners of Calzone and Macaroni, a Vernon Hills favorite. They will be serving coffee and snacks all day as well as wine in the evenings.
Center Park opens to the public on Thanksgiving for the Party in the Park. The party will feature a DJ, prizes, first look at the park and of course food and drinks. The party starts at 6:00 p.m. and will run until Midnight. The DJ will raffle off prizes every hour, and there will be a balloon drop to celebrate the new space. You can also take pictures in the photo booth, and if you are a MyPerks member, spin the prize wheel.
In addition to Center Park, Hawthorn is working hard to transform into an experiential mall where you can go for entertainment and not just shopping. They are also really opening up space and inviting families to come back, especially with the winter weather upon us.
Busy Brains Children’s Museum has a pop-up space there through January. Yes, they will be open Black Friday if you need a break from (or alternative to) shopping. In addition, Gymboree Play is now open, and Hi-Five Sports will be opening later this year. Hi-Five Sports will provide sports-themed entertainment and activities for kids and families, and Gymboree Play and Music is a favorite of the toddler set.
These changes are just the first phase, as Hawthorn has big plans to reinvent itself and space to serve its community better. You can take a virtual fly-through of all the projects on YouTube.
Have you been to the mall recently? What do you think about the transformation? What do you want to see there?