Back-to-school shopping season is in full swing. Here are 10 great reasons to take a trip to the Chicago Premium Outlets in Auora this season where you will find fabulous stores, great prices, and a unique shopping atmosphere. Learn why I’ll be going back to this shopping mecca for back-to-school clothes and shoes, birthday presents and more. With over 140 stores, and room to grow, this mall fits so many shopping needs. And you can even bring your dog.
1. Backpacks and Trendy Accessories
We found the cutest selection of trendy backpacks and luggage for kids here, plus many other deals on travel items and accessories. I have a tween girl, which means we have to look at all accessories, all of the time. Our favorite collections at Chicago Premium Outlets were found at Vera Wang, Calvin Klein Accessories, Dooney & Bourke and The Luggage Factory.
2. Children’s Clothes
An entire store dedicated only to Tommy Hilfiger Kids fashions? Count me in. And you will also find other specialty children’s stores such as Carter’s, Abercrombie Kids, Gap Outlet—Kids and Baby, Janie and Jack, Justice, Nautica Kids, and OshKosh B’Gosh. A Hanna Andersson outlet store is scheduled to open in early September, too.
3. Shoes for the Whole Family
For kids (and the whole family), you’ll love the Stide Rite/Keds/Sperry Outlet, and there’s a separate Sperry Top-Sider outlet. You will also find Salvatore Ferragamo and ECCO shoe stores. And there are plenty of opportunities to purchase athletic shoes at a discount.
4. Discounted Maternity Clothes
Destination Maternity here has a great selection of maternity clothes for all occasions, at outlet prices. No need to guess size, fit or fabric—it’s all here, and in-stock. Plus the brands are great: A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity are featured here.
5. Educational Toys and Gifts
My kids couldn’t get into Marbles: The Brain Store fast enough. It’s a huge store, with wall-to-wall educational toys and gifts. I’ll be coming back here again and again with birthday and holiday gift lists. It’s also a great place to stock reward items and games and toys to have on hand for birthday parties. There is also a Go! Calendars & Games shop, and a Toys R Us Express.
6. Comfortable Atmosphere
I love the outdoor (but covered) setting of this mall. It has wide sidewalks, is spacious, comfortable and has a nice areas to rest, eat outside and relax. There is even a playground for the kids. The public areas are leashed-pet friendly, but most stores display a sign requesting that pets be left attended outside of the store. You can also find e-charging stations, next to comfortable furniture, in case you to need recharge your device.
7. High-End Fashion and Unique Stores
Brands like bebe, Armani Exchange, Armani Outlet, Max Mara, Talbots and Diesel, just to name a few. And I found excellent markdowns on these desirable brands. The Clarins Beaute de France is a unique specialty outlet–the only one in the midwest area. The first (and only) US-based Beretta store featuring tactical clothing, accessories and gifts is also located at the Chicago Premium Outlets.
8. Fabulous Food
There are real restaurants here, and not just your typical mall menus. Enjoy a handcrafted pizza from Rise Pie on the patio near the mall’s reflecting pond. Try something new at M Burger (if you visit the M Burger website ahead of time, you will know what’s offered on the secret menu). If chicken is your thing, don’t miss a great sandwich from Ranch One. And cool off with David’s Tea at one of the few suburban Chicagoland locations. There is also food court, with an assortment of offerings. Snacks are aplenty at TCBY and The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
9. Easy Road Trip
Plan your drive during non-rush hour times, and you can be door-to-door from central Lake County in a little over an hour.
10. Tremendous Bargains
Nearly every store I entered offered additional sales on top of the outlet prices. And if you donate $1.00 (or more, hint-hint) to the Simon Youth Foundation, you will receive a lovely, packable tote bag and a list of stores that offer additional discounts if you present the reusable bag instead of accepting a store bag. For the most up-do-date list of special sales and events, visit the Chicago Premium Outlets website for details.
In May, Chicago-area bloggers were invited to take part in a shopping challenge. We were given a $100 gift card and asked to spend the afternoon bargain hunting at the Chicago Premium Outlets, and highlighting our favorites and finds on social media. How many bargains could we pack into that hundred dollars? Can you guess what I purchased from the hints below?
If you guessed the Coach Signature bag and the Bass shoes…you guessed correctly. In all fairness, I was a a bit over the $100 limit set by the shopping challenge, but not by too much! It was fun to see all of the summer merchandise on display, and I really enjoy the shoes and handbag I picked out. It was also fun to connect with other Chicagoland bloggers and to see what they purchased. There were a lot of shoes and handbags purchased that day, too.
Overall, I would rate my shopping experience at Chicago Premium Outlets as five-star. I’ve been back to the mall since my initial visit, and I plan on returning again soon. I love shopping in a clean, well-appointed, outdoor mall with a variety of shops and merchandise. Many shops are huge, too. The kids had fun, and enjoyed bringing our dog along for the trip. However, don’t expect to bring the dog into many shops or eat inside with a dog along. Regardless of who you shop with, this mall is definitely worth the trip. And be sure to hashtag your purchases as #ChiPremOutlets and #FoundatSimon. Check the Found at Simon webpage, too, to see all of the great buys shoppers have found at Simon Malls.
Disclosure: The author received a $100 gift card and was invited to participate in a shopping challenge at Chicago Premium Outlets. All opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The dog pictured is the author’s all-American, rescued Dachshire, who enjoyed meeting other dogs during her trip to Chicago Premium Outlets.