Last week I was introduced to the Fashion Outlets Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois. It’s surprising I hadn’t been there before because I am drawn to outlet malls, and this one is less than 90 minutes from home. There is something about an outlet mall that lures me in. Could be signs like this:
Fashion Outlets Chicago has taken the outlet mall experience to a new level with both shops and service. With over 130 stores from Gucci to Gap, Coach to Claire’s and dining options from Villagio to Sbarro, Fashion Outlets Chicago has something for everyone. Whether you’re on an extended layover at O’Hare, just a few minutes away; attending a convention across the street at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; or driving in specifically to shop, the indoor mall is easy to access.
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My trip to Fashion Outlets Chicago was part of a Rosemont tour prior to attending the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show. The visit started with what was described as “light bites” at Villagio, one of two full service restaurants in the mall. The food was plenty to fill up on: meatballs, breaded calamari and zucchini, and several specialty pizzas, including one with prosciutto.
During an orientation to the mall we learned the shops are strategically located, so that similar stores are close together, with convenient entrances to each area. Upscale shops are clustered at one end of the upper level, fragrance shops at another end, and children’s shops near each other on the lower level.
We also learned about the convenient guest services that the mall offers, including shuttles from nearby O’Hare Airport terminals and the Chicago CTA blue line Rosemont station. Travel concierge service, operated by BAGS Inc. at the guest services counter includes airport baggage check-in and boarding pass printing. They also offer packaging and shipping, as well as delivery service within a specified a zip code range.
After the orientation we had about 45 minutes to shop. My husband and I browsed a couple of the shoe stores (38 stores sell shoes) and then found the chocolate. We spent the rest of our shopping time in the Lindt and Godiva Chocolatier shops.
I was tempted, but I resisted. Instead, we watched as macaroons were dipped into white chocolate. The shop offers chocolate-dipped strawberries, Oreos® and other delectable treats daily.Wandering back to our meeting place, we noticed large colorful art pieces throughout the mall. Fashion Outlets of Chicago partnered with The Arts Initiative, a newly formed organization dedicated to placing visual art in public spaces.
Forty-five minutes isn’t nearly enough time to even browse a mall as large as Fashion Outlets Chicago. I vowed to go back that weekend but couldn’t squeeze it into the schedule. That means I’ll have to make a return trip, specifically to do nothing but shop.
Fashion Outlets Chicago, located at 5220 Fashion Outlets Way with convenient access off of I-294, is open seven days a week and offers free covered parking. Check the web site for directions, transportation options and hours.
Disclosure: My visit to the Fashion Outlets Chicago was hosted by the Village of Rosemont, Villagio and Fashion Outlets Chicago. However, all opinions are my own. Photos taken by Skip Reed and Connie Reed.
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