wonderLast week I flew with my 3 children from New York to Chicago. Our final destination was not Chicago, but the indoor water park at Timber Ridge Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When we landed, the winter storm predicted earlier that morning did happen. The roads were already slippery and I knew that a few quick phone calls had to happen and fast.

Thankfully, we found a Courtyard Marriott near our family. This was a great find since it was just minutes from Garden Fresh Market, a store with Kosher food. Since Shabbat was also just a few hours away, I had to make sure we had challah and grape juice. I also picked-up a roasted chicken and other prepared sides for our meal. This was a fantastic find.

Since our room had a refrigerator, we filled it with yogurt, hummus, and milk. The people at the Courtyard Marriott were so incredibly nice. They provided more than enough plastic cutlery, bowls, plates, and napkins. During the day on Saturday, we walked around the hotel and the children really loved the spacious lobby. When Shabbat ended, we snuggled up in our beautiful room and watched The Smurf movie. The kids really, really loved it.

The next morning, we went to the swimming pool. The kids were so amazed that they could be in their bathing suits and look out the window and see snow. After about an hour, we went over to one of the major shopping areas (Northbrook Court) to play at the Tree House. I even had the chance to call a few friends last minute and we met them there as well. If you are in the area, this mall really does have it all. We sipped on Starbucks as the kid ran around and went down the slide. the Tree House area is for children under 8 years old and 46″ tall. This play area is also enclosed by a gate with one entrance and exit at the same place. Not far from this play area is the AMC Movie Theater. We met my parents and saw Beauty and the Beast 3D. I am so glad that they stayed in their seats long enough to catch the feature presentation (which finally started after way too many coming attractions. The kids really enjoyed it.

Soon enough, it was time to grab some food for dinner. Just a few minutes from the mall is Mizrahi Grill, a Kosher, Israeli restaurant. This is one of my favorite places to eat when in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago. The Shwarma is outstanding! There are also kid meals at affordable prices. Speaking of food, the next day we tried out a new pizza shop located in the Garden Fresh Market. The pizza was fantastic, even better than some of the pizza places we have in New York! There was still one place that we had to try also withing a few minutes of the Courtyard Marriott. A place called Wonder!

I had only heard about this place, but once we arrived I was in awe. A very large space, full of toys, bicycles, baby gear, clothes, crafts, and books. Towards the back of the store, there is a huge play space. This area is gated and complete with all of the activities my kids love. A large space to run, chalk easels to draw on, and more. The cost per family is $15! There are babysitters in the play area, but parents are required to be in there as well. I saw a lot of moms and playgroups spending time together. I wonder if Wonder will make it to Queens, NY?

Even though we didn’t make it to Timber Ridge this time around, I am so glad that we were able to stay in such a wonderful hotel within an area close to my family, kosher food, and fun activities fro the kids.