Family Activities Galore!
By Michelle Donfrio
Fairs and festivals take place year-round in Schaumburg, inviting residents and visitors alike. A comprehensive listing of all of local events (even neighborhood garage sales!) can be referenced at www.villageof
schaumburg.org. Following is a sampling of the community’s many events and festivities:
The annual Schaumburg Christkindlemarket opens each holiday season, and Schaumburg Town Square is transformed in a European-influenced outdoor market. People can experience the flavor of German chocolate and other European foods, and marvel at delicate hand-made ornaments.
In the spring, an arts festival presents drawings, glass work, mixed media presentations, painting, and photography by local artists.
Septemberfest, a Schaumburg tradition since the 1970s, is a free event held on Labor Day weekend. Located on the Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center grounds, the entertainment is endless. The Schaumburg Farmers Market is held every Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., open June through October. Shoppers can select from an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with other homegrown and homemade “harvests.”
At the Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts, there is always something to discover. In the summer, the Center is alive with free Summer Breeze concerts and Summer Cinema outdoor movies. The concerts begin at 7 p.m. Saturday evenings on July 5, 12 and 19 and August 9, 16 and 23 in 2008. The Summer Cinemas are scheduled for August 7, 14 and 21 in 2008. The lineup is very eclectic, from country western to blues music to the Symphonic Pops Orchestra featuring big-band music and show tunes. The Center also hosts plays; 2007 brought Oklahoma! to its stage. (Also see the story about the Prairie Center for the Arts on page 46.)
Drivers heading to or from Chicago can’t help but notice “The Castle” just off I-90. The sprawling exterior of Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is clearly visible from the expressway, often causing drivers unfamiliar with the attraction to do a double-take. Theatre-style seating overlooks the sprawling arena, from which guests watch a live jousting show while medieval-attired “galley slaves” serve a meal (eaten by hand, with no utensils!) fashioned after a royal banquet. Don’t tell the kids this — while the show is exciting and entertaining, it’s also educational, teaching medieval culture and history. The Schaumburg castle is the largest of the Medieval Times locations throughout the U.S., and the only one in Illinois.
In Prairie Stone Business Park located in nearby Hoffman Estates is the Sears Centre, situated on the former site of Popular Creek Music Theater. Just a few minutes’ drive from Schaumburg, the Sears Centre hosts community events, concerts, performances and conferences throughout the year.
Ask any veteran of the malls and he or she will tell you that shopping is as much sport and entertainment as are soccer games and jousting shows! Schaumburg is proud to be home to Woodfield Mall, voted in recent years by Chicago visitors as a “best suburban attraction.” This shopper’s paradise is home to nearly 300 shops, restaurants, and anchors J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s), Nordstrom, and the country’s largest Sears store (416,000 square feet).
Woodfield Mall has 2.7 million square feet of gross leasing area, ranking it the fifth-largest shopping mall in the U.S. and third-largest in terms of shopping area. The mall’s 27 million annual visitors make it the most-visited tourist destination in Chicagoland and the most popular tourist destination in Illinois, as well as a frequent test market for national and international retailers.
Schaumburg employees who need to “run to the mall” for shopping and errands during the work week take the Lunchtime Shuttle, a bus service that runs about every ten minutes between the mall and several office buildings and complexes.
Professional Sports In
and Near Schaumburg
Visit the websites shown for each team for schedules, rosters, players’ stats and more.
Schaumburg Flyers: The “Bearon” will wish you a warm welcome as you settle into your seat with a hot dog and cold one to watch minor-league baseball at its best. Enjoy the game from the stands, a comfortable sky box suite, or bring a blanket to see the game from the stadium’s sprawling lawn seating area. (www.flyersbaseball.com)
Chicago Storm: Chicago’s professional indoor soccer team, the Chicago Storm, holds games at the Sears Centre. Established in 2004, the team is part of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). The Storm team has made the MISL Championship Series Semi-finals in each of their last two seasons, according to Brian Bauer, Director of PR and Media Relations for the Chicago Storm. “A Chicago Storm game is more than a game — it’s an event!” (www.chicagostorm.net)
Chicago Shamrox: The area’s professional indoor lacrosse team provides a new flavor of sports to the Schaumburg area, with games located at the modern Sears Centre. (www.chicagoshamrox.com)
Chicago Slaughter: This new professional arena football team offers sports fans a unique spin on one of America’s favorite sports. With its home base at the Sears Centre, the Slaughter is a part of the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL). (www.chicagoslaughter.com)
Chicago Rush: In the team’s first six seasons, it enjoyed six trips to the playoffs, two Central Division Titles and the prized ArenaBowl XX title in 2006. Part of the Arena Football League (AFL), the Rush’s intense, quick play continuously brings in a near-packed Allstate Arena each game. (www.chicagorush.com)
Chicago Wolves: Associated with the American Hockey League, the Chicago Wolves brings talent to the ice at the nearby Allstate Arena. This fast-paced team is sure to provide fans with a night of true sporting entertainment. http://www.chicagowolves.com