Finding one place where you can entertain, educate, feed, and shop for your child is no small wonder. That’s why the opening of Wonder in north suburban Deerfield is such a big (ginormous, honking) deal.
The worth-the-trip destination bundles a retail store, play area, cafe, and classrooms into more than 100,000 square feet. With everything from strollers (which you can test-drive on an indoor sidewalk) to clothing to toys to cribs, it ventures into one-stop, big-box territory. Still, the careful attention to lesser-known brands (P’kolino, Ducduc, Pink Chicken) keeps things feeling boutiquey, as does the attentive registry assistance.
Your sidekick will make a beeline to the back-of-the-house indoor playground with hard foam mounds to climb and scamper on. In an adjacent room, he’ll do craft projects, build with blocks, and engage in soft-toy play. When tummies growl, you’ll head to the soon-to-open on-site cafe for healthy bites.
Movie nights, concerts, story times, and parent seminars happen regularly. Access to all (including the play spaces) is included in a family membership ($99 for a year, if you sign up before November 23).
We could go on about the music, art, dance, cooking, and chess classes — but we want to leave you something to wonder about.
Wonder, 250 South Waukegan Road, between Lake-Cook Road and Interstate 94 (224-330-6400 or shopwonder.com).
What: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey returns with daredevil stunts, high-flying aerialists, animals, and lots of clowning around.
Why: Don’t miss The Human Fuse, a guy who rockets through the air from his self-made human crossbow.
When: Thurs.-Nov. 13 & Nov. 16-27.
Where: Thurs.-Nov. 13, Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Rd., at Lunt St., Rosemont; Nov. 16-27, United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., at Damen Ave. Tickets at 800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com. Adults and children, $13-$60.
The Salon at Kooky Kidstuff
What: Get the full-on princess treatment (mini manis and pedis, updos, braids, and makeup) at the store’s new addition.
Why: Pretty primping before holiday pictures.
When: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave., at Grand Ave., 3rd flr. (312-527-0552).
Cash for Candy
What: In exchange for your unopened Halloween treats, Westend Dental will give you $1 per pound, plus a tooth care kit.
Why: Brusha, brusha, brusha.
When: Tues. & Wed., 3-6 p.m.
Where: 1170 W. Armitage Ave., at Racine Ave. (773-244-9500).
Photo: Courtesy of Wonder