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Entries in North Shore (2)

Tuesday
Feb212012

I Wonder What Happened: Kids Retailer Closes After Only Three Months

You know, I kinda hate it when this happens. I go to a new store and fall in love, vow to frequent it because it’s local and then I fail to return. Next thing I know, it’s closing.

That’s what happened to the big-box styled children’s store WONDER! in suburban Deerfield. Except instead of it closing a year or two after opening its doors, it was a mere three months.

I was invited to a pre-opening of WONDER! and was awed by every square inch of its 135,000 square feet. It had everything a parent could want and more. I blogged about how it was Babies R Us, but with Whole Foods class.

But something went wrong. According to media reports, lawsuits were filed against the company and its owner Shane Christensen alleging unpaid bills that were in the tens of thousands. Then came the announcement about its closing.

I got yesterday's statement from the company that said it couldn’t keep its doors open “due to balance sheet considerations that impacted dwindling product availability, technology systems, and planned improvements.”

I have to admit I WONDERed how such a seemingly costly store would stay afloat in this economy, but I was rooting for them. I wasn’t the only one, the village of Deerfield extended tax breaks for the company and at the time, a trustee even called it “the biggest thing to happen to the village this year.”

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Thursday
Jan052012

Indoor Play: Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview

Before you read this post, I have an important question to ask you: How far will you drive to reach a fun, indoor play place?

A. No more than 15 miles.

B. An hour, give or take a few minutes.

C. On a bitterly cold, gray day in January, I'll drive to the ends of the earth -- if the spot is engaging, educational and guarantees that my child will be so worn out he'll sleep through the night.

If you answered "b" or "c," then by all means read on. Otherwise, make sure to check out the Go West Indoor Play Guide for options closer to home!

The Kohl Children's Museum is located in a commercial and residential development on the site of a former naval air station in Glenview. Photos by Tara Burghart.

Name: Kohl Children's Museum

Location: 2100 Patriot Boulevard in Glenview. Phone: 847-832-6600.

Hours: On Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to noon, on Tuesdays through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. (Check website for longer summer hours.) If you're worried about the museum being crowded, here are the recommended best times for a quieter visit. It closes for all major holidays and for a "clean-up week" in September.

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