Bargains and Belly Flops in Lake County, Illinois
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Bargains and Belly Flops

Shopping groups - get on your walking shoes, pack the credit cards, harness on the water bottle and prepare for an ultimate bargain hunters shopping experience!  The Lake County area has two major shopping destinations 20 minutes apart and creates a shop-sational two or three-day tour!  Suggested trip plan:

Day One – 

Gurnee Mills Mall in Gurnee, IL
Gurnee Mills Mall in Gurnee, IL

Tackle the stores at Gurnee Mills with your Savings Passport and map.  Your clients can download the Simon app on their smartphones; maps and discounts and are ready to shop! This indoor center has nearly 200 stores including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Forever 21, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond/BuyBuy Baby and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Shoppers can dine at great restaurants including Rainforest Café, Buffalo Wild Wings and Chicago Woodfire Pizza.

The mall is shaped like a dollar sign so make sure to allow plenty of time to navigate through the assortment of purchasing delights.  

A group dinner is conveniently arranged at Rainforest Café to discuss the bargain triumphs of the day.  Their Evergreen group menu starts at $18.99 pp.  Ending with a “Volcano!” is a must because chocolate is the cure for sore feet!   

Choose from several nearby hotels such as Holiday Inn Gurnee, Hampton Inn & Suites Gurnee, LaQuinta Inn & Suites and more only a few miles away at SpringHill Suites by Marriott Waukegan or Holiday Inn Express Waukegan.  Each has their group amenities which can include a welcome reception, breakfast, luggage handling and checkout gift.  

Day Two –

Jelly Belly Visitors Center in Pleasant PrairieJelly Belly Visitors Center in Pleasant Prairie

After a fabulous breakfast at your hotel, head up to Jelly Belly Visitor Center, and take a ride on the warehouse train tour. You can see how Jelly Belly's beans were developed and maintain the same quality to this day. Everyone’s mission is to discover what a Belly Flop is and see all the amazing artwork created from the beans.  President Ronald Reagan loved Jelly Belly’s (find out which flavor) and had a private stash in the Oval Office during his administration.  We’re the proud home of North Chicago’s original Goelitz Candy Co. factory since 1913; it is currently the organic product plant. At the visitor center in Pleasant Prairie, each person receives an official Jelly Belly hat, sample bag of their 20 flavors and opportunity to shop in the store where they offer individual samples, pre-packaged candies, bulk purchases, specially made fudge and even a small café for coffee, ice cream and more.

Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets is just down the road. This outdoor 90+ store center is home to designer and brand-name retailers including Adidas, Banana Republic Factory Store, Calvin Klein, Converse, Levi’s Outlet, True Religion Outlet, Timberland Factory Store, Pandora Outlet, Sunglass Hut, UGG, Under Armour and White House Black Market. Pre-arrange your group visit, and upon arrival, they will receive a coupon book and map plus other timely shopping incentives and gifts.  
You may also pre-purchase Simon gift cards at a discount to add to the value of your tour.

Route 41 RoadhouseRoute 41 Roadhouse in Wadsworth, IL

For dinner, we suggest a Door County-style fish boil (summer/warmer months) at Route 41 Roadhouse or their famous family style cornbread, chicken, sides and cobbler for dessert. It’s sure to please the famished outlet shopper and in celebration of all the shopping bags, top off with a cherry wine or a local craft beer.  

After the shop, drop back at your hotel, we can certainly arrange an evening function at the hotel or one of many theaters/concert venues.  

For the next morning, several stop options are on the way home depending on the time of the year and direction you’re heading.  

Volo Auto Museum in Volo, ILVolo Auto Museum in Volo, IL

No matter how we create this tour, your shopaholics will have a marvelous time here in Lake County. Contact Jayne Nordstrom, your group tour specialist at or 847-662-3993.