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Wisconsin Spring Break Recap

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Wisconsin might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of Spring Break, but our toddler loved it.

When I planned last year’s Spring Break, I tried to balance the desire to create experiences that our two-year-old would love while taking into consideration that traveling with a toddler can be exhausting. We chose Wisconsin based on two factors: we didn’t want to fly and we wanted to be close to home because Gwen had never stayed in a hotel before. We figured that if the trip was a complete disaster, we could just drive home.

Where We Stayed

Charles and I love Chicago, but living here does present one problem: there aren’t many drivable (within 2-3 hours) vacation destinations. Our research quickly led us to the Grand Geneva, a resort about 90 minutes from Chicago.

I stayed at one of the villas at Grand Geneva a few years ago and we decided that would be the best place for us to stay since we would have space to hang out while Gwen napped and went to sleep early. In addition to having accommodation choices that work well for families, Grand Geneva is a huge property with restaurants, pools, and activities. The biggest attraction was that Timber Ridge, an indoor water park, is beside the Grand Geneva. (They are sister properties and you can find packages that combine a stay at Grand Geneva with passes to Timber Ridge).

Wisconsin Spring Break Recap

Spring Break began with a stop at Peppa Pig World of Play in Schaumburg. Peppa Pig World of Play is a soft space for young children with climbing structures, a play house, play trains and buses, and other Peppa Pig-themed spaces.

We spent about 90 minutes at Peppa Pig World of Play. It is located in a mall so we did some quick shopping and grabbed lunch before continuing on to Grand Geneva.

Once we arrived at Grand Geneva, we settled in and went straight to Timber Ridge. Gwen was in heaven. There is a designated toddler area with small slides and areas to splash. We brought a toddler swim vest and we let her play in some other areas under close supervision. We rode in the lazy river all together.

Timber Ridge Lodge is attached to the waterpark, but we opted to stay at Grand Geneva for a few reasons. We wanted to have more space than just a single hotel room, and having a kitchen at the villa (it’s more of a one-bedroom townhouse) made our lives easier since Gwen snacks and drinks milk throughout the day. Plus, I think it is safe to assume that the villa was much quieter than the lodge. Another perk was that Grand Geneva has an indoor heated pool.

The other big reason we chose Grand Geneva over Timber Ridge Lodge was the food and beverage options. Grand Geneva has more elevated dining options that still offer kid’s menus. The meal at Geneva ChopHouse, the steakhouse, was delicious! We also enjoyed having a glass of wine by the fire at the lobby lounge. After days at the loud, kid-filled, waterpark we appreciated a more relaxing and quiet atmosphere.

I want to point out a couple of additional things to do at Grand Geneva. There is a small ski mountain that is open in the winter. We went at the end of March, so it had just closed for the season. In the warmer months, guests can enjoy a golf course and outdoor pools.

On the way home, we made a stop at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. This was ok. The center has some Lego builds on display, offers classes, a ride, play areas, and areas to build with Legos. It isn’t very big, and it doesn’t cater to one specific age group, so we didn’t feel like there was that much for Gwen to do.

If you happen to be in Schaumburg, stop in, but I wouldn’t suggest that this is a destination worthy of making a special trip out to Schaumburg.

It was a quick two-night trip and a successful first hotel experience for Gwen. We liked the ease of travel that driving just 90 minutes provided. Flying with a toddler can be daunting.

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