Not many towns let you slurp plum-topped ramen, tour a Lego factory and spot elk in one fell swoop. But Schaumburg does, and then some. What's more, the cultural bounty of Chicago is just 30 miles away, a breeze to reach by train or car.
Kids go gaga at Schaumburg's Legoland Discovery Center, where Lego jungle beasts, Lego skyscrapers and Lego cars are all part of the squeal-worthy package. At Boomers Stadium, it's the two-foot-long bratwursts slathered in beer cheese that earn cheers. The baseball park, home to the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League, was designed to look like Wrigley Field.
Foodies sharpen their chopsticks for Mitsuwa Marketplace and its Japanese noodle stalls (technically in the adjoining 'burb). Shoppers unsheathe their credit cards for Ikea and Woodfield Mall's 300 stores. Busse Woods provides a peaceful refuge – this forest preserve offers fishing, hiking and communing with the elk herd right across the highway from the mall. Come nighttime, the Chicago Improv Comedy Club and Laugh Out Loud Theater provide chuckles.