A Local’s Guide to the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg

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Woodfield Mall

You’ve lived in Schaumburg for years now, but you still haven’t explored the massive Woodfield Mall. As one of the largest malls in America with over 300 stores, it can feel overwhelming. Where do you even start? As a local, you know how busy that place gets, especially on weekends.

But with some insider tips, your next trip to Woodfield doesn’t have to be stressful. This local guide will give you the inside scoop on where to park, the best food spots, and how to navigate the mall like a pro. Woodfield has it all, from high-end designer stores to big-box retailers. Get ready to finally experience this suburban shopping mecca the right way.

A Brief History of Woodfield Mall

When Woodfield Mall first opened in 1971, it was the largest mall in the world. Developed by Taubman Centers and designed by Victor Gruen Associates, the mall originally spanned 2.4 million square feet with four anchor stores: Marshall Fields, Sears, Lord & Taylor, and JCPenney. Over the years, Woodfield has undergone several renovations and expansions to cement its status as a premier shopping destination.

The Early Years (1971–1990)

In its first two decades, Woodfield established itself as a pioneer of mall culture. It featured decorative fountains, lush landscaping, and a giant chessboard. New anchor stores like Nordstrom and Mervyn’s were added. The mall also hosted events like fashion shows, art exhibits, and charity fundraisers. By 1990, it had over 300 stores and restaurants and annual sales of $600 million.

Continued Growth (1991–2010)

The 1990s and 2000s saw two major expansions, bringing the mall to over 2.8 million square feet. Popular national chains like Coach, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn opened their first Illinois locations at Woodfield. The mall continued hosting community events but also added attractions like a double-decker carousel, a mini golf course, and bungee jumping.

A New Era (2011–Present)

In 2011, Woodfield completed a $150 million renovation focused on upscale dining and entertainment options. The makeover included a 30,000-square-foot food court called The Dining Pavilion, with gourmet cuisine from around the world. New stores like Microsoft, Tesla, and Canada Goose reflected the mall’s shift to more high-end retail.

Today, with over 300 stores, Woodfield Mall welcomes over 27 million visitors annually and generates $1 billion in sales each year. Though much has changed, its vision remains the same: to be the premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in the Chicago suburbs. Woodfield has secured its place in history as an innovator that has influenced shopping malls around the world.

The Mall’s Biggest Stores and Anchors

Macy’s

No trip to Woodfield Mall is complete without stopping in at Macy’s, one of the mall’s most iconic anchor stores. Macy’s is a one-stop shop for clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, and more. You’ll find major brands like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Levi’s, and DKNY. The store frequently runs sales and promotions, so you’re bound to score a good deal on something.

Nordstrom

For higher-end apparel and customer service, head to Nordstrom. This upscale department store is a fashionista’s dream, filled with everything from Tory Burch pumps to Burberry trenches. Nordstrom is especially known for its shoe selection. If you need a special occasion outfit or want advice from a knowledgeable sales associate, Nordstrom is the place to go.

JCPenney

JCPenney has been an anchor at Woodfield Mall for decades. This mid-range department store features mainstream brands like Nike, Levi’s, and Sephora inside JCPenney. You’ll find good deals on basics like t-shirts, jeans, and pajamas, as well as home goods like bedding and kitchenware. JCPenney frequently has coupons and sales, so you can score major savings on already affordable items.

Lord & Taylor

For designer brands at lower price points, check out Lord & Taylor. This upscale department store features contemporary and bridge brands like T. Tahari, Calvin Klein, and Kate Spade Saturday. You’ll also find cosmetics, jewelry, handbags, and shoes to complete your look. Lord & Taylor runs many promotional sales, especially around the holidays, so you can snag high-quality investment pieces at a fraction of the original price.

With four major anchor stores and over 300 specialty shops, boutiques, and restaurants, Woodfield Mall has something for everyone. No matter your style or budget, you’ll be able to find stores suited to your needs. The anchor stores, especially, offer depth and selection that keep shoppers coming back time and again.

Renovations and Expansions Over the Years

When Woodfield Mall first opened in 1971, it was an open-air shopping center with just 59 stores. My, how times have changed! Over the decades, the mall has undergone several renovations and expansions to transform it into the enclosed shopping mecca you know today, with over 300 stores and restaurants.

Major Renovation (1994-1996)

In the mid-1990s, Woodfield underwent a massive $200 million renovation that doubled its size to over 2 million square feet, making it the largest shopping center in the U.S. at the time. The renovation enclosed the mall, added a second level, several new anchor stores like Nordstrom and JCPenney, an AMC movie theater, and an impressive glass ceiling. After this renovation, Woodfield truly became a destination mall that attracted shoppers from all over the Midwest.

Expansion (2000s)

Woodfield continued expanding in the early 2000s, adding several new wings and anchor stores. Lord & Taylor and Apple opened in 2001, followed by Microsoft and Aveda Institute. This expansion increased the mall’s total square footage to over 2.3 million. Several parking garages were also added to accommodate the growing number of visitors.

Recent Renovations (2010s)

In recent years, Woodfield has focused on updating the look and amenities. A $40 million renovation in 2012–2013 gave the common areas a modern facelift, improved wayfinding, and added soft seating lounges. Several stores were also renovated or relocated within the mall. To keep up with e-commerce, Woodfield has added convenience services like curbside pickup as well as “experience” destinations like Legoland Discovery Center and Escape Challenge to attract families and millennials.

Woodfield Mall has come a long way in its 50-year history but remains an icon of American shopping culture and a source of nostalgia for longtime Chicagoans. Though retail has changed drastically, Woodfield continues to adapt to meet the needs of each new generation. What renovations or new stores would you like to see added next? The possibilities seem endless at this shopper’s paradise.

Getting to Woodfield Mall

Woodfield Mall is conveniently located in Schaumburg, Illinois, about 30 minutes northwest of downtown Chicago. Whether you drive, take public transit, or ride a bike, getting to Woodfield is a breeze.

By Car

Woodfield Mall is easily accessible by car, with plenty of parking options. It is located just off Interstate 90, with entrances at Golf Road and Meacham Road. The mall parking lots offer over 8,500 free parking spaces. If the main lots are full, additional parking is available in the JCPenney and Sears lots. For disabled visitors or those with limited mobility, handicapped parking spots, and drop-off areas are located near every mall entrance.

Public Transit

If you prefer to avoid driving and parking, the Schaumburg Municipal Yellow Line provides bus service to Woodfield Mall. Route 606 stops directly at the mall, while Routes 696, 697, and 699 stop within a 5-minute walk. Fares range from $1.75 to $4, depending on your destination. The mall is also located just 2 miles from the Schaumburg Metra train station, which is on the Milwaukee District/West Line. Taxis, Uber, and Lyft rides from the Metra station to Woodfield typically cost between $5 and $10.

Rideshare

Using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft is a convenient way to get to Woodfield Mall without the hassle of driving and parking. Fares will vary depending on the time of day and your pickup location, but you can expect to pay between $15 and $30 for a ride from most nearby suburbs. For larger groups, consider booking an UberXL or LyftXL to save money. Some tips for using rideshare: • Pinpoint the exact mall entrance closest to the stores you want to visit for the most efficient drop-off and pickup. • Check the Woodfield Mall store directory online to note the locations of your must-see shops. • Request your return ride about 30 minutes before you are ready to leave to account for traffic and any delays.

With numerous transportation options, Woodfield Mall is an easy place to get to, no matter where you are coming from or how you choose to get there. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey the shopping adventure awaits!

Parking at One of the Largest Malls in America

Woodfield Mall spans a whopping 2.7 million square feet, so finding a parking spot in this sea of cars can seem daunting. Don’t worry; with a little planning, you’ll be strolling through the mall in no time.

The Lots

Woodfield has over 12,000 parking spaces spread out in lots surrounding the mall. The closest lots, called Premier, offer the shortest walk but often fill up first. The lots are color-coded by section look for overhead signs to locate your section. If Premier is full, try the outlying red, blue, or yellow lots. These are a bit further out, but shuttle buses run frequently to whisk you to the mall entrances.

Valet Parking

For a few extra bucks, valet parking drops you right at the mall doors. Valet parking is located outside Entrance 1, Entrance 3, and Entrance 5. The rates are $10 for the first two hours and $2 for each 15 minutes after that. Valet parking is perfect if you have young kids or mobility challenges.

Disability Parking

Designated disability parking spots are located close to all mall entrances. Just look for the blue disability parking signs. If you have a disability parking placard, these spots are free to use for up to 2 hours. After that, standard parking rates apply.

Getting There Early

The lots start to fill up by midday, especially on weekends, so aim to arrive before 11 am if possible. Not only will parking be more plentiful, but the mall will be less crowded. You’ll be able to leisurely shop, eat, and enjoy all the mall has to offer without dodging throngs of people. If you do arrive later, be prepared for the lots to be quite full, and you may need to park farther out. But with the mall open until 9 pm most nights, you’ll still have plenty of time to experience everything.

With some advanced planning, you can conquer the Woodfield Mall parking challenge. Look for the closest available lot, consider valet if you prefer door-to-door service or need disability access, and try to arrive on the earlier side. Most importantly, pack your patience—you’re about to embark on an exciting shopping adventure! Once you’re parked, the massive mall and all its shops, restaurants, and attractions await. Enjoy!

Mall Hours, Events, and Deals

The Woodfield Mall is open seven days a week for your shopping enjoyment. Monday through Saturday, its doors open at 10 am and close at 9 pm. On Sundays, hours are 11 am to 6 pm. The mall tends to stay open later during the holidays and summer, sometimes as late as 11 pm, so be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date hours.

In addition to its 200+ stores and restaurants, Woodfield Mall hosts various events and promotions year-round. Some annual favorites include:

• Holiday Open House: Kick off the Christmas shopping season with extended hours, live music, giveaways, and special sales in early November. • Taste of Woodfield: Sample dishes from participating mall eateries for just $5 per plate. Held in May and October. • Job Fairs: If you’re in the market for a new job, stop by one of the seasonal job fairs where many mall retailers are hiring.

Woodfield Mall also frequently runs additional deals and coupons on its website and social media channels. Some examples include:

• Flash sales: Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to get notified of limited-time 25–50% off deals at select stores. • Gift card bonuses: Around the holidays, buy a certain amount in gift cards and receive a bonus gift card for yourself. • VIP shopping events: Get access to special pre-sales, giveaways, and discounts at exclusive evening shopping events.

• Dining discounts: Sign up for the Woodfield Mall dining club to receive weekly offers like buy one, get one free meal, free appetizers or desserts, and more at mall eateries.

Between the extended hours, myriad events, and a plethora of ongoing deals, Woodfield Mall aims to provide shoppers with maximum flexibility and value. There are so many opportunities to save and enjoy yourself at this premier shopping destination in the northwest suburbs. Check their website frequently so you never miss a chance to snag huge discounts at your favorite stores.

FAQ on Woodfield Mall

As one of the largest shopping malls in the U.S., Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, has pretty much anything you could want in one place. However, with over 300 stores, it can also be a bit overwhelming. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you navigate this retail mecca like a pro.

Where do I park? Woodfield has over 8,500 free parking spaces in color-coded lots around the mall. The closest spots fill up fast, so I’d recommend parking in the east or west garages if you want to get in and out quickly. They connect directly to the mall.

What are the mall hours? Woodfield is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm. Some stores have extended hours, especially around the holidays, so check the Woodfield website for the latest schedules.

What stores can I shop at? Name a store, and chances are Woodfield has it—from Macy’s and Nordstrom to Zara and Pandora. There are big department stores, hundreds of specialty shops, plus a huge food court and dining pavilion. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it here.

Is there anything for kids to do? Absolutely! Woodfield has lots of family-friendly features like the Woodfield Carousel, Great Train Expo model train display, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and GameWorks arcade. The Crayola Experience art studio is also popular, with 25+ hands-on attractions.

How do I get around the mall? Woodfield covers over 2 million square feet, so getting between stores can involve a lot of walking. Look for the overhead maps to plot your route. You can also take one of the escalators or glass elevators up and down between the mall’s three levels. And don’t miss the beautiful carousel on the lower level it’s a fun way to get around!

With any luck, these tips will help ensure you have a successful shopping trip to Woodfield Mall. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Conclusion

So there you have it complete guide to navigating the massive Woodfield Mall like a local. With over 300 stores spread across 2 million square feet, it can feel overwhelming. But armed with a game plan of where to find your favorite shops and the inside scoop on where to park, you’ll be strutting through Woodfield Mall like you own the place. Don’t forget to fuel up at one of the excellent dining options when you need a break from all the shopping. Now get out there and go hit up Woodfield Mall like you’re a lifelong Schaumburg resident. This place has everything you could ever want, from designer brands to nostalgic toys. Have fun exploring all the gems Woodfield Mall has to offer!
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