Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort is in Sheridan, Illinois. Sheridan is West of Chicago, and in a great area for rest and relaxation. The location is about 1.5 hours outside of Chicago from the airport to the resort.
Video by iheart McCulloughs
Day One Travel & Arrival at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort
It all starts with my flight to O’Hare. Then a car rental and drive out to the resort. Chicago is an impressive town with a wild history. It can be overwhelming and intriguing at the same time. Other than my flights in and out on this trip, I plan to stay mostly at the resort. I want to disconnect and relax, and I find that more at a resort than I do in a big city like the Windy City.
The drive to the resort was not bad. Chicago traffic is heavy but not as bad as in New York, Los Angeles, or even Hampton Roads where I am from. It still can feel overwhelming driving in a city with giant skyscrapers when you are from a smaller town in America. There is something about letting your eye wander for even seconds as you drive looking at the buildings that destabilize you as a driver. Mentally I keep telling myself eyes on the road.
Either when you fly into the area or before you leave, you may want to visit the Skydeck in Chicago because it is an impressive visual experience. I have been before so I am skipping it on this trip but it is worth noting as the experience is unique.
The Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort is at 2558 N 3653rd Road Sheridan, IL 60551. Which was a good 90-minute trip from the airport. But as you arrive, you are rewarded with a special place to stay and many options for your vacation.
This resort setup is huge in scale and impressive. I bet many from Chicago visit here as a favorite escape.
With these blogs, I have started to share recent reviews for added context and feedback for you, dear reader. So, let me do so with this location as well.
Comfortable bed and good service.
Very comfortable! We went during the off-season and felt like we had the place to ourselves!
A great getaway
FOx River Resort is a great place to stay. There are plenty of activities to do with the children. The indoor pool was good and on this visit, we were able to go to the indoor waterpark. The 2 bedroom grand villa we stayed in was nice. The living room couches were dated and worn and probably should be replaced but everything else was fine. We liked that the kitchen has all utensils for cooking. The beds are so so comfortable! I loved the bed! We have been here several times and we will definitely be back again!
I believe they take pride in the establishment and I and my family are definitely coming back.
Awesome Family Vacation
It was a wonderful time spent in your establishment and very clean, and accommodating and a wonderful memorable time was had by the whole family.
Beautiful surroundings and loads of amenities.
Although we came during the autumn and some of the outdoor activities were not fully able to be enjoyed due to the weather, we still had a great vacation. The pool was delightful and the walking paths were very nice. Our room was clean and well-organized. We were happy to use the common space and laundry facilities. The location is very close to Ottawa, which is an interesting historic town.
No complaints. Loved it.
Love everything about it. No complaints, highly recommend others to visit this resort. Really enjoyed my stay and will definitely return to this location.
Great place to unwind!!!
This place is very comfortable. Presidential suites are the best. I loved having a kitchen in my room.
Lots of amenities
This is a great place for a girls’ weekend, a family vacation, or any special occasion. The staff is very friendly, and the area is beautiful. Great accommodations and so many choices. The swimming pools are very large and have choices of indoor, outdoor, or the water park. We couldn’t believe all the activities that were available. Plan to come back again.
Great family experience.
This resort was great for a long weekend for my family from the Chicagoland area. We loved all the amenities, especially the large swimming pools. It is an affordable way to get away for a few days. Make sure to pack groceries, as this resort is not near any restaurants. The waterpark is fun and small enough to give our elementary-aged kids a little freedom while still keeping an eye on them.
Seeing the options
When I check into a resort, I typically like to check things out and get a lay of the land as I like to say. I want to know where everything is in relation to my villa and get a sense of things. Here it is so big and spread out that you likely want to do that in your car. There is a separate water park that is optional. It is an extra fee, but if you are staying on site and not leaving much a day here with younger kids would likely be a blast. As a reviewer mentioned, it is on the small side as water parks go (I would say maybe ½ the size or less of a Great Wolf Lodge) so older kids would enjoy it for a bit but might get bored.
The site does offer a seasonal outdoor pool, mini-golf, an indoor pool, and seasonal horseback riding. So there are many options. The kids can also enjoy the arcade, though these days they might also be bringing their own gaming systems along if you let them.
There is also a small on-site movie theater which is a nice option. In the water, there are also peddle boats and other rental options which are nice weather and temperature permitting.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
Day Two Rest & Relax
As I said, I had a simple goal when I looked up the details on this resort and its isolated location. Relaxation. My plan was simple and was to swim in the pools and eat simple meals in the villa. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, just rest and relaxation. First things first I had stopped on the way in after eating at Granny Franny’s dinner and grabbed some groceries. This included premade meals, breakfast, and snack items and a few beers of two different kinds.
I was on vacation and not going anywhere, so I had my first breakfast beer in maybe a decade. I just typically do not drink until the afternoon or evening if I drink at all now. This was not to get drunk or start a long day of drinking. Just to enjoy it by itself much as I would have I just cut the grass on a hot summer day. It was mostly symbolic in nature, but it sure taste good. Some might say it tasted a bit like freedom. It was a small batch of beer that had been aged in bourbon barrels and had great flavor. One was enough to get me in the mindset of true vacation mode.
Next, I made myself a ham and cheese omelet, then I showered and dressed at headed to the indoor pool. It was going to warm up today, but right now the outside air temperature was like 65 and I felt that the indoor pool had my name on it. If the water park is not jam-packed, I may check that out tomorrow. Today I just wanted to swim some, rest some, mix and repeat.
By late lunchtime, maybe 3 PM or so I headed back to the villa for a shower, beer, and lunch. This was only beer 2 of the day but it tasted great and went down smooth.
Day Three Resort Time
You have heard me write about this before. If you follow me on my, trips you know I am like a little kid; I love mini-golf. Most of my life, I did not play golf itself, but I have always liked mini-golf. That is something I love that Holiday Inn Club has made available at every one of their resorts so far I have stayed at. The onsite mini-golf is also where I started my day after breakfast. I played for too long as an adult, doing every whole twice, but I like it. Call me easy to satisfy if you will.
Next, I wanted to see if they had a Clydesdale or a horse that was related to the one Hoss rode on Bonanza. As a large guy, I love horses, but I also do not want to be unfair to your average horse. I am half the size of some horses people use for rides for the public, and that is just not something reasonable to ask anyone to carry someone half their weight on their back. For most people, that is not a concern, but COVID packed on the weight with me on lockdown. Also, I am 6’4” so I start out large before the added notches on the belt come in to play.
Checking out the horses, I personally decided to skip the horseback experience. I am sure the fear in some old painted eyes would have come up if they saw me headed for their back. Kind of like overloading a small pickup truck with too much wood for winter. Just not a good idea. But the horses that have on site look healthy, and well cared for. So, that is likely an option for all but us linebacker sized folks.
That would be fun for a youngsters first time riding horseback. It is a lovely location and the people seem nice.
There is a 7 acre fishing lake on site with boats as well. Small canoes and peddle boats await you here and they look fun. Again, weight and size would likely be an issue for this guy. Note to self, work on that weight, big guy.
It was good just to be out and walk around outside from one location to another. I had forgotten how much I missed just walking around outside in nature during the months of lockdown. I locked myself down, not out of fear but more out of common sense. Being a former childhood asthma sufferer, being overweight, and using a CPAP when I sleep, I figured since other than my travel writing I work from home I would shelter in place for a bit. Little did we all know how long that bit would be.
Traveling again felt wonderful, and also going places where people did not feel they needed masks was nice. Just for the sense of freedom again, and the ability to block that mess out of your mind easier with fewer outward signs around you.
My overall thoughts on this resort are very positive. I think if you can get the kids to unplug and reconnect with you, while keeping them busy enough with the pools, horseback riding, boats, and mini-golf, it may be a great break for the family. The water park is nice but a day of that will be all you want as an add on, and only if the pools tend to bore the kids some. Some kids are just as happy with a nice pool as anything else. I know I was when I was young.
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