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Leave the Kids at Home, Enjoy Northern Indiana’s Grown-up Fare

Having children at home can be rewarding, enlightening and entertaining. But let’s face it – the days and nights of constant planning and execution can be exhausting. There’s homework and soccer practice and play dates and dentist appointments – it’s a wonder you get to squeeze in any time at all for you and your spouse.

3 Infographic Leave the Kids“I sometimes look at our calendar for the week, and I’m amazed at what we do over the course of seven days,” says Rebecca Richman, mother of four. “It’s non-stop, all the time.”

That’s why Richman and her husband make it a point to schedule a little time for themselves a few times each year.

“Sometimes, it’s as simple as dinner and a movie, but now that the kids are getting a little older, we’re trying to go away for a night or two,” says the Chicago resident. “The kids get to spend some time with their grandparents, and my husband and I get to spend some time not worrying about who’s bringing who where.”

With a return trip to Blue Chip Casino already in the works, the Richman’s plan to expand their Northern Indiana options this summer.

“There’s something comforting about being a couple of hours or less away,” says Richman. “We feel like we’re close enough to be around in case our kids really need us but far enough away to get away from everything.”

Here’s a look at some top attractions for couples and groups this summer:

Cerulean Restaurant

Where: 1101 East Canal St., Winona Lake, Indiana
When: Lunch: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 5 - 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 - 10 p.m.; closed Sunday

If your typical restaurant meal includes little people who eat ketchup-loaded chicken nuggets and sip milk through a straw, you deserve a real night out at a real restaurant. Cerulean Restaurant’s wonderful reputation isn’t limited to Northern Indiana foodies. Chicagoland residents also rave about the elegant meals using locally-grown food served in a modern setting. Cerulean’s adventurous sushi menu, its charming location and wonderful views draw in patrons from across the region.

“If you think restaurants in Chicago are only capable of giving you an amazing meal, be prepared to have all of your preconceived notions blown out of the water,” says Oak Park resident Joan Gelding, “This place is amazing.”

Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa

Where: 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City, Indiana
When: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Gambling is one thing, but it’s the experience of gambling – the food, the drinking, the excitement, the interaction with others – that keeps people coming back. If you think you need to book a flight to Las Vegas for the true adult-getaway experience, think again.

A quick drive to Michigan City and you’ll remember your life pre-diapers and late-night feedings. With more than 65,000 square feet of gaming, several fine-dining options and numerous entertainment offerings, you’ll get all the adult time away you need for a drive that’s less than the time you’d spend at an airport waiting to board your flight to Nevada. And why not make a weekend of it? With nearly 500 luxurious rooms and suites on-site, you’ll be able to spend a night out and a morning in, all without leaving the premises.

The Restaurant and Lounge at Swan Lake Resort

Where: 5203 Plymouth Laporte Trail, Plymouth, Indiana

If it’s casual elegance you crave, Swan Lake Resort should be a definite entry on your places-to-visit list. In addition to two 18-hole golf courses, spa facilities, hotel rooms, cabins and cottages, Swan Lake offers Dickie’s Restaurant and the Clubhouse Grille for the perfect combination of sophistication and relaxation. At Dickie’s, which opened in May after a major renovation, you’ll be able to enjoy a meal and drink on the patio overlooking the 18th fairway. If you’re looking for some casual eats before you head onto the course, or an airy space to watch a game, check out the Clubhouse Grille for salads, sandwiches and more.

Anderson’s Vineyard & Winery

Where: 430 E. US-6, Valparaiso, Indiana
When: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Perched on the Valparaiso Moraine, the highest spot in Northwest Indiana, Anderson’s Vineyard & Winery’s 40-acres is home to one of the state’s best-kept secrets. This former apple orchard is now a thriving vineyard. The adjacent winery produces light, fruity wines from vineyard grapes, as well as fruit and grapes grown throughout the region. Originally opened in 1927, Anderson’s has created a total wine experience for its guests, hosting picnics, parties and tours. Guests will enjoy wine tastings, as well as vineyard and wine cellar tours. A bakery, fudge factory, sculpture garden and gift shop help round out the winery experience.

Stay at Oliver Inn/Eat at LaSalle Grill

Where: Oliver Inn: 630 W. Washington St., South Bend, Indiana
LaSalle Grill: 115 West Colfax, South Bend, Indiana

Looking for a quiet, romantic weekend? Consider a stay at the Oliver Inn, an upscale bed and breakfast, and dinner at LaSalle Grill, a four-star rated restaurant. Oliver Inn offers guests a unique and luxurious experience. Imagine a full candlelight breakfast each morning by the fire, as live piano music accompanies your meal. Guests can choose from several room options, including some with private baths, Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces. LaSalle Grill’s unique, historic location and elegant décor may provide the aesthetics for a wonderful meal but it’s the modern American cuisine that will mesmerize you. The Oliver Inn respite and the LaSalle Grill meal will provide the perfect setting for a little “us” time for today’s busy parents, both just a short drive into Northern Indiana, from your front door.