By Joe Yogerst
For most Americans, it's just not the holidays without a mall visit. Chicago-area Woodfield prepped weeks before the Black Friday shopping blitz, debuting an Ice Palace with a light show and Santa photo-ops.
After all, its parking lots are crowded whatever the season. Woodfield gets 27 million annual visitors – more than any other Illinois attraction (only 8.69 million make it to Chicago's Navy Pier). A heady mix of shopping, eating, and entertainment options has turned malls across the U.S. into similar tourism magnets and coined the phrase “destination malls.”