Day 59: I have found Diagon Alley!

UPDATE (9-28-13): Wandering Dragon has outgrown their original space! They have moved about a block away. Their new location is 15032 S. Des Plaines Ave., Plainfield.

On the 59th day of this 365 day challenge, I have found one of the most fascinating small businesses. Walk up the “secret” side staircase into what feels like entering Diagon Alley. I still don’t truly understand it, but I can’t wait to go back.

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I have to admit, when I first saw their sign I was intrigued, but figured it was a Dungeons & Dragons type store that I would eventually visit out of curiosity. Then, they found Shop Small on Facebook and invited me to check out their store.   I figured today was the day!

I discovered that The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe is a game players haven. They’ve ramped family game night to a whole new level. While you can find classic boardgames: Risk, Monopoly, even kids games like Angry Birds (amongst other kids’ games I’d never heard of!), there’s also specialty editions like Dr. Who monopoly. Of course a Hogwarts game is on the shelves too.

No doubt about it though, the gaming world is what brings in customers from hours away. I’m not going to pretend to know anything about Dungeons & Dragons, Magic, or Zombie Week: Plants vs. Aliens. Honestly, though, I was fascinated. And, I could think of several kids who would thrive in this creative & strategic environment.

Owner Kevin (I didn’t get to meet his wife Laura) couldn’t have been nicer. He gave me a tour of the store- which really feels more like a cozy alternate world than a retail store. And, really it is more. There’s a game library where you can test & play virtually every board game ever created. The real draw, though, is the tournament room. Multiple tables are set up for nightly games & tournaments.

Die-hard gamers, this isn’t for you. While the tournaments are competitive, Kevin & Laura have created a family-friendly atmosphere where it’s not unusual to find ages ranging from 8-80. Never played before? Don’t worry, this friendly group will teach you the ropes and have you up to speed in no time.

Go to watch, go to play, just go! I don’t know if my kids are ready to join the “gaming” events, but I have no doubt we’ll find a new favorite family game at The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe!

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The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe
15032 S. Des Plaines Ave.
Plainfield, IL
815.267.6245

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