Hugs + Mugs Parties, Field Trips, & Events

Hugs + Mugs is a café and retail store run by our GiGi U graduates, now referred to as “interns” along with our support staff. Each will manage different aspects of a real life retail environment. Hugs & Mugs creates gifts from the heart: personalized mugs printed with artwork and photos-your design or ours-you choose! Adults from GiGi University are involved in running ALL aspects of the business-design, production, food prep, baking, packaging, and customer service. Hugs + Mugs give the adults the opportunity that they need and deserve. This internship allows them to focus on the skills that they need to be successful while in the community, all while having a sense of belonging. They build friendships, and make lifelong memories while being able to continuously grow not only as a person, but as a hard-working employee as well. We provide them with the structure and supports that they need to insure that they will be successful.

Hugs & Mugs

One great way to help support this purposeful program at GiGi’s Playhouse is  by hosting your event in our Cafe! Maybe you are planning your child’s birthday party, looking for a place to have your company meeting, or want to bring your class in for a field trip. You can host your gathering here with us! We also like to host our own parties, like paint nites and karaoke nights, which our adults absolutely LOVE!

Why have your event here at Hugs + Mugs?  Not only is your function at our wonderful cafe filled with inspiration and fun,  you are also helping to support adults with Down syndrome working to improve their career skills so that will be able to secure purposeful employment at the completion of their internship. Occasions like this really help give our adults the work experience they need. Our staff love having groups come in because they really get to step up and put all of what they are learning into action, by serving you! Groups like birthday parties and field trips and corporate meetings challenge our adults, who really thrive and love them!

If you would like to schedule an event here in our store you can contact our store manager Stephanie Bolger at 847-278-8531 or through email at

Don’t take our word for it……Here is what others are saying.


“We are long-time fans and celebrators of GiGi’s Playhouse, so when it came time to plan our daughter’s fourth birthday

party Hugs & Mugs was at the top of our list for a venue. Their purpose and philosophy are invaluable to the local community,

and we feel compelled to support their mission. Not surprisingly, from the moment we called, everyone was both helpful and

accommodating, and everything was done with a smile. We could not have been happier with our daughter’s birthday experience,

and between making mugs, eating gelato and playing in the playhouse, she and her friends had an absolute blast. We look forward

to hosting other events here in the future.” ~ The Silver Family

 Hugs & Mugs

We have had classes come in for field trips!  They get some hands-on experience by helping our interns make their mug! This relationship benefits all involved.

On April 8th, we had the Chicago Jeep Patrol come and host their meet up here at our store. They had about 100-150 people come in! Our interns had an amazing time, and this event really put everything they have been learning to the test with such a big group of people. Of course, they went above and beyond and did incredible. It was a great day and we were able to make some new memories and friends that will last a lifetime!

GiGi's Playhouse

  So whether it’s your little ones birthday, a school field trip, a corporate outing or a ladies night out……Hugs + Mugs is a place where you can have a great time, enjoy friendships, a hot cup of coffee,  scoop of gelato, all while supporting a spectacular cause!  We are stronger together!


If you would like to schedule an event here in our store you can contact our store manager Stephanie Bolger at 847-278-8531 or through email at


GiGi's Playhouse

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