If you have not been to Ikea, you just won't believe your eyes when you get there! When one opened up about 45 minutes away from our house, we ignored the advice to check it out, thinking, how great can a furniture store be? Boy oh boy, were we wrong! We finally took the trip and we were amazed at the sheer size of the place, the variety of merchandise, the restaurant, the snack bar, and the unbelieveble, incredible, ridiculously low prices! Things were so inexpensive, we were sure they were mismarked. The kids were not bored for an instant, and my husband and I were wide-eyed as children in a candy store. Although we completely filled our trunk on that trip, we can't wait to go back! (Bonus: if you go to the one in Stoughton, Massachusetts, there is a Christmas Tree Shop next door!)
We have been shopping at Ikea for years and have never been sorry. One of the best items was a loft bed. It was very easy to assemble and was exceptionally sturdy. It was a great value!
We had the opposite reaction, actually. There's so much there, it's so cheap and it all looks like it'd be fun to have, but we couldn't make any decisions so we left empty-handed! Plus as much as we like their general eco-friendliness with packaging and manufacturing, so much of what they sell is petroleum-based plastic and/or won't last very long, the end result isn't a very sustainable shopping experience. That said, I'm still amazed by the 5-cent (yes, 5-cent) Christmas decorations I picked up as we were passing through the checkout area with our empty cart. We did pick up a few. :-)
Going to IKEA is a big treat for me and the kids. The food is cheap, the kids love playing in the play areas and the 'kids rooms', and I love the prices as well as the style of the items. Definitely a good rainy day outing!