Each facility in the family of Rockford-Area Bowling Centers enlivens the classic game of bowling with its own signature amenities. On Friday evenings, the staff at Don Carter Lanes temporarily extinguishes its warm, vintagey glow and replaces it with a dimly lit club atmosphere as DJs from 97 ZOK descend upon the alley, pumping out beats that mingle in the air along with a light and fog show. For supplementary entertainment, the Don Carter location also offers a gaming center, and the Park Lanes alley recharges guests with beer and deep-fried fuel at its onsite pub. The Cherry Bowl location keeps serious bowlers properly outfitted with a pro shop, saving them the hassle of paper-mâchéing their own heads to form makeshift bowling balls.
A fully equipped Morgan-horse-training stable, Stone Ledge Farm teaches burgeoning equestrians of all ages the ins and outs of horseback locomotion. Lessons start with an optional 15-minute preparation period, teaching riders how to groom and tack their steeds, how to get horses ready to ride, and how to console equines when they realize that only humans get to wear chaps. Once prepared, students embark on 30 minutes of four-legged frolicking, taking the reins and feeling the wind ripple through their manes as they trot, gallop, and canter. A second 15-minute session after the lesson teaches the post-ride half of stable care, showing horse whisperers how to remove gear and where their noble pal's power-down button is located.
Café Belwah presents inventive cuisine and sophisticated adult beverages in a refined yet relaxed atmosphere. Hearty breakfast choices, such as pancakes topped with sautéed apples, bananas, and homemade butter-pecan syrup ($7), imbue diners with the strength to speed-read encyclopedias or move mountains just a touch to the left. Lunchtime arrives with salads, soups, and sandwiches, including the croissant-borne crab-cake sandwich with chipotle tartar sauce ($10). Café Belwah's wines, specialty cocktails, martinis, and beers flirt with the brain's happy centers and the knees' wobble buttons, and dependable menu standbys are frequently crafted with local ingredients, including the likes of roasted duck with cranberry chutney ($24) and mushroom ravioli genovese ($17).