Red Barn Golf Course's nine-hole, executive layout stretches across 2,120 yards of scenic, player-friendly terrain. The course promotes short game improvement with a preponderance of par-threes, while two holes that exceed 300 yards in length allow drivers and three-woods to doff their sequined headcovers for at least one heroic drive. Nineteen sand traps loom on the edges of the course's fairways and greens, adding drama to linksmen's orb-blasting expedition. The grounds also encompass a pro shop, putting green, short game area, and a full-length driving range, where guests will likely encounter PGA Instructor Marianne Floberg Kaiser, who roams the grounds, imparting golf wisdom in lessons and burying untold treasures throughout the course's bunkers.
Road Ranger Stadium entertains fans and families as the Rockford RiverHawks bat, bunt, and steal bases in Frontier League play. Cheering from the intimate vantage point of home-plate box seats, fans can chew on hot dogs while admiring the home-run swing of 2004 Frontier League MVP Rich Austin and analyze the curveballs of former Kansas City Royal Mike Wood. Family fun and entertainment extends beyond the third out of every inning with promotional showcases, such as comedic sumo wrestling, the Eye-Ball race, and the long-lived tradition of the seventh-inning stretch-the-truth-about-how-many-hot-dogs-you-ate.
Café Belwah’s chefs augment the flavors of classic American dishes by adding contemporary flourishes and inventive culinary flair. Meal forewords such as Belwah crab cakes ($11) anointed with a chipotle tartar sauce and crowned with onion crisps demonstrate that crowns of onion crisps are not restricted to the pates of monarchs of agricultural countries. The kitchen team prepares shrimp and lobster bisque ($4/cup) and amplifies its flavor with a creamy sherry finish. Pork chops ($22) arrive on the back of butternut-squash risotto and tempt fussbudgety palates with caramelized shallots and apples, and lamb chops ($34) tease the tongue with cohorts of potatoes and asparagus beneath a layer of mint balsamic reduction. Walleye almondine ($22) rounds out the café's seafood roster and allows diners to sample the bounty of the ocean without having to pry open clams for their walleye reserves.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
The team at Rhoades Fur Feather and Fin immortalizes prized catches with professional taxidermy services for a variety of animals. The specialists provide shoulder mounts for critters such as deer, elk, coyotes, foxes, and beavers, as well as life-size mounting upon request. Animal skulls from deer, bears, and elk shine after thorough beetle cleaning and whitening, and then proudly grin as they hang from wall mounts. Rhoades also prepares fish that range in size from 13 to 64 inches, and birds such as ducks, quails, and turkeys.
Schnitzel. Hefeweizen beer. Polka dancing. These are just a few of the facets of German culture that the German Society of Rockford has preserved and celebrated since 1964. At the group's annual German Society Oktoberfest gatherings, live bands perform and crowds take part in games such as the barmaid-stein race, which challenges men and women to carry dozens of sloshing beer steins without spilling a drop. The German Society of Rockford also organizes outreach programs, scholarships, and educational events.
The Rotary Botanical Gardens overflows with 20 acres of natural beauty and artistic landscaping. As visitors follow the path around the formal French rose garden, pergolas surround a circular field of grass and stand sentry over delicate rosebushes. A bubbling fountain surrounded by bright flower courtiers and stylish topiary holds court in the sunken garden and may be approached only after guests curtsy to it. The Nancy Yahr Memorial Children’s Garden displays 180 varieties of scented plants across 3,000 square feet of space, encouraging visitors to learn about the role of scent in the garden. The English cottage garden proffers shelter for teatime crumpet-eating contests, and the Japanese gardens accord visitors a place for quiet reflection. A visitor center and a gift shop also bedeck the Rotary Botanical Gardens' grounds.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.