Open since the 1950s, B & B Park Bowl?the oldest bowling center in Loves Park?proves that some things stand the test of time. Owner-operator Butch Olson, a veteran bowler, has also played here for years, and he strives to make the alley a family-friendly destination. To that end, the eight Brunswick Anvil lanes boast 12-strike auto scoring systems, bumpers for the little ones, and rental shoes that start at toddler size 9. On the weekends, the lights dip low for glow-in-the-dark bowling. The onsite bar serves drinks as well as hot sandwiches and, on Friday nights, hearty dinner entrees.
Though deft at trick shots, Tyler Voorhees doesn't expect beginning pool players to immediately master the game's intricate physics and geometry. So he focuses on fundamentals during his private and small group lessons at Rockford Billiard Cafe, even filming his students so they can review their techniques with video feedback. From there, pupils can join one of the café's leagues, vie for the top spot in a tournament, or just play a pickup round on 1 of 17 tables. An in-house pro shop even stocks more than 150 pool cues for purchase, as well as onsite cue repair services.
Not everything at Rockford Billiard Cafe revolves around its namesake sport. Darts hit bullseyes, royal flushes trump other hands on video poker units, and catchy tunes resound from an online jukebox. To reenergize patrons after long stretches of playing or dancing, cooks serve up classic bar snacks such as buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, and pizza.
Although the culinary team at Tempo Italian Bistro & Lounge specializes in traditional Italian dishes, its menu isn't entirely orthodox. Alongside classics such as chicken parmesan and lasagna, cooks top pizzas with cheesesteak fixings and craft Italian-style po' boys with meatballs and housemade marinara sauce. Feasts unfold inside Tempo's dining room or jazz lounge, where local musicians riff and wail until 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Besides Italian dinners, Tempo—located in the Best Western Clock Tower Resort—hosts daily breakfasts with hearty options such as cinnamon french toast and fruity mélanges of honeydew and cantaloupe.
It’s difficult to describe a typical trip to 3 Sheets Pub; on any given night, visitors might find themselves locked in a game of darts, dancing to a DJ’s selections, or just hanging out with a guy in a cheese hat. Pitchers of domestic and craft beer flow freely, along with hearty sandwiches and finger foods. Flat-screen televisions encircle the room where the bar quenches thirst, and a red, neon haze filters through various liquor bottles. 3 Sheets Pub also looks after its patrons by offering a free shuttle service that spirits guests home on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Be Active Outdoors organizes physical and recreational activities for adults and children of all fitness levels. Regular events challenge locals to break their sedentary habits with 10-mile bike rides, lessons on revitalizing waterways, and group adventure races. An annual river-basin tournament combines a focus on conservation with thrilling paddleboat and shoreline fishing. The Amped Up Adventure race complicates traditional adventure racing with urban elements including biking, running, paddling, and an obstacle course to get people moving in their home environments.
JAKS on South Park buzzes with the sounds of Vegas-style slot machines and live entertainment on the weekends. Amid its lineup of exciting accents, the venue gratifies bellies with a spread of hearty eats, including the JAKS monster burger, a one-third-pound patty loaded with bacon, ham, and american cheese. On Fridays, diners welcome the weekend by treating themselves to an all-you-can-eat fish fry or by carving into a T-bone or new york strip steak.