The Stockton Park District hosts outdoor community events throughout the year, including craft fairs, basketball tournaments, and 5K and 10K run/walks. Brothers Steve, Andy, and Tom Jordan organized the first annual 5K in 2008. They used their skills from hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to plan and advertise the event. The first year, they signed up 91 runners and raised money for a tennis court behind the high school and a paper-airplane factory at the middle school. Since then, the brothers have worked to improve the race and transform it into a community event with entertainment and an increasingly challenging and interesting course.
The sun and the stars serve as constant companions at Hillcrest Event Center, where a 9-hole golf course, a swimming pool, and camping grounds entertain visitors day and night. A breezy par 30, the executive course caters to all experience levels, inviting beginners to take on its short holes while letting seasoned golfers hone their approach shots. After navigating the water hazards, guests can purposely head to the Olympic-sized swimming pool, which ripples at the center of a 3,000-square-foot sundeck where waiters serve poolside food and drinks. Or, dine at The BBQ Pit, home of the Illinois BBQ Fest.
As the sun sets, the crackling glow of fires peppers the campgrounds, illuminating the nylon sides of tents or canvas hulls of mobile RVs. Tent sites include access to the resort's hot showers and restrooms, while the RV facilities' hookups pump water and electricity into mobile homes so residents can bathe in private and use electric carving knives for whittling. When the sun rises, residents can begin their day with a hike on the resort's nature trails.
Fitness Lifestyles boasts such a bounty of amenities that virtually anybody should be able to find a way to get fit. In addition to the usual weightlifting and cardio equipment, there are four indoor tennis courts, a pool, and even two massage therapists on call. A full schedule of classes includes aquatic aerobics in the pool as well as dry-land calorie-burners such as boot camp, spinning, yoga, and Pilates. After a strenuous workout, head to the spa to unwind with a hot stone massage or customized facial.
The caring staff at the YMCA of Rock River Valley fosters healthy habits with personalized fitness programs, family-centric recreation, and more than 50 group exercise classes at both Rockford-area locations. Equipment orientation helps new members feel at home by helping them set workout goals and meet other members with similar goals. After teaming with a certified coach to build a full-fledged fitness plan, guests may follow up with an electronic advisor that suggests changes to the plan based on input from the Y’s human fitness experts. Unlimited access to group classes such as yoga and pool-based aqua Pilates challenges muscles under water. Zumba’s Latin-inspired dance moves get heart rates delightfully elevated, and cardio madness continues the trend with weighted bars and free weights. The Y also sets aside time for families to connect over basketball, movie showing in the pool, or competing in an inflatable obstacle course
In addition to showering members with classes and coaching, the Y bathes them in discounts when they sign up for specialized classes such as triathlon training. Complimentary childcare allows parents to focus their mental energy on physical feats, and a handful of free guest passes lets members show their friends where they climb the climbing wall.
It always started with a whisper: "It's glass, get up!" Dan Jerritt's father would pull him from a peaceful slumber and take him out on a nearby lake for water skiing or wakeboarding adventures. Over the years, Dan's love of wakeboarding turned into a passion and eventually a career.
Now, alongside his wife Amy, Dan owns West Rock Wake Park, a wakeboarding park at Levings Lake. This park eschews the traditional boat-drawn board in favor of a more environmentally-friendly approach?two towers with cables that move wakeboards across the lake's glassy surface. After you steady yourself on the board, hang on tight because the cables will send you soaring over the water. The most extreme wakeboarders can even request obstacles to raise the difficulty level on their ride.
Loves Park Scuba immerses its students in hands-on training—literally. Whether they're exploring shipwrecks in the Great Lakes or learning the basics at the bottom of the training center's 85-degree indoor pool, students get in the water almost immediately. Master instructor Captain Dan Johnson leads a team adept at training and certifying clients in more than 20 specialty courses year-round, including open water and advanced adventure diver certification courses. Captain Dan teaches fundamentals as well as complex skills such as underwater navigation and training octopi to adjust your equipment. Meanwhile, a private charter boat ferries training and certified students on dive trips in the Great Lakes. The center also rents and sells gear from Aqua Lung, SeaLife, DeepSee, and Tusa.