Every day of the week, Lisle Lanes rumbles as bowling balls collide with pins on 32 lanes. The facility remains a constant hive of activity, spreading competition across a combination of leagues, tournaments, parties, and pickup games. When they’re not secretly filling an opponent’s ball with cake frosting in between frames, players keep busy by visiting the onsite pro shop or the Kingpin Grille, stocked with freshly made pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers. They can also visit the alley’s game room or lounge for additional doses of recreation.
Each season, more than 222,000 plants change color at The Morton Arboretum–an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Ill. They originate from 40 countries in the northern hemisphere, which means an exploration of the arboretum's 1,700 acres is like a trip across America, China, and Europe. Throughout the year, scores of tree-focused events, activities, and services for adults, children, and professionals keep nature enthusiasts engaged and educated. The sights along its 16 miles of walking trails and nine miles of roads evolve yearly from rich greens in the spring and summer to a rainbow of yellow, orange, and red in the fall, before clearing its canvas in winter. Seasonal attractions, including Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, grant guests with a unique, interactive experience that includes dazzling light projections and electric splashes of color. Such events help summon more than 800,000 annual visitors to the grounds and more than 36,000 member households, all of which visit between 7 a.m. and sunset, daily.
In its more than 12 themed play areas, Kids Town not only entertains little ones, but also helps them develop skills for creative self-expression and social engagement. Kids explore the indoor pint-sized city, wandering through the central market with a kid-sized grocery cart before paying a visit to the princess palace, sheriff's office, fire department, and pet clinic. Afterward, youths can cozy up to the pretend-only fireplace to read a book on the petite plaid sofa or enter the dramatically lit party room, with its galactic carpet and Earth-bound walls. All the while, the facility keeps kids safe with careful sanitation—aided by a strict socks policy and nontoxic, all-natural BabyGanics cleansers—and by forbidding all peanut products.
A pair of ice rinks–one built to Olympic specifications and the other to suit the needs of NHL players–awaits ice skaters at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. On these frozen surfaces, a dedicated staff oversees the development of beginners young and old through their Learn to Skate Program, which aims to prepare students for hockey and figure skating programs or fun spins around the rink during public skating sessions. The facility’s also features an all-purpose turf field that’s available for soccer games, lacrosse practice, or finding out why ice skates are ineffective lawn mowers.
Beneath the historic Tivoli Theatre lies Tivoli Bowling Center, an underground playground with a dedicated staff and 12 family-friendly lanes with automatic scoring. At the base of an inconspicuous staircase, slick wooden surfaces greet multicolored balls as they careen toward unsuspecting pins. During "glow bowling" sessions, lights go down and music cranks up, lending lanes a luminescent ambiance. Along with adult and youth leagues, open gutters and protective bumpers accommodate different age and skill groups. While waiting for turns, bowlers can hit the lounge area, where 50-inch televisions assist relaxation along with comfortable, theater-style seating. Pinball, arcade games, and pool round out afternoon retreats to downtown Downers Grove.
In 1987, Louise Beem and Dorothy Carpenter were early-childhood-education specialists. Based on their combined experience—gained from teaching preschool, founding the College of DuPage's early-childhood-education program, and being grandmothers—the two friends felt that traditional methods of teaching youngsters were less than optimal at the time. Their brainchild, the DuPage Children's Museum, began that same year. The pair designed the museum's colorful exhibits to incorporate interactive and open-ended elements, which they believed more closely matched the way kids learn and naturally process information, a discovery they say has now been corroborated by findings in neuroscience research.
In that vein, the three-story museum engages young neurons with interactive art, math, and science-themed attractions. Giving little hands the chance to explore, the AWEsome Electricity exhibit bridges the gap between the electric-powered gadgets and lights families use every day to where all that nonbreakfast-based energy comes from. Kids learn how electricity gets from one place to another and what its basic units are while at play in the museum's signature hands-on spaces. Elsewhere, the Young Explorers exhibit is designed for children aged 2 and under, who develop math skills by learning concepts such as sorting and patterning and express their creativity by experimenting with color and light.
By hosting programs ranging from kids-only sessions to fitness classes, Lombard Roller Rink brings fresh variations to the timeless pastime of roller skating. In fact, the rink's schedule is full of fun excuses––including holiday-themed sessions––to lace up a pair of skates or roller blades and take a few spins around the rink. The staff also provides plenty of entertainment for visitors who choose to keep their shoes on, such as family pizza night on Wednesdays and Zumba classes on Monday evenings.