If anybody knows the difference between a good bowling alley and a great bowling alley, it's Gary Daroszewski. The champion bowler and USBC Hall of Fame member has made a hobby out of renovating classic bowling alleys, and now brings his expertise to oversee the revival of the 36,000-square-foot Fox Valley Lanes. Brand new automatic scoring systems and shiny new lanes are just a few of the upgrades bowlers can expect of their beloved neighborhood hangout, along with automated bumpers, new seating, and upgrades to the lasers, fog machines, and DJ equipment used during the alley's cosmic bowling nights and monthly all-staff revival of Cats. A new restaurant and bar will provide fuel for players between frames, and a second banquet room will accommodate even more groups for birthdays and other celebrations.
Class-A affiliates of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers emerge from the dewy, manicured grass every spring to compete for a Midwest League championship. Playing at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium, these swinging soldiers look to build off last year's performance, which was highlighted by pitcher Jake Odorizzi's no-hitter and the presence of five No. 1 Brewers draft picks on the roster.
Celebrating their fifth anniversary, the Green Bay Bullfrogs field a roster comprising some of college baseball’s finest batsmen and mound tenants. A member of the Northwoods League, a baseball summer league intended to prepare college players for professional ball, the team battles other collegian-laden clubs from June 1 to August 14, when baseball players around the world go into hibernation. This season’s team is stocked with quality players ranging from infielder Joe Betcher, a member of the 2010 Horizon League All-Newcomer Team, to 1.67 ERA pitcher Greg Blohowiak. Chant, clap, or gape in stunned silence as the team assaults rival squads such as the Battle Creek Bombers and Madison Mallards with feats of athleticism and punishingly good sportsmanship.
Watertown Bowl's sprawling lanes play host to up to six players during each two-hour outing. After lacing up complimentary kicks, parties can pluck neon-hued balls from orderly racks and snag a lane with or without bumpers. After striking down all 10 pins or splitting sibling pins from their perennial feuds, each player can sip pop or beer and munch a pizza slice decked with such toppings as cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and ground beef. Themed bowling events add excitement to each outing, and groups can schedule their trips to coincide with alley happenings such as Family Thunder Alley, which charms clans with glow bowl, festive lighting, and tot-suitable music. During Weekend Thunder Alley on Saturday nights, orb-slingers can bowl in the dark as music blasts, lights flash, and balls moonwalk down the runway.
The tough-as-nails ladies in the Mad Rollin' Dolls roller-derby league wow audiences with equal parts strength, speed, and glitter. Since their first season in 2005, skaters and MRD volunteers alike have donated their blood, sweat, and tears to the sport that promotes female athleticism and team spirit in a fun, competitive atmosphere. During the 30-minute bouts, fans cheer and sneer as the jammers attempt to lap the opposing team for points, and the blockers clear the way for their mates while putting the hurt on those who try to stop them. The season's schedule culminates in a championship match, in which the two mightiest teams battle for the title and a lifetime supply of solid-gold mouth guards.
Since the team is committed to supporting their community, a portion of the proceeds from each Mad Rollin' Dolls bout goes to various charities, which in the past have included Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, Alliance for Animals, and Badger Childhood Cancer Network.
Sky-blue walls and sand-colored carpets greet each family at Kids Unleashed, where slides, hula hoops, and playhouses invite young ones to explore as they hone their gross motor skills. The make-believe beach beckons stocking-dressed feet to roam its shores, where children ride rocking horses and parents surf free WiFi instead of the carpet in a nearby lounge filled with coffee, conversation, and clear views of the kids’ activities. Story time piques young children’s interest in reading, and ping-pong tables help older kids to develop enough hand-eye coordination to read a book while performing a cartwheel. Parents may depart during most of the center’s classes and camps, as the creation of art projects stimulates inventiveness in each child, and cupcake-baking demonstrates that cakes have children too. After class or playtime, the café teems with homemade, health-conscious snacks.