Kids Activities in Northeast

Select Local Merchants

Just beyond the clattering pins at Don Carter Lanes, the cooks at Shooter’s Bar & Grill slather chicken wings in sauces such as teriyaki and Cajun, and load custom half-pound burgers with ingredients that can include everything from cheese and onion rings to fried eggs and peanut butter. In addition to pastas and four-topping pizzas, they prepare eight leafy amalgamations, such as chicken caesar salads and taco salads. For dessert, they forge The Big Dipper, whose medley of brownies, ice cream, chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, hunks of Oreo and chocolate, chocolate Swiss Rolls, and cherries remains consistently visible above the 41-degree line of latitude.

4007 E State St
Rockford,
IL
US

Each facility in the family of Rockford-Area Bowling Centers enlivens the classic game of bowling with its own signature amenities. On Friday evenings, the staff at Don Carter Lanes temporarily extinguishes its warm, vintagey glow and replaces it with a dimly lit club atmosphere as DJs from 97 ZOK descend upon the alley, pumping out beats that mingle in the air along with a light and fog show. For supplementary entertainment, the Don Carter location also offers a gaming center, and the Park Lanes alley recharges guests with beer and deep-fried fuel at its onsite pub. The Cherry Bowl location keeps serious bowlers properly outfitted with a pro shop, saving them the hassle of paper-mâchéing their own heads to form makeshift bowling balls.

Don Carter Lanes
Rockford,
IL
US

After traveling to Japan in 1966 and to the Portland Japanese Garden soon thereafter, John Anderson found himself inspired by the country's lush landscape and tranquil gardens. In 1978, after returning to his home in Rockford, he partnered with expert designer Hoichi Kurisu to begin constructing Anderson Japanese Gardens?12 acres of paths, plants, and streams, as soothing as those John visited in Japan.

The gardens still encourage a sense of calm and thoughtful reflection, as guided and self-guided tours stroll past undulating waterfalls, trickling across colorful flowers, beneath arched bridges, and over lily pads. Fruit blossoms on trees and bushes, sculptures stand very still, and koi fish flit about in a pond. On Thursdays, participants read from scripture, listen to music, and meditate during worship services, and a series of classes held onsite, such as origami and tai chi, impart Japanese traditions.

318 Spring Creek Rd
Rockford,
IL
US