During the day, the space echoes with sounds like thunderclaps, but on weekend nights, black lights and thumping music move in and take over. It could be one of two things: a bowling alley or a rave on Mount Olympus. Spin Alley Bowling Center is the former—a playground for friendly competition, where mythology is made with every 7-10 split or series of strikes. This bowling alley features five big-box speakers and a large screen that broadcasts music videos, as well as a full bar and a restaurant that dishes out piping-hot pizzas. Every Friday and Saturday night, Spin Alley lets its hair down during cosmic bowling, a multisensual experience where sound, light, and fog add a festive element to the game.
Robin Hood Lanes attracts a discerning bowling crowd by rolling out a no-frills, classic bowling experience complete with 24 polished wood lanes. Grab rental shoes (a $3 value/pair), pick out a weighted sphere, and come swing a ball at 10 nervous pins, who might consider increasing their life-insurance policies as you take aim for two games (a $3.50 value/game/person until 6 p.m.; a $4.50 value/game/person from 6 p.m. to close). Bumper-bowling lanes are available for gutter opposers, and children 15 and younger can bowl for free all summer long (2 games/day until 6 p.m.; shoe rental not included and online registration required). When famished strikers and sparers need refueling, the on-site Friar Tuck Inn restaurant provides a selection of alleyway fare. Robin Hood Lanes keeps balls rolling until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and midnight every other night of the week, perfect for showing owls how much fun they could be having if they weren't always out hunting for the perfect nest lantern.
Countless do-it-yourself projects would never have seen the light of day were it not for Aurora Rents—gardens would remain untended, furniture unsanded, bedrooms unpainted. Luckily, the locally owned and operated business has rented tools and equipment—all properly cared for—to northwestern craftspeople for 50 years. Equally as vital, each employee carries industry expertise around in his or her tool belt, and delights in providing insights, safety tips, and techniques for refinishing floors or shellacking homemade Trojan horses.
For more than two decades, Hugo Fraga and his family have restored and fine-tuned the intricacies of customers' timepieces in Precision Time's convenient mall stores. In addition to replacing batteries and manicuring the hands of more than seven million watches, the millisecond specialists carry a full spectrum of watches and wristbands by designers including Swiss Military, Invicta, and Casio. A collection of Sottomarino timepieces ($39–$599) bestows wearers with craftsmanship infused with contemporary and traditional flair, and a collection of London Underground watches ($36) pairs classic and modern styling typical in across-the-pond fashion.
With a total of 14 locations, sewing and quilting classes, and a cornucopia of handpicked sewing products, Quality Sewing & Vacuum offers needle wielders all the necessities for their projects. Experts helm free sessions that teach participants how to use their sewing machines to work toward reinventing an old skirt or craft an elegant canine wedding gown, while special events feature guest speakers who impart home decor, garment construction, quilting, and embroidery tips to audience members. Shoppers can peruse the cache of sewing machines from brands such as Singer, Pfaff, and Brother alongside accessories, embroidery designs, and vacuums that clean up rooms after testing out how easy it is to find a needle in a haystack.