Hotel at a Glance: Clock Tower Resort
A 90-minute drive northwest of Chicago, you’ll find the Clock Tower Resort in Rockford, Illinois. A sprawling family-vacation center, the hotel boasts one of the largest indoor water parks in Illinois. It also has three onsite restaurants and plenty of activities and game areas to keep kids occupied.
- Splash away: The 60,000-square-foot CoCo Key Water Resort boasts three four-story slides, an adventure river, and activity pools. Each of this getaway’s options includes passes to the onsite park.
- Onsite dining: Tilted Kilt, Tempo Italian Bistro and Lounge, and the water park’s Callaloo Grille serve casual, family-friendly fare.
- Extra perks: a hair salon, a 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and a 50,000-square-foot tennis center
- Play all day: The onsite Key Quest video arcade features more than 10,000 square feet of interactive games for all ages.
Rockford, Illinois: River City with Educational Museums
Named for its dependable ford across the Rock River, Rockford lies within 100 miles of Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee, but has plenty of attractions and outdoor charm to entertain those staying the weekend. Long stretches of paved paths in the carefully landscaped parks along the Rock River make for excellent strolls, and the nearby Rock Cut State Park has 40 miles of trails for hiking and 14 miles of trails for horseback-riding around the park's two lakes.
Several excellent art museums, unique gardens, and preserved houses make Rockford a destination for history buffs. A distinctive Swiss-style cottage, the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, overflows with original furnishings and household items from life as it was in Rockford more than a century ago. For those curious about science, the Burpee Museum of Natural History hosts Jane the dinosaur, a fully restored 21-foot skeleton of a juvenile T. rex. This deal includes passes to the nearby family-friendly Discovery Center Museum, which features a kids' news studios for aspiring anchors to re-create Tom Brokaw's famous melodic gurgling of the Dow Jones average.