February in Chicago. You're probably not thinking of swinging the golf clubs. But you may want to rethink. Wood Dale's Top Golf not only allows you the chance to golf outdoors in the dead of winter, but the facility's high-tech scoring games, good food and free club selection make it an ideal destination for families seeking a little physical activity.
I admit I hadn't swung a club in too many years to count, but my husband and sons are all fans of golf so I was game. In fact, we had been promising our boys a trip to the driving range, but couldn't find a spot near us that offered youth clubs. Top Golf not only carries adult, women's and youth clubs, we even found lefty clubs for our 8-year-old. Of course, you can bring your own, but having clubs to use for free was a real bonus.
Basically you buy a certain number of games per card. You then use the card to "buy" baskets of 18 computer-coded golf balls from special dispensers. On our first trip, one of the employees showed us to a heated bay and gave us the details on how the scoring is done-all via computer (each hole has a different point value), with each player's name and score displayed on screen in your bay.
Servers also came by the bay to offer food and drink, meaning we never really had to stop playing. We sampled many pub-style appetizers including mozzarella sticks, mini-burgers and nachos. During a subsequent visit, we actually sat down between rounds for a yummy lunch. I highly recommend the turkey-avocado wrap, although my kids preferred the burgers and chips.
Top Golf has hitting bays on two levels. Although my kids loved the upper level, parents be warned. There is nothing to stop a little tyke from falling over the edge. After one trip to the top level with a 5-year-old, we'll be sticking to the ground floor for a while.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.