Do you remember when you were a kid? When you played outside until the streetlights came on? When you occupied your mind and body by making up games, riding your bike, playing sports and just hanging outdoors? I sure do.
Nowadays, kids aren’t kids anymore. They are little adults armed with iPads and streaming Netflix. They may as well be toting around a Starbucks cup. Clearly, I’m joking. But, I remember a simpler time. When kids actually ran around and acted like goofballs.
Well, Screen-Free Week is right around the corner (May 2-8), and I double dog dare you to turn off and put away your iPhones, iPads, TVs and laptops. For seven days, I encourage you to get the family off the couch and bring a bit of your own childhood back. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to sit around and stare at each other.
Game of kings
505 Park Place, Rosemont
Grab a spare or strike on one of Kings 20 10-pin lanes. Engage in a little healthy competition for that coveted spare or strike. Games before 6 p.m. are $6 Tues.–Thurs. and $7 Thurs.–Mon. All prices are per person per game. Shoe rental is $4 per pair. They also serve up some mean grub, including a kid’s menu and full bar. So get your game on! (Note that kids are not allowed on the premises after 8 p.m.)
Adventure is here
510 E. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines
Mountain View Adventure Center has it all! The facility is packed with so many sweet activities, you won’t know what to do first. There is a mini golf course, batting cages and a skate and BMX bike park; though, I doubt you’ve skateboarded since the ‘80s or ‘90s.
Welcome to the Wild, Wild West! Get your putt putt on at the 19th century-themed old mining town. The 18-hole mini golf course features waterfalls, uphill and downhill shots, banks, ramps, traps and a couple cheesy hole-through-the-windmill holes. Don’t be fooled though, this course may not be what it seems.
Swing batter batter swing! Choose from softball or baseball as well as slow pitch, fast pitch and hi-arc pitches. Pricing varies for activities.
Put the pedal to the metal
1015 Howard Avenue, Des Plaines
Did you know Des Plaines had a lake? Yeah, me either. Well, Lake Opeka (and the Lake Park Marina) has a myriad of activities including sailing, paddle boating, fishing and kayaking. My favorite activity is the paddle boating–you literally paddle the boat using your feet! It’s such a fun experience and you won’t even have to miss leg day.
Rent a Paddle Boat for $18/hour.
Dust off your bike
With more than 56+ miles of trails through Lake and Cook counties, there is plenty of turf to cover with picturesque views along the Des Plaines River. So grab your helmet and bike and get moving!
Looking for some more options? Get a group together and get a game of flashlight tag, basketball (my favorite is H.O.R.S.E.) or a good old fashioned board game. Take it back to your childhood with favorites like Sorry, Life, Monopoly or Clue.
With that said, I’m going to follow my own advice and shut down this Mac. Do you have any other great suggestions for Screen-Free week? If so, I’d love to hear your ideas. Tweet me at @freshpickdwords.