The cozy city of Rockford, Illinois is the largest suburb of Chicago and provides visitors with enough to do that there’s no need to head to the windy city. Chances are that if you’re traveling with your team to Rockford, you have a tournament at UW Health Sports Factory. The complex is the designated basketball and volleyball facility. UW houses eight basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts. During warmer months, guests can take a relaxing walk in the outdoor area on the river path overlooking Rock River. UW Health Sports Factory even has a full service restaurant and two parking lots. Rockford’s premier sports complex and extensive list of popular attractions and restaurants will entertain your team from the beginning to the end of your trip.

Things to Do

Burpee Museum of Natural History

Burpee Museum of Natural History is an attraction that will stun the group with its rare and detailed exhibits. Devoted on educating and inspiring kids and adults on prehistoric and scientific topics, Burpee Museum of Natural History takes you back to a time before humans through the period of Native Americans settling in North America. Two of Burpee’s most well-known exhibits go by the names of Jane and Homer. They are a pair of juvenile dinosaurs that were both discovered in Montana. Jane is the world’s most complete and preserved juvenile T-rex on display. Make sure to stop by and see the 21 foot tall fossil arrangement for yourself and learn about how she was retrieved from the Earth. Homer, the other youthful dinosaur, is a triceratops that was uncovered in Ekalaka, Montana.

There’s much more showcased at Burpee than two dinosaur fossil collections. You can walk through the Carboniferous Coal Forest and encounter what a prehistoric forest was like. The two story display houses native insect and amphibian models and even simulates tropical thunderstorms. It becomes abundantly clear as you stroll through the mock forest that life was very different millions of years ago. Even the land of Rockford underneath your feet has drastically changed over millennia. See how much it has transformed in the Ordovician Sea exhibit. Back then, Rockford was a large body of water housing many peculiar creatures that no longer exist.

Another gallery you will want to check out is the GeoScience display. There, you can actively observe how the planet was formed and the powerful forces that are continuing to shape the world today. Tours of Discovery Center Museum are offered for groups of all sizes. 711 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61103

CherryVale Mall

The hotspot of Rockford, CherryVale Mall is a reliable attraction for whenever you have some free time on your hands. Located near UW Health Sports Factory, this shopping center spans two floors, with 134 individual shops and four anchor stores. There are a lot of places to check out. The team can count on a lot of popular brands, as well as some lesser known stores they can browse at. Anyone looking to experience an adrenaline rush should check out Super Fun Jump. This indoor bungee facility can be found right in CherryVale Mall and can definitely get your heart pumping. You’ll be able to refuel too without taking a lot of time away from your shopping. CherryVale has 19 eateries in its food court with a variety of cuisines available. 7200 Harrison Ave, Rockford, IL 61112

Discovery Center Museum

You’ve never had as much fun learning as you will at Discovery Center Museum. Everywhere you look, the interactive, flashy exhibits will beckon you to come explore and tinker. Ag-Zibit focuses on shedding light on the vital importance of agriculture through the use of 17 activities. Churn grain and mess around with some farming equipment. Milk an artificial cow, make your very own corn husk doll, roll eggs down the egg ramp, and more! Color & Light delves into the fascinating world of, well, color and light. Create masterpieces on the laser table. Shine lights through prisms and see beautiful spectacles like rainbows. Surround yourself in a giant bubble. Color & Light is typically a favorite among museum-goers.

Two more highlights out of the 16 galleries to watch for are Simple Machines and Rock River Discovery Park. Simple Machines lets you embrace your need to fiddle and problem solve. Play on the pulley chair, navigate a ball through the maze, attempt to figure out how machines function, and get swept up in curiosity. Rock River Discovery Park is a playground paradise that can warrant a trip to Discovery Center Museum on its own. This ginormous play area is stocked with slides, swings, and sand pits. Dig for dinosaur eggs, spelunk through a cave, play with the water wheels, and watch for balls flying through the tube system. Discovery Center Museum’s admission prices are very affordable, especially for how much there is to do there. 711 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61103

Don Carter Lanes

As accessible as it is fun, Don Carter Lanes always has room for people wanting to bowl. They host open bowling every day for the majority of the day, so you can easily find time to fit bowling into your busy schedule. The best deal available is renting a lane for an hour. Each lane allows six people at a time. Most likely, you’ll have to rent a few lanes at once, but since the price is so reasonable, it won’t be a problem. Whenever someone is waiting for their turn to bowl, they can play one of the many arcade games Don Carter Lanes offers. Shoe rentals are also available and every lane is equipped with automatic computer scoring. 4007 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108

AMC Showplace Rockford 16

There aren’t many activities that require less planning than going to the movies. All you have to do is show up at the right time. Going to the movies can be a saving grace for your team if you have some spare time you weren’t counting on once you leave UW Health Sports Factory. For the best movie selection in the Rockford area, AMC Showplace Rockford 16 is the place to go. If you’ve never been to an AMC theater before, than you’re in for a surprising treat. AMC has outfitted all of their cinemas with full service kitchens, so say goodbye to the ordinary popcorn and candy, unless that’s what you want of course. Besides the standard movie fare, AMC serves delicious sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, plenty of appetizers, and some awesome desserts. 8301 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108


Rain or shine, hot or cold, Skateland is always an option for an entertaining afternoon activity. No need to bring your own roller-skates, or even know how to skate for that matter. Skateland hosts learn to skate sessions where you can pick up the basics or shake off the rust. Private rink rentals are available Monday through Thursday. Friday through Sunday Skateland has multiple open skate sessions that last two hours. Skate to the jamming tunes and the pulsating lights on roller-skates or rollerblades and bond with your team at Skateland. 4843 Stenstrom Rd, Rockford, IL 61109


Referred to as “the top interactive attraction in the Northern Illinois region”, MindGames is a unique activity like nothing else on this list. MindGames is a thrilling escape room business that has two stimulating rooms you can attempt. The first is called Exit Protocol. You and your team are tasked with retrieving top secret CIA information that has been compromised after someone broke into a CIA office. Working together, your group has 60 minutes to locate the info and get it back safely. The other room is known as Secrets of the Pharaoh. In this room, you take on the role of an archaeologist and must uncover the mysteries of the Pharaoh’s tomb. Each room has a maximum of 10 people per room. 3214 S Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61109

To find hotel rooms closest to where your team is playing in Rockford or any city, visit Hotels4Teams – The Best Hotels at the Best Prices, Closest to the Action!

Places to Eat

Capri Restaurant

Family owned and extremely successful, Capri Restaurant is a local, favorite Italian restaurant. Their selection of hot sandwiches and Italian classics like chicken parmesan, pastas, and chicken Marsala will make you feel like you’re in Italy with every bite. Capri also makes pizzas that you can customize any way you want. A kid’s menu is offered as well. 313 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104

Sisters Thai Cafe

Sisters Thai Cafe is a beloved Thai restaurant that knows what it’s doing when it comes to authentic Thai food. Two of their most popular appetizers are the spring rolls and chicken satay. They have a menu devoted just to curry dishes. You’ll find fried rice and noodle meals. Also, there’s a list of entrees where you can pick what kind of meat or seafood you want and come with a medley of vegetables. 514 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104

Katie’s Cup

Famous for its coffee and baked goods, Katie’s Cup is more than just a place to grab a cup of Joe. This casual lunch spot makes deli sandwiches, quiche, soups, salads, and switches up daily specials so there’s always something new to try. On your way out, grab a pastry or cookie to enjoy on the walk to your next activity. 502 7th St, Rockford, IL 61104

Deli Italia

What’s not to love about a cozy, little deli with great food? Deli Italia may not have a big menu, but you can count on them serving some amazing food. Everything is homemade. From the pasta, to the sandwiches, to the chicken and shrimp dishes, Deli Italia makes every meal with the freshest ingredients. 507 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104

It’s impossible not to have an awesome time at UW Health Sports Factory and the town of Rockford. The stellar complex, its amenities, and its convenient location near all of Rockford’s attractions and restaurants make it an ideal facility to compete at.