First Friday Wine Tasting
What: Enjoy sampling 24 wines while supporting Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford. All proceeds support the nonprofit’s programs and services, including classroom grants and educator recognition.
When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Artale Wine Co., 6876 Spring Creek Road, Rockford
Best Things To Do In Rockford Il Youll Love
Theres never a dull moment in Rockford, IL! The city is full of cultural and natural attractions, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or more extended vacation.
Nicknamed The Forest City, families will love exploring the City of Gardens, while outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the many parks and trails in the area. With amazing restaurants and bars, museums, antique shops, markets, and more, youll never run out of things to do in Rockford, IL.
Here are 18 things to do in Rockford IL that you dont want to miss!
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Often described as a living museum, the enormous Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is home to all kinds of colorful plants, flowers, trees and shrubs. A great place to immerse yourself in nature, its shady trails and landscaped gardens lie just down the Rock River from downtown.
Established in 1910, it now boasts more than 500 local and exotic species with some towering trees reckoned to be over 300 years old. While some parts of the park are left wild and untouched, most are immaculately maintained with gorgeous prehistoric and fountain gardens lying next to Azalea and Rhododendron dells.
Strolling amidst its fantastic floral displays and water features really is a treat with plenty of park benches, picnic areas and public art installations dotted here and there.
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Buy A Souvenir At Kegel Harley
An American classic, Harley-Davidson, is a legendary motorcycle brand known for their top-notch motorcycle models with high-performance standards and impressive looks. The famous brand has various dealerships across Illinois and at Rockford, the Kegel Harley-Davidson dealership is the perfect place to check out their signature motorcycles alongside Harley-Davidson branded apparel, footwear, motorcycle accessories, home gear, jewelry, glassware, etc. Browse through their in-store collection and pick up a souvenir for that Harley-Davidson fan in your life or go ahead and treat yourself to sumptuous leather jackets, trendy biker-style boots, souvenir mugs, t-shirts, caps, helmets, camping chairs, and more such unique souvenirs at Kegel Harley-Davidson.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 6pm Sat: 9am – 4pm Sat: 10am – 3pm
Forest City Farmers Market
What: Make this one of your weekly grocery shopping destinations and pick up some local fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, handmade items, jewelry, cheese, honey and more.
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Friday though Oct. 28
Where: Forest City Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford
Cost: Free admission
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Experience The Kegel Harley
If you have an interest in motorcycles, then the Kegel Harley-Davidson. You have the opportunity to see the oldest family-owned Harley-Davidson dealership in the whole world. Interestingly, the dealership here has amassed awards for its exhibition of the emblematic motorcycles.
The facility has an expanded showroom that features fashion and riding gear, a full-service department, accessories, parts, and collectibles.
There is also a great riding academy and an attached store where you can get Harley-Davidson-related clothing, memorabilia, and souvenirs.
Enjoy lunch or dinner here. Its a complete experience!
Address: 7125 Harrison Ave, Rockford, IL 61112.
Walk The Anderson Japanese Gardens
Suppose you desire a place for relaxation and reflection as a visitor to Rockford, the Anderson Japanese Gardens is the place to be. It provides a quiet and serene environment to reminisce on memories and also a great place to spend time with your loved one.
The gardens are meticulously designed and constructed using elements of plants, stone, pagodas, water basins, bridges, and more. All elements combine to inspire calmness in guests.
Anderson Japanese Gardens are open every day, and guests may take a tour in their free time. There are also available guided tours that accommodate groups of eight or more.
You can as well enjoy special events such as concerts, classes, and lectures held here all through the year.
Fresco on the Gardens, the on-site restaurant, serves breakfast and lunch, so thats an advantage!
Address: 318 Spring Creek Road Rockford, IL 61107.
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Years After: An On The Waterfront Reunion
What: The On The Waterfront Reunion features four local bands, The Missing Links, Three Good Men, Dirty Fishnet Stockings and Band of the Lost, whose members all have extensive On The Waterfront history. There will be Waterfront, Stars and Guitars and Groovewalk memorabilia, some of which will be available in a silent auction. Proceeds will go to support the RAMI scholarship efforts including the Gary S. Wilmer and Howard Family endowments administered by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. Both funds are named in honor of long-time volunteers Gary Wilmer and Karen Howard.
When: 6 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Tebala Event Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford
Visit The Rockford City Market
Address: 116 N Madison St, Rockford, IL 61107
Rockford City Market features local growers and vendors who sell handmade products, including vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, cheeses, flowers, herbs, baked goods, wine and prepared food, as well as artisans and vendors with unique offerings.
The Rockford City Market hosts a number of different events and programs throughout the year, from live outdoor music during the summertime, to off-season fall and winter indoor markets with live music for the chillier parts of the year.
Local markets are a great way to get to know a community, and Rockford City Market is no exception. Come by for ArtScene evenings and more vintage specialist nights. The Saturday market is also great, with plenty of snacks, quirky wares, and music.
Address: 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, IL 61102
Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is a magnificent 155-acre wonderland filled with incredible gardens, rare trees, water features, and fun. Bring your furry friends along for a walk down the over 3 miles of chipped trails and a 1.8-mile handicapped-friendly paved walkway.
Springtime arrives at the Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, with fragrant magnolia making way for a butterfly garden in the summer. Fall provides a brilliant color show as the leaves change before the evergreens are frosted with snow in the winter. The botanic garden Klehm Arboretum has created is worth the visit, no matter the season.
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Holidays & Heroes Fundraiser
What: A guest bartending event to help raise money for the annual upcoming Holidays & Heroes Shopping Event. Each year, members of the Rockford Police Department take area children and adults from GiGi’s Playhouse shopping for the holidays. Last year, 20 kids and adults were invited to shop with a cop. The organization hopes to invite more individuals this year.
When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Top Dollar Slots Windsor, 2189 Windsor Road, Loves Park
Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact him at 815-987-1391, firstname.lastname@example.org or @DeCosterKen.
Sample Craft Beer At Prairie Street Brewhouse
Editor’s Note: Photo taken from the establishment’s official social account
Located in the prime downtown location of Rockford, Prairie Street Brewhouse is a popular brewery, restaurant and bar where you can savor craft beers and freshly made food in a vibrant and authentic brewpub-style environment. The brewery at Prairie Street Brewing Co. was established in the 1800s by an English immigrant brewer and the current owners continue the brewing tradition to this day. A variety of flavourful craft beers can be savored here, including year-round, seasonal, and special release beers. Try the Wavey Blonde, Peacock Pale Ale, Prairie Street IPA, Peach Wheat, Dandelion Wit, Nor’Easter, and more such eclectic brews at Prairie Street Brewhouse.
Prairie Street Brewhouse
Opening hours: Sun – Wed: 11am – 11pm Thu – Sat: 11am – 12am
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Cars & Coffee Rockford
What: The Cars & Coffee monthly shows welcome all sorts of cars, from vintage to new cars. There are various car clubs from the region that are featured each month. The Rockford Police Department shares a K-9 group and the Rockford Fire Department brings their large trucks. There are also games, prizes and refreshments. Bikes and pets are welcome.
When: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: 502 7th St., Rockford
Cost: Free admission
Buy Some Old Stuff With A Smile
You wouldnt expect such vibrant activity around antiques and vintage items, but the folks at Hidden Treasures Antique Mall have managed to drive flea markets, special holiday events and weekly promotion days out of their mall. A mall that is entirely dedicated to things old and treasured.
The store hosts a number of antique dealers from the area, making it officially one of the best antique outlets in the state. Giving it that edge is the sense of fun and occasion whenever theres an excuse to declare it a dealer day!
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What My Students Say
“Sylvie’s yoga classes are excellent, but they go far beyond the asana postures that most yoga classes focus on. She offers deep insights into the science and philosophy of mind and you always walk away with a new perspective on whatever issues you might be going through. 10/10 highly recommended.” – Jeffrey
“Sylvie is not your typical yoga teacher. She brings so much more to the table! Her depth of knowledge in the practice of yoga, breathwork, meditation, energy work and yoga philosophy, all comes into play with each session. My life has been enriched with her teachings and my day so improved after a class.” – Linda
“Sylvie has shown me that there is so much more to yoga than the postures, or the physical aspect of yoga. Studying with her I have not only gotten stronger and more flexible but I have learned a great deal about yoga philosophy, the Eight Limbs of Yoga and the spiritual foundations of this practice. Her extensive studies in a number of other countries seem to be woven into each yoga class she teaches. For me personally, its helped to bring the spiritual principles of yoga into my everyday life. – Liz
Nicholas Conservatory And Gardens Is One Of Rockford Attractions To Visit
Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens presents visitors to Rockford with a top tropical experience. It is one of the best places to visit while on vacation in the city.
The conservatory is an 11,000-square-foot that contains exhibits of butterflies, orchids, papaya, sugarcane, and more. Then on the outdoor is the 500-foot-long Eclipse Lagoon and the massive Sinnissippi Park Rose Garden. During the summer, the gardens are perfect for taking a leisure stroll.
The frozen lagoon offers another dimension, such as ice hockey and public ice skating. You can eat lunch at the Hibiscus Bistro, an on-site restaurant, and there is a gift shop from which you can purchase souvenirs.
This is one of the best things to do in Rockford for nature lovers. You can visit the conservatory from Tuesday through Sunday as it is open throughout the year.
Address: 1354 N. 2nd Street, Rockford, IL 61107.
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Dine At Abreo Restaurant
Open since 2005, Abreo Restaurant is a popular eatery in Rockford, well known for its original and seasonal menus heavily featuring locally sourced ingredients and the choicest imported items. The restaurant has a relaxed but upscale ambiance where diners can dine at the remodeled bar, outdoor garden patio, private dining room or at a private wine cellar. Though the menu is seasonal, popular items to try at Abreo Restaurant are Chicken Crepe, Korean Beed, Shrimp Asiago, Apple Salad, etc. Wash down your delicious dinner with some yummy cocktails, beers or choice wines.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 5pm – 10pm
Best Things To Do In Rockford
Rockford in Illinois may not be well known as a tourism destination in the United States in its own right, but that doesnt mean that there is not a huge amount to do and see for those who make the trip here. The city of Rockford is blessed with an abundance of gorgeous outdoor areas, and if you like nature then you will not be bored here thanks to botanical gardens, nature centers, and hiking trails galore.
As well as the great outdoors, you can also enjoy some time inside by visiting the many museums in this city that will take you back through American history and fill you in on this part of the United States. As well as museums and parks, you will also find fun attractions here such as orchards where you can pick your own Illinois produce, or you can enjoy the gorgeous Rock River, the main waterway of the city, by embarking on a leisurely cruise.
Lets explore the best things to do in Rockford:
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Rockford 1m: One Million Meal Packing Event
What: Kids Around the World is hosting a 1 million meal packing event. The organization is looking for volunteers of all ages to help pack meals for children in Ecuador, Zambia, and here in the Rock River Valley. There are multiple shifts available between the two days.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: UW Health Sports Factory, 305 S. Madison St., Rockford
Cost: Free admission
Sports And Outdoor Activities In Rockfordview All
Rockford has an active community and vibrant ecosystem. Unleash your adventurous side for activities like wakeboarding, ziplining, kayaking, plus more. And if hiking is your thing, youll probably never hike the same trail twice if you dont want too.
Active things to see in Rockford include:
- Head to Alpine Hills Adventure Park for ziplining and a five-hole golf course
- Spend a day biking and enjoying great views of the river at Sinnissippi Park
- Hike one of the several trails at Severson Dells
- Wakeboard on Levings Lake at West Rock Wake Park
- Whether youre a novice or expert on the waters, join the Adventure Club at Rocktown Adventures
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Witness The Lights Of The Rock River Shore
Make your way to the banks of the Rock River and you can walk along the esplanade and see the beautiful nightlights of the city. The Rockford River Lights installation is seasonal, but can sometimes be used for special occasions.
The lights are said to be one of the best Christmas attractions in the area and can be observed between the Jefferson Street and State Street bridges
Tour De North End Bike Festival & Block Party
What: The Tour de North End is an annual neighborhood bicycle festival and block party featuring over a dozen businesses in Rockfords North End neighborhood. The goals of the event include raising awareness about bicycle safety and the importance of knowing the rules of the road.
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Olympic Tavern, 2327 N. Main St., Rockford
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Taste Fresh Apples At Currans Orchard
We still have lots of Honey Crisp for you! This year’s H/C crop was the biggest we’ve ever had.
Posted by Curran’s Orchard on Thursday, 2 November 2017
Open to the general public only during fall, Currans Orchard is a wonderful place to visit in Rockford for those who want to try out the freshest and best apples straight from the orchard! This orchard grows a wide variety of apples including Honey Crisp, Gala, McIntosh, Yellow Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonathan, and more! In season, you can go apple picking in the orchard or buy packed apples, award-winning apple cider, tasty apple cider donuts, jams, salad dressings, and more such delights from their bakery and store. A must-visit attraction in fall, Currans Orchard is the best place to taste fresh apples in Rockford.
Opening hours: open annually for fall
Plan Your Trip To Rockford
Rockford promises an exciting experience for any visitor. Just like youve seen, the city is blessed with beautiful outdoor areas in abundance as well as other interesting sights.
The museums, parks, nature trails, gardens, shopping malls, historical sites, galleries, and more are what awaits you here. So, start making plans towards seeing next vacation been at Rockford.
Dont forget to tag your loved ones along and if you need itinerary support, feel free to fall back on this piece.
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Enjoy Golfing At Sinnissippi Park And Golf Course
Posted by Golf – Rockford Park District on Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Rockfords oldest golf course, Sinnissippi Golf Course is located in the picturesque Sinnissippi Park. This nine-hole golf course is well-maintained, but challenging due to its hilly terrain, and each hole is quite different from the other, making for an interesting round of golf. It is a relatively short course and suitable for beginners too. So, grab your golf clubs and head on down to the Sinnissippi Park and Golf Course to enjoy a round of golf.
Sinnissippi Park and Golf Course
Address: Rockford, IL 61107
Posted by Zip Rockford on Friday, 10 July 2015
Offering a variety of daring zipline tours to suit all levels of adventures, Zip Rockford is a world-class ziplining facility located in Alpine Hills Park of Rockford. Pick from their Intro Zip, Regular Zip, Night Zip or Zombie Zip tours to experience the adrenaline rush of ziplining. The ziplines are of variable lengths and speeds, but the friendly staff at Zip Rockford will patiently guide you through each step of the way. Whether you are a first-time zipliner or an experienced one, you must try out ziplining at Zip Rockford!
Opening hours: as per selected tour timings
Price: 29 USD onwards