Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is yet another illustration to prove the close bond between Rockford and nature. This is a botanical garden that is stretched to a large area and it can be given as 11,000 square feet in number. The bright sunshine is a blessing to this garden as the flowers that is in the limelight of this garden are glistening thanks to it. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is known to be the largest Conservatory in Illinois. There are thousands of tropical flowers in this garden and many visitors flood here to see them as its a rare chance you get in United States. The Annual Orchid exhibition becomes success with flying colours as there are countless visitors during that time of the year. And added to them there are several sculptures and walking paths where you can enjoy the panorama that unveils in front of your eyes. Eclipse Lagoon is a special area like that. Also, there are lots of events unique to Nicholas Conservatory such as Tunes on the Terrace and All Aglow and they are very colourful events. Thus, nature lovers, this is an invitation for you to see the beauty of this garden in Rockford.
Immerse Yourself In Pop Culture
This is one of the most fun things to do in Rockford, IL. The name of this private museum is deceiving. Historic Auto Attractions is an unmissable, wild and wonderful collection of seemingly random pop culture items. Including movie memorabilia and historical artifacts!
See a chariot used in the movie Ben Hur, Chief Sitting Bulls signature and even a limo that was part of JFKs motorcade that tragic day in Texas. There are guns and coats from the Wild West or mobster-era Chicago. There are displays of instruments and clothes owned by American music stars, NASA equipment from historic missions and a whole bunch of other pop-culture wonders.
Probably the most fascinating section is dedicated to JFK. And of course, there are cars, including one that was owned by Elvis!
Nicholas Conservatory And Gardens
This garden center is the third largest conservatory in Illinois, and it encompasses more than 11,000 square feet of botanical space. Stroll down beautiful pedestrian paths lined with colorful tropical in their indoor sunlit conservatory or enjoy their annual orchid exhibit in the winter.
Or, wander through their scenic outdoor garden full of sculptures, patio spaces, and even a lagoon. If youre in Rockford during the holidays, you wont want to miss their nighttime All Aglow exhibit, where the entire conservatory is illuminated with holiday lights. Be sure to pack your group up and head out to enjoy the holiday festivities!
This Rockford, Il attraction has something to do and see year-round.
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Frank Lloyd Wrights Laurent House
History buffs and fans of architecture wont want to miss touring the Laurent House while visiting Rockford. The home is the only building architect Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed specifically for a physically disabled person.
With a glance, the Chicago Common Brick and Red Tidewater Cypress structure appears to be a nondescript mid-century modern home.
But there is no denying the art and design behind the built-in lightboxes at the entryway. And Wrights trademark red tile identifies the Laurent House as a building the famed architect considered one of his most significant designs. In fact, he called this Usonian design his Little Gem.
In 1948, at age 81, Frank Lloyd Wright accepted a commission from Kenneth Laurent to design a house for a disabled person, decades before the ADA.
In a letter to the famed architect, Mr. Laurent wrote: I am paralyzed from the waist down and by virtue of my condition, I am confined to a wheelchair. This explains my need for a home as practical and sensible as your style of architecture denotes.
Kenneths wife Phyllis had seen Wrights work in a magazine and thought the open style would fit her husbands needs.
A first look inside the home reveals the concrete floors and low cabinets Wright designed to accommodate Mr. Laurent and his wheelchair.
Wright approved a rural lot along Spring Creek, and construction began. The home was completed in 1952, but the requested budget of $20,000 ended up being more than $31,000.
Burpee Museum Of Natural History Rockford Illinois
The Burpee Museum of Natural History provides four floors worth of interactive science exhibits. Their mission is to educate and inspire both children and adults to learn about the natural world. Exhibits include real dinosaur skeletons, a replicated carboniferous coal forest, and displays depicting the life of the indigenous residents of northern Illinois. Workshops, summer camps, and special events for school groups, homeschool students, and scouts are provided by the museum. Auditoriums and classrooms are also available for rental. The museum is open all year round, Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and is closed on major holidays.
737 North Main Street Rockford, Illinois 61103, Phone: 815-965-3433
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Visit The Discovery Center Museum
Discovery Center Museum is a kid’s science museum that consists of workshops, crafts, exhibits, and experiments for the little ones to dive in. The museum features more than 250 exhibits to educate the younger explorers about science and art fascinatingly and intriguingly. The Discovery Center also has the country’s first outdoor science park built by the community with about 8,000 square feet of area with dinosaur fossil dig pit, two-story maze, Secret Garden, and water play area. Visit the award-winning Discovery Center Museum to enjoy and educate yourself or your little ones with an interactive experience.
Buy Kinds Of Stuff At The Rockford City Market
The Rockford City Market is an open-air market that holds along Water Street in Rockfords downtown area. Usually holding on Friday afternoons in the summer, this market sees traders bring in locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs and locally produces eggs, cheeses and meat.
Thats not all. There are freshly baked snacks and goods. Youll still find arts and crafts made by local artisans. Under the pavilion, live music is played to the enjoyment of guests who drink local coffee and beer to match.
There is a part of the market for children as they would enjoy watching the demonstrations displayed. The market is at 3:30 pm on Fridays, starting from mid-May through September.
Address: Water Street between State and Jefferson Streets Rockford, IL.
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Things To Do Rockford Il: Lake
Built in 1873, the Lake-Peterson House is one of the most important homes in Rockford. This two-story structure is considered one of the best examples of Victorian Gothic Revival-style architecture in the state of Illinois. It is listed as an Illinois State Historic Site and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lake-Peterson House is owned by the Swedish American Hospital in Rockford and was preserved by the Jenny Lind Society in 1973. It can be viewed from the outside, but inside tours are prohibited at this time.
1313 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108
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Get Your Feet Wet At A Wake Park
Get out on the water at West Rock Wake Park for some guided wakeboarding or water skiing. This is a cable-based wake park, so no speedboats. Instead, riders of all skill levels can choose the level of cable they would like to attempt. All under close supervision, of course.
For advanced riders, there are a number of obstacles placed in the water to test their skills. For first-timers, theres no added pressure of having a crowd of riders in the water. The System 2.0 approach means its you and only you at any given time, so you can really get to grips with the skill.
But it isnt just about being a thrill-junkie. Additional facilities at West Rock include picnic and BBQ areas, basketball, and even some relaxing fishing theres really something for everyone in terms of what to do in Rockford, Il.
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Stroll Through The Rockford City Market
The open-air Rockford City Market arrives with the summer, opening during Friday afternoons between May and September. If you want to get fresh produce, you can’t do better than this market.
Rockford’s region best sellers of fresh produce come to the market found in the downtown area. On any day, you can find tomatoes, cheese, vegetables, fruits, and a dozen other farm products.
You can enjoy some fine dining and wining in the market area and listen to some live music performances on certain days. Nothing better than a day filled with food and music.
If youre coming with kids, Rockford City Market has unique attractions designed to thrill children. Plus, they can always dive into the market’s snack area and taste some of the light foods.
Nicholas Conservatory And Gardens Rockford Illinois
Visitors to Rockford can experience the tropics at the Nicholas Conservatory. This 11,000-square-foot facility contains exhibits of orchids, butterflies, papaya, sugarcane, and more. Outdoors is the large Sinnissippi Park Rose Garden and the 500-foot-long Eclipse Lagoon. The gardens are the perfect place for a leisurely stroll in the summer. During winter, the lagoon is frozen and public ice skating and ice hockey are offered. Lunch is available at the on-site restaurant, the Hibiscus Bistro, and souvenirs can be purchased in the gift shop. The conservatory is open all year round, Tuesday through Sunday, and is closed on Mondays.
1354 N. 2nd Street, Rockford, IL 61107, Phone: 815-987-8858
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Situated in northern Illinois, USA, Rockford is a city that is at a short distance from the megacity of Chicago. Located on the banks of the Rock River, Rockford has a rich cultural history thanks to the immigration of various people in the early 19th and 20th centuries like the Irish, Swedish, African-American, Polish, Italian, etc. The immigrants have had a significant impact on the culture and architecture of Rockford, which can be seen in the Lake-Peterson House, Tinker Swiss Cottage, Indian Hill Manor and Farm, etc. Rockford is also home to several unique museums like Burpee Museum of Natural History, Midway Village Museum, Erlander Home Museum, etc. Adventure parks like Magic Works and Volcano Falls Adventure Park can be enjoyed by the whole family. Many outdoor adventure activities like ziplining, golfing, and kayaking are also on offer at Rockford. There are several more places to visit and things to do in Rockford, and weve compiled the ultimate list for you. Scroll down to know more about all the best things to do in Rockford, Illinois.
A post shared by Rockford Art Museum on Jun 8, 2019 at 10:25am PDT
Rockford Art Museum
Opening hours: 10am – 5pm
Price: 9 USD
Fascinate The Kids With Science
Discovery Center Museum lets kids explore science in their own time at this amazing learning center. This kids museum is entirely focused on STEM subjects and even includes an outdoor discovery park.
Kids can learn about the human body, machines and basic engineering, space, and agriculture amongst other interesting topics.
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Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum And Gardens
Robert Hall Tinker, the 1875 mayor of Rockford, wore many hats in the development of the Rockford community. Today, one of the most tangible parts of his legacy can be found at his Swiss Cottage overlooking Kent Creek.
Inspired by Swiss architecture from a trip to Europe, Tinker and his family began building the cottage in 1865. The estate covers 27 manicured acres and includes an inspiring view overlooking Kent Creek. This Victorian home is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visitors today can take a tour of this historic home Tuesday through Thursday at 1 and 3pm. Guided tours offer the only admission into the Cottage Museum and include the elaborate gardens outside. It’s a low cost for jumping on a group tour, and the museum hosts “Donation Days” throughout the week that provide free admission for Illinois residents.
The Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum is far from a stationary exhibit. The event calendar contains plenty of fun activities, including paranormal investigations and variously themed murder mystery parties.
Address: 411 Kent Street, Rockford, Illinois
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.
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Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Rockford
Calming museums and nature parks arent for everyone. Thats why Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is on of the best things to do in Rockford IL, especially if youre feeling more adventurous. Once called Magic Waters, this exciting water park is now owned by Six Flags, who also has a big park in Gurnee IL. A waterpark is a perfect way to get a break from the summer heat and ride some waterslides. There are attractions for all ages, including a small pool for children and a slide with a massive drop for teens and adults. Food, drinks, lockers, and cabana rentals are located throughout the park. Its the perfect adventure for the whole family, especially if you want to stay busy during your trip.
Sample Craft Beer At Prairie Street Brewhouse
Editor’s Note: Photo taken from the establishment’s official social account
A post shared by Prairie Street Brewing Co. on Jul 2, 2019 at 7:39am PDT
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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Magic Waters Is One Of The Fun Things To Do In Rockford Il
Magic Waters is a wonderful sight, it provides the best spot for visitors to beat the summer heat. It is a big water park that offers a variety of water rides, slides, and attractions for both children and adults.
The younger folks can play and splash in the Little 1Lagoon, while the older ones and adults cab get thrilled in the zoom down The Abyss or the 75-foot Double Dare Drop slide.
There is also a relaxing lazy river and a large wave pool, all being features of the park. And if you have an appetite, there are four concession stands at the park from where you can get food and drinks. In addition, cabana and locker rentals are available.
This answers what to do in Rockford for a fun time, a perfect addition to your list of Rockford things to do list.
Address: 7820 Cherryvale North Blvd Cherry Valley, IL 61016.
Take Photos At The Elegant Indian Hill Manor And Farm Historic District
Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Indian Hill Manor and Farm Historic District is a majestic estate built in the early 1900s. It features a manor house, a coach house, a dairy farm, picturesque gardens and landscaped grounds. Once known as a country gentlemans farm, Indian Hill Manor and Farm is a fine example of early Colonial Revival architecture. Now one of Rockfords architectural icons, a visit to the elegant Indian Hill Manor and Farm Historic District is a must to snap photos of this magnificent structure.
Indian Hill Manor and Farm Historic District
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