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Unusual Things To Do In Rockford Il

Klehm Arboretum And Botanic Garden

Top 15 Things To Do In Rockford, Illinois

Source: publicgardens

Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is best described as a living museum and spans 155 acres of land that is covered in gorgeous gardens and an abundance of lush foliage including rare trees and plants.

There are signature areas within the facility, such as a classic Butterfly Garden and a Childrens Garden.

There are trails that cross all over the stunning landscape and you can even go skiing here or snowshoeing in the winter months.

You can either elect to explore the arboretum on your own, or there are also guided tours available if you book in advance.

Things To Do With Kids In Rockford Il

  • TripBuzz found 59 things to do with kids in or near Rockford, Illinois, including 39 fun activities for kids in nearby cities within 25 miles like Beloit, Loves Park, Cherry Valley and Belvidere.
  • From Discovery Center Museum to Skateland, the Rockford area offers 82 different types of family activities, including: Theaters, History Museums, Gardens and Parks.
  • Located on the banks of the Rock River, the city of Rockford, Illinois is the states third largest city. Settled in the mid-1800’s, the area was once an industrial area and is now a thriving commercial and residential community that also offers many tourist attractions. The most popular attractions being those of cultural and historical importance such as the local museums and historic theatres.

Funk Gem & Mineral Museum Shirley Il

Check out the largest one-man mineral and gem collection in the world at the Funk Gem & Mineral Museum in Shirley. Featuring specimens from all over the world, this interesting museum also displays fossil collections, Chinese soapstone carvings, Indian artifacts, corals, seashells, and even fluorescent minerals lit up with ultraviolet lights.

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Roam The Local Vendors Market

Local markets are always fun, especially when you get to chat with vendors who source locally and offer their own unique flavors to everyday items. You can also enjoy some informal live music at Rockford City Market as you browse the stalls or taste the treats on offer.

There are also Friday evening markets during the summer season. And the venue participates in broader events like the Artscene evenings and other specialist vintage market nights!

Midway Village And Museum Center Rockford Illinois

Fun Things to Do in Rockford Illinois USA

History comes to life at the Midway Village and Museum Center. This 146-acre campus contains the 15,000-square-foot Museum Center, which showcases the history of Rockford and the surrounding area. Exhibits are dedicated to the agricultural, industrial, and sports history of the city. Also on the property is the Victorian Village, which contains 26 historical buildings that depict life in Rockford at the beginning of the 20th century. During the summer months, on-site interpreters in period costumes take guests on guided tours of the village. The Midway Village and Museum Center is open all year round. Hours vary by season.

6799 Guilford Road Rockford, IL 61107, Phone: 815-397-9112

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Catch A Show At Coronado Performing Arts Center

Built in 1927 and restored in 2000, Coronado Performing Arts Center is a theatre in Rockford. It is designed as an “atmospheric-style” theatre and can seat 2,400 people at once. The theatre is absolutely gorgeous, and its grand interior is worth noticing. It hosts various travelling shows and other art groups. Make sure to catch at least one show at this splendid theatre.

East State Antique Mall

5.0 based on 4 reviews

Reviewed By 855gabem

This place was an amazing find for my family while looking for something fun and safe to do in town. We walked around for a few hours and wound up buy several things. I was really impressed by the antique and vintage toy selections they had. Everything from my childhood. My wife found some cool things for our house and bar as well. She found some jewelery and much more. We will be back and plan on telling our friends and family about this place. 1st visit and now we are gonna be frequent customers. Thank to the staff and this place for the safe covid protocals. We truly enjoyed our visit.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Home And Studio

Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most legendary architects in history. He designed many iconic buildings, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. But his home and design studio in Oak Park, Illinois, is perhaps his most famous creation.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was first built in 1889. It has been added to and restored over the years and now looks exactly as it did when Wright lived there with his family in 1909. This was the last year he lived there, and its also where he pursued his craft and perfected his aesthetic to become one of, if not the greatest, architects of the 20th century.

The home and studio were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and its now a popular tourist attraction. If youre ever in the Chicago area, be sure to visit this historic site!


Family Fun Things To Do In Rockford Il Your Source for All Things Rockford IceHogs


Small towns around the midwest offer more fun and entertainment than most people realize.

Rockford, IL is one of those towns.

This town located approximately 90 minutes west of Chicago offers fun activities for the entire family whether you have little ones or teens.

Rockford is home to the sock monkey festival, world-class water ski team, music, arts, shopping, museums, outdoor fun and so much more.

Rockford will provide your family with big city fun and culture, but with small-town cost and ambiance.

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Tour The Ethnic Heritage Museum

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Posted by Ethnic Heritage Museum on Monday, 14 January 2013

Learn about different cultures, people, customs, traditions, costumes, languages, and more at a unique type of museum in Rockford called the Ethnic Heritage Museum. Situated within a historic 1850s house, this museum has six gallery exhibits, each dedicated to displaying the artifacts, paintings and photographs of a different ethnicity like African-American, Polish, Italian, Hispanic, Lithuanian and Irish people. Guided tours of the museum are available only on Sunday afternoons and you can even club it with a visit to the 1857 Greek Revival, Italianate architectural style Graham-Ginestra House that is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Ethnic Heritage Museum

Posted by East State Antique Mall on Sunday, 14 July 2019

A souvenir is a must-buy item while traveling. In Rockford, you have the opportunity to buy unique souvenirs like quaint antiques at the East State Antique Mall. This shop features an amazing array of antique treasures all under one roof. They stock articles like period furniture, vintage English crockery, toys, posters, vinyl, retro kitchen jewelry and costumers, delicate china, rare books and artwork, local military antiques, and so much more! Browse through the massive showroom featuring wares from over 120 dealers, and buy some antiques from East State Antique Mall.

East State Antique Mall

Opening hours: 10am – 7pm

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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Learn At The Burpee Museum Of Natural History

One of the top places to visit in Rockford is the Burpee Museum of Natural History. Located on Main Street, the museum has interactive science exhibits worth four floors. It has a mission of educating and inspiring both adults and children to learn about the world of nature.

Exhibits found here include a replicated carboniferous coal forest, real dinosaur skeletons, and different displays which represent the life of the local residents of northern Illinois. The museum also provides summer camps, workshops, and special events for scouts, homeschool students, and school groups.

There are classrooms and auditoriums available for rental. You can visit the museum at any time of the year. Though it is closed on major holidays, it is open from Tuesday through Sunday .

This makes what to do in Rockford for a fun time, consider an addition to your bucket list of things to do in Rockford, IL.

Address: 737 North Main Street Rockford, Illinois 61103.

Visit Rock Cut State Park

Fun Things to Do in Rockford, Illinois USA

The Rock Cut State Park is situated about 10 miles northeast of Rockford. It is a great place to enjoy nature to the full at any time of the year. It makes our list of top things to do in Rockford.

Rock Cut State Park occupies more than 3,000 acres and contains 40 miles of hiking trails, 23 miles of bike trails, and two lakes. Parts of the park include cross-country and equestrian skiing trails.

Visitors can enjoy diverse activities like boating, canoeing, fishing, and ice skating on Olsen Lake and Pierce Lake. The park also has a 270-site campground with playground equipment, a boat launch, showers, toilets, and electricity. There is also a small seasonal café and a concession stand at Pierce Lake for your enjoyment.

Address: 7318 Harlem Road Loves Park, IL 61111.

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Check Out The Klehm Arboretum And Botanic Garden

Located in a former old water power district in the city, the Ethnic Heritage Museum is one of the top sights in Rockford. Amazingly, this museum dates back to 1850, so it racks up a sufficient amount of history.

Ethnic Heritage Museum has different sections, with each of them containing the history of the diverse ethnic groups that, in one way or the other, impact the city of Rockford.

You will learn of African, American, Italian, Hispanic, Irish, Lithuanian, and Polish effects as the museum also offers an excellent view of this melting pot of a city and how these different communities represented grew the city.

Address: 1129 S Main St, Rockford, IL 61101.

Find Your Game At Volcano Falls Adventure Park

The state of Illinois largest adventure park features two miniature golf courses. In between holes you can go flat out at the go-karting courses, shoot em up at the laser tag games and arcade, or swing away at the batting cages!

A unique attraction is the Finger Coaster. Its a virtual reality roller coaster that lets you draw your own coaster design and then ride it. If youre still unchallenged, the park offers an 8-scoop ice cream sundae challenge: Finish it in ten minutes, and you get it for free!

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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.

Anderson Japanese Gardens Rockford Illinois

Rockford named one of the best places in Illinois to spend a weekend getaway

The Anderson Japanese Gardens provide a quiet place for reflection and relaxation for visitors to Rockford. The gardens have been carefully designed and constructed using elements of stone, water, plants, pagodas, bridges, water basins, and more. All elements work together to inspire calm and tranquility in guests. The gardens are open daily, and guests may tour the gardens at their leisure. Guided tours are also available for groups of eight or more. In addition, special events such as classes, lectures, and concerts are held throughout the year. The on-site restaurant, Fresco on the Gardens, serves breakfast and lunch daily.

318 Spring Creek Road Rockford, IL 61107, Phone: 815-229-9390

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Ravens Grin Inn Mount Carroll Il

This haunted mansion in Mount Carroll is an unusual attraction that draws visitors from all over. The owner purchased this lavish mansion when it was already haunted, and now he gives tours all year. Ravens Grin Inn features numerous rooms, tunnels, and trapdoors with scary stories to accompany them.

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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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.

Forest City Queen Riverboat

Fun Summer Things to do in Rockford IL

As you may know, Rockford is situated on the banks of the glorious Rock River, so visiting the city without taking in the citys magnificence from the water. To explore this, take a trip on the self-starter Forest City Queen Riverboat one of the best ways to do so.

Forest City Queen Riverboat started its operations in 1979 and can accommodate up to 49 passengers for a trip along this unique waterway. While on the cruise, you will hear all about Rockfords history as well as future arrangements that will bring more development.

You can capture all the popular sights while sitting on the banks of the Rock River. Dont miss out!

Address: 324 N Madison St, Rockford, IL 61107.

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Learn About Swedish Influence At Erlander Home Museum

Erlander Home Museum showcases the significant Swedish culture that can still be found in Rockford in its food, buildings, and culture. The museum portrays how Swedish culture influenced the city of Rockford and contains many artefacts and memorabilia. You can take guided tours of the museum however, they have to be booked in advance.

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