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Anderson Japanese Gardens has been named one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America by Sukiya Living Magazine since 2004. Inspired by calm and tranquility, this 12 acre award winning landscape is comprised of koi-filled ponds, winding paths, gentle streams, cascading waterfalls, raked gravel gardens, beautifully trained pines, and more. Master craftsmanship and 16th century traditional architecture is found throughout the garden.
Magic Waters Waterpark is waves of fun! Rockford Park District operates this family-friendly waterpark with high standards for safety, cleanliness, and friendly customer service.
Come explore Burpee Museum and its award-winning exhibits such as Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur, called one of the ten most important dinosaur discoveries in the past 100 years. Burpee Museum also features Homer, a sub-adult or "teen-age" Triceratops. Four floors of exhibits include Windows to Wilderness, a woolly mammoth skeletal cast, Pennsylvanian coal forest, a Native American exhibit, Geoscience, and a viewing lab.
Tour Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Animal lovers can learn about, pet, hold and feel some of the 350 rescued animals, comprised of 30 different species. All income supports the rescued animals. Critter Camp is a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable, volunteer operated, no-kill facility that does not buy, breed, sell or exploit any animal.Personally guided tours are available seven days a week year round for up to six people per tour, but all tours are by appointment.
Play miniature golf on the ground-shaking Volcano Course under the shadow of a three-story erupting volcano or take it easy on the nine-hole Palm Course. Sharpen your sports skills in batting cages and the area's only soccer cages; enjoy "combat" with your friends in the Laser Zone; and race around the Go-Kart track.
See a play or musical performance at the wonderfully ornate Coronado Performing Arts Center, which was once a 1920s movie palace and vaudeville hall. The Coronado still features its original whimsical details, such as gilded Spanish castles, Chinese dragons in relief on the walls and a faux starry sky. Coronado Performing Arts Center is the venue for many performing arts groups and traveling shows.
Situated along the banks of the beautiful Rock River in Sinnissippi Gardens, the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens brings the tropics to the Midwest. The entire facility is the third largest conservatory in Illinois with a total of 22,000 square feet, and at the highest point stands 52 feet. A tropical setting includes an 11,000 square foot plant exhibition area complete with water features, seating areas, and sculptures, all in a tropical plant setting. Changing seasonal floral displays, a gift shop and special events; educational programs where children can learn the importance of plants; special workshops and lecture series for adults; the perfect place to host your event--small weddings, receptions, business meetings.
All aboard the Train of Terror for a thrilling and chilling, four-mile ride with a variety of spooky scenes along the route. Buy tickets at the Silver Creek Depot and Freight House. Food and beverages are available. October 08, 15, and 22nd. All Tickets: $8.00
Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic house museum located in the heart of Rockford, Illinois. The museum complex contains the historic house museum, barn, and carriage house from the Tinker family. In addition, the property is the home of the founding site of Rockford and contains a Pre-Columbian Native American conical mound. Robert surrounded his Swiss Cottage with over 27 acres of trees, vines, winding pathways, flowerbeds, and gardens. A three-story Swiss inspired barn was added to the property which housed cows, chickens, and horses. On the side of the Cottage, Robert constructed a suspension bridge crossing the Kent Creek. At the end of Robert's suspension bridge, he planted elaborate gardens deemed the Railroad Gardens where passengers could stroll as they waited for the train.
The museum campus consists of a Victorian village with 26 historical buildings filled with artifacts of the era as well as several beautiful 19th century gardens that depict life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Interpreters in authentic period dress are available seasonally for guided tours. The main museum building holds large group meeting rooms and exhibit space with a number of permanent exhibits reflecting Rockford's history and culture. Special events throughout the year include a World War II re-enatment, Sock Monkey and Scarecrow Harvest Festivals, and more. Free recreational path located on property.
Named one of the top 12 children's museums in the nation by Forbes in 2012, here kids can explore more than 250 hands-on art and science exhibits, a planetarium, TV studio and the Tot Spot for toddlers. Discovery Center also boasts the nation's first community-built outdoor science park, the Rock River Discovery Park, featuring a two-story maze, water play area and dinosaur fossil dig.
The area's oldest outdoor summer theatre with four musical productions in June and July. Starlight's home, the Bengt Sjostrom Theatre, features more than a thousand seats, a stunningly artistic and creative retractable roof, new seating and an improved stage. Starlight Theatre has been named one of Illinois' 150 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects, Illinois Council. This prestigious award is given to places that have been identified by leading architects as contributing to their communities' quality of life.
Open August through November, come visit our farm this fall to share in our rustic culture and enjoy a taste of the season. Many varieties of apples to taste. Also available, in season, are raspberries, pumpkins, home-made goodies, and our famous apple cider donuts. Take a horse drawn ride out to the orchard to pick your own apples too. Family tradition starts here! There's a petting zoo too.
Trolley Car #36 is a turn-of-the-century, open-air trolley, the kind your grandparents might have taken to work, except you don't have to go to work. Board the Trolley at the Trolley Station in Riverview Park (on Thursdays, board at Nicholas Conservatory), ride along Madison Street beside the scenic Rock River Recreation Path, stop for a brief visit to the Eclipse Lagoon and Gardens, travel to the Symbol, then turn around and return to the Trolley Station. Trolley Car #36 is wheelchair accessible; however, the trolley is limited to 2 wheelchairs per ride.
Take a journey on the Illinois Lincoln Highway, a 179 mile National Scenic Byway. From the Indiana border, west toward the mighty MIssissippi, you will find an adventure filled with variety, rich in history and heritage. As you travel the Lincoln Highway route across northern Illinois, take time to discover each communities' unique culture and special offerings and find a past era woven together with the present.
The Belvidere Park District spans stretches of the Kishwaukee River and Mill Race. It's a great place for fishing, biking and playing tennis, and includes a playground, picnic shelters, pool, swinging bridge and the historic Baltic Mill.
Arts and humanities complex housing Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Dance Company office and studies, Northern Illinois Public Radio offices and Rockford Symphony Orchestra offices.
This world-class water ski team gives free shows from early June until Labor Day at Shorewood Park.
The name Famous Fossil was inspired by the many fossils emerging from the earth as grapevines were planted. Sculpted and reshaped over thousands of years, the rolling hills are now home to over 12 varieties of red and white wine grapes. You’ll taste Marquette, Frontenac and St. Croix in our red wines and LaCrescent, Traminette or our blend of Prairie Star, LaCrosse and Brianna in our whites. Looking for a sweet wine? You’ll fall in love with our Blackberry, Red Raspberry and our “pie-in-a-glass” Summer Rhubarb wine. Enjoy a glass of wine in our tasting room and snack on our delicious Sweet & Savory Plate filled with local cheeses, sausage, crackers and more. We’re open year round with events and festivals every month including painting classes with local artists, wagon tours through the vineyard, and our Fossil Fest in August and Garlic Fest in October. Our beautiful Oak Barrel Room overlooking our vineyard is available for parties, showers and meetings. So come see our vineyard, watch wine being made and taste the best of the Midwest at Famous Fossil Winery. Open daily from 11-6. Visit www.famousfossilwinery.com to learn more.
The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms and Copperstone Inn are a unique venue for an unforgettable wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner. An Orchard Ridge Farms/Copperstone Inn wedding offers the combination of rustic charm and sophisticated elegance that will create extraordinary memories that will last a lifetime. Our one hundred and thirty acres creates a majestic stage for your special event, a refreshing change from the average banquet facility.
With over 3,000 acres of rolling plains and two lakes, Rock Cut State Park is a hiker's paradise. It's also home to some of the best mountain biking in northeastern Illinois, offering 10 miles of dirt and sand terrain, doubletrack and singletrack trails. One of the loops is 4.25-miles, the Main Trail, which runs around Pierce Lake. Another loop snakes around the northeast corner of the park and leads through dense trees and hills.
The Forest City Queen gives you an up close and personal glimpse of some of the most stately homes gracing the banks of the Rock River. You will hear about Rockford's humble beginnings on the Rock River and its continuing influence today. A variety of cruise options are available, from hourly narration tours, private rentals, family-style picnics, Ski Broncs performances, to elegant dining.
Hailey’s Winery, established in 2009, specializes in handcrafted wines from grape varieties native to Illinois, as well as other varietals, and seasonal fruits. Owned and operated by two women, Hailey’s is a fully functioning winery, producing and bottling award-winning wines in Byron, Illinois location. We strive to offer a variety of wines and an enjoyable experience for each guest, and want our visitors to feel completely at ease with wine tasting and selection. The winery is open year round, with tastings available any time during business hours, monthly live music, and tasting room rental for private celebrations. We carry specialty cheeses, sausage, chocolates, craft beer selections, and gift items. Guests may gather, relax and enjoy our wines in the pleasant tasting room, or on our patio during warm weather.