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Things to do in Rockford

  • Discover Center Museum Discovery Center Museum Rockford, Illinois
    The Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois, is a wonderful place to visit with your whole family. Over 250 thrilling hands on displays will keep everyone busy for the whole day. Set upon two floors in the museum, the display to the right is one of the best examples of dinosaur skeletons around and is indicative of what you and your family will experience while here. Around the back, you can enjoy the Rock River Discovery Park, with more hands on fun for the entire family. There are always traveling exhibits, programs and special events being held throughout the year in this museum of art and science; and everything in between. It is located on the campus of the Riverfront Museum Park in downtown Rockford, with other exciting museums like the Burpee Museum of Natural History and the Rockford Art Museum. They have been here since 1991, bringing a new look at the many facets of education and recreation in the area, striving to give the community the best and most exciting family focused activities in the region. Take a tour into space with their unique spaceship, or just fly around the globe in one of their fantastic jets, that have never had any accidents or problems other than fitting everyone onboard. You can forecast the weather in their television studio and see if anyone in your family has a future in weather broadcasting or try your hand at police sketching to see if anyone is interested in law enforcement or just artwork. In their permanent displays, you can be thrilled with physics in the amusement park science as you fly along a roller coaster. In the Rock River discovery park, you can trek around the first community built outdoor science park in the country. In the air & flight room, you can see and feel how gravity, drag, thrust and lift works without ever having to leave the area. You will learn all there is to know about the science behind flying and all the while, your family will be having a magnificent time without realizing they are learning a lot. In the get the message area, you will learn all about the many ways and tools that we have to communicate with and how they affect other people. You can create ancient cave art, send a message in Morse code, give signals to a crane operator and so much more is possible here. Just imagine your children finding their perfect fit in the world and starting out at an early age to make it happen. The team up! explore science & sports display will allow the whole family the chance to take a virtual snowboard ride down a mountain, and you will be able to measure your speed, pitch and all the other related sciences that do apply. In their planetarium, you will watch the night skies unfold the beautiful images of the stars and teach you about the names of the various constellations. They even have a place for children under 6 with all kinds of exhibits and displays that will occupy them for hours. In the power house you can find out about shocks, polarization and static electricity. The wild weather area helps you learn more and all you ever thought you could with real hands on displays that will thrill every member of your family. Simple machines will inform you of the many levers, pulleys and gears that help many machines work and move. And there's so much more, that you will just have to go to find out about all the marvelous works, displays, and exhibits that await you and your family at the Discovery Center Museum.

  • Midway Village & Museum Center
    The Midway was started in 1968, by the Swedish, Harlem and Rockford Historical Societies to collect, save and discuss the history of the Rockford region with a donation in the form of land given by the Severin family. The land donated was 11 acres, and over the years has grown as quickly as the museum itself has; today sitting on 137 acres. The first museum was 10,000 square feet, when it opened in 1974, and two years later opened the industrial gallery. In 1986, the two buildings were linked by the Exhibition Hall, and in two more years, the Aviation gallery and Carlson Education gallery were added. The Old Dolls' House museum was opened across the parking lot in 1988, and presently some 52,700 square feet of space is dedicated to the history of Rockford, with 7 exhibition galleries, classrooms, workrooms, collections storage, library, admin offices, museum store and audio-visual room. The collection has grown to include over 80,000 articles that include archival materials, structures, textiles, and three-dimensional pieces. The construction of Midway Village started in 1974, and is a representation of the typical town in northern Illinois during the turn of the century. There are 26 historical buildings, that include; four farm houses, a general store, police station, fire station, two barns, hardware store, barber shop, print store, plumbing store, bank, hotel, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, hospital, law office and church.

  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
    Starting out in 1910, the Rockford Nursery soon grew into the Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, on Main St. Rockford, Illinois. William Lincoln Taylor was the landscape architect that began this magnificent garden sitting on 155 acres of land; by planting many of the original trees. The Klehm family bought the entire acreage in 1968, and continued running it until 1985, when it gave the property to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District for the express purposes of keeping it an arboretum. The garden area was inventoried in the early 1990s, then a master plan was created, and finally plantings started in 1994. The grounds of this beautiful garden area held a grove of Bur Oak set on 12 acres, with many of the spectacular oaks being over 300 years old. The plethora of trees includes over 50 types and cultivars of conifers, that are representing 9 groups from North America, Asia and Europe; with superb firs, Chamaecyparis, hemlock, Nikko firs, Douglas fir, junipers, common juniper, scented spruces, yews, column spired arborvitae, arborvitae, shaggy threadleaf Sawara Cypress and pines. Six species of birch are located within the landscapes that include; sweet birch, paper birch, New England gray birch, Meyer's spruce, river birch, yellow birch and downy birch. In the European collection you can find Rowan, mountain pine, Norway maple, English elm, common chestnut, field maple, European hornbeam, spindle tree, pedunculate oak, European beech, Scots pine, and European larch. The collection from eastern Asia has katsura, Japanese red and white magnolia, numerous honeysuckles, false cypress, cork trees, Amur maple, and flowering quince. From the North American collection, there are Douglas fir, American beech, Ponderosa pine, Colorado blue spruce, yellow buckeye, cucumber tree and tulip-tree. As this fantastic forest is growing, there are more woody plants like the black cherry, sourwood, red buckeye, shagbark hickory, black walnut, umbrella magnolia, American chestnut, scarlet oak, white oak, sweetgum, wisteria, viburnum, Carolina silverbell, hackberry, Japanese pagoda tree, dogwood, fringe tree, hackberry, spiny hemiptelea, fontanesia and enkianthus. The beautiful gardens are Nancy Olson Children's garden, daylily garden, butterfly garden, fountain garden, grass garden, demonstration garden, hosta garden and a marvelous prehistoric garden with bald cypress, ferns, dawn redwood, mosses, bristlecone pine, cycads, Ginkgo, liverworts, clubmosses and horsetails. If you enjoy the majestic splendor of incredible trees, and the variety that is grown in one garden, or more precisely, arboretum, then this is one of the most wonderful places to visit in the United States. These stately sentinels are part of the most important process we have on our planet; the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. As long as we continue to nurture these statuesque partners, they in turn will continue to nurture and provide immeasurable joy to us.

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  • Burpee Museum of Natural HistoryBurpee Museum of Natural History Rockford, Illinois
    In downtown Rockford, Illinois, situated along the Rock River, the Burpee Museum of Natural History sits majestically beckoning to all that have a love or desire to view the marvelous wonders of this earth, and the magnificent treasures that lie within. The museum was originally a Works Progress Administration project in 1941, and then opened in May of 1942. There are four structures in the complex, the Solem Wing, Manny Mansion, Water Lab and Barnes Mansion. The Barnes mansion was built in 1893, by William Fletcher Barnes, a local industrialist, and contained the entire Burpee Museum; but with the recent expansion, now only contains the meeting rooms and admin offices. The Water Lab was financed by Aqua Aerobic, and is a modern laboratory set along the Rock River, so that students from grade 6 to high school can get water samples and then go into the lab to analyze the water's biological, physical and chemical makeup.  The public area of the museum is the Solem Wing that was built in 1998, and houses the displays, gift shop, meeting rooms, laboratories and Mahlburg Auditorium. Robert H. Solem was one of the benefactors of the museum, as well as a friend of the museum and patron. John P. Manny built his magnificent home in 1852, and the mansion was where the Burpee Art Museum was located, but now contains the offices and classrooms of the museum. One of the most spectacular exhibits at the museum is the juvenile skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex that was dug up at the Hell Creek formation located in southern Montana; named Jane. Taking four years to complete, Jane has become the centerpiece of the newest exhibit at the museum, standing in all her magnificence at 21 feet. She was 11 years old when she died, and for the next 66 million years was covered by the earth. They have reconstructed the base camp that was in Montana to be part of the display. She has been estimated to weigh in at 1500 pounds, and based on the size of her legs and feet was able to run at speeds of 20 to 30 miles an hour. The lower jaw contains 17 curved teeth, serrated, and razor sharp so that she could tear the flesh from any prey. It is difficult to determine what her sex was, so she was named after one of the museum's benefactors, Jane Solem. The t-rex was discovered by the Burpee Museum expedition led by curator Michael Henderson, with Carol Tuck and Bill Harrison finding the bones. In this same display, there are numerous casts of other dinos, with a superb 40 t-rex, and soon to added triceratops fossil that was also found at the Hell Creek site; in 2005 by Helmuth Redschlag. The Science Channel showed "The Mystery Dinosaur" in 2006, which was a hour documentary about Jane, discussing the argument over whether she was a juvenile t-rex or adult nanotrannus lancensis. The next year, Jane was nominated as one of the seven wonders of Illinois. Another majestic display is the carboniferous coal forest rising two stories from the floor, showcasing the landscape of the prehistoric times, complete with insects and amphibians that lived in the coal forest some 300 million years ago. The Ordovician Sea exhibits many fossils and the life that existed over 455 million years ago. In the Geoscience display, you will see how the earth was formed, and the many forces that still affect the changing shape of our planet. Here you will find a 10 foot glacier, exhibits of world, regional and economic geology, gems, minerals, unusual rocks and a lot of information of the land formations, plate tectonics and other mesmerizing information. In the first people display, there are many exhibits about the development of mankind in North America, with a full-size wigwam, tipi, dugout canoe and American bison. One exhibit that relates to the Rock River area is called "Windows to Wilderness-exploring nature in the Rock River Valley; with mounted and live animals, scaled recreation of the environment and landscape of the valley and hands-on attractions for the children. On the third floor, is the Children's gallery, where they can touch and feel the live animals, read in the library and other venues for the entire family.

  • Sinnissippi Park
    A few blocks from downtown Rockford, Illinois, the Sinnissippi Park sits next to the Rock River, on its east banks, with a number of exciting venues that bring families here all year long. This big public park contains a wonderful outdoor amphitheater, floral clock made of thousands of annuals, annual garden planted with beautiful multi-colored bedding plants, a lagoon, nature trail, accredited rose garden and fishpond resplendent with mute swans. The amphitheater holds summer concerts for the community's enjoyment, the Holiday Festival of Lights in December, children's programs and the Illinois Snow Sculpture competition in February. The natural path they have created is where many come to walk, skate, run or jog along a path with magnificent gardens, the serenity of a lazy river, and all the people that come here to share nature, fresh air and the safety of a city park. There is a 9 hole golf course maintained by the city, that is close by the greenhouse, lagoon, 10 mile Rock River Recreation path and so much more.

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Local Restaurants in Rockford
  • Brio Restaurant
    The Brio is located in the heart of the riverfront park area and is housed in a 1888 vintage house. The stone fireplace is a welcome sight from the hard winter's cold, and the wine bar and dining room will invite you in for great drink and excellent cuisine. The menu starts with small plates; mussels are steamed with garlic, white wine and lemon butter; arugula & prosciutto is thin sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, lemon-truffle vinaigrette; goat cheese tapenade is with garlic toast, basil oil, and sundried tomatoes; brio apple salad is greens with apples, goat cheese, spiced walnuts, cider-honey vinaigrette; spinach & brie is fresh spinach, raspberries, and goat milk brie croquette; Korean beef is marinated beef tenderloin grilled with Korean spices, red pepper and Napa cabbage; Asian noodles is stir fried carrots, scallions, mushrooms, asparagus, peanuts, angel hair and garlic-ginger; Louisiana oysters are fried with hot sauce, bleu cheese and celery salad; halibut is baked with light coconut curry broth, caramelized asparagus, ginger rice; cheese plate is with finest selection of cheeses with seasonal fresh fruit; eggplant ravioli is eggplant stuffed with artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan and tomato; elk tenderloin is with cracked pepper polenta and dried blueberry-sherry butter; shrimp & chorizo tortellini is black tiger shrimp, chorizo sausage, arugula, garlic, olive oil, lemon and three cheese tortellini; wild sockeye salmon with roasted pepper salsa, avocado, tostones and lime; duck with grilled apples is sautéed duck breast layered with grilled apples, prosciutto, brandy-organic apple reduction; asparagus tempura with orange-ginger sauce; shrimp asiago is black tiger shrimp baked with brandy, lemon, garlic asiago cheese, grilled baguette; seared yellowfin tuna is marinated with scallions & ginger, cucumber-jicama salad, with sesame vinaigrette; lamb is with parsnip pine nut puree, garlic and mushrooms; foie gras sliders is with caramelized sweet onion and apple, brandy, toasted brioche; lemon chicken & mushroom crepe is grilled chicken, garlic, Dijon mustard, crimini mushrooms and white cheddar; blackened sea scallops with carrot-mango reduction and crisp prosciutto; black angus beef tenderloin is grilled with fresh herbs, bacon-red wine sauce, parsnip gratin; mushroom bread pudding is made with brioche, roasted mushroom-garlic broth and fried egg; Caribbean baby back ribs & chipotle corn cake with pineapple-BBQ, andouille sausage, corn and chipotle.

  • The Olympic Tavern
    Right on Main Street in Rockford, Illinois since 1945, this great eating establishment has been family owned and operated the whole time. The menu appetizers include; steamed mussels are Prince Edward Island mussels, steamed with fresh tomato, spinach, mushrooms, garlic & white wine; buffalo wings is mild, hot, way too hot, BBQ, or Asian style and served with celery; saganaki is Greek Kasari cheese sautéed & flamed with brandy and fresh lemon juice served with fresh Italian bread; antipasto platter is combination of fresh veggies, sliced imported meats, cheese and olives; calamari is served with marinara sauce; bacon wrapped scallops is jumbo scallops wrapped in double smoked applewood bacon, pan seared then baked with zesty plum glaze; vested shrimp is gulf shrimp with lump crab meat wrapped in applewood smoked bacon served with light hollandaise sauce; crab artichoke quesadillas is grilled tortilla filled with melted Monterey Jack cheese, lump crab meat, spinach artichoke dip and shredded lettuce; shrimp scampi is shrimp sautéed with garlic, lemon butter, white wine & herbs with sliced mushrooms and green onions, served with garlic toasts for dipping; tomato basil bruschetta is bright red tomatoes, fresh basil, red onion, kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil on toasted Italian crostini; French fried veggie combo is gourmet breaded mushrooms, onion rings and zucchini with your choice; ultimate nachos is house fried crispy tortilla chips topped with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, housemade meaty chili, black olives, taco meat, chopped tomatoes and jalapenos; coconut shrimp is served on coconut cream and sweet soy sauces with wasabi on the side; mozzarella cheese sticks is served with marinara sauce; blackened tuna sashimi is served rare with wontons and sweet soy sauce, wasabi on side; tender chicken filets is plump hand breaded and lightly fried chicken tenderloins served with BBQ and honey mustard sauces; potato skins is shelled baked potatoes topped with Vermont white cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sour cream and green onions; artichoke & spinach dip is artichoke hearts and fresh spinach served with tortilla chips and crostinis; baked crab & artichoke gratin with crostini and tortilla chips; onion strings is thin slices of onion lightly dusted with seasoned flour, deep fried and piled high served with house ranch dressing; crab stuffed mushrooms is huge select mushrooms stuffed with lump crab stuffing and broiled with lemon, white wine and butter; shrimp dejonge is tender jumbo shrimp topped with dejonge butter then broiled.  The menu is quite expansive with entrees offering steaks, chicken, pasta, seafood, combos, chops and BBQ, and salads of course.


Korean Beef Tenderloin Brio Rockford, Illinois


Shrimp & Chorizo Tortellini Brio Rockford, Illinois


Caribbean Baby Back Ribs Brio Rockford, Illinois




Shrimp Scampi Olympic Tavern Rockford, Illinois


Blackened Tuna Sashimi Olympic Tavern Rockford, Illinois


Chicken Tenderloin Olympic Tavern Rockford, Illinois



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  • Ingersoll Golf Course Ingersoll Golf Course Rockford, Illinois
    The Ingersoll opened in 1920, designed by Tom Bendelow, and is a par 71, 6,107 yard 18 hole golf course. As you can see by the image to the right, the fairways are fairly narrow, with small greens, but still a great play for those in the area. Blue grass fairways add a beautiful color to the course, that has a driving range, and is a great bang for your buck. The tree lined course is rolling with great plays and no problem using your bag of tricks. The course was named after a WWI pilot, named Lt. Clayton Ingersoll, who died in France. It was honored in 2001 and again in 2004, by the Tiger Woods Foundation, when Tiger himself came here to conduct a two-day clinic. Also in 2004, a learning links course was opened with four holes, and practice center sitting next to the clubhouse. Here the whole family can practice together without worrying about a loud "four!" or holding up some impatient clubbers. The holes are ranged from 60 yards to 105 yards, with regular balls, but can add some competitive nature to the game with the Caymen or almost golf balls.

  • Castle Rock State Park
    Castle Rock State Park outside of Rockford, Illinois, sits on 2000 acres of magnificent land, part of which was acquired by the "Friends of Our Native Landscape" in the year 1921, and was one of the eleven parks that was to be closed in 2008, because of budget cuts. A delay held up the closing, which allowed the state to find more money to keep some of the parks open, closing only 7 state parks, but also 12 historic site; that included Castle Rock; which did occur in November of 2008. With the impeachment of the state governor, Pat Quinn became the new governor, and reopened those state parks in February of 2009. He plans on re-opening the historic sights in 2009. The park is located in the Rock River Hills area of the state, and the rocky rolling hills empty into the Rock River. Sitting on the west bank of the river in Ogle County, it showcases the region with its magnificent rock formations, northern plants and ravines. Next to the river, a sandstone bluff overlooks the river and gives the park its name. The Native American tribes that lived in the area were forced out in 1730, by the Sauk and Fox Indians who had gone west in hopes of getting away from the invading hordes of white men. These Native Americans called the river "Sinnissippi", which means rocky waters. By the 1800s, the native people were forced to move further west and in 1831, Blackhawk, chief among the Sauk, took his warriors and returned to the Illinois region hoping to reclaim their homeland. The battles became known as the "Blackhawk Indian Wars", until the chief was caught and forced onto a reservation in 1832. It was folks from New England that came here to settle the area, in the 1800s, and the park was originally an idea of the Friends in 1921, with their acquirement of land they felt was the remains of a wonderful wilderness with spectacular beauty and scientific interests. The Natural Lands Institute began a fundraising campaign in 1964 to gain more lands to the park. In 1965, it became recognized as an outstanding area of utmost importance to the scientific community and became a project area. The state began getting more land in 1970, and today is a marvelous expanse of 2000 acres, with 710 acres becoming an Illinois Nature Preserve.

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  • Graham-Ginestra HouseGraham-Ginesta House Rockford, Illinois
    Constructed in 1857, the house is now listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and is a fantastic example of the style that existed in the southwest Rockford area during those times. With beautiful parquet floors, free standing staircase, ionic columns and ceiling murals, a magnificent stained glass window is also part of this wonderful house. The rose gardens are fantastic in the summer, as well as the founder's garden nearby. The builder was Freeman Graham, a local businessman that began the state's first sour mash distillery, and soon became well known throughout the nation. He was also part owner of the Rockford Cotton Mills, that was halfway between his house and the distillery. They became one of the most influential families in the city, with Freeman coming to the city to manage the manufacturing firm of Emerson, Talcott & Company, that made farm implements. He had been an apprentice in the making of cotton and woolen machines for seven years, as well as a justice of the peace and member of the Connecticut legislature. He migrated to the west, settling in Rockford and was soon elected as the Fifth Ward Alderman. When he passed on, in 1896, his three sons took over the family business, and the house went to his daughter, Julia and her husband Henry S. Warner, who was secretary-treasurer of the Graham Match Company. They resided in the house until 1927, when they sold it to an immigrant from Sicily, named Leo Ginestra. During those years, the area was rapidly growing due to the immigration of Italian people, and the Ginestra house was on the main commercial road, sitting across from the Capitol and Rialto theatres. Ginestra stayed in the house until his passing in 1978, becoming a real estate assessor, maintenance mechanic, machinist and mobile home park owner. He was known as a wine maker and amateur musician.

  • Lowden-Miller State Forest
    Down in the Rock River Valley, south of Oregon, Illinois, a pristine forest resides on 2291 acres of marvelous woods and historical site. Along a 3.5 mile stretch of riverfront, 120 foot bluffs look out over the magnificent forestation of hardwoods and pines. Early in the 1900s, Frank O. Lowden, former governor of the state, from 1917 until 1921, planted over half a million trees, with the majority being pines. Frank believed in good land usage, and knew that reforestation was the best way to slow down soil erosion. In 1992, the forest became known as the Lowden-Miller State Forest, but before the Lowdens, it was called the Sinnissippi Forest because of the Native Americans. It had been part of a huge farming operation with native hardwood trees, sandy farmland and rolling pastures. With the sandy drainage, the land wasn't really suited for raising crops, but when Lowden started to plant white pines and other trees varieties, he found the perfect solution for the grounds. The earliest plantings were of white pine, sometime before the 1910 period, and thought to be the oldest in the state. Frank was such an advocate of forestation, that he told people in his 1916 run for governor, he would only serve one term and then return to his beloved forest. He wrote in his biography, called the Squire of the Sinnissippi, that he felt that the area was one of the most beautiful and fertile spots where his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would get together long after he had passed on; enjoying the shade of the trees he had planted with his own hands. He was a genuine student of forestry, all through his life, and in 1938, asked the new forestry department of the University of Illinois if they would like to do some research on his growing forest. Presently, with over 80 percent of the Illinois hardwood forest growth data being committed at Sinnissippi, it still is used for lab work for the university. In the late 1940s, the family Christmas Tree business was selling high quality firs and pines for the 1948 season, and it still continues today, with land owned and leased by the Sinnissippi Forest Inc. In 1955, it became the first Illinois Tree Farm. Illinois bought an 1186 acre plot from the grandson of the Lowdens, in 1992, and another 1,039 acres in 1993. The Lowden family was happy to sell the land to the state, since it would remain a forest for the future generations to come and enjoy.

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  • Riverfront Museum Park
    The intelligent citizens of Rockford, Illinois have come up with a unique way to showcase their arts and sciences by putting all their museums and companies in one location, called most appropriately the Riverfront Museum Park. Sitting alongside Rock River, the complex contains their Discovery Center Museum, mentioned earlier on this page, the Northern Public Radio, Burpee Museum of Natural History, also mentioned earlier, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Symphony and Rockford Dance Company. The Northern Public Radio began as the broadcast venue of Northern Illinois University, in 1954, and has grown into one of the area's best stations. You can visit when you come to the city and see all the magnificent venues offered at this park. The art museum, also known locally as RAM, started way back in 1888 as the Rockford Sketch Club, then the Rockford Art Association in 1913, the museum tells of the rich history of the city from past to future, in a 17,000 square foot area. Current exhibition is the Hollis Sigler collection that includes many of her works related to her battle with breast cancer, that eventually took her life. The vivid colors and beautiful imagery is quite superb, and even if you aren't an art critic, or lover of the arts, these provocative paintings will stir your memories and open the heart to extremely exotic works. Her collection and related autobiographical information will be at the museum until the 10th of January, 2010. Past exhibitions have included the wonderful collection of Francis and June Spiezer, with many well known artists included. Another was the Moby Dick: Heart of the Sea showing that included works from local artisans George Klauba and Kathleen Piercefield, and sculptor Robert McCauley, from the Rockford College Department of Art chair. There have been others, but since they aren't happening again, there are more recent collections and the permanent to be mentioned. The first permanent piece came here in 1913, and has now grown into a 1500 piece collection that includes national and international artists, contemporary glass art and outsider art, modern and contemporary American art, photography and American masters from the 1830s to the 1940s.  The dance company will be putting on the show, Peter & the wolf, on the 16th of January, and more magnificent shows will follow. The company is there to help the community with growth, enjoyment and learning about the wonderful world of dance. The symphony is another venue that has to be seen and heard to be really appreciated, and it isn't often that a small city has such a dynamic presence in all the arts. They are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and would love to have you come by and enjoy the soothing sounds of the symphony.

  • Forest City Queen at Riverview Park
    The Forest City Queen is a riverboat in the Rock River that floats along the riverfront giving riders some fantastic views of the grand homes that have been built along the waterfront. There are numerous cruise options available, with a dinner cruise and opportunities for you, your family, friends, co-workers or whatever needs you can have for this wonderful adventure along the Rockford riverfront. The guides will tell you about the early beginnings of the city, that rose along the Rock River, and how that helps the city today. It is an exciting ride for people of all ages, and is a perfect way to spend some time learning about the city and all that it has to offer. The Queen is a 48 foot excursion boat that is just right for floating along the Rock River, learning all this is to know about the city of Rockford, Illinois.

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  • Erlander Home Swedish-American MuseumErlander Home Swedish-American Museum Rockford, Illinois
    The Swedish Historical Society of Rockford was begun in 1938, after some members from Rockford went to the 300th anniversary celebration in Delaware of the arrival of the first Swedes to this country. Delaware was one of the first Swedish colonies, and the Rockford society was officially created on January 31, 1939 and incorporated as a non-profit in 1950. The society was started expressly for the charitable, educational and historical reasons that pertained to the Swedish immigrants that settled here. The maintenance of the Erlander House Museum and the continued preservation of the Swedish-American history, is the reason that this society was started in hopes of using these venues to conserve artifacts, create museum exhibits, and teach about the many educational programs that are available to the Swedish-American community and those that would be interested in learning about the early settlement of the city and the hardships people had to endure. A major incentive of the group is the building of a new cultural center, located across the street from the Erlander Museum, and this center will be able to host people from around the world coming here to visit and learn, as well as promote cooperation and peace within their culture, and a venue to hold educational classes. They offer translation services and instruction in the Swedish language, for those that might be considering going overseas to visit family or relations. The home was originally built by John Erlander in 1871, and houses many exquisite pieces of furniture made in the city, plus numerous artifacts that relate to the immigration and migration of the Swedish people. 

  • Rockford Icehogs
    The Rockford Icehogs play in the American Hockey League and started in 2008, at the MetroCentre in Rockford, Illinois. The team was previously known as he Baltimore Bandits from 1995 until 1997, and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks from 1997 until 2005. The Icehogs have been in the city since 1999, playing in the UHL, or United Hockey League before changing into the International Hockey League, or IHL. They won the Colonial Cup for the 2006-2007 season in the last year of the UHL. They are part of the Western Conference, in the West division, and are affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks and Toledo Walleye. They play a total of 80 games a season, and in 2007-2008, they won 44, tied 4 and lost 26, placing them in the 2nd place of the conference. In the following year, they didn't do as well, but did win 40, and lost 34, placing 4th overall. In the playoffs, the first year, they beat Houston 4-1, but lost the next round to Chicago, 3-4. In the first round of the 2008-2009 playoffs, they lost to Milwaukee, 4-0. So far this season, they are 11 wins and 14 loses, but playing harder to keep their home base fans happy and entertained. Many of the games were close 1 pointers, but in hockey, a 1 point advantage can also turn into a 1 point win. But it is still a young team, and has some growing to do. Rockford fans love the team and in this part of the country, you have to enjoy playing hockey since it is one of the favorite sports played by many. The winter weather is also a great asset and the winters here are always cold and blustery. Stop by and watch a game, you'll be surprised and pleased to see these guys plugging away on their skates.

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