There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Downtown Church Open House
Jan. 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the peace and beauty of the sanctuaries in some of Freeport’s oldest churches. See stephenson-county-il.org for a list of participating churches. Downtown Freeport. Info: (815) 232-3109.
Jan. 3, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Put together one more project on this final day of “Build It! Make It!” Assemble unusual materials into a mobile, construct a feeder for feathered friends, make a waterproof wallet or notch together a super structure. Included with Discovery Center and Museum “Build It! Make It!” admission. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.
All Aglow Holiday Displays
Thru Jan. 6, all day. See sparkling holiday lights and beautiful floral displays inside the warm, tropical conservatory. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. Second St., Rockford, (815) 987-8858, nicholasconservatory.com.
Glaze & Graze
Jan. 8-9, 5-9 p.m. Decorate and glaze your own dinnerware, and enjoy dinner on your new dishes. Artists’ Annex, 412 Spring St., Galena, (815) 777-0354, stonehousepotterygalena.com.
Katie’s Choice Book Club
Jan. 14, 10 a.m. Discussion of “A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby & the Great Betrayal” by Ben Macintyre. Free. Katie’s Cup, 502 Seventh St., Rockford, (815) 986-0628, katiescup.com.
Winter Lecture: Butterflies in Illinois
Feb. 14, 2 p.m. Dr. Michael Jeffords and Susan post share their passion for butterflies and display breathtaking photographs of the many butterflies that call Illinois home. They also speak about what it takes to make a field guide. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Jan. 15, 7-8 p.m. Learn constellations – the brightest stars are visible in winter. Make a planisphere to take home. Free. Weiskopf Observatory, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Time Line Trading Day
Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Costumed re-enactors sell real and replica objects from various time periods, including Fur Trading, Civil War, Victorian Era, both World Wars and much more. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Winter Wonderland Party
Jan. 18, 3-5 p.m. The infamous Snow Queen and Snow Princess along with Bat Hero and Spider Hero entertain guests with sing-a-longs, autograph sessions and fun conversation. Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting
Feb. 5, 6-9 p.m. Taste a variety of wines while sampling select cheeses and specialty chocolates. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.
Teddy Bear Tea in the Great Hall
Feb. 6, 2-3:15 p.m. Grandmothers, mothers and children: grab a favorite teddy bear and listen to “bear stories” by Trish Kelly while enjoying cookies and tea, plus partake in additional activities and take home a complimentary specialty teacup. Reservation req., (815) 220-7386, Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park, Rts. 178 & 71, Utica, Ill., starvedrocklodge.com.
Botany Lab: Secret Life of Plants
Feb. 13, 10-11:30 a.m. Look at plants in a new light and pot your own to take home. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Rockford, (815) 987-8858, nicholasconservatory.com.
World Thinking Day
Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m.-noon, 1-3:30 p.m. Girl Scouts can “travel around the world” to activity stations while receiving a passport stamp at each stop. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Feb. 20. Leading author on autism, John Elder Robison, speaks about his book: “Look Me in the Eye; My Life with Asperser’s.” Additionally, enjoy dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rockford, (815) 964-9275, b-olsoncenterofhope.org.
Winter Lecture: Large Predators Return
Feb. 21, 2 p.m. Learn about cougars, wolves and black bears, and how their behaviors play a part in their return to the Prairie State. Free. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Owl Prowl and Pellet Dissection
Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m. Investigate owl pellets, hike through Big Hill Park and observe owls with calls. Big Hill Center, 1201 Big Hill Court, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
Plants of Concern
Feb. 27, 9 a.m.-noon. Learn about Winnebago County’s top 15 invasive plant species and learn management practices. Forest Preserve of Winnebago County Headquarters, 5500 Northrock Dr., Rockford, (815) 877-6100, winnebagoforest.org.
Ancient Crops of the Midwest Peninsula
Feb. 28, 2 p.m. Listen to a special program on local agricultural history. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
March 5, 9 a.m.-noon. Learn the unique calls of the 13 species of frogs and toads in our area. FPWC Headquarters, Rockford, (815) 877-6100, winnebagoforest.org.
Chief Walks with the Wind
March 20, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Enjoy stories, songs and ceremonies shared by Jerry Savage (the grandson of Sam Sine, who was known as “Chief Walks with the Wind”). Starved Rock Lodge, Utica, Ill., (800) 868-7625, starvedrocklodge.com.
Wine Lovers’ Weekend
March 25-26. Partake in the largest indoor wine-tasting event in the state of Illinois, featuring more than 300 varieties of wine and spirits from across the country. Galena Convention Center, 900 Square Dr., Galena, (815) 747-6335, wineloversweekend.com.