There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Polish Gallery Man and Woman of the Year
Through Nov. 20, daily 2-4 p.m. Join the Polish Gallery in honoring Dan and Mary Jaworowski as the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year. Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-7402, ethnicheritagemuseum.org.
Toys @ Play Exhibit
Through Dec. 30, Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Relive your childhood by embracing all decades of toys, past and present. Don’t forget to color on the giant coloring wall. Rock County Historical Society, 426 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Illinois
Nov. 15, 7-8 p.m. Tom Anton presents a program on this region’s amphibians and reptiles with an emphasis on natural history and conservation, followed by a discussion of the reproduction, diets, hibernation and habitats of these endlessly fascinating vertebrates. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn skills in reading maps and using a compass. Then, apply the newly acquired skills in a course. Welty Environmental Center, 1201 Big Hill Court, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
Spectacular Saturdays: German
Nov. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Parents can help their children create projects and learn about German culture. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Heritage Arts Saturday
Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Learn about Norwegian cooking on a wood stove. Old World Wisconsin, W372S9727 State Road 67, Eagle, Wis., (262) 594-2922, oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org.
Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Kennedy
Nov. 21, 6:30 p.m. If Mary Lincoln and Jackie Kennedy met, what would they discuss? In this imagined meeting, Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Kennedy reminisce about living in the White House, negotiating the role of First Lady and enduring the loss of their husbands. Portrayed by Leslie Goddard and Laura F. Keyes. Refreshments available. Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport, (815) 233-3000, freeportpubliclibrary.org.
A Cottage Christmas
Nov. 22-Jan. 15. Tue.-Sun. 1-2:30 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas past. Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, tinkercottage.com.
Nov. 25-26, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Turn turkey-day leftovers into zany science fun by experimenting with cranberry chemistry and engaging in fruitcake physics. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.
Christmas Love Light Angel Tree Lighting
Nov. 29, 10:30 a.m. A Christmas tree with angel ornaments offers the opportunity to remember and honor loved ones during the holiday season. Join in for the initial illumination. Presence Saint Joseph Center, 659 E. Jefferson St., Freeport, (815) 232-8935, presencehealth.org.
Fighting the Sex Trafficking of Minors
Nov. 29, 7-9 p.m. Founded in 2006, Freedom Firm seeks to eliminate child prostitution in India by rescuing minors who have been sold into the commercial sex trade. Freedom Firm representative Becky Morris talks about the efforts employed in the fight to eliminate child prostitution. Rockford University, Fisher Memorial Chapel, 5050 E. State St., (815) 226-4100, rockford.edu/artslectures/forum.
Dec. 2, 11:30-1:30 p.m. Coloring is becoming a popular relaxation hobby for grown-ups and is a recommended mental health therapy activity. Rockford Public Library, Rock River Branch, 3128 11th St., Rockford, (815) 398-7514, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Story Time at the Museum
Dec. 6, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Children are welcome to join the Rock County Historical Society to read a story, do an activity and make a craft. Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, 426 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
Reading the Signs of Nature
Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn how to read the “signs” left by some of the wild residents of Big Hill Park by learning how to identify animal tracks and scat. Welty Environmental Center, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
Spectacular Saturdays: Rockford’s Own
Dec. 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. In the final Spectacular Saturday of the year, parents help their children create projects and learn about different cultures in the Rockford community. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Day Off on the Farm: Seeds and Snow Edition
Jan. 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Learn what happens on a farm during the snowy season by spending time taking care of animals, touring the farm and learning about different seeds. Angelic Organics Learning Center, 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia, Ill., (815) 389-8455, learngrowconnect.org.
Book Discussion of “The Underground Railroad”
Jan. 24, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Discuss “The Underground Railroad,” by bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The novel begins on a Georgia cotton plantation with a slave named Cora who’s seeking freedom. She embarks on a harrowing flight aboard a secret network of tracks and tunnels. Chat about it over coffee. Rockford Public Library, Central Location, 215 N. Wyman St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.