Grab your party hats and track the dawn of 2018 across the globe during Discovery Center Museum’s “Countdown to Fun” on Dec. 31, in Rockford.

Events @ a Glance: Mind & Spirit Calendar

There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.

Grab your party hats and track the dawn of 2018 across the globe during Discovery Center Museum’s “Countdown to Fun” on Dec. 31, in Rockford.
Grab your party hats and track the dawn of 2018 across the globe during Discovery Center Museum’s “Countdown to Fun” on Dec. 31, in Rockford.

December

Stewardship Wednesdays
Through Dec. 27, Wed. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Work on nature restoration tasks such as controlling and removing invasive species, planting and collecting seeds, helping in the greenhouse, and monitoring bird and mammal populations. Participate all or part of the day. Nygren Wetland Preserve, 3190 W. Rockton Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 964-6666, naturalland.org.
History in Focus
Through Dec. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. An interactive family experience that shows how photographs, paintings and motion pictures help us remember the past and tell stories. Rock County Historical Society, 426 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
Pieces & Patterns 3
Dec. 1-Feb. 9. Opening reception Dec. 1, 5-6:30 p.m. Exhibit open Mon.-Thu. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. to 6 p.m. Featuring a variety of historical and contemporary quilts. Woodlawn Arts Academy, 3807 Woodlawn Road, Sterling, Ill., (815) 626-4278, woodlawnartsacademy.com.
Reclaiming Our Place in Nature
Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-noon. Based on “Work that Reconnects,” developed by Joanna Macy, this program challenges you to discover your rightful place in the natural world. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Christmas Concert and Dessert Buffet
Dec. 3, 2-4 p.m. Relax to the joyful sounds of the season; sample delectable holiday sweets, treats and beverages; and raise funds for Klehm Arboretum. Music provided by the Rockford Flute Club, Betsy Baker’s Bluesy Sounds of Christmas, and Emerald Wind Harp Ensemble. Res. online. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
One Million Cups
Dec. 6, 9 a.m. This free program is designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs, providing a platform for companies that are five years old or younger. Thinker Ventures, 317 W. Jefferson St., Rockford, (815) 516-0500, 1millioncups.com.
Festival of Giving
Dec. 8, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Give a brand-new toy or bid on one of the many auction items during this charitable toy drive. Highland Community College, 2998 W. Pearl Road, Freeport, (815) 235-6121, highland.edu.
Drinks with the Curator
Dec. 5, 6-8 p.m. Talk shop about bikes and Rockford’s motorcycle history in the museum galleries with RAM Curator Carrie Johnson and local bike builders Drew Allen and Ryan Hartman. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Beekeeping Workshop
Dec. 10, 2 p.m. Enjoy honey tasting, wassail, honey recipe samples and door prizes; order packaged bees for spring shipment. Jarrett Prairie Center, Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Footprints in the Snow
Dec. 13, 3 p.m. Learn to identify animals based on their tracks, their scats and their movements through the brush. Midwest Museum of Natural History, 425 W. State St., Sycamore, Ill., (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
Geminid Meteor Watch
Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Watch for meteors under a moonless sky. Geminids are bright and colorful, and can be seen at a rate of 100 per hour. Bring chairs, blankets or sleeping bags. Reg. online. Weiskopf Observatory, Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Owl Prowl
Dec. 15, 7 p.m. After an overview program about owls in our region, head outside and try your best to spot them along the trails. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Movie Monday Film Series
Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m. A showing of the cult adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Countdown to Fun!
Dec. 31, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Design your own party hat, get out the confetti, craft a noisemaker and track the New Year across the globe with Rick Shark and Ryan Seahorse. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.

January

Louder than Words
Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m. This feature-length documentary follows two families as they deal with the struggles and controversy in trying to break the barriers between the hearing and deaf worlds for the benefit of their children. Janesville resident Matthew Hollingsworth, the film’s creator, holds a talk afterward. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
Poetry Open Mic Night
Jan. 12, 7 p.m. Enjoy original poetry or share your own; hosted by Richard Vargas of Rockford’s “The Más Tequila Review,” an independently published small-press poetry review. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Monkey Business
Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Curious George leads as you build, maneuver and manipulate your way through a world of science and engineering that offers problem-solving opportunities. Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.
Botanic Talk
Jan. 27, Feb. 24, 10 a.m. Educational monthly seminar with rotating topics. Reg. online. Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, (608) 752-3885, rotarybotanicalgardens.org.

February

An Affair to Remember
Feb. 8, 6 p.m. The audience and the entertainment share the stage during this fundraiser supporting Theatre Unlimited Inc., a community musical theatre troupe. Bucket and 50/50 raffles. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org. ❚