Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Edgebrook Farmers Market
Through Oct. 31, Wed. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Local farmers display vegetables, fruits, flowers and plants as well as fresh-baked breads, sweet treats, cheese, maple syrup, farm-fresh eggs, jams and jellies, more. Edgebrook Center, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 226-0212, edgebrookshops.com.
Rockford City Market
Through Aug. 31, Fri. 3:30-8:30 p.m.; Sept. 7-28, Fri. 3:30-7:30 p.m. An open-air public market featuring locally grown and made items; live music and kids’ activities. Water Street at East State Street, Downtown Rockford, (815) 977-5124, rockfordcitymarket.com.
Janesville Farmers Market
Through Oct. 27, Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Fresh produce, meats, eggs, honey, baked goods, plants, cut flowers, soaps and more. 100 N. Main St., Janesville, (608) 289-9292, janesvillefarmersmarket.com.
Through Oct. 27, Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn about the history of the reconstructed fort through hands-on activities, demonstrations and conversation with interpreters in 1830s-style dress. Apple River Fort State Historic Site, 311 E. Myrtle St., Elizabeth, Ill., (815) 858-2221, appleriverfort.org.
Rockford Peaches Celebration
June 1, 3:30-8:30 p.m. At Rockford City Market, celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Rockford Peaches women’s baseball team, with stars from “A League of Their Own,” the movie based on the team, and original All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players. Items for sale benefit International Women’s Baseball Center (IWBC). Info: (815) 621-7235, internationalwomensbaseballcenter.org.
Friday Night Flix: “A League of Their Own”
June 1, dusk-9:30 p.m. Stars from the movie greet attendees before an evening showing. Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman St., Rockford, (815) 968-5600, rockfordparkdistrict.org.
“Baseball in the STEAM Zone”
June 2, 9 a.m.-noon. A morning of family activities connecting baseball and sports to STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and math), history and sport. Baseball skills featured on the ball diamond. Fire and police display vans. IWBC, Beyer Stadium, 245 15th Ave., Rockford, internationalwomensbaseballcenter.org.
Dairy Day at the Mooseum
June 2, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Family-friendly activities include barn games, dairy trivia, a cow parade and a cooking demonstration. Hoard Historical Museum, 401 Whitewater Ave., Fort Atkinson, Wis., (920) 563-7769, hoardmuseum.org.
June 2, 2-3:30 p.m. Learn about insects and their relatives, such as spiders, millipedes and centipedes. Walk the prairie with sweep nets to do some collecting. All ages. Welty Environmental Center, 1201 Big Hill Court, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
Lake Geneva Restaurant Week
June 3-10. Twenty-five restaurants offer special prix-fixe meals for lunch ($10) and dinner ($25/$35.) Many indoor and outdoor activities held throughout the week. Diners choose a charity to receive $5,000 toward its mission. Tickets/Info: (800) 345-1020, visitlakegeneva.com.
AJG: Garden Explorers
June 7-Aug. 9, Thu. 9 a.m. Story time and games designed for children age 3-5, but children of all ages are welcome, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.
June 9, 10-11:30 a.m. & 1-2:30 p.m. An open truck takes you to get a close look at the Nachusa Grassland herd; bring your camera, binoculars, snacks and sunscreen. Nachusa Outdoor Visitor Center, 2075 Lowden Road, Franklin Grove, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
65th Annual Ice Cream Social
June 10, noon-4 p.m. Indulge in some ice cream and homemade pie, then tour the Taylor House, Industrial and Toy Museum, pioneer log cabin and one-room schoolhouse. Stephenson County Historical Museum, 1440 S. Carroll Ave., Freeport, (815) 232-8419, stephcohs.org.
Murder & Mayhem
June 14, 6:30-9-p.m. Back by popular demand (for ages 21 and up). Begin the pub tour at the old Corn Exchange, 199 W. Milwaukee St., and move on to hear some of the most gruesome and scandalous stories from Rock County’s past. Rock County Historical Society, 426 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
Old Settlers Days
June 14-17, see website for times. Entertainment by Chase Rice, Steve Moakler, Nelly, Rick Springfield, Greg Kihn, Tommy Tutone and others. 5K run/walk, carnival, petting zoo, magic show and fireworks. Rockton Lions Club, Settlers Park, 125 E. Harwick St., Rockton, Ill., (815) 206-8525, oldsettlersdays.com.
Galena Balloon Race
June 15-17, Fri. 6-10 p.m., Sat. 5:15 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. race 5:15 a.m. More than 20 balloons, tethered rides, races, car show, craft beer fest, live music and activities. Cash only. Proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Camp Hertko Hollow. Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, 444 Eagle Ridge Dr., Galena, Ill., (800) 892-2269.
In the Outdoors
June 16, 1-3 p.m.; July 21, Aug. 18, 9-11 a.m.; Sept. 15, Oct. 20, 7-9 p.m. Bring the family for a few hours of fun in nature. Atwood Center, 2685 New Milford School Road, Rockford, (815) 966-8747, rockfordparkdistrict.org.
Wildflower & Bird Walk
June 16, July 7 & Aug. 4, 9-10:30 a.m. Start your weekend with a soothing morning in nature. Bring binoculars. Reg. online. Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Guided Canoe Tour
June 23, 8:30-11 a.m. A relaxing morning on the water, where the Rock and the Leaf River merge. Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Corkless in Galena
June 23, noon-7 p.m. Showcasing unique wines produced by family-owned northern Illinois wineries; live music, art show and food available. Depot Park, 91 Bouthillier St., Galena, Ill., corklessgalena.com.
Stephenson County Fair
June 27-July 1, Wed.-Fri. 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Bring the family for truck and tractor pulls, “bulls-n-barrels,” demolition derby, and musical entertainment. Stephenson County Fairgrounds, 2250 S. Walnut Road, Freeport, (815) 235-2918, stephensoncountyfair.org.
Life Under Water
June 30, 10 a.m-2 p.m. Learn about some of the creatures that live in a healthy stream or pond; plan on getting a little wet. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Dixon Petunia Festival
July 3-8, events daily. The 54th festival is jam-packed with events including a car show, carnival, parade, Taste Trail, live music, bingo and fireworks on the Fourth. Various locations in Dixon, Ill. Info: petuniafestival.org.
July 6. Restaurants, art galleries, shops and music venues in downtown Rockford stay open late. Info: (779) 537-5319.
Archeology Artifacts Day
July 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring your artifacts to have them identified by experts. Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Fairy Tale Tea
July 7, 11 a.m. Dress as your favorite princess, prince or fairy tale creature and enjoy sandwiches, scones and dessert along with your tea. Res. req. Tinker Swiss Cottage, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, tinkercottage.com.
Cars Time Forgot
July 7-8, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 1,000 custom cars, trucks, motorcycles and vehicles of special interest from across the country. Saturday road tour and gimmick rally. Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan, Wis., (262) 728-7950, lakelawnresort.com.
Historic Baseball Game
July 7 & 21, Aug. 18, 1:30 p.m. Experience our national pastime as it was played in the 1870s, just after the Civil War, with no gloves allowed. Old World Wisconsin (OWW), W372 S9727, WI Hwy. 67, Eagle, Wis., (262) 594-6300, oldworldwisconsin.org.
July 13-15, Fri. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 8 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The three-day community festival includes 5K run, carnival, musical entertainment, car show, parade, bags tournament and quilt show. Location: Downtown Byron. Byron Chamber of Commerce, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-5500, byronfest.businesscatalyst.com.
Biking with Beanzie
July 15, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. A family-friendly recreational bike ride for all levels. Choose a road course of 25-101 miles or an off-road ride of 3, 5 or 8 miles. Rest stops, refreshments. Proceeds support Kishwaukee Bike Pathway projects and other charitable causes in DeKalb County. Kishwaukee Kiwanis, DeKalb High School, 501 W. Dresser Road, DeKalb, Ill., Kishkiwanis.org.
July 21, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Meet at Oregon Park East, 120 N. River Road, Oregon, Ill., for this guided canoe tour along the most scenic stretches of the Rock River to Castle Rock State Park. Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Rock County 4-H Fair
July 24-29, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. In its 89th year, the fair includes a carnival, entertainment and numerous 4-H exhibits. Rock County Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville, (608) 755-1470, rockcounty4hfair.com.
AJG Japanese Summer Festival
July 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Exhibits, demonstrations and performances – such as taiko drumming, brush painting and origami – that appeal to all age groups and foster a better understanding of Japanese culture. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.
July 30, 5:30-8 p.m. Join staff for miles of paddling on the Kishwaukee River; learn to be a more skillful and confident paddler while learning about river ecology. Reg. online. Severson Dells Nature Center, Rockford, (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Swiss Independence Day Celebration
Aug. 1, 5:30 p.m. Commemorate the 726th anniversary of the formation of the Swiss Confederation with an authentic Swiss buffet and entertainment. Res. at (608) 325-3461. Turner Hall of Monroe, 1217 17th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3461, turnerhallofmonroe.org.
Ogle County Fair
Aug. 1-5, Wed. 4-10 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Antique tractor parade and pull, demolition derby, rodeo and 4-H exhibits and drill team, carnival, rides, entertainment and pork chop sandwiches. Ogle Co. Fairgrounds, 1440 N. Limekiln Road, Oregon, Ill., (815) 732-6962, oglecountyfair.com.
Aug. 3-4, daily. Beloit hosts a street dance, family-friendly activities, sidewalk sales, farmers market and food concessions. Downtown Beloit, (608) 365-0150, downtownbeloit.com.
Aug. 3-5, Sat. 2-8 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. Celebrating its 40th year, this Rockford tradition offers lots of Italian culture. Boylan High School Grounds, 4000 St. Francis Dr., Rockford, (815) 636-2902, griaa.com.
Tallman Arts Festival
Aug. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Meet the artists and see their beautiful wares, ranging from fine art to jewelry, drafts and sustainable arts. An array of food vendors and live music round out the day. Rock County Historical Society, 426 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
Boone County Fair
Aug. 7-12, 6-10 a.m. breakfast only; 8 a.m.-midnight. Rides, carnival games, livestock, fair food and entertainment. Boone County Fairgrounds, 8791 Ill. Rt. 76, Belvidere, (815) 544-2900, boonecountyfair.com.
Winnebago County Fair
Aug. 15-19, noon-midnight. Wrap up your summer with a rodeo, barrel racing, tractor and truck pulls, truck races, a demolition derby and carnival, 4-H presenters and entertainment. On Wed., seniors 60 and over enter free; one free admission with two canned items to benefit the Rockford Rescue Mission. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St, Pecatonica, Ill., winnebagocountyfair.com.
Intro to Family Camping
Aug. 18-19, 4 p.m.-11 a.m. Sleep outside under the stars, enjoy campfire meals, go on hikes and experience a live Birds of Prey show. Reg. online. Atwood Center, Rockford, (815) 966-8747, rockfordparkdistrict.org.