Explore nature with your young scout during Family Nature Day, June 23, at Nygren Wetland Preserve, in Rockton, Ill.

Events @ a Glance: Mind and Spirit Calendar

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

Explore nature with your young scout during Family Nature Day, June 23, at Nygren Wetland Preserve, in Rockton, Ill.
Explore nature with your young scout during Family Nature Day, June 23, at Nygren Wetland Preserve, in Rockton, Ill. (Jill Kennay photo)


Garden Fair Weekend
June 2-3, Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 5 p.m. Nearly 100 vendors offer plants, flowers, tools, antiques and art. Fundraiser for gardens, arboretum and programs. Klehm Arboretum, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.

Tranquility Walk
June 5, 3-4:30 p.m. Experience the transformative, restorative and healing powers of nature on the unpaved trails. Reg. online. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.

Brown Bag Lunch
June 7, noon. Natasha Lehrer Lewis takes the audience “Inside the Mind of the Artist,” as she recounts her journey as shepherd, entrepreneur, artist and educator. Ellwood House Museum & Park, 509 N. 1st St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-4609, ellwoodhouse.org.

Annual Rotary Pie Ride
June 16, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Choose 20K, 50K, 100K or 100-mile routes to bike through scenic southern Wisconsin. Well-marked, paved bike routes, with multiple food and drink rest stops. Helmets required. Lions Beach, 1401 Palmer Dr., Janesville, (608) 204-9835, janesvillemorningrotary.org.

Rockford Yoga Day
June 21, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Practice with yoga instructor Keri Knutson. Online registrants receive a T-shirt from Rockford Art Deli. Womanspace, 3333 Maria Linden Dr., Rockford, (815) 877-0118, womanspace-rockford.org.

AJG: The Early Years
June 21, 7 p.m. Landscape professional Michael Ellena, former general manager of Anderson Japanese Gardens, speaks about the development and transformation of the garden from a private to public garden. Reg. requested. Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Cedar Bluff Lamplight Tour
June 22, 7-8:30 p.m. Tour one of the region’s oldest cemeteries with local historians, who share the long-forgotten stories of people from Rockford. Reg. online. Cedar Bluff Cemetery, 1200 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 871-4239, hauntedrockford.com.

Strawberry Fest
June 23, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. A family affair offering pancakes, crepes and sausages for breakfast, a delicious lunch, strawberry desserts, music games and a raffle. Rain or shine. Profits support local programs. Sun Valley Presbyterian Church, 1650 Sun Valley Dr., Beloit, (608) 365-7547, sunvalleystrawberryfest.com.

Family Nature Day
June 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Kids earn a junior naturalist badge when they visit learning stations, with topics such as forests, mammals, archeology, wetlands, birds and prairies. Reg. online. Nygren Wetland Preserve, 3190 W. Rockton Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 964-6666, naturalland.org.

Marvel-ous Magical Evening
June 24, 6-8 p.m. Fantasy comes to life as children come face-to-face with favorite princesses and superheroes. Costumes encouraged. Proceeds benefit museum. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.

Liquid, Solid, Gas, Beer
June 27, 6-7 p.m. Laura Sjoquist, Community Conservation Coordinator for the Natural Land Institute, talks about the importance of water conservation and how it ties in to what we eat and drink. Location: Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rockford. Info/register at (815) 964-6666, naturalland.org.


Pastel Workshop
July 8, 2-4 p.m. Artists age 7-14 learn how to use chalk pastels. Wear a smock or old shirt. Reg. online. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.

Beekeeping Workshop
July 8 & Aug. 12, 2-4 p.m. Learn beekeeping techniques, tools of the trade and everything else there is to do with bees. Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.

Rockford Plate
July 12, 5:30-9 p.m. Sample traditional food and beverages while enjoying the music and dance of many nations. Followed by an “All American” Main Street celebration; silent auction. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.

AJG: The Middle and Recent Years
July 19, 7 p.m. Head of Horticulture and Garden Curator Tim Gruner looks at the period 1991 to present, during which the garden became a regional, national and international attraction. Reg. requested. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.

Alpine Kiwanis Brat Days
July 20-21, Fri. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. to 5:30 p.m. July 20, 6-9 a.m., breakfast brat drive-through at the former Menard’s, N. 2nd and Ill. Rt. 173, in Machesney Park, Ill. Enjoy a Johnsonville Brat, hot dog, meatless barbecue or vegetarian brat, chips and pop. Profits support Alpine Kiwanis programs. Locations: former Machesney Park Menard’s; Edgebrook Center, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford; and K-Mart, E. State St. and Mulford Road, Rockford. Info: (815) 979-5249, alpinekiwanis-il.org.

10th Annual Fairy Festival
July 21, 1-4 p.m. Fairy fun and activities, including fairy dances by the Rockford Dance Company and fairy crafts. Tickets rec. Womanspace, Rockford, (815) 877-0118, womanspace-rockford.org.

Dinosaur Hunters
July 30-Aug. 3 & Aug. 6-10. Have you ever wanted to dig up dinosaurs? Join the Burpee Museum team in Montana to prospect for bones; learn how to excavate fossils and protect them for the journey back. No experience required. Reservations req. Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-3433, burpee.org.


Red Planet Viewing
Aug. 3, 8-10 p.m. See Mars through the Weiskopf Observatory’s new telescope, when the Red Planet is at its biggest and best. Byron Forest Preserve, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.

Arbor Ridge Trail Race
Aug. 4, 8-11 a.m. Pick a 5K, 8K or 16K route that follows Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail through the arboretum. 1K run for kids 10:15-11 a.m. Portion of proceeds goes to the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Robert O. Cook Memorial Arboretum, 3550 County Hwy. A, Janesville, (608) 931-1819, arborrockrunning.com.