Our region offers many opportunities to get outdoors this summer. Here are some of the best events going on.
Food Truck Tuesdays
Through Aug. 27, Tue. 5-9 p.m. Enjoy tasty offerings from five area food trucks and a cash bar by Prairie St. Brewing Co. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, (815) 987-8858, rockfordparkdistrict.org/ncg.
Through Sept. 7, Sat. 9 a.m.-noon. Featuring ethnic food, farm produce, coffee drinks, activities for kids, music and crafts. School district parking lot, 501 7th St., (815) 977-5124, rockfordmidtownmarket.com.
Rockford City Market
Through Sept. 27, Fri. 3:30-8:30 p.m.; Sept. 2-27, to 7:30 p.m. An open-air public market featuring locally produced items such as produce, meat, flowers, baked goods, and local beer/wine. Water Street at East State Street, Downtown Rockford, (815) 977-5124, rockfordcitymarket.com.
North End City Market
Through Oct. 26, Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Shop, eat and socialize at the market, which is full of fresh, local produce and products. North Main and Auburn Streets, (815) 977-5124, rockfordcitymarket.com.
Family Fun at Lockwood Park
Through Oct. 26, Sat. noon-4 p.m. Family activities include wagon rides, a pony ring, children’s farm animal barn and trail rides. Picnic areas and playgrounds on site. Res. online for trail rides. Lockwood Park, 5201 Safford Road, Rockford, (815) 987-8809, lockwoodpark.com.
Edgebrook Farmers Market
Through Oct. 30, 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, and more. Edgebrook Center, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 226-0212, edgebrookshops.com.
Janesville Farmers Market
Through October, Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Fresh produce, meats, baked goods, plants, cut flowers, soaps and more. 100 N. Main St., Janesville, (608) 289-9292, janesvillefarmersmarket.com.
In the Outdoors
Through Oct., third Sat. See website for times. Bring the family for a few hours of fun in nature. Atwood Center, 2685 New Milford School Road, Rockford, (815) 966-8747, rockfordparkdistrict.org.
June 19-Aug. 7, Wed. 10 a.m. Special themed activities include science demonstrations, live animal interactions and Animal Hour Family Classes. Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-3433, burpee.org.
AJG: Garden Explorers
June 21-Aug. 9, Thu. 9 a.m. Storytime and games designed for 3-5-year-olds, 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 22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Vendors offer quality vintage, antique and repurposed items, including home and garden goods, furniture, clothing, jewelry, art and children’s items. Rockford City Market, (815) 977-5124, rockfordcitymarket.com.
Corkless in Galena
June 22, noon-7 p.m. Showcasing unique wines produced by family-owned northern Illinois wineries; live music, art show; food available. Depot Park, 91 Bouthillier St., Galena, Ill., corklessgalena.com.
June 24-July 29, Mon. 5 p.m. Paddle down the Kishwaukee River or other body of water based on water conditions. Reg. online. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Readings from the Rookery
June 28 and July 12 & 26, 9:30-11 a.m. Kids 5-9 are introduced to a nature book, then participate in outside activities that relate to the theme of the week. Reg. online. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
June 28-29. Events daily, see website for locations & times. Vendors offer produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, homemade crafts and textiles. Parade Sat. at 3 p.m. celebrates community champions. Various locations in Belvidere, ci.belvidere.il.us/news-and-events/heritage-days.
June 29, 8:30 a.m. Take a guided canoe tour from River Park to the He-Leo Two Rivers Preserve. Then, explore the entrance to Leaf River and the wetlands areas of the preserve. Reg. online. Jarrett Center, Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Paint on State 2019
June 29, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Grab a bag of paint, brushes and supplies and create street artwork on a 4-by-4 foot square of State Street. Boone County Arts Council, S. State St. and Leonard Ct., Belvidere, Ill., (815) 544-6242, boonecountyarts.com.
International Mud Day
June 29, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Children the world over celebrate as a way to connect with nature through the earth. Muddy activities, games, educational experiences and more. Bring a change of clothes for the ride home. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Rockford, (815) 987-8858, rockfordparkdistrict.org/ncg.
Dixon Petunia Festival
July 3-7, events daily. The 55th Petunia 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.
19th Century Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Family-friendly activities such as ice cream making, period sports and games, pie-eating contests and an old-fashioned parade with horse-drawn wagons. Tickets online. Old World Wisconsin (OWW), W372 S9727, WI Hwy. 67, Eagle, Wis., (262) 594-6300, oldworldwisconsin.org.
Cars & Coffee
July 6 & 1st Sat. through Sept., 9 a.m.-noon. Car clubs host each month; best of show prize; displays by police and fire departments; all makes and models as well as motorcycles welcome. Parking lot, corner of 7th St. and 4th Ave., Rockford, (815) 968-0628, katiescup.com.
Annual Archaeology ID Day
July 6, 10 a.m. See a flintknapper make arrowheads and spearheads from flint, then try your hand at making them; talk to professional archaeologists about your collection of points, fossils, animal bones or other found items. Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Rockford Pro-Am Tournament
July 7, 8 a.m. The 43rd annual golf tournament features stars from the LPGA and PGA tours. Proceeds benefit the YMCA Foster Care program. Aldeen Golf Club, 1902 Reid Farm Road, Rockford, (815) 877-5623, therockfordproam.com.
Stephenson County Fair
July 9-13, Gates open 8 a.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.
July 12-13, Fri. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 8 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The three-day community festival features a 5K run, carnival, musical entertainment, car show, parade, bags tournament and quilt show. Downtown Byron. Byron Chamber of Commerce, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-5500, byronfest.businesscatalyst.com.
Friday Night Flix
July 12 & Aug. 2. Open at 7 p.m., movie at dusk. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and settle in for “The Lego Movie 2” on July 12 and “Trolls” on Aug. 2. Food and soda available for purchase. No alcohol, pets or bicycles. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford, (815) 968-5730, rockfordparkdistrict.com.
July 13, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Saddle up for an architectural bicycle tour with Gary Anderson. From Midtown to downtown, it’s about 4 miles. Begin at Katie’s Cup, Rockford, katiescup.com.
Second Sundays at Macktown
July 13 & second Sat. through Dec. Re-enactors present topics including archaeology, native culture, gardening, farming and fiber arts, covering cultures from prehistoric times through 1850. Macktown Historical Site, 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 624-4200, macktownlivinghistory.com.
“Biking with Beanzie”
July 14, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. A family-friendly recreational ride for all levels. Choose a road course of 20-100 miles or an off-road ride of 3, 5 or 8 miles. Rest stops, refreshments; T-shirts for participants who preregister. 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.
Cars Time Forgot
July 14, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Over 1,200 custom cars, trucks, motorcycles and vehicles of special interest from across the country. Saturday road tour to winery and backroad gimmick rally. Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan, Wis., (262) 728-7950, lakelawnresort.com.
Family Folk Dance
July 16, 7-7:45 p.m. Learn simple folk dances from around the world, including Israel, Germany and Russia. No experience or partner required. Reg. online. Freeport Park District, Read Park, 1200 Park Lane Dr., Freeport, (815) 235-6114, freeportparksfoundation.org.
Rockford Culture Crawl
July 20, 10 a.m. Visit seven cultural organizations for a creative and educational activity for children and families. Get all the stamps on your map and be entered to win a prize. Free admission at some stops. Locations: Discovery Center, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Dance Co., Burpee Museum, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Midway Village and Ethnic Heritage Museum. Info: Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Ice Cream Social & Artists
July 21, noon-4 p.m. Enjoy a day at the mill and on the grounds. Watch artists create their next masterpiece before your eyes. Beckman Mill, 11600 S. County Road H, Beloit, (608) 751-1551, beckmanmill.org.
Rock County 4-H Fair
July 22-28, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. In its 90th year, the fair includes a carnival, entertainment and many 4-H exhibits showing animals, woodworking, photography, mini aircraft and visual arts. Rock County Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville, (608) 755-1470, rockcounty4hfair.com.
Fishing Lips and Casting Tips
July 23, 3-4:30 p.m. Get a fishing lesson and participate in experiments to understand how fish survive in their watery environment. Poles and bait provided. Reg. online. Welty Environmental Center, 1201 Big Hill Court, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
Murder & Mayhem
July 26, 6:30-9-p.m. Back by popular demand. 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. For ages 21 and up. Reg./Info: Rock County Historical Society, 426 N. Jackson St., Janesville, rchs.org.
Ogle County Fair
July 31-Aug. 4, 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, 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.
Swiss Independence Day Celebration
Aug. 1, 5:30 p.m. Commemorate the 727th anniversary of the formation of the Swiss Confederation (1291) with an authentic Swiss buffet and entertainment. Res. req. Turner Hall of Monroe, 1217 17th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3461, turnerhallofmonroe.org.
Aug. 2. Monthly on the first Friday, restaurants, art galleries, shops and music venues in downtown Rockford stay open late. (779) 537-5319.
Aug. 2-3, daily. Beloit hosts a street dance, family-friendly activities, sidewalk sales, farmers market and food concessions. Downtown Beloit, (608) 365-0150, downtownbeloit.com.