There’s so much to do in our region! Here are some exciting recreation events happening this season.
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 grown and made items; live music and kids’ activities. 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.
Golf Family Fun Days
Through Oct. 27, Sun. after 3 p.m. Beginning golfers and families drop in for a relaxed round of golf, featuring nine holes of play and explanations of golf etiquette and rules; clubs available. Sinnissippi Golf Course, 2001 Arlington Ave., and Ingersoll Golf Course, 101 Daisyfield Road, Rockford, (815) 968-7529, rockfordparkdistrict.org.
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, more. Edgebrook Center, 1639 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, (815) 226-0212, edgebrookshops.com.
Janesville Farmers Market
Through Oct., Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Fresh produce, meats, eggs, honey, baked goods, plants, cut flowers, soaps, more. 100 N. Main St., Janesville, (608) 289-9292, janesvillefarmersmarket.com.
DeKalb Corn Fest
Aug. 23-25, Fri. 3-11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. to 6 p.m. Family-friendly event includes a carnival, corn boil, climbing wall, henna, arts and crafts, a bags tournament, a beer garden and music by The Party Doctors, 7th Heaven and more. Various locations, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 748-2676, cornfest.com.
Aug. 24-25, see website for times. Test your mental and physical limits with 25 obstacles over 8-10 miles; enjoy a cold beer when you finish. Chicago Rockford International Airport, 6100 Beltline Road, Rockford, toughmudder.com.
Laurent House Tours
Aug. 24 & Sept. 21, 6:15-9:15 p.m. Enjoy a drink and appetizers from GreenFire Restaurant, then tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House at twilight; tour begins at Loves Park City Hall, 100 Heart Blvd; a shuttle takes you to the house. Tickets/Info: (815) 877-2952, laurenthouse.com.
Food Truck Tuesday
Aug. 27, 5-9 p.m. A variety of food trucks offer tasty treats. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, (815) 987-8858, rockfordparkdistrict.org/ncg.
RAMP Food Truck Thursday
Aug. 29, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Select trucks offer treats on Water Street, from Millenium Fountain to the Jefferson St. Bridge. Regional Access Mobilization Project, 202 Market St., Rockford, (815) 968-7467.
Wilhelm Tell Festival
Aug. 30-Sept. 1, see website for schedule. The 81st Tell celebration offers a weekend of authentic Swiss charm, including a children’s lantern parade, alphorns, yodel showcase, savory food and a street dance. Wilhelm Tell Grounds, W5199 Hwy. W, New Glarus, Wis., wilhelmtell.org.
Walking Tours of Public Sculptures
Sept. 5, 9:30-11 a.m. Stroll along the Rock River Recreation Path and hear about 16 sculptures along the way. Start at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Rockford, (815) 987-8858, nicholasconservtory.com.
Sept. 6, Oct. 4. Monthly on the first Friday, restaurants, art galleries, shops and music venues in downtown Rockford stay open late. (779) 537-5319.
Goin’ Down the Road
Sept. 6, 6 p.m. Enjoy an evening of folk songs of Illinois, presented by folk musician Bucky Halker; songs range from ballads to protest anthems, across the tunes of every ethnic group in Illinois. Apple River Fort State Historic Site, 311 E. Myrtle St., Elizabeth, Ill., (815) 858-2221, appleriverfort.org.
Cars & Coffee
Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-noon. Car clubs host each month; best of show prize; all makes and models as well as motorcycles welcome. Location: parking lot at corner of 7th St. and 4th Ave., Rockford. Info: Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St., (815) 968-0628, katiescup.com.
Wings of Wonder-Lorikeet Exhibit
Sept. 7-Nov. 10, Tue.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Come “face-to-beak” with these always curious nectar-feeding birds known for their playful personalities, vibrant coloration and ability to mimic words and sounds. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Rockford, (815) 987-8858, rockfordparkdistrict.org/ncg.
Cycle on Second
Sept. 8, 8-11 a.m. At the second annual event, ride your bike on a street normally reserved for cars, when the southbound portion of Second Street, from the Auburn Street interchange to State Street, is open only to cyclists. Info: ibikerockford.com.
DeKalb Kite Fest
Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy kites of all kinds, including inflatables, dancing kites and stunt kites. Bring a kite, or make your own. NIU North 40 Field, Lucinda Ave. and Kishwaukee Drive, DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-1336, dekalbcountycvb.com.
A Farm to Table Feast
Sept. 8, 1 p.m. Enjoy a delicious four-course meal prepared from locally sourced food by professional chefs. Rock County Historical Society, 440 N. Jackson St., Janesville, (608) 756-4509, rchs.us.
Second Sundays at Macktown
Sept. 8-Dec. 1, second Sun., 2-4 p.m. Re-enactors, presenters and volunteers share about archaeology, native culture, farming and fiber arts, from prehistoric times through 1850. Macktown Living History Center, 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 624-4200, macktownlivinghistory.com.
Nature Sprouts: Treeriffic Trees
Sept. 10, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Children 3-6 years old learn all about trees by reading picture books, making nature-themed crafts, using creative thinking skills, and observing and interacting with our environment. Reg. online. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
AJG Bat Night in the Garden
Sept. 12, 6:30-9 p.m. Using a “bat detector,” hear bat calls and the patterns of each species’ calls. Back-up provided by frogs and insects. Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.
Paint the Port
Sept. 13, 4-8 p.m. A family-friendly street paint party, where downtown streets are transformed into hundreds of squares that serve as canvases for artists of all ages; proceeds help downtown business owners spruce up their buildings. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 125-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.
Full Moon Hike
Sept. 13, 8-9 p.m. Gaze at the stars and listen to the owls, with just the moonlight to show the way. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Sept. 14-15, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. This antique and flea market has more than 500 vendors selling everything from antiques and collectibles to crafts and home goods; held rain or shine. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St., Pecatonica, (815) 239-1641, winnebagocountyfair.com.
Hot Diggity Dog Festival
Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. A day dedicated to our four-legged friends. Shelters, adoption agencies and pet-related vendors are on hand. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
Wine on the Terrace
Sept. 21, 4-7 p.m. Enjoy an evening of fine wine, delicious appetizers and music in the Ellwood House terraces and gardens. Ellwood House Museum & Park, 509 N. 1st St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-4609, ellwoodhouse.org.
World War II Days
Sept. 21-22, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. The largest WWII re-enactment in the Midwest brings together more than 1,000 re-enactors and more than 60 authentic vehicles. Tour encampments, watch skirmishes and large-scale narrated battles with pyrotechnics, listen to lectures and 1940s-style musical performances. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Fall Colors Hike
Sept. 24, 6-7:30 p.m. Explore fall colors and wildflowers in the golden hours of the day. Hononegah Forest Preserve, 80 Hononegah Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 877-6100, seversondells.com.
Sept. 28, 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Try some of Soap-erstar Geoffrey Akins’ tricks; make giant bubbles, 3-D bubbles and bubble art. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.
Oct. 4-5, Fri. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 2 p.m.-midnight. Taste German food and beer, listen to traditional folk music and polkas, and enjoy folk dance group performances. German Society of Rockford, Loves Park City Hall, 100 Heart Blvd., Loves Park, Ill.
Oct. 5, noon-10 p.m. Annual German celebration featuring ceremonial tapping of the keg, beer stein endurance contest, live music, wiener dog races, polka dancing and lessons, German-style food and drink, more. Galena Lions Club, Depot Park, 91 Bouthillier St., Galena, Ill., (815) 331-0180, galenalions.org.
Cider n’ Cinnamon Arts & Crafts Fair
Oct. 5-6, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Vendors offer a variety of art, jewelry, crafts, clothing, vintage decor and more; food and live music. Edgebrook, Rockford, (815) 226-0212, edgebrookshops.com.
Head of the Rock Regatta
Oct. 9, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. This decades-old race draws some 1,700 rowers from across the country and more than 5,000 spectators. Watch along the river from Martin Park to the YMCA Log Lodge, 200 Y Blvd., Rockford, rockriverymca.org.
Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ride in a covered wagon, visit with farm animals, bob for apples and decorate pumpkins; enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. John Deere Historic Site, 8334 S. Clinton St., Grand Detour, Ill., (815) 652-4551, deere.com.
Fall Pie Bake for Families
Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Make pies from winter squash, explore the woods and spend time with goats. Reg. online. Angelic Organics Learning Center, 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia, Ill., (815) 389-8455, learngrowconnect.org.
Spooky Stories: The Salem Witch Trials
Oct. 15, 7-8:30 p.m. Tom Skinner discusses the Salem Witch Trials of 1692; hear about the history of witchcraft, the people accused and the fallout of this horrifying chapter in American history. Rock County Historical Society, (608) 756-4509, Janesville, rchs.org.
Holidazzle Craft Show
Oct. 19-20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 150 crafters offer handmade items. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St., Pecatonica, (815) 239-1641, winnebagocountyfair.com.
Sycamore Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 23-27, events daily. Thousands of pumpkins decorate the courthouse lawn, with a Wild West theme. Sample pumpkin pie, caramel apples and other fall favorites; carnivals and indoor craft shows. Parade on Sun. Sycamore Courthouse & Downtown, 133 W. State St., Sycamore, sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.
AJG: Spook-Tacular Haunts
Oct. 26, 2-5 p.m. Hoo-Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center brings birds and animals to the garden for families to experience. Children are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat their way through the gardens as they enjoy fun and spooky activities. Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, (815) 229-9390, andersongardens.org.