Count down to the new year at Discovery Center Museum on Dec. 31.

Events at a Glance: Recreation & Destinations Calendar

There’s so much to do in our region! Here are some exciting recreation events happening this season.

Count down to the new year at Discovery Center Museum on Dec. 31.
Count down to the new year at Discovery Center Museum on Dec. 31.


Wings of Wonder-Lorikeet Exhibit
Through 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, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, (815) 987-8858,

Second Sundays at Macktown
Through Dec. 1, second Sun., 2-4 p.m. Re-enactors, guest presenters and volunteers present a variety of topics about archaeology, native culture, gardening, farming and fiber arts, from prehistoric times through 1850. Macktown Living History Center, 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 624-4200,

Roaring in Rockford
Through Dec. 31, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Did you know Rockford was a hot spot of activity in the 1920s? This exhibit shows the secret underbelly of speakeasies and giggle water, a sampling of fashion trends, the stories of local suffragists and technological advancements made in Rockford theaters. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112,

Holiday Traditions
Nov. 15-30, Tue.-Thu. 1 & 3 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 1, 2 & 3 p.m.; Dec. 6-8, Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-5 p.m. Visit the elegantly decorated mansion and take a tour of the three floors and basement level. Ellwood House Museum & Park, 509 N. 1st St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 756-4609,

Couples Night Out
Nov. 18, 5:30 p.m. golf, 7:30 p.m. dinner. Golf formats for all skill levels, followed by dinner provided by Graystone Grill. Aldeen Golf Club, 1902 Reid Farm Road, Rockford, (815) 987-1673,

An Adventure in Time: The Doctor Calls
Nov. 23, 7-9 p.m. Calling all Whovians! Join everyone’s favorite Doctor for an evening of intergalactic fun and mystery across time and space. Allons-y! Tickets online. Rock County Historical Society, Tallman House, 426 N. Jackson St., (608) 756-4509, Janesville,

DIY Holiday Gifts
Nov. 29-30, 1-4 p.m. Make holiday gifts with your family: goat milk soap bars, herbal bath salts and calendula salve. Reg. online. Angelic Organics Learning Center, 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia, Ill., (815) 389-8455,

Galena Holiday Kick-Off
Nov. 30, 1-8 p.m. Bring the family for Santa’s parade, lighting of the tree and carolers. Main Street, downtown Galena, Ill.,

Stroll on State
Nov. 30, 2-9 p.m. Join with family and friends as downtown Rockford transforms into a magical winter wonderland. Enjoy holiday concerts, lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, a parade, fireworks, ice skating, music, horse and wagon rides, visit with Santa, dining and shopping. Downtown Rockford. Info: (815) 963-8111,


Rockton Christmas Walk
Dec. 1-2, see website for times. Events include a pancake breakfast, pictures with Santa, book sale, carriage rides, caroling, lighting of Village Green Park, Christmas parade and a luminaria pathway; also chili supper, craft sale, and food trucks. Downtown Rockton, Ill., (815) 624-0935,

All Aglow Holiday Display
Dec. 1-Jan. 6, check website for times. Closed Dec. 24-25 & Dec. 31-Jan.1. The Conservatory is decorated inside and out, with sparkling lights and beautiful floral displays. Sinnissippi Station model garden train display Dec. 1-Feb. 3. Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Rockford, (815) 987-8858,

Janesville’s Jolly Jingle
Dec. 6-8, see website for times. Ring in the holiday season with activities such as ice skating, live reindeer, a lighted parade, theater, a holiday market, fireworks, a tree lighting, family entertainment, kids’ activities, more. Main Street, Janesville, (608) 755-3030,

Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The annual Christmas market offers Swedish foods, bakery and handcrafted items. Have breakfast, enjoy festive music and dance around the Christmas tree. Swedish Historical Society, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 963-5559,

An Old World Christmas
Dec. 7-8 & 14-15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Stroll through the 1880s Crossroads Village, decked out in holiday greenery, sip a warm cup of wassail, do some holiday shopping, take a horse-drawn ride, and visit Santa’s workshop. Old World Wisconsin, W372 S9727, Hwy. 67, Eagle, Wis., (262) 594-6300,

Nature Sprouts: Wonderful Winter Animals
Dec. 10, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Read about winter animals and their habitats, go on a walk to look for their tracks in the snow and make a bird-feeder garland for our feathered friends. Severson Dells Nature Center, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915,

Old Year’s Night Celebration
Dec. 31, 1-5 p.m. dance; buffet 5 p.m.-close. Usher out the old year with Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchmen; snacks, a glass of champagne, party favors and a midnight balloon drop. Turner Hall of Monroe, Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3461,

Countdown to Fun!
Dec. 31, noon-4 p.m. It may be cold outside, but it’s STEAM-y inside. Make a party hat and noisemaker while you ring in the New Year and explore science, technology, engineering, art and math. Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, (815) 963-6769,