RACVB Rings in the Spring Season with a Real. Original. LOVELY Event Lineup - Residents and visitors can explore everything from great dining to outdoor recreation in the Rockford region. 


February 12, 2018


Rockford, IL ­­– There are a multitude of real. original. LOVELY places to experience in the Rockford region. The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) provides several suggestions for events and activities happening February through May that are perfect ways to spend a date night, day trip, or full weekend adventure. Grab your friends, family, sweetie or even Fido and get ready to embark on adventures in the Rockford region this spring.


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner there are several date night dining options to help plan the perfect evening. Josef Steakhouse & Oyster Bar offers casual-upscale dining focusing on fresh seafood, aged Angus steaks and innovative preparations of classic dishes. GreenFire Restaurant, Bar & Bakery is a bustling American contemporary farm restaurant where all dishes are cooked in wood burning and state-of-the-art brick fire Woodstone ovens. Social Urban Bar & Restaurant has designed a menu that showcases local meats and produce and features a premium spirits and absinthe bar, offering carefully selected wines, micro-brews and crafted cocktails.


“Our team at the RACVB has so much fun helping residents and visitors discover fun things to do throughout the entire Rockford region. This spring we have a great list of events, activities and fun things that the whole family can enjoy from stage shows at the BMO Harris Bank Center to educational and learning events taking place at Burpee Museum of Natural History and Midway Village Museum,” said Andrea Cook, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau marketing & communications manager. “This community also has several unique art shows and performances featuring notable local artists in our region.”


There are those times when you need to go for a leisurely walk or run, and that goes for our four-legged friends, too. Luckily, the Rockford region has several area parks to get out into the open air and unwind. Canine Corners Dog Park at Olson Park is conveniently fenced so dogs are safely contained off-leash, with brush and paths for a great field experience. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is dog-friendly, and leashed dogs can explore the 1.8-mile paved path that winds through the arboretum plus many secondary, chipped trails. Rock River Recreation Path is a 10-mile paved path that winds behind the YMCA, through Sinnissippi Gardens, past Symbol, to meander through Shorewood and Martin Parks in Loves Park. Stone Bridge Trail, built on a former rail bed dating back to the 1850s, provides a crushed limestone pathway through rural countryside.


Other events that are part of the Rockford Area Real. Original. Lovely scene include:

  • In Full Bloom: The Orchid Exhibit (Feb. 12 – March 11 at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens) – The annual orchid exhibit is sure to impress, with hundreds of tropical orchids creatively displayed in the warm tropical exhibition area.
  • Justin Moore – Hell on a Highway Tour (Feb. 15 at BMO Harris Bank Center) – “Hell on a Highway Tour” is Moore’s fourth headlining tour, taking the Arkansas native from coast to coast.
  • Chocoholic Frolic – Benefit for The Arc (Feb. 22 at Giovanni’s Restaurant & Conference Center) – This sweet mix of chocolate and charity boasts over thirty different vendors with chocolate inspired creations.
  • Disney on Ice presents Dream Big (Feb. 22 - 25 at BMO Harris Bank Center) – Witness the empowering tales of Disney’s most courageous leading ladies told through artistic skating and acrobatics.
  • 38th Annual Rockford Home Show (Feb. 23 - 25 at Indoor Sports Center at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two) – See what’s new for the home and garden at this ideal place to shop for new products, services, ideas and concepts.
  • Avalon String Quartet (Feb. 25 at Mendelssohn Hall) – The Avalon String Quartet, described as “deeply musical and sheerly gorgeous,” returns to Rockford for a seventh season.
  • PaleoFest (Mar. 3 – 4 at Burpee Museum of Natural History) – Dino enthusiasts flock to the museum to listen to and interact with famous paleontologists and explore hands-on paleo stations in the museum.
  • Sock Monkey Madness Festival (Mar. 3 - 4 at Midway Village Museum) – "Under the Sea" is the theme at this annual event where you can make your own sock monkey, purchase sock monkey accessories and more!
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Paddyfest (Mar. 17 in Downtown Rockford) – The annual parade celebrating Irish culture makes its way downtown and ends at Prairie Street Brewhouse with a party including Irish food and live entertainment.
  • Meltfest 2018 (Mar. 24 at Prairie Street Brewhouse) – Celebrate the melting away of winter at the 5th annual Meltfest, a free, family-friendly festival with a little bit of something for everyone.
  • Cirque du Soleil: CORTEO (Apr. 5 – 8 at BMO Harris Bank Center) – This show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity.
  • Spring ArtScene (Apr. 13 - 14 at various locations) – ArtScene brings out thousands of art lovers to galleries and studios all over town to enjoy new exhibits of original works. It’s fun for both the browser and the buyer!
  • Classics and Chrome Car Show (May 5 – 6 at Machesney Park Mall) – This is the Midwest’s premier indoor car show, featuring more than 120 unique vehicles that span over 100 years.
  • 2018 Screw City Kubb Klassic (May 5 at Ingersol Centennial Park) – Kubb is an old Nordic lawn game, which is rumored to have its roots with the Vikings! The game is simple, yet capable of being played with strategy by people of all ages.


A complete events list and other recommended things to do this spring in the Rockford region can be found at www.gorockford.com/lovely.


The mission of the RACVB is to drive quality of life and economic growth for our citizens through tourism marketing and destination development. www.gorockford.com





Andrea Cook, RACVB Marketing & Communications Manager: 815.489.1664 or acook@gorockford.com