Real. Original. LOVELY Events and Activities Usher in SpringFrom sweet treats to blooming gardens, there are so many reasons to love the Rockford region

February 1, 2017


Rockford, IL ­­– Springtime is nearly here and now is the time to start making plans for a fun getaway or staycation in the Rockford region. The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) has several suggestions for Real. Original. LOVELY events and activities perfect for day trips, a night out on the town, weekend excursions and more. Grab your friends, family or sweetie and get ready to fall in love with Rockford!


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner our local confectionaries are ready to recommend the perfect gift or sweet surprises. Chocolat by Daniel, within walking distance of many downtown eateries and shops, offers European-style truffles and chocolates made fresh to order. Sugar Britches is the go-to spot to bring back old memories of nostalgic times with a mixture of gourmet candies and childhood favorites. Everyone loves a good cupcake, and Sugarjones Bakery serves up their signature and unique flavors each week.


“We’ve put together a great lineup of suggested things to do in the Rockford region this spring. Several family-friendly events are happening at our top museums in the area like Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Midway Village Museum, Burpee Museum of Natural History and Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum. There are also tons of date night ideas with an array of live entertainment venues to choose from or art shows featuring notable local artists in our region,” said Josh Albrecht, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Director of Marketing & Public Affairs.


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

  • Chocolate Sundae Sunday (Feb. 12 at Discovery Center Museum) – Enjoy a sundae of your own design, express yourself at the Valentine-creation station and love the sounds of the Auburn Jazz Band.

  • Travis Tritt (Feb. 16 at Coronado Performing Arts Center) – Performing his biggest hits, the Grand Ole Opry member will bring award-winning songs to life during the concert along with his personal stories.

  • Victorian Light Party Murder Mystery (Feb. 18 at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens) – Interact with others as Rose hosts her first Victorian Light Party! Unfortunately, no one knows there is a killer in their midst.

  • FVV All-Star Party with Fred VanVleet (Feb. 19 at District Bar & Grill) – The party includes music by Ashleye Armelin and RAJU, a showing of the NBA All-Star game, and a VIP meet and greet with Toronto Raptors rookie and Rockford native Fred VanVleet.

  • Rockford Wind Ensemble Concert (Feb. 26 at Nordlof Center) – Rockford Wind Ensemble performs a remarkable range of musical styles from historically significant works to popular favorites.

  • An Evening with Kristin Chenoweth and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (Mar. 1 at Coronado Performing Arts Center) – Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer, Kristin Chenoweth, will join the RSO for an unforgettable musical evening.

  • Paleofest (Mar. 4 – 5 at Burpee Museum) – 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. 4 - 5 at Midway Village Museum) – “Candyland” 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 and Paddyfest (Mar. 11 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.

  • Miranda Lambert: Highway Vagabond Tour (Mar. 18 at BMO Harris Bank Center) – Nashville singer/songwriter Miranda Lambert touts five studio albums to her repertoire. The tour also includes singers Aubrie Sellers and Old Dominion.

  • Meltfest (Mar. 25 at Praire Street Brewhouse) – Celebrate the melting away of winter and the melting together of the community. There will be live music, a 5K walk/run, group bike ride, vendors and more.

  • Alton Brown: Eat Your Science Tour (Apr. 5 at Coronado Performing Arts Center) – The meal-cooking madman promises to have you drooling over tasty confections and dazzled by stunning displays.

  • Spring ArtScene (Apr. 21 – 22 at various locations) – Spring ArtScene showcases original works of art at different venues across the Rockford region. Meet the artists and be inspired to purchase pieces of art.


Albrecht adds, “We won’t have to wait much longer for the thaw of winter to welcome blooming gardens, a chance to take a scenic hike in our preserves, a paddle on some of the region’s most robust lakes and, of course, the beautiful Rock river. The Midwest landscapes are breathtaking this time of year and are filled with acres of unique flowers and shrubs, many native to Illinois.”


The Rockford region is dubbed the “City of Gardens” and offers flowers, plants and trees known to the Midwest, several other parts of the country and even the world! Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens maintains an 11,000-square-foot plant exhibition creating a lovely tropical environment with palm trees, jackfruit trees and traveling exhibits. Every spring they host In Full Bloom: The Orchid Exhibit (Jan. 28 – March 5) that includes hundreds of tropical orchids creatively displayed in the exhibition area. The Lilly Fernandez Memorial Meditation Garden at Womanspace is a large area with several planted “berms” and three-dimensional sculptures. This peaceful garden honors Lilly Fernandez of Bombay, India and is an ideal location for reflection and meditation.


The RACVB has you covered with eight Rockford-themed valentines sure to make that special person smile. These free, downloadable valentines, along with our Real. Original. LOVELY flyer, including recommended events and activities, can be found at


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




Andrea Mandala, RACVB Marketing & Communications Manager: 815.489.1664 or