It’s the spooky time of year where creepy decorations are up outside houses around your neighborhood, and candy is sold by the bagful. It’s Halloween in the Rockford region! If you’re looking for places to go and things to munch on, let us be your guide.

Anderson Japanese Gardens fall

If you have kids with Halloween costumes ready to go, head over to Anderson Japanese Gardens! Kids in costume receive free admission AND a free bag of goodies all week starting on Monday, October 26, during regular hours. Not only is this a great place to have kids “trick-or-treat” safely, but it’s also a spectacular time to visit the gardens in general because of all the fall colors!

Discovery Center Museum

Don’t take that costume off quite yet, because kids can also wear their costumes to Discovery Center Museum for their Spooky Science Days event from Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31! The hands-on exhibits at Discovery Center are already tons of fun, but adding in fun Halloween costumes is just the icing on the cake. Kids will also be able to make some crafts to take home (slime anyone?). Just make sure you make advanced reservations to secure your time slot to visit.

But who says you need a specific place to wear your Halloween costume? Get that costume on and simply take a stroll on the bike path or in one of our local forest preserves or parks! I guarantee it will make other peoples’ day if they see a Power Ranger or superhero out taking walk. Show off your costume while walking the Rock River Recreation Path in Rockford and Loves Park, or the Stone Bridge Trail in Roscoe.

The Little Chocolatier caramel apples

Do you have kids looking for a little more variety in their trick-or-treat bags? Or maybe you’re just an adult with a big sweet tooth? Why not go “trick-or-treating” for candy at local sweets and candy shops? Sugar Britches up in Rockton is a hub for some homemade goodies. I always gravitate to anything chocolate, but the homemade caramels are bites you do NOT want to miss. Save some room, because you’ll want to fill up on the treats at Sweets N’ Eats in Rockford! There are tons of classic candy items to choose from, but you also might want to splurge a little for some ice cream (hey, it’s good any time of year), churros, or smoothies. Last stop on this trick-or-treat train is at The Little Chocolatier. Anything created from this local shop is delicious and a hit for any trick-or-treater (child or adult).

Enjoy dressing up in costume and indulging in sweets…and have a safe and spooky Halloween!


Photo credits (in order of appearance): Sugar Britches, Anderson Japanese Gardens (Jeff Anderson), Discovery Center Museum, The Little Chocolatier