Rockford has a wide variety of offerings for arts and culture in the community that visitors can enjoy for free or low cost. The heart of the community is the downtown region, where art and culture thrive. Spend a day in the Rockford region taking in beautiful art and visiting fantastic museums. 


CRE8IV transformational art – Murals and Sculptures

Since 2019, the Rockford Region has been transformed with the CRE8IV Arts Festival, a placemaking event from the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Every year, new walls in the region are selected for murals and every two years, new sites for sculptures. There are currently 34 murals as part of this program and dozens of permanent and on-loan sculptures. Visitors can view a map of the murals and are encouraged to take photos of the art that has been a part of beautifying the region.

Rockford Art Museum

711 N. Main St. Rockford, IL. 61103
(815) 968-2787
Open Thurs. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Rockford Art Museum has been enriching the lives of Rockford residents and visitors since 1913.  Visit the museum to view their permanent collections, as well as special exhibits. It’s free to view the art, except for some exhibits and classes. Parents can look for summer activities can enroll their children in art camp.











317 Art Collaborative
317 Market St. Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 272-0411
Open Tues. - Thurs. 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Fri. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The 317 Art Collaborative is a non-profit that works with local artists to offer classes, studio, art galleries and special events. Located in the heart of downtown Rockford in a historic building, visitors can check out the current exhibition. 

The Underground Art Gallery
418 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61104
(815) 979-1944
Open Tues. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
The Underground Art Gallery features work from local artist Roni Golan. The Underground has a unique bar with hand-painted chairs including symbols of Rockford.  The space can also be booked for interactive painting events. 

For botanical art that can be enjoyed most of the year, there are several locations in Rockford that are worth a visit. 











Anderson Japanese Gardens
318 Spring Creek Rd. Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 229-9390
Open Mon.- Fri. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Sat.- Sun. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Anderson Japanese Gardens is a 12-acre award-winning garden featuring waterfalls, a koi pond, Japanese plants, breathtaking views and so much more. There is an onsite restaurant and special events, including a Japanese tea ceremony and a summer concert series. 












Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
2715 S. Main St. Rockford, IL 61102
(815) 965-8146
Open Daily 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Klehm Arboretum is a 155-acre botanic garden that offers a unique experience for all ages. Children will love the kids garden which features a splash pad and an alphabet garden. Klehm hosts several special events, including a summer garden fair. 

Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
1354 N. 2nd St. Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 987-8858
Open Tues - Fri: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sat. – Sun.: 10 a.m. - 3:00 pm
The Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens is open year-round and features tropical plants from around the world. It is a largest conservatory in Illinois and features several special events including interactions with butterflies and a light show during the holidays.

Rockford has several historic homes and museums that offer a look into the rich history and culture of the region.

Laurent House









The Laurent House
4646 Spring Brook Rd. Rockford, IL 61114
(815) 877-2952
Tours: Fri. 11:30 a.m.; 1 p.m. (May – Oct.)
Sat.11:30 a.m.; 1 p.m. (Apr. – Dec.)
Sun.: 1 p.m.; 2:30 p.m. (Apr. – Dec.)
The Laurent House is the only home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for a person with disabilities. The house was built in 1952 and the Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent lived there until 2012, when it was turned into a museum.








Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens
411 Kent St. Rockford, IL 61102
(815) 964-2424
Tours Tues-Sun. 1 and 3 p.m.
Tinker Swiss Cottage was built in 1865 and opened as a museum in 1943. Robert Tinker built the cottage after getting inspiration from Swiss architecture. The cottage has original furniture and many other artifacts from the Victorian era.

Erlander Home Museum
404 S. 3rd St. Rockford, IL 61104
(815) 963-5559
Tours by appointment only
Swedish immigrants are important to Rockford history and the Erlander Home Museum helps to preserve Swedish heritage.  Built in 1871 by John Erlander, the home has been maintained by the Swedish Historical Society.

Midway Village Museum
6799 Guilford Rd. Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 397-9112
Main Museum Open Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun. Noon – 4 p.m.
Victorian Living History Weekends Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun Noon – 4 p.m.
Midway Village Museum offers exhibits and special events in their historical museum year-round.  From May until early September, their Victorian Village is open for living history weekends and special events.  Visitors can tour their museum and learn about the rich history of Rockford and walk to the Victorian Village to see history come to life with costumed interpreters.