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Where the Dinosaurs Roam
Burpee Museum


What does a dinosaur named Jane, a children's discovery museum, a turn-of-the-century village and museum center, and a rare example of Victorian "exotic" architecture have in common?

Rockford, of course. Our fine list of museums and Rockford attractions will capture the attention of any explorer and adventure seeker.

Our Riverfront Museum Campus features three museums in one convenient location -- featuring Rockford's newest - and oldest - dinosaur (named Jane) at Burpee Museum of Natural History to the more than 250 hands-on children's exhibits at the Discovery Center Museum, to the "most significant collection of Chicago art, inside or outside the city," at the Rockford Art Museum.

Renowned Paleontology expert Robert Bakker once said, "Pound for pound, Burpee is the best natural history museum in the country." That same sentiment could be said for the quality of all our museums in the Rockford Region.

Rockford was established in 1834. Originally named Midway because it was halfway between Chicago and Galena, it eventually became known as Rockford because of the Rock River's rocky ford bubbling near the original settlement. Several museums celebrate the region's historical roots, in particular Midway Village Museum where you can see exhibits featuring our ubiquitous Sock Monkey and the Rockford Peaches.

Veterans Memorial Hall, dedicated in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, is a memorial to those who served and are still serving in our nation's armed forces. Three floors of exhibits feature local veterans of all U.S. conflicts with donated artifacts.

Other great history-rich sites include Macktown Living History Education Center, Ethnic Heritage Museum and Tinker Swiss Cottage. All three give a glimpse into a time gone by in the Rockford Region.