Get pumped up for an electrifying weekend filled with creativity and excitement at the CRE8IV Music & Arts Festival, set to ignite Downtown Rockford from May 31 to June 2!

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Snow Park at Alpine Hills

THINGS TO DO IN WINTER IN ROCKFORD, IL

Embrace the magic of winter in Rockford, where snowy landscapes and festive cheer come together to create unforgettable memories. From exhilarating outdoor adventures to cozy indoor festivities, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Explore the variety of winter activities, annual events, and festivals that make Rockford the perfect winter destination.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

ICE SKATING, TUBING, AND SNOWBOARDING

Enjoy ice skating al fresco at the Nicholas Conservatory Eclipse Lagoon or Rockton Ice Rink. These rinks are open seasonally and depending on the weather, so be sure to check their websites first! For some indoor skating fun, visit Carlson Ice House and Riverview Ice House. Bring your own skates or rent them. And if you find yourself at Snow Park at Alpine Hills, not only can you go ice skating, you can try your hand at tubing and snowboarding!

SLEDDING

When snow blankets the ground, head to Levings Lake ParkSinnissippi Golf Course, or Twin Sister Hills Park for thrilling sledding adventures. Sled hills are open daily from dawn to dusk.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, SNOWSHOEING, AND MOUNTAIN BIKING

Explore the picturesque winter landscapes by skis, foot, or two wheels. You can rent cross-country skis, snowshoes, or mountain bikes at Atwood Center. Or head over to Rock Cut State Park, where you can also rent skis and snowshoes to enjoy their fifteen miles of groomed cross-country trails. 

Need a little more guidance? Head over to Rocktown Adventures, where they offer instruction, equipment rentals, and guided group outings. 

COZY INDOOR DELIGHTS

Escape the winter chill by stepping back in time at the Midway Village Museum, a haven of warmth and culture in Rockford. Explore meticulously recreated historical buildings, peruse captivating exhibits, and delight in engaging interactive displays. Delve into the stories of Rockford's past, from its pioneer days to the bustling industrial era. Wander through the quaint streetscapes, where period costumes and authentic artifacts bring history to life. 

Afterward, indulge in the cozy ambiance of Rockford's Midtown District with a steaming cup of coffee or tea at Katie's Cup, where you can unwind by the crackling fireplace with a good book.

Rockford welcomes you to a winter wonderland filled with joy, adventure, and warmth. Plan your visit today and discover the magic of winter in this charming city. 

WINTER EVENTS & FESTIVALS

Rockford offers a vibrant array of winter events, from dazzling holiday light displays to exhilarating outdoor adventures in the snow, promising unforgettable experiences for residents and visitors alike.

STROLL ON STATE

Join us for the highlight of the winter season, Stroll on State! Experience the magic of downtown Rockford as it transforms into a winter wonderland. Marvel at the dazzling holiday lights, festive decorations, and enchanting displays that line the streets. Enjoy live performances, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa Claus, and much more. Stroll on State is the ultimate celebration of community spirit and holiday cheer that you won't want to miss!

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Hop in your car and drive through the Festival of Lights in Sinnissippi Park. Since 1989, this cherished FREE event has become a beloved state-line family tradition. In 2023, the festival introduced even more new displays, inviting visitors to enjoy and share their favorite highlights. Holiday staples, like Santa Claus, are known to make appearances. 

ALL AGLOW

Celebrate the holidays at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens! Visitors can behold sparkling holiday lights illuminating the outdoor garden, including elegantly illuminated stars and 50 jumbo-lighted candy canes, all handcrafted by Conservatory staff. With a total of 300,000 lights, the outdoor grounds radiate with extra sparkle. The lights are on from dusk to dawn, inviting all to enjoy this enchanting spectacle. Best of all, this event is FREE for the public to enjoy!

YETI FEST

The Rockton Yeti Fest encapsulates the essence of winter wonder with a plethora of thrilling activities and engaging events for all ages. From mesmerizing snow sculpting competitions showcasing intricate creations to exhilarating dog sledding demonstrations that embody the spirit of adventure, the festival invites attendees to immerse themselves in a world of frosty enchantment.

ILLINOIS SNOW SCULPTING COMPETITION 

The Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition held in Rockford draws teams from various corners of the state, vying for the prestigious opportunity to represent Illinois in the esteemed U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition. This thrilling event isn't just for seasoned professionals; it also features a high school division, fostering talent and passion for snow sculpting among younger participants.