Winnebago County Calendar of Events Oct. 18 – Oct. 27

Chronicle Media

Sand Bluff Bird Observatory hosts An Evening with Owls on Oct. 20-21 from 7-11 p.m. at Colored Sands Forest Preserve in Sirland.


North End City Market, North End City Market Intersection of North Main and Auburn Streets, Rockford, weekly on Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m., free admission. The market is full of fresh, local products and food and will be a nice place for the community to gather to shop, eat, and socialize. Information: (815) 977-5124.


Extreme Halloween – Three Attractions at One Location, Wyldside Paintball 4500 Rotary Rd.
Rockford, Fridays and Saturday, 7 p.m.-midnight, weekdays and Sundays 7-11 p.m., $20 for all three attractions. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online at For more information or group rates call (815) 871-5696.


Bruce Munro: LIGHT, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, varying admission prices and entry times. Call (815) 987-8858 for specifics. The exhibition, Munro’s eighth large-scale garden exhibition in the U.S., allows visitors to literally see the gardens in a new light. The gardens and Conservatory will provide a stunning backdrop for eight sculptures, including Munro’s iconic “Field of Light” and “Water-Towers.”

THROUGH JAN. 14, 2018

Great Balls of Fire! Comets, Asteroids, Meteors,  Discovery Center Museum 711 N. Main St.
Rockford, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, $10 (including museum admission), free for members.  Come explore the mysteries of other celestial objects at Discovery Center’s new temporary exhibition.

OCT. 18

Women’s Art Board Luncheon featuring Barbara Rinella, presented By, Giovanni’s Restaurant & Conference Center,  610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., $50 per person, $500 for table of 10.  Rinella brings to life characters from Sally Bedell Smith’s book Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. This event includes a silent auction and raffle, books and gift shop with items from the Rockford Art Museum Store. Proceeds help the group support RAM education programs throughout the year. Limited seating, reservations required. Information: (815) 968-2787.

Aikido: The Art of Peace, Anderson Japanese Gardens Visitor Center, 318 Spring Creek Rd., Rockford, 7 p.m., free for garden members, $5 non-members. This Japanese martial art was originally intended to be used as a way to peacefully reconcile the world. Aikido is a non-competitive art and looks at an enemy not to overpower and conquer, but rather as a path to find harmony in a chaotic world. Stephen Tatsuo Toyoda is the current President and son of Aikido Association International founder, Fumio Toyoda Shihan. He has been studying Aikido since the age of three.

OCT. 20-21

Artists’ Ensemble Mystery Theater, Rockford University Clark Arts Center, Cheek Theatre, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, 7:30 p.m., donations accepted. Vintage radio-style performance with mystery and laughter combined in the second episode when a radio sleuth is invited to a haunted castle in Cuba, complete with ghosts, zombies, and a gangster with murder on his mind. It’s a comedy of terrors. Information: (815) 394-5004.

An Evening with the Owls presented By Sand Bluff Bird Observatory, Colored Sands Forest Preserve,  10602 Haas Rd., Shirland, 7-11 p.m., $25 er person, all ages, reservations required due to limited seating. Learn about the research Sand Bluff and other scientists are conducting about owl ecology, owl behavior and experience the magic of a nighttime nature hike as we listen for calling owls and other nocturnal creatures. Light refreshments will be provided. Information: (815) 494-7865.

OCT. 20-22

Rock-Con Game Convention, presented By What-Khan Convention, LLC, Tebala Event Center, 7910 Newburg Rd., Rockford, 2 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, $15 single day, $25 weekend pass. Rock-Con features historical and fantasy miniature gaming, collectible miniatures, role-playing, board gaming, and other events that cover the entire spectrum of adventure gaming for the entire family.

OCT. 21

Free OAKtober Hike, presented By Natural Land Institute, Burr Oak Valley Preserve Elevator Road,
Roscoe, 1:30-3:30 p.m., free. A free guided tour of the preserve, a private natural area owned by Natural Land Institute. Zach Grycan, NLI’s Director of Stewardship, and Ed Cope, Restoration Ecologist, will lead a hike through the rolling hills and oak savannas of this preserve and talk about the ongoing restoration work, general differences between red and white oak trees and their environmental benefits. Information: (815) 964-6666.

All Hallows Eve, presented By Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Rd., Rockford, 2-8 p.m., $6 per person, free for ages two and under and museum members. More than 24 village buildings will be specially decorated for Halloween by local community groups, and families can trick-or-treat in each building to receive candy from costumed volunteers. There will also be additional children’s activities such as crafts, games, and dancing! Families are encouraged to dress in costumes.  Information: (815) 397-9112.

Light of Unity Festival, presented By The Baha’is of Rockford, Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 406 N. Main St., Rockford. The festival offers artistic presentations, an evening of delicious fun including poetry, music, storytelling and drama performed by children and adults. Persian delicacies and tea will be served following the program.  

Outdoor Skills for Kids – Fire by Friction, Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Rd., Rockford, 10 a.m.-noon, $5 members, $10 non-members. Kids ages 10 to 16 years are invited to come and learn how our ancestors made fire by “rubbing two sticks together.” Participants learn the basics of how both bow and hand drills are made, and put together their own hand drill kits. We’ll also cover fire safety and how to succeed in making a “one-match fire.” Registration required by Oct. 18; space limited to 10 participants. Information: (815) 335-2915.

The Rockford Illinois Record Crawl, Culture Shock Clothing and Records, 2239 Charles St.,
Rockford, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Visit four locations in Rockford to enjoy refreshments and listen to music, support Rockford’s independent record stores, have fun and make new friends. Pick up a special punch card from any location. Turn in your filled punch card at the end of the crawl for the chance to win $100 in records from the stores. Other locations include: Kate’s Pie Shop and Record Store, 6685 E. State St.; CD Source, 221 E. State St.; Toad Hall Books and Records, 2106 Broadway. Information: (815) 229-2997.

“In The Outdoors” Free Nature Programs, Atwood Center,  2685 New Milford School Rd., Rockford, free, 7-9 p.m. The October program  — Mind Tricks (and Treats) — show how wonderful the woods can be at night, and do some activities to learn the science behind why your mind plays tricks on you. And after all of the tricks, finish your night with a S’more around the campfire for a delicious treat. Information: (815) 966-8747.

OCT. 22

Author Visit with Kathi Kresol, Barnes and Nobles, 7200 Harrison, Ste 5, Rockford, 1-3 p.m., free admission.  Aauthor, historian, and founder of Haunted Rockford Paranormal Events, Kresol has spent countless hours tracking down the legends and ghost stories of this region. She will share her favorite stories of lost loves, spine tingling encounters with ghostly apparitions and unexplained bumps in the night. Information: (815) 871-4239.

OCT. 25

5th Annual Holidazzle Craft Show, Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St., Pecatonica, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The event features more than 150 crafters with all handmade items. Get a head start on Christmas shopping.  Concessions will be available. Free parking. No pets allowed. Information: (815) 239-1641.

OCT. 27

Heartstrings – Connections between Music and Medicine, presented By The Music Academy in Rockford, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave., Rockford, 6-10 p.m., $110 per person, $800 table of eight. Heartstrings is a biennial event sponsored by The Music Academy to focus on the relationship between medicine/science and music. It includes a concert performed by Academy advanced students, faculty and alumni, hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m., concert at 7 p.m., and concludes with dessert and a performance by Jon Rozman and the Screw City Swingers. Information: (815) 986-0037.



–Winnebago County Calendar of Events Oct. 18 – Oct. 27–