Winnebago County Calendar of Events Nov. 28 – Dec. 7

Holiday enthusiasts are invited to join University of Illinois Extension for their annual Horticulture for the Holidays workshop on Dec. 1 at the Lockwood Park Cookhouse.


Nuncrackers: A Nunsense Christmas Musical, Pec Playhouse Theatre 314 Main St., Pecatonica, performances on Friday-Sunday, $14. . With brand new songs, including “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us” and “It’s Better to Give than to Receive,” this show is filled with typical Nunsense humor, your favorite carols, and “Secret Santa” audience participation. Information: 815-239-1210.


Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors: Great Balls of Fire, presented By Discovery Center Museu, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Take yourself on an astronomical adventure as you climb into a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter on a mission to gather data about asteroids and comets. Role play as an “explorer-in-training” to gather data about differences asteroids and planets, and comets. Information: 815-963-6769.


Victorian Holiday Party at Barnes Mansion, Saturdays, 737 N. Main St., Rockford, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., $15.  Enjoy holiday fun with Mr. and Mrs. Clause, a private conversation with Santa, and more in the elegance of the historic Barnes Mansion. There will be cookies and hot chocolate, classic winter stories, fun victorian crafts and elegant photo opportunities. Learn about life in the late 1800s and early 1900s and how the Barnes family might have celebrated the holidays, while enjoying the magic of the season with your family. Information: 815- 965-3433

THROUGH JAN. 5, 2019

Greetings from Rockford – Exhibition of Rockford Postcard Designs,  J.R. Kortman Center for Design / Kortman Gallery,  107 N. Main St., Rockford, Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11-6 p.m. daily and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. As Rockford’s tourism industry has grown along with a renewed civic pride, a  demand for local postcards is on the increase. For this reason, the Kortman Gallery is presenting original art works of souvenir postcard designs created by more than twenty local artists. Information: 815-968-0123.

THROUGH JAN. 6, 2019

All Aglow at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, closed Monday. Come see sparkling holiday lights and beautiful floral displays inside the warm tropical conservatory. Outdoor grounds are also decorated for the season. Information: 815-987-8858


Sinnissippi Station Model Garden Railroad Exhibit, Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, closed Monday, regular admission. Visitors are transported to a magical miniature world as six G-scale trains and trolleys run down, around, and above the lush indoor tropical setting of Nicholas Conservatory. Miniature Rockford landmarks and willow trestle bridges add to the enchanting ambiance. Information: 815-987-8858 .

NOV. 23-24

Grinchy Green Science, Discovery Center Museum , 711 N. Main St., Rockford, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free with center admission. Green bubbles, Grinch Goop, Whoville hats and more. Dabble in additional art and science activities during this weekend of family fun. Information: 815-963-6769.

NOV. 29-DEC. 9

A Picasso, presented By Artists’ Ensemble Theater, Rockford University, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, $30, $28 seniors (62+), $10 Students, discount Thursday $19. In 1941 Pablo Picasso is still in Nazi-occupied Paris, still painting, but no longer permitted to exhibit his “degenerate” art in public. Then he is arrested and brought before a woman from the German Ministry of Culture. Information: (815) 394-5004.

NOV. 30

Hollyberry Holiday Bazaar, presented By Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center, 3470 N. Alpine Rd., Rockford, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., free admission. There will be plenty of crafts and vendors for to enjoy. Homemade BBQ lunch with sides available for $4 plus Christmas cookies and a special Christmas punch will be served. Information:815-877-1441 ext. 1330.

Mainstage Series: Zachary Owen, Bass-Baritone, Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford, 7:30 p.m., $25 in advance, $30 at door, $6 students. An up-and-coming bass-baritone originally from Stillman Valley, Illinois. Owen has performed with such companies as Glimmerglass Festival, Arizona Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara. He was also a national semifinalist at the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. Information: 815- 964-9713.

NOV. 30-DEC. 1

Small Town, Bright Christmas Walk, presented By Pecatonica Woman’s Club, downtown Pecatonica, 400 Block, Main Street, 4-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free admission.  Food, luminaries, shopping and Christmas tree lighting on Friday, a kids breakfast with Santa and more on Saturday.

NOV. 30-DEC. 2

34th Annual Rockton Christmas Walk, downtown Rockton. This celebration of the holidays includes visits with Santa, caroling in the park and the Lighted Christmas Parade. The Rockton Christmas Walk is a holiday tradition for thousands of area residents.The first weekend of December is set aside for the holiday fun, and has been a delight for families for over 30 years.  Information: 815-624-0935.

DEC. 1

Winnebago Buy Local, a Local Holiday Market, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free admission. This one-of-a-kind shopping market is filled entirely with local businesses. Support and shop at 30-plus local businesses, all in one spot.

Gingerbread Lane Cookie Walk and Craft Show, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church,  2336 Freeport Road, Rockton, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., free admission. Shop with 25 local crafters offering Christmas and non-seasonal decor and accessories, jewelry, baskets, apparel, doll clothes, and needlework. Christmas cookies and goodies are $5 per pound. Information: 815-624-7007.

Ninth Annual Tour de Frost, The Vitamin Shoppe start and end, registration 9 a.m., start at 10 a.m., $35 online, $40 on site.  Folks gather for this winter group bike ride around Rockford with stops at The Olympic Tavern and Rockford Bicycle Company. Presented by Team Fur Bandit, which helps Rockford’s disabled community by providing funds to help support their needs.

Holiday Concert on the Creek, 2nd City Chorus, presented By Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Rd., Rockford, 7-9 p.m., free admission. The chorus is a dynamic, award-winning chorus consisting of men of all ages and backgrounds, specializing in 4 part harmony a cappella singing in the Barbershop style. Information: 815-877-2576 ext. 103.

Horticulture for the Holidays Workshop, presented By University of Illinois Extension, Lockwood Park – Cookhouse,  5201 Safford Rd., Rockford, 9 a.m.-noon, $25, preregistration required. Participants will partake in two make-and-take workshops that demonstrate how to incorporate the garden into seasonal celebrations and gift giving. Register by Nov. 28. Information: visit or call the Winnebago County Extension Office at 815-986-4357.

Victorian Winter Tea, Midway Village Museum,  6799 Guilford Rd., Rockford, 2-4 pm., $35 adults, $20 children ages 3-17, $30 museum members. Dine in style at the historic Chamberlain Hotel in Midway Village. Discover the traditional healing properties of herbal teas with a special presentation and a hands-on workshop to create your own custom tea blends. The menu will include a three-course meal and endless pots of holiday teas. Information: 815-397-9112.

DEC. 1-2

The Nutcracker – Coronado Performing Arts Center,   314 N. Main St., Rockford, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 pm.. Sunday, $9-$35.  Rockford Dance Company performs this holiday classic ballet with music performed by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Information: 815-965-0049

DEC. 6

Candy Cane Hun, The Confluence Learning Center,  306 Dickop St., South Beloit,  3:30-5 p.m., $5 donation.  Grab a bag to search for candy canes that have been scattered throughout Nature at the Confluence. Additional activities include a candy cane craft, hot chocolate by a fire and games. Information: 815-200-6910.

DEC 7-8

Luminaria Walk, Severson Dells Nature Center,  8786 Montague Rd., Rockford, 6-9 p.m., free. Stroll a candle-lit trail, take a horse drawn wagon ride through the prairie and enjoy live music and hot beverages in the nature center, as we celebrate the beauty of nature in winter.  Information: 815-335-2915.

Lucia Concert, presented By Erlander Home Museum and Swedish Historical Society,  First Lutheran Church 225 S. 3rd St., Rockford, 7-9 p.m., goodwill donation. This annual event brings the holiday spirit with traditional Swedish songs and a candlelit processional. After the concert, join a luminary processional down to the Nordic Cultural Center for refreshments and treats. Information: 815-963-5559

DEC. 7-9

J.R. Sullivan’s Hometown Holiday, Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, $30. This 23rd annual production features holiday music and comedy, all designed for the Rockford community. Featured performers include Miles Nielsen and Kelly Steward along with other local and regional performers. J. R. Sullivan, founder of the former New AmericanTheater, will emcee and will close the show with a Rockford remembrance. Information: 815-968-0595

DEC. 7-31

Festival of Lights, presented By Rockford Fire and Ice, Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday, also 24 hours on Dec. 24-25 and 6-10 p.m. on Dec. 31., free.



–Winnebago County Calendar of Events Nov. 28 – Dec. 7–