Historical Attractions in ROCKFORD with kids

You’ve heard the saying “History can be fun”…well, we think history IS fun (especially in Rockford, Illinois!)

Rockford is filled with history, and what better way to learn about it with children than to experience the many places to visit in this The Prairie State city that can actually take you back in time!

Historical attractions come in all shapes and sizes. There are landmarks where iconic events happened. There are homes of historic figures filled with treasures and artifacts from their amazing lives. There are historic buildings whose walls are filled with stories from Rockford’s past. 

The best way for kids to learn about history, is to actually visit the places where history happened. It makes sense! Kids can use their imagination as they read and hear all about events, people and places, and feel like they have gone back in time.

There are plenty of things to do with kids in Rockford when it comes to history, so what are we waiting for - let’s GO! 

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  • Blackberry Farm

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    (50 miles) Aurora

    A surprisingly entertaining historical attraction including museums and exhibits but also rides, traditional craft demonstrations and a great deal of scenic open space to run about in.

  • Old World Wisconsin

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    (51 miles) Eagle

    Who knew history could be so fun?! Explore life in the late 1800s/early 1900s in a very hands-on way. Dig into some 19th century chores, meet farmers and learn what life was really like working and ...

  • Discovery World

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    (80 miles) Milwaukee

    Prepare for an awesome journey that will take you through technical wonders, mystical and innovative exhibits, and natural splendor. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking for ...

  • Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

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    (98 miles) Wisconsin Dells

    Inspire your imagination and unlock the secrets to a universe of fun! With over 150 hands-on activities, this interactive science center will have you guessing, thinking and exploring the world of ...

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Discovery Center Museum

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    Rockford

    The amazing Discovery Center Museum is full of over 250 exciting hands-on exhibits spread over a two-floor area. Out in the museum's backyard, visitors can explore Rock River Discovery Park, a giant, ...

  • Burpee Museum of Natural History

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    (1 miles) Rockford

    Welcome! Burpee Museum is a natural history museum specializing in paleontology, geology, biology, and Native American life. We have three floors of exhibits.

  • Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum

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    (1 miles) Rockford

    A step back in time at one of only a handful of Swiss-style homes remaining in the USA from the 1800s. Filled with Victorian Era furnishings and artifacts, it also has a fascinating Indian Burial ...

  • Midway Village Museum

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    (6 miles) Rockford

    Interpreters in authentic period clothing bring Northern Illinois history to life in authentic Midway Village and engage students through a variety of hands-on activities--from rope making to ...

  • Illinois Railway Museum

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    (29 miles) Union

    The Illinois Railway Museum, as you see it today, is the result of decades of effort by a dynamic group of dedicated volunteers. All of the buildings, track, locomotives and cars were assembled here ...

  • Firehouse Ministries Fire Museum

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    (46 miles) Rock Falls

    Take a look into the history of Rock Falls Firefighting at this fun fire museum in Illinois - great for kids who love big trucks and learning!

  • Volo Auto Museum

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    (47 miles) Volo

    30 acres of automobile fun in Illinois, with Hollywood cars, classic cars and a Kids Zone!

  • Lake County Discovery Museum

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    (50 miles) Wauconda

    Showcases aspects of local history using intriguing exhibits and hands on features to keep learning fun. Permanent and travelling exhibitions.

  • SciTech Museum

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    (53 miles) Aurora

    SciTech "hands-on" museum boasts over 200 interative exhibits, daily shows, special events and activities. Hours of fun for kids in Aurora!

  • UW Geology Museum

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    (57 miles) Madison

    Take a journey into the deep history of Wisconsin at this fascinating Geology Museum, with hands-on learning for kids!

  • Madison Childrens Museum

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    (58 miles) Madison

    Features include art studio, interactive gear and water exhibits, restored log cabin with period activities, and two unique and highly imaginative eco play areas with one for under 5s and one for ...

  • DuPage Childrens Museum

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    (59 miles) Naperville

    DuPage Children’s Museum is more than a Museum…we’re a force for early learning! Via interactive exhibits and programs that make learning fun for children and adults playing together, DuPage ...

  • Kohl Childrens Museum of Greater Chicago

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    (66 miles) Glenview

    - of Greater Chicago is a hands-on learning laboratory for children ages birth to 8. Our 17 hands-on, interactive exhibits are designed to make learning fun for young children. One of the many fun ...

  • Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum

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    (78 miles) Chicago

    offers children (ages 4-12) and families the opportunity to learn about art and culture through our weekend, after-school and summer classes.

  • The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

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    (78 miles) Chicago

    An amazing experience in the heart of Chicago, where the family can have a nature and science filled family day out at this Nature Museum.

  • MacKenzie Environmental Education Center

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    (79 miles) Poynette

    Feaures include hands on in and outdoor live wildlife exhibits, self guided nature trails, museums, a fire tower and large picnic area.

  • Museum of Contemporary Art

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    (80 miles) Chicago

    Explore the world of art as it has been since 1945, with paintings, sculptures and even performance! A very cultural day out for kids in Chicago!

  • Milwaukee Public Museum

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    (80 miles) Milwaukee

    From dinosaurs to the hall of shells this is a fascinating and child friendly stop covering a vast range of specialist topics with an ever changing selection of exhibitions.

  • Chicago Childrens Museum

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    (81 miles) Chicago

    Chicago Children's Museum's mission is to create a community where play and learning connect. One of the family places to visit if you're looking for fun things to do in Chicago with kids.

  • Betty Brinn Children's Museum

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    (81 miles) Milwaukee

    Active and creative kids up to 10 years can learn through play at this Milwaukee children's museum!

  • The Field Museum

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    (81 miles) Chicago

    Travel back in time across 4.6 billion years, where kids can come face to face with a T-Rex, explore an Egyptian Tomb and shrink down to the size of a bug! Great Chicago fun!

  • Adler Planeterium

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    (81 miles) Chicago

    Great fun in Chicago - and space! - at the Adler Planetarium, with three theatres and a number of fascinating exhibits.

  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

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    (81 miles) Dubuque

    Fun and learning flow together along the Mississippi River! Hands-on features and interactive exhibits ready for kids to explore in both indoor and outdoor spaces!

  • DuSable Museum of African American History

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    (83 miles) Chicago

    The DuSable Museum of African American History is the first museum of its type in the country and is the only major independent institution in Chicago established to preserve and interpret the ...

  • Museum of Science and Industry

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    (84 miles) Chicago

    One of the worlds largest science museums, home to more than 35,000 artifacts - nearly 14 acres of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. Great family place to visit ...

  • Family Museum of Arts and Science

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    (88 miles) Bettendorf

    he Mission of the Family Museum is to inspire life-long learning in children through interactive arts and science activities and exhibits. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking ...

  • Circus World Museum

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    (89 miles) Baraboo

    A fun and interesting collection of fascinating circus artifacts - it might even be the largest in the world! Historic circus fun for the whole family in Wisconsin!

  • Mid Continent Railway Museum

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    (91 miles) North Freedom

    Experience this outdoor, living museum recreating the "Golden Age of Railroading" back in the 19th century! Locomotive fun for kids in Wisconsin!

  • Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science and Imax Theatre

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    (93 miles) Davenport

    Founded in 1867, the Putnam is home to over 150,000 artifacts and specimens, the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science offers permanent and changing exhibits,and houses Iowa's only 3D IMAX ...

  • Exploration Station

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    (100 miles) Bourbonnais

    A fun interactive museum in Illinois where kids can climb inside a medieval castle, fly a jet plane, and sail on a ship - all part of the hands on discovery experience.

  • Midway Drive In Theatre

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    (40 miles) Sterling

    Sterling, Illinois brings you that classic retro “spaceship” ticket booth, a playground for the little ones, and full service concession stand - have a 1950s movie experience with the family!