The village of Roscoe is a suburb of the city of Rockford, in northern Illinois. The village sits along the shore of the Rock River and is just a 10-minute drive from the state border of Wisconsin. The ins and outs of Roscoe include its variety of interesting museums and one-of-a-kind outdoor adventures, just waiting to be discovered.
1. Historic Auto Museum
Danica Patrick's Rahal-Letterman Racing 2005 IRL IndyCarPosted by Historic Auto Attractions on Wednesday, 22 June 2011
The Historic Auto Museum is a place for both car and history enthusiasts. The eclectic collection in this historic museum is quite impressive and it features 12 exhibits, each focusing on a different subject. For example, one exhibit features famous cars from films, another shows historic cars from the days of classic Chicago gangs of the 1920s, another features various racecars, and one exhibit even features NASA vehicles.
Admission to the museum is 13 USD for adults, 11 USD for military members and seniors, 8 USD for students (ages 6-17), 25 USD for a season pass, and 35 USD for a family pass (covers 2 adults and 2 children). Group tours are available during specific seasons and must be booked in advance, over the phone. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
Historic Auto Museum
Address: 13825 Metric Rd, Roscoe, IL 61073
Website: Historic Auto Museum
2. Anderson Japanese Gardens
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The meticulously manicured Anderson Japanese Gardens, are located in Rockford, about a 20-minute drive from Roscoe. The gardens cover a 12-acre (8.1-hectare) area and feature multiple ponds, waterfalls, structures, and of course a variety of flora and fauna. The gardens are open to the public, daily, during the months from spring to autumn. Daily hours are Monday-Friday 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday & Sunday 9 am-5 pm. There are often special events happening in the gardens, such as ceremonies for the season opening, tea and bento lunches, guest lectures, and more. The gardens are available for private events and make a spectacular setting for any wedding.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Address: 318 Spring Creek Rd, Rockford, IL 61107
Website: Anderson Japanese Gardens
3. Gypsy Air Tours
Ever wanted to ride in an open cockpit biplane? Well here is your opportunity. Just a 35-minute drive north will take you to Gypsy Air Tours. This fantastic experience is actually located just over the state border in Wisconsin, but well worth the drive. There are four different tour types available, each experience will fly you over the wonderful sights of northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, in a 1930 WACO Taperwing.
A 10-minute flight is 60 USD per person, a 20-minute flight is 90 USD per person, a 30-minute ride is 135 USD per person, and a customized 45-minute tour is 185 per person. These fares are discounted 20 USD for single riders. There is a single passenger weight limit of 250 lbs (113 kg), and a two passenger weight limit of 400 lbs (181 kg) combined. Gypsy Air Tour’s home airport is Broadhead Airport, in Wisconsin, but they also fly from Burlington and Galt Airport. Flights are available from spring to autumn.
This opportunity is truly a something you don’t see every day, so catching it while you can is a great idea.
Gypsy Air Tours
Address: Broadhead Airport Airport Rd, Broadhead, WI 53520
Website: Gypsy Air Tours
4. Discovery Center Museum
A 20-minute drive, south of Roscoe, is the Discovery Center Museum. This award-winning museum focuses on the mission of getting kids involved with and loving science. It has over 200 interactive exhibits for kids, as well as a huge outdoor park. Exhibits include those on human biology, art, physics, colors, weather and many more.
The museum is available for parties, and can be rented out for private events. General admission is 8 USD per person, museum members and children age one year and younger are free. The museum is open Mondays through Sundays 10 am to 5 pm and is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Easter Sunday.
Discovery Center Museum
Address: 711 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61103
Website: Discovery Center Museum
5. Rock Cut State Park
Rock Cut State Park is named after a tribe of Native Americans that once settled, here. It is one of the largest grassland and wildflower prairies, of which there are very few remaining. The park is home to a multitude of animals and over 100 types of wildflowers that bloom during the spring and summer. Guests can enjoy bike trails, boating on Pierce Lake, camping, equestrian trails, fishing and more. Picnic pavilions can be found throughout the park, each with tables, chairs, outdoor stoves, and a pit toilet. If you have a large group, there are 5 shelters that can be reserved on the park’s website.
Rock Cut State Park
Address: 7223 West Lane Rd, Loves Park, IL 61111
Website: Rock Cut State Park
6. Burpee Museum of Natural History
A 19-minute drive, south of Roscoe, along the banks of the Rock River, sits the Burpee Museum of Natural History. This museum is famous for being home to the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, named Jane, the most complete and best-preserved juvenile T-Rex, ever found. The museum also features fossils of many other dinosaurs, as well as exhibits about the oceans, geology, anthropology, a specimen viewing lab and more.
The museum has a room available for rent to accommodate private events. General admission for adults ages 13 and older is 10 USD, children ages 3 through 12 are 9 USD, children under 3 and museum members are free. Burpee is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 am - 5 pm and is closed on major holidays. The museum has four floors of exhibits that are wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are available, free of charge.
Burpee Museum of Natural History
Address: 737 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61103
Website: Burpee Museum of Natural History
Where the indoors and outdoors meet
Roscoe is a perfect spot to stop if you’re making your way through northern Illinois, with three different types of museums, one very child-friendly, one for car enthusiasts, and a great natural history museum that is perfect for anyone. And the variety of outdoor activities is convenient, too, with a manicured garden, a thrilling air ride, and a rustic state park. No matter what time of year you visit, there should be something to pique any travellers interest.
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