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Featured Events

All events included with admission to Discovery Center unless otherwise noted. General admission: $8 adults; $8 children ages 2-17; free to Discovery Center Members and children age 1 and younger.


Mornings of Fun for Everyone

Saturday, October 10; 9:00 am - 10:00 am

We invite children with disabilities and their immediate families to experience Discovery Center’s multi-sensory exhibits and activities free of charge before the museum opens to the general public. A healthy snack will be served at 10:00 a.m. and families are welcome to stay and play after the museum opens to the public. Advanced registration is required to receive free admission. Call 815-972-2839 or e-mail sues@discoverycentermuseum.org.


Discover the Spirits

Saturday, October 23; 7:30-10:30

Back by popular demand is an evening of frivolity and fundraising at Discovery Center. Sip and sample a symphony of more than 80 spirits. Entice your ears with the splendid sounds of live music and enjoy the entertaining company of friends during this enchanting night of fun. The evening’s surprises, tricks and treats include tasty tidbits, lively science demos, psychic predictions by an intuitive reader, caricatures, silly fun in a black light room, silent auction action, conversations with mixologists and more.

Join us for this “semi-casual black attire” night of spellbinding fun!

For more details or to purchase tickets click here.



Spooky Science

Friday, October 30; 6:00–9:00 p.m.

$3 members; $9 public.

Come in costume for this non-scary night of Halloween fun. Bring your Trick-or-Treat bag and grab gobs of goodies in our exhibit spaces. Plus concoct glowing slime,experiment under black light, and make monstrous crafts! Network with eminent inventors and distinguished scientists who also happen to be dead. Pick up a prize from Alfred Nobel, grab Avogadro’s number, and enjoy some hair-raising experiences with Professor  Van de Graaff! Come in costume! Grownups can play too!

Sponsored in part by Powmet, Inc.; Greenlee, A Textron Company; and OSF Health Care.




Smashing Pumpkins

Sunday, November 8; 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Calling all jack-o-lanterns! We’ll employ our giant trebuchet to transform your pumpkin porch décor into a parking lot projectile or use it to buttress a citadel of squash!  Join the fun and create a catapult, celebrate the harvest, and have a smashing good time. Included with Discovery Center admission. Sponsored in part by Thermo Fisher Scientific.



Kinetic King

Saturday, November 21; 10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Witness the assemblage and launch of a room-sized cascading cartwheeling sculpture formed from gazillions of popsicle sticks, plastic cups, and assorted odds and ends.  Newton’s Laws of motion go bananas with these intertwining constructions that rely on gravity and elastic potential energy to keep them springing and tumbling along their entire lengths. Kinetic King Tim Fort, as seen on America’s Got Talent, holds three Guinness World Record certificates for his cavorting chain reactions. Tim will be constructing all morning with a “detonation” at 12:00 p.m., then constructing again with a detonation at 4:00 p.m. Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.



Science Cornucopia

Friday and Saturday, November 27–28; 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Turn cranberries into chemistry, engage in fruitcake physics, and find out what happens to whipped cream when it’s dropped in liquid nitrogen. Bring the family and kick off the holiday season with extraordinary demos and festive arts and crafts. Included with Discovery Center admission.


Minecraft Unplugged

Sunday, December 6; 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Assemble cubelets, construct a village out of newspaper, get your hands on real rocks and minerals, make a torch that lights up, blow away zombies, and dabble in pixel art. Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.



Holiday Hoopla

Monday-Wednesday, December 21-23 & December 28-30; 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Deck the halls with boughs of jolly as we merge hands-on arts and crafts with amazing math. Vote for your favorite cookie, fashion an ornament, construct a colorful kaleidoscope, and find the hidden shapes. Included with Discovery Center admission.


Countdown to Fun!
Thursday, December 31; 12:30–4:30 p.m.

Design a party hat, create a noisemaker, and get showered with confetti as we count down to midnight each hour. Ring in the New Year with this delightful blend of fun, art, and music from Kantorei, the singing boys of Rockford. Included with Discovery Center admission.



Fasten-nating Farewell

Sunday, January 3; 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Put together one more project on this final day of Build It! Make It! Assemble unusual materials into a mobile, construct a feeder for feathered friends, make a waterproof wallet, or notch together a super structure.  When day is done, Build It! Make It! goes bye-bye.  Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.

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