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“Bad Timing or Bad Management”

Midway Village & Museum Center
Ranked #6 of 36 things to do in Rockford
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: ➢ Midway Village Museum is an award-winning museum celebrating its 40th Anniversary. The museum is located just minutes off of Illinois I-90. A 148-acre museum campus, the setting offers a wonderful experience for visitors of all ages. ➢ As part of the museum campus, a Victorian-era Village is situated on 13 acres of the beautiful grounds which offers visitors the opportunities to learn about life as it was in the late 1890s-1910s. The grounds include 26 structures which create the Village and heritage gardens, all representing a rural community. During the months of May through August, interpreters in authentic period clothing lead tours and depict life and customs of the times. ➢ Permanent exhibits spanning more than 20,000 square feet highlights local Rockford and regional Illinois history. The construction continues on one of the largest museum expansions to date entitled, "Many Faces, One Community," an exhibit featuring immigrant stories. ➢ Exhibits also feature "Queen City of the Prairies," "The Girls of Summer," "The MIssing Link: Socks, Monkeys and Rockford's Industrial Past," "Flight Gallery," "Old Dolls' House Museum," and signature "Millhouse," standing at the front entrance to the museum's property. ➢ Hours Vary Seasonally View the website for complete details. ➢ Visitors Enjoy . Seasonal Victorian Village Tours with year-round Exhibits in the Main Museum Center . Award-winning Special Events including the largest World War II Re-enactment in the Midwest . Educational Bus Trips to Interesting History Destinations . Year-round Exhibits relating to Rockford and Northern Illinois history . History Education Programs to Public and Private Schools . Summer Day Camps . Memberships . Beautiful Ambiance for Rentals . Volunteer Opportunities . Sponsorship Opportunities . Heritage Garden Guided Tours - Reservations Required and call in-advance
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
117 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Bad Timing or Bad Management”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

We thought a Saturday afternoon in the summer when no village events were scheduled would be a good time to take the grandkids to see the museum and the village. Not being tour type people and having young short-attentioned kids, we thought we would self-guide ourselves through. Upon entering the village, we were told that we could walk around, but if a building was open, we were not to go in (except if we take the tour) due to a couple of weddings going on and the buildings were rented (?).

The Doll House was, however, open and we toured that. The doll houses from all over the world were interesting, but the building smelled like a cat litter box.

Tip - be sure to bring a flashlight as the doll houses and many of the displays in the museum are too dark to see.

The museum does the history very well. The city of Rockford's path from manufacturing mega-giant to sock monkey salesman was a bit sad for this native Rockfordian, but very well displayed with the inventions and the stories of the men who built these inventions into industries known throughout the world.

How the men and women settled the area, the hardships, successes, and how it grew created an interesting story.

The grounds and setting are beautiful and well worth the visit on their own. Walks can be taken without paying the admission charges.

I may be a bit harsh here in my critique, and I suppose Midway Village, like the rest of Rockford, is suffering from the lack of capital that comes from declining economic activity.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank EventGuyChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A plus for Rockford!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

I belong to Midway Village and try to take advantage of the excellent programs. Don't miss the displays.

Visited July 2013
Thank LfromIowa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotts, Michigan
Level Contributor
36 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Wrong Season...Wrong Time”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2014

This is not the site to see during the winter. Understandably, all the outdoor buildings were closed. On the inside, there was major construction taking place since it looks like there is a huge addition being built. However, what was available was enjoyable. If you have an infinity for the Rockford Peaches (I do) or farm machinery (I don't), it is still an enjoyable visit. The people were friendly and I believe this is a terrific site for families during the spring and summer.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank cork1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Connecticut
Level Contributor
186 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“Living history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2013

While the indoor museum is interesting, it is the Victorian Village that is the real star here. You get to walk through a rural village and docents will help you appreciate the experience. There are hour long tours that will familiarize you with all the wonderful buildings and the gardens. A must do for any visitor to Rockford.

Visited August 2013
Thank Zabelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Always fun.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2013

We like going here for just a nice walk around, but especially for the safe trick or treat. They always do a great job, and make it a lot of fun for the kids.

Visited August 2013
Thank Leonard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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