Yearning for the days of yore can be traced back to the popularity of medieval-themed restaurants in Renaissance Italy. Soothe nostalgic pangs for simpler times with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get a four-ticket family package (two adults and two children younger than 18) to the "1900 America Chautauqua Celebration" at Midway Village Museum on Saturday, June 11 or Sunday, June 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spread across Midway Village Museum’s 26-building Victorian-era village, the "1900 America Chautauqua Celebration" pays homage to the thrilling turn of the century with a weekend packed with old-timey performances, music, classes, and demonstrations. Ask Mark Twain hard-hitting questions about how he keeps his white suits so pristine, or belt out bygone ditties with washboard accompaniment as Betsy Kaske sings 19th-century folk songs. Stop by Dr. Balthasar’s Miracle Medicine Show for cures for maladies from cabin fever to March Madness, or marvel at the pugilism demonstration's deftly displays of old-world fisticuffs. Equine experts show off sharpshooting, trick riding, and texting-while-riding-and-shooting skills during Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and Congress of Rough Riders of the World, a recreation of the traveling Wild West extravaganza that dazzled Rockford in both 1896 and 1901.
Nestled on 137 sylvan acres, the Midway Village Museum transports visitors back in time with their interactive living history exhibits of life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Admission to the weekend celebration also includes access to the Museum Center, the Old Dolls' House Museum and The Old Millhouse on Lake Severin.
Midway Village Museum
Established in 1968, Midway Village Museum embodies a sprawling, 137-acre time capsule. Within the museum’s 27 fully functioning, Victorian buildings, exhibits tell the story of Rockford since its incorporation in the early 19th century. Throughout the years, the town has made history as the progenitor of the sock monkey, the launching point for aviator Bert Hassell, and home of the Rockford Peaches—an all-female baseball team fictionalized in the film A League of Their Own, though the real squad neither played in the 1943 championship nor battled a CGI dragon. Other attractions amid the barns, blacksmiths, and general stores include a dollhouse museum and a meticulous archive of Rockford’s long, proud history in the furniture industry.
6799 Guilford Rd.
Rockford, Illinois 61107