There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Ongoing, Wed. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Work on nature restoration tasks such as controlling and removing invasive species, planting and collecting seeds, helping in the greenhouse, and monitoring bird and mammal populations. Participate all or part of the day. Nygren Wetland Preserve, 3190 W. Rockton Road, Rockton, Ill., (815) 964-6666, naturalland.org.
Coffee with the Curator
Dec. 14, 10 a.m. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the process of curating the featured exhibition, “Dwellings,” with Rockford Art Museum Curator Carrie Johnson. Rockford Art Museum (RAM), 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Explore a philosophical approach to understanding our role in nature, where all components of any ecosystem have equal standing. Reg. online or by phone. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8502 Montague Road, Winnebago, Ill., (815) 335-2915, seversondells.com.
Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Fifth through 8th grade students make a wrapping paper bridge and a balloon-powered Santa sleigh. Reg. online. Rock Valley College (RVC), 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-7821, rockvalleycollege.edu.
Geminid Meteor Shower
Dec. 15, 8 p.m.-midnight. Bring your lawn chair and snuggle into a sleeping bag to watch the strongest meteor shower of the year. Weiskopf Observatory, Byron Forest Preserve, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.com.
Cork & Canvas
Dec. 18, 6 p.m. Participants explore the abstract style called fluid art and create their own pieces. Reg. req. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Winter Solstice Gathering & Luminaria Walk
Dec. 20, 6-7:30 p.m. On the longest night of the year, stroll candlelit pathways, make s’mores over a fire, listen to the sounds of holiday music and make pinecone bird feeders. Nature at the Confluence, 306 Dickop St., South Beloit, Ill., (608) 362-6212, natureattheconfluence.com.
Listening Room Benefit Concert
Dec. 21, 7 p.m. This year’s concert features Mark Dvorak, Last Acre, Tom Mac, Emerald Wind and Trinadora. Light refreshments available; attendees are welcome to bring cookies or other goodies to share. Listening Room, 201 7th St., Rockford, (815) 965-8903, rockfordlisteningroom.com.
New Year’s Day Tranquility Walk
Jan. 1, 10-11:30 a.m. Bundle up and walk through the winter woods to experience the healing properties that come from spending quiet time outdoors. Reg. online. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-8146, klehm.org.
The Deepest Well
Jan. 8, 7-9 p.m. Discussion of “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity,” by Nadine Burke. Reg. online. Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Mindfulness and Music Workshop
Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. This retreat offers the opportunity to recharge, relax and renew with meditation, chant and song. William Reif Gallery, Womanspace, 3333 Maria Linden Dr., Rockford, (815) 877-0118, womanspace-rockford.org.
Jan. 15, 6-8 p.m. Photographers of all levels come together to learn from each other and share their interest in photography. Explore learning and shooting opportunities with any type of camera, from cellphones to DSLR’s. Womanspace, Rockford, (815) 877-0118, womanspace-rockford.org.
Transforming Grief to Hope
Jan. 15, 22, 29 & Feb. 5 & 19, 6-7:30 p.m. Grief is a natural process for healing from the loss of a loved one. In a safe and confidential atmosphere, receive insights to help tap your natural resiliency, courage and compassion, along with practical tools that help you honor your grief, find meaning, achieve breakthroughs and learn how to build the life you want on the other side of loss. Womanspace, Rockford, (815) 877-0118, womanspace-rockford.org.
Jan. 19, 7-8:30 p.m. Float in an ocean of sound to let go of stress and worries as your body realigns and recharges with the sounds and vibrations of gongs, singing bowls, bells and other instruments. Womanspace, Rockford, (815) 877-0118, womanspace-rockford.org.
The Color Purple
Jan. 22, 7-9 p.m. Discussion of the novel “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. Nordlof Center, Rockford, (815) 987-6660, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
RAM @ RAM Art Show & Sale
Jan. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Featuring a selection of artists and artisans offering assemblage art, block printing, ceramics, illustrations, jewelry, photography, paintings and more. Proceeds support the museum. RAM, Rockford, (815) 968-2787, rockfordartmuseum.org.
Jan. 26, 1-3 p.m. See what critters are active during the winter, make paper snowflakes and s’mores, and warm yourself at the fire. Nature at the Confluence, South Beloit, Ill., (815) 200-6910, natureatthteconfluence.com.
Tastes & Tunes
Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m. Sample craft beer and listen to acoustic music in a celebration of the Wisconsin singer/songwriter community of musicians. Proceeds help ongoing improvements to the JPAC facility. Janesville Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 408 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org.
FAM Wine Tasting
Feb. 1, 6-9 p.m. Taste a variety of specialty wines, scotch, gourmet cheeses and chocolate creations. A silent auction offers unique and creative Valentine’s gifts. Proceeds benefit the museum. Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org.