Wednesday, 14 November 2012 10:57

Little Red School House

The Little Red Schoolhouse and Historical Museum is located in the Northeast corner of Centennial Park. Many authentic one room schoolhouse items are located in the facility and marked accordingly. Youngsters of today and generations of tomorrow can relive a part of the history that their parents, grandparents and ancestors endured.

The museum is open by appointment only. To schedule a tour of the Little Red Schoolhouse contact the Coloma Township Park District at: (815) 625-0272.

For more information on the Little Red School and Historical Museum visit,

Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 10:57

Pilot Flight Training

Learn to Fly!

Have you been wondering about taking flight lessons and becoming a pilot yourself? Wait no longer!

At Sauk Valley Aviation they work tirelessly to make sure you, the pilot, can fly anyone anywhere and do so safely and comfortably! Their students vary in age and are rarely too young or too old to start flying! We have multiple flight instructors on staff to serve your needs whether your dream is to fly for recreation, professionally or to regain currency. Sauk Valley Aviation is here for you!

Ground School instruction is done in cooperation with Sauk Valley Community College. Both classes are taught using computer-based materials and learning aids. Structured toward the individual. No specific time period for completion. Come to Rock Falls and Learn to Fly!

Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:08

Woodlawn Arts Academy

Woodlawn Arts Academy is the premiere arts academy in the Sauk Valley area. We offer daytime and evening instruction to all ages in all disciplines of the arts, including Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre, Domestic Arts, Culinary Arts, Healing Arts and Literary Arts and Healing. The Academy is proud to be supported as an agency of the United Way of Whiteside County.

The Academy continues to grow. Each season, we are offering more opportunities for our students at all ages and skill levels. In 2012, we received the Public and Community Service Award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, for our dedication to furthering artistic opportunities in the Sauk Valley.



Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:43

Dillon Home Museum & Weddings

The Dillon Home not only functions as a museum, it is also the perfect backdrop for weddings. Take a tour and soak in this extraordinary opportunity to view examples of Italianate architecture, a popular choice of builders in the Midwest from 1830-1880. 

The beginning of Northwestern Steel and Wire Company (NWSW) can be traced back to Washington Dillon's move to Rock Falls, Illinois from Ohio. W.M. Dillon founded Northwestern Barbed Wire Co. upon his arrival in 1879. Then in 1892, Dillon devote himself fully to his own Rock Falls operation. In 1912, moved Northwestern Barbed Wire to Sterling.

Northwestern Steel used steam locomotives to move scrap metal to the furnaces and to transfer hot ingots to the rolling machines, long after the era of steam engines was bygone. Northwestern Steel's steam engines were among the last to operate in the United States. Old No. 73, as it was known, (a 1929 Baldwin locomotive) was the final steam engine to be used in America. NWSW last used the locomotive on Dec. 3, 1980 at 10 a.m. Its final run was made coupled to the technology that replaced it, a diesel engine. On Jan. 19, 1981, No. 73 was moved to the south lawn of the Paul W. Dillon Home. From tracks inside the steel mill complex, the locomotive was taken east along the Geneva Subdivision main line of the Chicago & North Western Railroad a mile and a half to a location which passes just behind the Dillon home. 73 was then lifted via four cranes and moved the last 75 yards to its final resting place as a memorial to Dillon, the man who kept the idea of steam engines alive for more than twenty years.

Dillon Home Weddings

The Dillon Home Museum is the perfect location to host your wedding or next meeting.  The beautiful, spacious grounds will complete you special day and the "step back in history" parlors will make your next meeting a memorable one. 

Contact Linda Heckler, Curator for tour times and wedding/meeting information.


Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:52

Fun Jump

Over 8,000 Square Feet of FUN!!!

Welcome to our Indoor Inflatable Playground. Bounce around and have some fun! Book a birthday party or just let loose! We are focused on providing a safe, clean and fun environment for kids to enjoy physical activity no matter what the weather brings. Kids at Fun Jump have so much fun climbing, bouncing and sliding that they don't even know it's exercise! We have 6 giant inflatables including slides, bouncers, obstacles and an adorable farm village especially for kids under 4 years. All units are cleaned and disinfected daily! We take pride in our image and love your comments on how  clean everything is. Keeping Fun Jump clean and safe are two BIG priorities!!Walk-in play anytime we are open- no reservations needed!! We have Wi-Fi  and Xfinity on large Flat Panel Televisions- one for the kids and one for the parents!

Parties & Events

We are available to families, groups and organizations before and after hours (by reservation) for much more. Here are just some of our ideas: 

  • parties 
  • youth groups
  • boy and girl scouts
  • daycare groups
  • home-schools
  • preschools
  • playgroups
  • school field trips 
  • teams and clubs
  • meetings
  • family reunions

Contact us with your ideas! We have 2 private party rooms available for kids' parties and celebrations. Our friendly party hosts will do all the work for you including set up and clean up! Kids spill and can be messy- why not let us deal with all of that and keep your house clean? See our party page for affordable party package details and pricing.

Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:55

John Deere Historic Site

John Deere has a presence around the world, but it all started right here in Illinois. When you step foot on the Grand Detour grounds, it will feel like taking a step back in time. Hear the floorboards creak as you walk inside John Deere's home. Take in the beauty of the picturesque landscape. And feel the heat of fired steel inside the replica blacksmith shop. Whether you're a school group, a John Deere fan or a history buff, it's an experience you just can't miss.

In 1962 the University of Illinois Archeological Department started an archeology dig on the site to unearth the origins of John’s original blacksmith shop. Today you too can see the artifacts that were unearthed and stand over the very location that John started a business that bared his name.

Inside the working replica Blacksmith shop a John Deere blacksmith still operates the double bellows and forge just as the company founder did over 176 years ago. Watch how he works with glowing hot metal between his hammer and anvil, and tell you a story about the craftsman’s trade where one man, with one anvil, made one plow that changed the world of agriculture.

Come visit the John Deere Historic Site and take in one of their guided tours. Bus tours are welcome and off-season tours can be scheduled with advance notice.


Hours of Operation:

Open daily, March – December

Mon. – Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sun. – Noon – 4 p.m.

Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve

Close at 3:00pm: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day

Special group tours can be arranged January and February. Admission to the John Deere Historic Site is free.



Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:57

Midway Drive-In and Diner

The Beauty of Watching a Film Under the Stars 

The Midway Drive-In opened in 1950 in Sterling, Illinois and has been in continuous operation ever since. The Drive-In is a genuine historical landmark as it is home to the oldest standing Drive-In screen in Illinois complete with a step back in time, concession stand that was restored to it's grandest glory. A film presentation of the National Anthem is played at the start of the first film and to complete your nostalgic overload, at intermission, the animated "Dancing Hot Dog" short (and other classics) will be played. The only thing missing is John Travolta stranded while singing!

Midway is a beautiful family-friendly venue with a classic retro “spaceship” ticket booth, a Giant 90 foot screen, and a kids playground right up front. The spacious Midway Drive-In parking lot can hold up to 500 cars with an updated sound format. Gone are the old “in car” speakers. Now, the sound is transmitted to your car via FM stereo. Just tune your car or portable radio to 91.3 FM and you will receive the sound in dynamic FM stereo.

The Midway Diner has a classic self-serve Drive-In design and offers a full restaurant menu including Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Nachos, Candy, Ice Cream, French Fries, Onion Rings, Fried Cheese Sticks, Pizza, Cotton Candy, a wide variety of Soda, and of course, Popcorn. 

Going to Midway is like entering a time capsule to the 1950’s.  Click on their website for additional information on the Midway Drive-In Theater & to find out what's showing.

Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 12:04

Ronald Reagan Birthplace

This quaint apartment is restored and decorated to its original 1900's style sits on the second floor of the National Bank,which has also been restored. Next door is a gift shop and museum of Reagan memorabilia. Donations accepted. When finished, go down a few doors and check out the Tampico Area Historical Society. 

The museum is staffed Mon - Sat, but may be open to groups or individuals by appointment. Large groups need to call in advance to schedule your visit & get pricing. For more information on Ronald Reagan in Tampico, go to the Tampico Area Historical Society website.

Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 12:05

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

Visitors to the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home are transported back in time when they walk in the front door of the home where the 40th President and his family lived in the early 1920s. The home has been fully restored with furnishings of the period and knowledgeable tour guides share stories about the house and the family. See the room that young Ronald shared with his brother Neil, discover the secret hiding place for his pennies, and so much more. Stroll the grounds and explore the Visitor Center, next door, where a video with footage of President Reagan is shown. Shop for treasures in our well-stocked Gift Shop and enjoy four rooms with photos, quotes and other information in the Reagan Legacy Timeline. An added bonus is the welcoming, dedicated staff of volunteers who will be waiting to share the stories, facts and exhibits about Dutch Reagan’s formative years. Admission $5.00.

Every visitor receives:

  • Informative Guided Tours of the home where the Reagan Family lived
  • Visitor Center—4 rooms of photos, quotes and more in our Presidential Timeline and a 9 minute video
  • Gift Shop
  • Reagan Memorial Park
  • Barn and Model T for viewing and remembering
  • Flower & vegetable garden filled with heritage plants
  • Referrals to other Reagan related sites in the area upon request

"In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."

-Ronald Reagan

Published in What to Do
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 12:09

Veterans Memorial Park Dixon

Dixon is home to Veterans Memorial Park, dedicated to all who have served in the military. At the west entrance of the city, off of IL Route 2, the memorial has military artifacts of all kinds, including an F-105 Thunderchief fighter plane, a Howitzer tank, a Cobra helicopter, and a landing ship tank anchor.  There's' also a 9/11 memorial and a small museum. All free to the public.

Any man, woman or child, regardless of race, religion, color or nationality is welcomed to enjoy the Park at anytime, day or night.  For individuals that are handicapped, there is a Handicap Friendly Ramp, a curbside loading and unloading access area, and benches for resting. The Memorial Park is where everyone can visit and gain knowledge of the sacrifice that has been made by millions of Veterans over the years. 

On the entrance and exit arbor, you will see the words “Lest We Forget”.  These words are a gentle reminder to show appreciation for the sacrifice men and women in uniform have made to our country. It is the parks symbolism, built in their honor that this gratitude is kept alive. The price of freedom is very high. A strong military is the first defense against hostile nations, governments, and terrorists who wish to take away our way of life.

Remember. Respect. Honor.


Published in What to Do
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