Victorian Village and Museum Center Now Open!
Guided Group Tours and Programs
NOTE: Village Tours, which have been extended through October 31st, are limited to 20 people each hour of daily operations due to COVID-19. Learn more →
We Have History to Share
Group tours (10 or more people) of the Village and Museum are available by appointment April through October. A tour generally lasts 1.5 hours per site, or 2 hours for a combined tour of both the museum and village.
Tours of Midway Village Museum’s 10 Heritage Gardens are also available by appointment. Tours are approximately an hour in length. Call 815-397-9112, ext. 106, or use our Tour Request Form
- To schedule a group tour, please use our Tour Request Form.
- If you are interested in scheduling a school tour, please see our Educator’s Page.
- For information on general admissions tours, click here.
View Victorian Village Map » Because it is impossible to tour every building on the property within the hour tour, if you are interested in learning about a specific building let your tour guide know and they will be happy to accommodate your request.
Outreach Presentations and Lectures
In addition to group tours, Midway Village provides a variety of talks and outreach presentations that can be presented either at the museum or at an agreed upon location. Below is a listing of available programs. All outreach programs cost a flat fee of $80, plus mileage.
- Queen City of the Prairie – Step back and take a look at the early days of Rockford settlement. Who came and what did they find here.
- James Henry Breasted, Archaeology and the Tomb of King Tut – Hear the story of how one of Rockford’s own was at the opening of King Tut’s Tomb as you learn about the skills and tools necessary to unearth the history of ancient Egypt.
- Sock Monkey History – Learn why Rockford is the official “Home of the Sock Monkey” and how this popular folk art toy is linked to the Rockford Red Heel Work Sock and the local textile industry that provided jobs for thousands of Rockfordians for generations.
- The Remarkable Bessica Medlar Raiche: First Woman Aviator of America – Learn about the first woman in America to fly an aeroplane solo…the most famous person from Rockford that most people have never heard of.
- The History and Evolution of the Pledge of Allegiance – Millions of school children recite the pledge to the flag every day and every new United States citizen is required to memorize it, but few people know who wrote it, when and why. Hear the true story of our unique pledge of allegiance that was first written as a kick off for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1892.
- Rockford Peaches – World War II touched every part of American life, including America’s favorite pastime – Baseball. Learn about Rockford’s very own female baseball team, which inspired the movie A League of Their Own.
- Rockford, Illinois and Its Industrial Heritage – Trace the evolution of Rockford’s Industrial past from agriculture to furniture to fasteners, machine tool and aerospace.
- Heritage Garden Lectures:
- The Golden Age of Horticulture – This program combines history, horticulture and folklore as it examines major historical events that influenced the evolution of American gardens in the 19th century. Changing garden designs, folklore, and heirloom plants that make great additions to modern gardens will be discussed.
- Heirlooms for the Garden – Gardeners who don’t want a cookie cutter plan will enjoy this session as we discuss unique and interesting varieties of heirloom vegetables and flowers for the garden. Description, cultivation and history of 10 varieties of vegetables and 10 varieties of flowers will be covered.
- Heirloom Seed Saving – Seed saving has been part of the gardening tradition for generations of gardeners. This presentation will introduce today’s gardeners to the basics of seed saving, why it’s important and how you get started.
- The Holly and the Ivy – This program uses 19th century images to examine the history, horticulture and folklore surrounding popular holiday decorations from the landscape and garden. From Christmas trees to mistletoe, we will look at the countries and cultures that gave us some of our most cherished traditions.
- Immigrant Gardens – When immigrants first arrived in this country, they brought with them many aspects of their culture, which included their gardening traditions. This presentation will examine the horticultural contributions that various groups brought with them when they immigrated to this country and the impact they had on the development of modern American gardens.
- School Days – Revisit the days of the one-room schoolhouse. What was being in class like in 1900?
- Etiquette/Parlor Games – Compare and contrast the rules of deportment from 1900 to today’s etiquette and participate in parlor games as they were played during the Victorian Era.
- Civil War – For Lincoln and Liberty – Thrill to the stories of soldiers and civilians as you learn the causes and consequences of America’s Civil War.
- World War II – Rockford’s Own Witnesses to War – Learn about World War II from the point of view of soldiers, sailors, airmen and people on the home front from the Rockford area.
- Vintage Base Ball – Everyone has fun as we they learn to play baseball as it was first meant to be played by the 1858 rules with no gloves allowed.
- Transcontinental Railroad – Find out how the transcontinental railroad helped to change 1880s America…everything from immigrants and orphans to fresh fruit and Vaudeville.
To schedule a tour or lecture presentation, please use our Tour Request Form.