Rockford Park District
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Featured Programs

Come Glow With Us In The Garden at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens


ROCKFORD, IL - Rockford Park District’s Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens invites the community to wear anything that glows, and experience its first Glow in the Garden Festival, a fun new evening event to celebrate the end of summer.

Purchase one or more floating lanterns to personalize with your own message and release it into the Eclipse Lagoon, run a unique, glowing 5k along the Rock River, enjoy a cash bar, music on the Riverview Terrace, and fun interactive family stations throughout the gardens. There is something for everyone! Admission to the outdoor grounds is free; fees are charged for the 5k run and Lagoon lantern purchase.

Activity Schedule for Saturday, September 22, 2018:

  • 6-9 p.m.    Glow in the Garden Lagoon Lanterns - $5 per lantern; lanterns may be purchased at the event, pre-purchased at Nicholas Conservatory or by calling 815-987-8858. Pre-purchased lanterns can be picked up at the Eclipse Lagoon on the evening of the event.
  • 6-9 p.m.    Nicholas at Night family activities throughout the gardens; included with Nicholas Conservatory admission
  • 6:30-9 p.m.    Music on the Riverview Terrace -FREE; cash bar on site
  • 7 p.m.    Glow in the Garden 200-meter Kids Fun Run - FREE; Start by Rock Men Guardians sculpture at south end of auxiliary parking lot
  • 7:30 p.m.    Glow in the Garden 5k Run - Fast, flat, scenic course along the Rock River Recreation Path and Nicholas Conservatory/Sinnissippi Gardens. Wear anything that glows! There will be black lights, glowing stations, and other fun glow surprises throughout the course, which starts by the Rock Men Guardians sculpture, south end of auxiliary parking lot. This event is sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports Rockford. Entry fee includes T-shirt, beverage ticket, and Conservatory admission ticket. Rockford Road Runner members receive a 10% entry discount through 9/21/18.
    • Entry fees are:
      • Early registration (through 8/26) - $25
      • Regular registration (8/27-9/21) - $30
      • Day-of-run registration (9/22) - $35
      • Ages 12 and younger - $10

“We had planned a glow run event, then were inspired by a floating lantern event held in San Antonio, TX. We decided to combine them into one larger event to bring the community together to enjoy. We’re excited to bring this first-of-its-kind festival to Rockford,” said Lyndi Toohill, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens Operations Manager.

Mike Costello