The Burpee museum in Rockford has recently unveiled the kind of thing you would normally expect to see only in a place like Chicago or New York. Namely, they have a dinosaur skeleton. Jane is a juvenile Tyranasaurus Rex, to be exact. Apparently she was about 11 years old when she died.
The Burpee museum is a great place to go, and caters very much towards families and kids. A lot of people try to criticize Rockford. I had someone write to me and try to explain that they used to live in Evanston Illinois, so obviously Rockford was much too boring for them. My response to that is, you aren't trying hard enough. Personally, I never found Evanston to be all that great, but have always found plenty to do and love in Rockford.
Rockford may be a small to medium-sized city compared to neighboring Chicago, but it has a lot to offer. I would start with this museum right here. Plenty to see and do and keep you and the family occupied for most of the day. It's classy, it's something you would find in a world-class city and it's great entertainment for a great price.
Check it out!