Children can tour Tinker Swiss for free in December

Children 17 and younger will be admitted free for general admission tours at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum throughout the month of December. This special offer is courtesy of Alpine Kiwanis, which is sponsoring the museum’s holiday tours.

Tinker Swiss Cottage was the home of one-time Rockford Mayor Robert H. Tinker. Tinker was inspired to build his Swiss Cottage in 1865, after returning from a tour of Europe. The home, still filled with the Tinker family’s belongings, is a time capsule of Rockford history.

All tours of the Cottage now feature hands-on kits, making the experience more memorable for visitors. Located in rooms throughout the building, the hands-on kits contain objects for visitors to touch. Being able to closely investigate and handle reproduction items from everyday life from the 1800s and early 1900s gives children a better understanding of the era’s material culture. Visitor favorites from the kits include the stereoscope in the sitting room and the ice cream forks in the dining room. Tinker Swiss Cottage will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas until the first week of January.

The museum, at 411 Kent St., in downtown Rockford, offers tours at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The special rate does not apply to groups of eight or more. Adult admission is $5; seniors get in for $4. Info: (815) 964-2424.

From the Dec. 14-20, 2005, issue

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