The next time you hear someone say that they need to get out of here and go someplace fun, you can point out that "fun" and "Illinois" are not necessarily mutually-exclusive terms.

Now, if you want to bolt out of the Land of Lincoln for a better quality of life, lower taxes, more opportunities, and that sort of thing, fine. Just don't think you have to exit Illinois (or Rockford) to have a good time.

Here are a couple of places to have fun in Rockford that came right off the top of my head:

Stroll on State, Facebook
Stroll on State, Facebook
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Anderson Japanese Gardens, Facebook
Anderson Japanese Gardens, Facebook
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Is It That Hard To Believe That Of All 50 States, Illinois Landed In The Top 5 For Fun?

Personal-finance site WalletHub did what they do best, and crunched some numbers to come up with a "fun ranking" for each state and the District of Columbia. Here's what they based their rankings on:

With pure enjoyment in mind, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 26 key indicators of a jolly good time that won’t break the bank. They range from movie costs to accessibility of national parks to casinos per capita.

We've got all those things and more in Illinois. We've got movies, national parks, and I believe I've heard some talk about casinos being around here, too.

Not to mention (although I will) pizza.

Cute family enjoying a deep dish Chicago Style Pizza.
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And Cubs games.

Getty Images
Getty Images
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WalletHub Says That The Most Fun State In America Is California

And, based upon the exodus of California residents to other states, California may truly represent the idea of "it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."

California is #1, followed by Florida, Nevada, and New York.

Illinois come in at the #5 spot, with these rankings:

Fun in Illinois (1=Most Fun; 25=Avg.):

  • 5th – Restaurants per Capita
  • 10th – Movie Theaters per Capita
  • 9th – Golf Courses & Country Clubs per Capita
  • 24th – Amusement Parks per Capita
  • 4th – Performing-Arts Theaters per Capita
  • 8th – Fitness Centers per Capita
  • 12th – Variety of Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Establishments

On The Waterfront and 9 Other Former Rockfordish Events Ranked

Photo Flashback History Lesson Of The BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford

Photo Flashback History Lesson Of The BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford