The Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island, Ill., has a new garden called Pat's Garden. This pocket interactive, woodland garden with a whimsical fairy theme is nestled under protective tree branches. Pat's Garden includes hosta, ferns and other shade-loving plants, making this garden pure enchantment for all ages. Small fairy homes are tucked into the garden and guests can build their own fairy house. 309-794-0991 www.qcgardens.com

On August 15, 2019, sports betting became legal in Iowa. The Rhythm City Casino Resort and Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf are the place to be for sports wagering. The new William Hill Sports Book area at the Isle Casino features eight 65 inch TVs and 12 55 inch odds monitors creating an optimal viewing experience for fans to gather to watch their favorite teams. And, the Rhythm City Casino's Draft Day Sports Lounge features a 360-degree screen and tv screens for customers to view odds or their preferred games. Iowa is currently the 11th state in the U.S. to offer legal sports wagering and the first in the Upper Midwest.

The brand-new QC Ale Trail introduces Quad Citizens and visitors to the 13 breweries (and counting) in the Quad Cities and invites beer lovers on a self-guided tour of the local craft breweries across the Quad Cities region. Visit four breweries to earn an engraved bottle opener; visit all the breweries to earn a commemorative QC Ale Trail pint glass. Craft beer enthusiasts can use their mobile phone to check-in at the breweries to earn commemorative QC Ale Trail items. Or download the paper passport from the website, and get it stamped at each local brewery they visit. www.qcaletrail.com

The Bend development in East Moline along the Mississippi River has really grown over the last year. Not only is the new Hyatt Place | Hyatt House open with beautiful river views and The Rust Belt hosting great concerts, there is a new outdoor amphitheater, event center, upscale restaurant, Midwest Ale Works microbrewery, Mexican restaurant, and coffee shop. www.thebendqc.com

The Axis Hotel is a boutique destination with timeless character and charm, featuring modern amenities and unique guest rooms. It just opened October 2019. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ornate details from the construction of the Fifth Avenue Building in the late 1920s have been preserved. The historical elements include the original terrazzo floors, marble and granite walls, elevator lobbies with coffered ceilings, lobby skylight and existing window locations showcasing river views and providing an abundance of natural light. Each guest room has a unique design to fit the historical layout of the eight-story tower. The Fifth Avenue Syndicate bistro and bar is the focal point of the hotel lobby, featuring classic menu items, with an inventive twist. www.theaxismoline.com

The Family Museum in Bettendorf has earned the Certified Autism Center designation. It is the first Certified Autism Center in Iowa. The certification demonstrates Family Museum's dedication to providing a supportive environment for guests with autism and other sensory disorders. Staff completed sensory disorder training and a comprehensive exam in order to earn this certification. www.familymuseum.org

The Channel Cat Water Taxi celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020. Travel on this open-air boat around the Quad Cities via the Mississippi River. The Channel Cat Water Taxi takes passengers to the four landings around the Quad Cities in a continuous loop throughout the day. The Channel Cat docks at the Celebration Pier and John Deere Commons Landing in downtown Moline, Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf, and near the Village of East Davenport. The daily ticket is for unlimited use on the day of purchase. The boats are handicap accessible and stroller and bike friendly. The Channel Cat service runs Memorial Day through October.

The Black Hawk Hiking Club celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020 and nearly 3,000 hikes without a cancellation. Black Hawk Hiking Club conducts hikes weekly or bi-weekly at a variety of sites, both public and privately owned, in and around the Quad Cities area. Hikes are scheduled from November to early June with only one event, the Annual Big Hike, held during the summer months. www.blackhawkhikingclub.org

The John Deere Classic PGA TOUR Tournament celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. The tournament began as the Quad Cities Open. Ed McMahon served as tournament host from 1975 to 1979. Title sponsors have included Miller Brewing Company (1982-85), Hardee's (1986-94) and now John Deere. In April 1997, D.A. Weibring announced the design of a new TPC course in the Quad Cities. Deere became the presenting sponsor for two years and the final tourneys at Oakwood Country Club. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run for the July 2000 event. The John Deere Classic has raised $107 million for charity, 98% of that since 2000 with the help of Deere's support. www.johndeereclassic.com

If you drive into Moline or Bettendorf, you will notice an exciting project for the Quad Cities. A new bridge across the Mississippi River is being built! Construction began in July 2017. The new bridge is expected to be complete in 2021. The bridge will be more than twice as wide as the existing I-74 bridge, providing four lanes in each direction. A multi-use path on the bridge with an observation deck will connect to biking and walking paths in Bettendorf and Moline. Keep up on the project at www.i74riverbridge.com.
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