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Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival.
Haunted Decatur Ghost Tour
Travel throughout the city of Decatur in search of history, hauntings, crime scenes, scandals and spirits! Join us for a journey back into the history of one of America's most haunted towns and discover not only our favorite haunted places, but new locations of crime, infamy and spirits that have never been featured on the tours before. Re-invented in 2009, experience Haunted Decatur in a way that you've never done before! Popular with ghost buffs and history enthusiasts alike and includes new and favorite haunted locations! Lasts approximately 3 hours. $30 per person.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
Festival of the Vine
Geneva restaurants create an array of specialties under an outdoor tent at the “Flavor Fare” partnered with wine and live musical entertainment. The Fall Harvest Market offers food and floral demos, unique displays plus Kid’s Patch activities. An arts and crafts show, flower market, horse-drawn carriage rides and several exceptional wine tasting and dinner events also take place around the historic downtown.
Holiday Lights Train
The Holiday Light Train is Pete's biggest event of the year. The park is decorated for the Holidays. See over 250,000 lights in various displays. Giant toy soldiers, candy canes, cascading snow flakes, flying reindeer, and swans swimming, just to name a few of Pete's displays!
Lincoln Park ZooLights
Enter a winter wonderland illuminated by the laughter of children and more than one million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One. This holiday classic has become one of the Windy City’s must-see seasonal events. Watch live ice carving then escape Jack Frost with an exotic trip past crocodiles, pygmy hippos and meerkats at the Regenstein African Journey. Animal exhibits stay open late as guests roam taking in the lights, music and taking photos with Santa. Prepare holiday crafts and enjoy the zoo’s incredible animals immersed in an atmosphere unlike any other.
Eagle Watching at Starved Rock State Park
You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. The Starved Rock Lodge in Utica offers a “Bald Eagle Trolley Tour” in January and February on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Viewing birds from the Veranda at the Starved Rock Lodge is good as well. Dress warmly though. This great viewing spot is right outside the doors of the Great Room. If you’d like some exercise, take a hike on one of the trails at the Starved Rock State Park. One trail begins right at the Veranda. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock. Another popular event is "Eagle Watch Weekend" with activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
There's even more color, fragrance and roll-up-your-sleeves, good ideas at the next Chicago Flower & Garden Show presented by Mariano's, March 14-22, 2015 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, the No. 1 tourist destination in Illinois. More than 20 feature gardens from top designers bring visitors the first joys of spring and exciting ways to "Do Green. Do Good." The Marketplace's 100 exhibitors is a shopper's paradise; the Kids Activity Garden is so much fun, kids don't realize how much they're learning about greening our world. Garden Gourmet features top chefs with cooking demos. Experts present seminars on the best tricks and tips of gardening; Tablescapes show the most gorgeous, dreamy decor for indoor or outdoor dining, and the "Art of Floral,” features interpretive floral designs. For more information and tickets, including group tour rates, visit www.chicagoflower.com/
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Night of the Luminaria
Be a part of one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. The streets, steps and sidewalks of Galena come alive with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries at dusk. Take a special luminaria trolley ride, be a part of a pub crawl, or just stroll through the streets for this enchanted view.
Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Christmas Around the World began in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to American allies during the war, is now in its 70th year. The exhibit features more than 60 dazzling trees and displays that are decorated by members of Chicago's ethnic communities to reflect holiday customs from around the world. Holidays of Light showcases various global holidays that celebrate light or enlightenment such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali. Festivities include ethnic dancing and singing, storytellers, and school choir performances.
Metropolis, Home of Superman, holds a celebration the second weekend in June each year celebrating the 'Man of Steel'. A Superman Drama kicks off the weekend of contests, music, food and fun, as well as a comic book & artist show, fan films, street vendors, a carnival, costume contest and a Super Car Show.
Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
The 7,500-square-foot “Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America” exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden features trains running on 1,600 feet of track, for train and garden enthusiasts to enjoy the delightful sights and sounds of the miniature trains traversing high and low through tunnels, across bridges and around buildings.
Long Grove's Annual Strawberry Festival
The pleasures of summer are celebrated with “berry” wonderful strawberry-inspired treats. Strawberry lovers of all ages flock to Long Grove’s renown fest to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries, fruit smoothies, and other strawberry drinks, ice creams, strawberry donuts, baked goods and, of course, the farm-fresh berries themselves. There is free live entertainment all three days at venues all over town and most of Long Grove’s many shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants offer variations of strawberry-themed foods, drinks, and merchandise. Fun for All Ages Strawberry Fest features plenty of activities and fun for children, including a variety of kiddie rides, face painting and outdoor activities and tents full of family and education-oriented products.
CITY: Long Grove
Long Grove's Annual Apple Festival
The distinctive Long Grove shops and restaurants help celebrate the Apple Festival with unique seasonal gifts and foods, including cider donuts, caramel apples and the Long Grove Apple Haus’ famous brown bag apple pie. Live toe-tapping music, carriage rides, hayrides and children’s activities round out the fest.
CITY: Long Grove
City of St. Charles RiverFest
Unique among Chicagoland festivals, Riverfest features the annual ancient sport of dragon boat racing, a 40-ton Fantasy Sand Sculpture, water ski shows, carnival, petting zoo, and an assortment of events and entertainment for all ages.
CITY: St. Charles
Bald Eagle Trolley Tours
Be mesmerized by the beautiful bald eagles at Starved Rock. In January and February ride the trolley from Starved Rock Lodge to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for bald eagle viewing and an educational program. Includes lunch during the week and brunch on Sunday in the Main Dining Room. Tour options: 9:00am w/tour first & 11:00am w/lunch first, $25 Includes Lunch/Adults; Children under 10/$5 less. January & February Mon, Wed, Sat & Sunday Monday: Tour begins with lunch at 11am Wednesday: Tours begins with lunch at 11am Saturday: 1st tour begins at 9am, ending with lunch 2nd tour begins with lunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 24th) Sunday: Tour begins with brunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 25th).
Cobden Peach Festival
Celebrate the local peach harvest, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club. Join us for fresh peaches from local orchards, carnival rides and games, crowning of ‘Miss Peach Queen’, homemade food and peach cobbler & pie with a 5K run/walk and parade on Saturday. Free admission.
Kane County Flea Market/April 2015
Monthly Flea Market at the Kane County Fairgrounds. "The Best in the Midwest or Anywhere". Up to 1000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles & Fancy junque. Food served all day.
CITY: St. Charles
Boo! at the Zoo
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
Pasfield House Inn
Six roomy guest suites with individual thermostats, breakfast bars with personal regrigerators, private large Jacuzzi baths and amenities for discerning travelers. Personalized breakfast served in kitchenette, evening wine and cheese soiree. Business center with DSL (WIFI) and workout room. Full catering and beverage services available, classical architectural detail and interior design. Hospitality in a Grandeur Way.
Bandy's Pumpkin Patch
This fun Fall destination features mazes, inflatable games, face painting for the little ones, and hayrides. Grab a snack from the concession stand (try the sweet rock candy) before heading home with the perfect pumpkin. (open Oct. 1-30, 9am-6pm)
CITY: Johnston City
Christmas with the Lincolns
Where did the Lincoln boys hang their stockings for Santa to fill? What might have been in those stockings? What Christmas goodies were on Lincoln's table? Discover how the Lincolns celebrated he holidays by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home.
General Grierson Days Civil War Reenactment
Largest mounted Civil War re-enactment in the Midwest. Step back in time and experience the life of a Civil War soldier. Visit the Confederate and Union camps. Watch the soldiers drill and prepare for battle, prepare meals and practice medicine. Veterans Remembered from WW1 and WW2 re-enactors will have their tents set up and will be giving rides in WW2 trucks. 1850’s vintage baseball game, featuring teams from Chicago, St. Louis and several more. Kid’s corner keeps the children entertained while learning about the past. Parades, full period dress grand ball, exhibits, food and of course major battle reenactments. Historic home tours to be announced.
12th Annual Spores N More Mushroom Festival
Come and enjoy the thrill of the hunt for the elusive morel mushroom or come and bid at the auction. Friday night kicks off the event with a welcome dinner, reception and speaker in Windsor. Saturday morning, come and join the hunt for a fee. If you like morels but not the hunt, come to the auction and bid for your winning batch. The 2015 hunt and auction will be based out of Shelbyville's Forest Park.
Aquin Flea Market
The Aquin Flea Market has been the treasure hunters' favorite for many years. This large indoor flea market is filled with antiques, collectibles, crafts, and books. Open the first Sunday of the month September - May.
Swedish Days Festival
This “granddaddy” of Illinois festivals features a host of family-friendly activities with live musical entertainment, a carnival, rosemaling show, pet parade, kids’ day fun, grand parade, the state’s largest music competition, multi-ethnic food plus great shopping in our historic downtown. Geneva’s train station is located just blocks from the festivities.
Wonderland in Lights
Each year, the City of Effingham and the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) turn Community Park into a winter wonderland! Wonderland in Lights, a drive-thru light display, features a variety of lighted holiday scenes including reindeer flying, Santa coming down the chimney, and a Nativity scene. Last year’s display was such a huge success; the Effingham CVB added additional light displays for your viewing pleasure again this year. In addition, to help get you in the Christmas spirit, the Effingham CVB, along with 97.9 XFM and KJ Country 102.3, continue to bring you the option to tune into continuous Christmas music on 90.7 FM while you drive through the display. The display opens Thanksgiving night, November 27, and runs until Christmas night, December 25. Hours are from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Community Park is located on East Temple Ave, Effingham, IL. Santa visits the Wonderland in Lights every Saturday to bring special presents to the children. The Wonderland in Lights is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, please call 217-342-5310 or visit www.visiteffinghamil.com. We look forward to helping to spread Christmas cheer throughout Effingham this holiday season!
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Chicagoland’s largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling LED lights, ice carving, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You’re sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31 See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the Tradition.
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Murphysboro Apple Festival
The Murphysboro Apple Festival is the oldest and largest, alcohol-free festival in Southern Illinois. Over 45,000 people attend the festival each year. During the five days of the Apple Festival, there are numerous activities drawing large crowds such as evening stage shows, carnival/concessions, Queen Contest, Prince and Princess Contest, contests from apple pie eating to apple core throwing, firefighters' water fights, marching band competition, car shows, Appletime 5K Walk/Run and much more. In addition, the festival's Grand Parade is one of the largest parade in Southern Illinois. The parade features an average of about 160 total units, 25 of those marching bands, and a variety of groups and organizations.
Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
THURSDAY-FRIDAY-SATURDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 8-9-10-11, 2013 Show Hours: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 12 NOON - 8pm Friday, August 9, 2013 - 12 NOON - 8pm Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 10am - 7pm Sunday, August 11, 2013 - 10am - 5pm All full-price attendees will receive a limited-edition, exclusive cover variant of The Walking Dead #1 by TBD! Artist will be on hand to sign. Extremely limited quantities are available to fans only while supplies last! **Children 10 and under get in FREE when accompanied by a paid adult (Limit 2 Per Paid Adult Tickets). All show tickets will be e-mailed AND available as a pdf file after purchase.**
Bald Eagle Bus Tour
Guided, four-hour tours of bald eagle, wintering communities. View and learn about the bald eagle's habits, life history, preservation efforts and threats to its future. Reservations required. Bus departs from Stoney Creek Inn.
Fort Massac Encampment
This annual reenactment of late-1700s Illinois life on the frontier prairie features blanket traders, merchants, military units, fife and drum corps, and period-style food from more than 20 vendors. The encampment offers military drills, mock battles, along with story telling and children's activities.
Shelbyville Festival of Lights
Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are added yearly. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
A Taste of Christmas Progressive Dinner
You will enjoy an evening of appetizers, salad, main entree, and dessert at various Best of Galena Innkeepers homes. Enjoy the festive Christmas decorations of each innkeeper as they have decorated their homes for the Holiday Season. This popular dinner is limited to 50 participants, so if interested you will need to make reservations early.
Country Corner Farm Market & Pumpkin Patch
Farm, Fresh, Fun! Explore acres of pumpkins, a giant interactive adventure corn maze, farm-fresh produce, a petting zoo, craft barn, tree house and playground. Hayrack and pony rides, Mine for gems, ride the famous cow train. Special event weekends and concessions are also offered.U-pick pumpkins, interactive adventure corn maze and flashlight maze available in month of October. Ample parking and a nominal charge for activities. May through September 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Month of October Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and S
Pope County Deer Festival
The Pope County Deer Festival is a local tradition, held during the 1st shotgun deer season in Golconda, the 'Deer Capital' of Illinois. Held Thursday thru Saturday featuring vendors, food & music. A Deer Queen coronation on Friday night, a parade on Saturday at 2pm. On Sunday morning, a community breakfast and town sweep are held.
Warrenville Holly Days
Holly Days, sponsored by the Warrenville Park District is the City's annual holiday celebration that marks Santa's official entry into Warrenville. Guests can enjoy a warm bonfire, raffles, free horse and carriage rides, hot cider and cookies, and, of course, a visit with Santa. Local Park District and school dance troops, singers, and bands entertain attendees during the event. It is at this event that Warrenville officially turns on its holiday lights creating an array of colors for passersby along Route 56 to see. Holly Days, primarily for Warrenville residents, gives the community an opportunity to come together and kick off the holiday season.
Long Grove's Chocolate Festival
Enjoy the sweet life! Back by popular demand, Long Grove invites you to enjoy the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest, held every May. Families can fill a day – or a weekend – with chocolaty treats, live music, great food and distinctive shopping in charming Long Grove. Enjoy chocolate demonstrations and workshops, wine parings, live music all over town and plenty of children's activities. Long Grove combines the best of trendy shopping and dining with the ambiance of yesteryear. You will discover beautiful gardens, trendy shops, art galleries and one-of-a-kind restaurants.
CITY: Long Grove
Gallery of Trees
Throughout the Kankakee County Museum, Christmas trees are decorated by community organizations. Yearly, a special theme is added for your enjoyment. Come in and view the different arrangements and vote for that special tree.
Winter Horseback Riding
With all the foliage gone from the trees, winter offers some great views of bluffs and rock formations in the Shawnee National Forest area. Enjoy the beautiful countryside, with no bugs in the cooler weather. Due to milder winters, several Southern Illinois stables offer year round riding, with, or without guide service.
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption comes to life in an enchanting 36th anniversary production that promises more magic and merriment than ever before. Join us as we celebrate three and a half decades of the beloved holiday tradition, and experience the electrifying arrival of the ghosts, the jubilant musical numbers, the “Bah Humbugs” and Scrooge’s joyful discovery of life and love.
Paddock Hills Equestrian Center
Imagine a golden ball of Midwestern sun breaking on the horizon. As the night dew still clings to the vines and the grass in the pastures, a farm comes to life with the sights and sounds of morning. Hot coffee steeps in the pot. Hard-working farm-hands begin the daily chores. Horses whinny as the cool rush of morning air fills their lungs. The gently rolling hills are aglow with another new day. This is the beauty of horses and the magic of a vineyard. Paddock Hills Equestrian Center is located with Prairie Orchard Farm vineyard in the majestic countryside of Union, IL, and is minutes from the I-90 expressway, but miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city and suburbs. Whether, attending one of our many horse shows, riding lessons, clinics, or programs, we are sure that your time with us will be well spent.
Cache River Nature Festival
Enjoy the area’s rich bird life and wetland habitat. A 12-minute orientation film gives a wonderful overview and introduction of the watershed, explaining the unique bio-diversity of the flora and fauna that can be experienced here. Visitors can also acquaint themselves with the area by exploring an interactive diorama of a bald cypress-water tupelo swamp, area state champion tree information and changing landscape displays. Activities include guided field trips, canoe tours, live bird demonstrations and various exhibits from 8am to 4pm.
Cave-In-Rock Frontier Day
Cave-In-Rock Frontier Festival is held on the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. The festival, which commemorates the extensive and colorful history connected to Cave-In-Rock and the surrounding community, is an entertaining and fun filled community event. First held in the 1960’s, the celebration includes a parade, carnival, various entertainment held in the Old Opry House, food and craft vendors. A Little Miss and Mister Frontier Days and Frontier Queen pageant is a highlight as well as various other activities. Come join the festivities for a weekend of fun and entertainment.
CITY: Cave In Rock
Festival of the Horse & Drum
Festival of the Horse & Drum is an equestrian festival with a diverse and exciting twist. American Indian Pow-Wow, Horsemen of Spain, Portugal & Mexico, Tanner & Glaze. Equestrian games, Equine abilities expo & more.
CITY: St. Charles
Rockin' at the Park
Free Summer Concert Series The Rockin' in the Park festival will be a summer-long concert series, beginning in May and continuing through August. The festival features live bands, fireworks and food and beverage tents on the great lawn in the center of MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Visit www.mbparkatrosemont.com for complete line up!
Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, over one million inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world. But Tough Mudder is more than an event; it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time and discover camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days.
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available first come first serve on weekends. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-800-258-6645.
Way of Lights
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, an interactive children's village, camel rides and an indoor laser show. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
Kane County Flea Market/June 2015
Monthly flea market at the Kane County Fairgrounds. "The best in the midwest or Anywhere". Up to 1000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles & Fancy Junque. Food served all day,
CITY: St. Charles
Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local, Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB on the last Saturday of each month (10 a.m. to noon). The two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier
Everyone’s favorite winter extravaganza returns to Navy Pier – Winter WonderFest presented by Bank of America! ‘Tis the season to have too much fun inside a 170,000 square foot festive holiday playground. Entertainment for the entire family includes indoor ice skating, rides, attractions, an indoor Ferris wheel and so much more. Bring your family for fun and excitement at the 12th annual Winter WonderFest by Bank of America at Navy Pier!
Geneva Arts Fair
The Geneva Arts Fair transforms downtown Geneva into a venue for over 150 esteemed artists and draws a crowd of more than 20,000. The juried show was voted a Top 200 Fine Craft Fair by Art Fair SourceBook and a previous winner of “Best Craft or Art Show” by West Suburban Living magazine. Admission is free and includes a children’s art area with special activities.
Big Bang at Hidden Lake Winery
Dueling piano's. Meal prepared by Winery Chef.
Country Treasures Craft Show
Freshen up your home and garden for spring! A wide variety of homemade items for sale. Event features holiday items as well.
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Come to The Morton Arboretum this holiday season to see trees in a different light! Illumination will engage your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to your touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. This is an outdoor event on a one-mile, gently rolling, paved path that takes approximately one and one-half hours to complete. Please dress for the weather. Food and beverage concessions are available for purchase. Walking along the paved trail you can hug a tree to make it grow brighter, sing to a tree and watch it change color, interact with light and color with a swipe of your hand, and many more surprising experiences around every turn! Also, be sure to warm up next to fire pits while enjoying hot cocoa, s'mores, and other delights, stop in to browse the holiday wares at The Arboretum Store, and enjoy energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly LED lighting. Please note, the event closed November 27, December 1, 8, 15, 24, 25.
Historic Trolley Tour
June through December. Board a trolley outside of the Great Hall area of the Lodge. Enjoy a historic trolley ride with stops at the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center where you will see a short video of the area. You will also travel to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center where you will see Starved Rock from across the river and watch as the river traffic lock through the locks. You will also travel through the village of Utica and hear about the Illinois and Michigan Canal. While aboard, the driver will narrate the history and legends of the area. For tickets and information please call 815-220-7386. $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $8 Child 10 and under. 2014 Dates: JUNE – OCTOBER- Tuesday – 3:00pm, Thursday – 3:00pm, Saturday – 3:00pm, Sunday – 12:00pm & 1:30pm. November & December- Saturday - 12:00pm & 1:30pm, Sunday - 12:00pm & 1:30pm.
Hardin County Fluorspar Festival celebrates the influences brought to the area by the Fluorspar Mining Companies. Located on the banks of the Ohio River. Rosiclare (once known as the “Fluorspar Capital”), has a colorful history that revolved around this mineral. Each year, the Festival highlights and brings back memories of days gone by. Held on the first weekend in October in Downtown Rosiclare, the Festival features an ever-growing list of activities and things to do, including a Queen’s Pageant, a carnival, hickory-smoked barbeque, a pet parade, kid’s games, karoke, food and craft vendors, a quilt show, an open-house at the American Fluorite Museum, a car, truck and motorcycle show and a large parade featuring local school bands, groups, floats, a Grand Marshall and horse clubs. Local musical talent will also be on hand and the finale is held Saturday evening at the City Park on the Ohio River.
Visit downtown Makanda, Gateway to Giant City State Park, where black vultures and turkey vultures fly and swoop in the skies each fall. This event is a celebration or the vulture's annual migration with live music and displays by local artists for purchase.
Blessing of the Bikes
Thousands of motorcyclists travel to Bald Knob Mountain, Southern Illinois’ highest point and the site of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace located just outside of Alto Pass, about 10 miles south of Murphysboro on IL-127.
CITY: Alto Pass
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
CITY: Du Quoin
The Warrior Dash in Channahon, IL is the world's largest running series. Held on challenging and rugged terrain, people come from all over to participate in feats of courage and strength; like sprinting over fire, trudging through mud and scaling at least 12 obstacles during this fierce 5K. From couch potatoes to novice runners to extreme athletes, Warrior Dash truly is an event for all athletic abilities.
30th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
More than 100 handcrafted Scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children's activities, make your own scarecrow, and much more! A celebration of the autumn season!
CITY: St. Charles
Kane County Flea Market - March 2015
"The Best in the Midwest or Anywhere" - Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles & Fancy Junque. A country breakfast is served on Sundays.
CITY: St. Charles
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill
Historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's "Bunker Hill Historic Area" will be lit for the occasion and decorated for the holidays. Continuing throughout the holiday season, the holiday lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms and Copperstone Inn
The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms and Copperstone Inn are a unique venue for an unforgettable wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner. An Orchard Ridge Farms/Copperstone Inn wedding offers the combination of rustic charm and sophisticated elegance that will create extraordinary memories that will last a lifetime. Our one hundred and thirty acres creates a majestic stage for your special event, a refreshing change from the average banquet facility.
Gem & Mineral Show
Annual Gem and Mineral Show showing off Indian artifacts, fossils, lapidary displays, shell crafts and much more.
Chicago Botanic Garden- Weekend Family Classes
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Programs run from November through April on Saturdays.
17th Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show
Located along the banks of the Fox River, this juried art show features 100 fine artists, live music, demonstrations and artists’ awards.
CITY: St. Charles
American Indian and Ethnographic Show
Historic artifacts on display.
The Polar Express at Monticello Railway Museum
Held at Monticello Railway Museum. Read along with the story as the train makes its round-trip journey to the North Pole. Meet Santa and enjoy caroling, hot chocolate, surprises and a treat. And, for those who believe, a special gift for each child. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas! Nov 14-15, Nov 21-22, Nov 28-30 & Dec 5-6.
Stephenson County Fair
Old fashioned county fair, with food, carnival rides, animals, entertainment, tractor pulls, Home Ec displays, animals, youth night, musical entertainment, commercial exhibits, 4-H and more.
Avenue of Lights
Avenue of Lights is a two-mile holiday display of animated lights at Moorman/Wavering Park in Quincy. It runs from Thanksgiving until New Years, nightly from 6-9:30pm. A staple attraction of Quincy during the holiday season.
The Stadium at the Ballpark
The Stadium at the Ballpark at Rosemont is the 2,000-seat home of the Chicago Bandits, the 2011 NPF World Champion women's softball organization, East Leyden High School's girls softball team and the Rosemont School's boys and girls softball team. It is located on the west side of 1-294, and is the first facility of its kind in the nation built expressly for women's professional sports. The team plays 25 home games a year, from June through August.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show
A Lake County holiday tradition. Visit Northern Illinois' largest drive-through Holiday Light Festival, held at the Cuneo Mansion, and view thousands of twinkling lights, animated displays and holiday decorations. While visiting the light show, the Cuneo Mansion & Gardens invites you to walk through the museum for a magical view of Christmas' past. Please visit the website for more information.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Festival of Lights
Smile, laugh, be de-lighted at the East Peoria Festival of Lights! The festival features the fantastic Folepi's Winter Wonderland lighted drive-through display, open from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, and many other events during December including a competitive run, gift show, theatrical productions and more. The Festival of Lights annual Parade of Lights covers three miles of Washington Street starting on one side of the city and ending just past downtown. The parade features floats shaped entirely from lights, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the chopper motorcycle float illuminated with LED lights, a 70-foot long float of the famous Clydesdale horse team pulling a delivery wagon, Frosty the Snowman, the starship Enterprise illuminated with 48,000 LED light bulbs, and the 95-foot-long smoke-spewing China dragon.
CITY: East Peoria
Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair
Don't miss the Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair and Wildlife Art Show at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island, Illinois. The show is heralded as the largest event in the Midwest dedicated to the United States' national symbol of freedom. The three-day event includes live eagle, hawk, owl and vulture flying demonstrations along with educational programs and over 200 fun and informative exhibits.
CITY: Rock Island
2nd Annual Outdoor Sculpture Walk
Take a self-guided tour of public art from June 2 to September 2 as part of the 2nd annual Sculpture Walk in downtown Oak Park. The walk features 12 world-class sculptures prominently placed among Oak Park's many shops and restaurants.
CITY: Oak Park
Kane County Flea Market / December, 2014
Monthly flea market at the Kane County Fairgrounds. "The Best in the Midwest or Anywhere". Up to 1000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles & Fancy Junque. Food served all day.
CITY: St. Charles
Sweet Autumn Clematis Festival
See and smell hundreds of feet of walls covered in Autumn Clematis; followed by punch served in Luther Hall. The event runs from 10:00am- 5:00pm.
Spring Equinox Sunrise Observance at Reconstructed Woodhenge
Meet at the reconstructed Woodhenge to hear an explanation of the discovery, form end function of this post-circle sun calendar. Arrive by 6:45 a.m.
Now celebrating its 34th year, Fountain Square Art Festival is the largest and oldest fine arts fair on Chicago's majestic North Shore. Featuring the eclectic works of more than 225 juried artists, this sprawling art showcase epitomizes words like "cosmopolitan” and "sophistication." The festival takes place in downtown Evanston, just steps from the eponymous Fountain Square. It also features a popular children's art tent with fun activities overseen by the acclaimed Evanston Art Center, food, and a soothing jazz-centric music lineup.
Home Garden & Business Expo
Annual Home Garden & Business Expo featuring over 40 exhibitors and 2 full days of "How To" demonstrations. Breakfast and lunch available, hourly door prizes, blood screenings on site and register for the "Grand Prize!"
Adapted from T.H. White's novel The Once and Future King, Camelot is a valiant Broadway musical that will transport audiences to the magical and mythical days of medieval England. The legendary characters King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, Sir Lancelot and Merlyn come alive in this exciting tale of love and chivalry. The classic production features a lush, romantic score including "If Ever I Would Leave You," "Camelot," "How to Handle a Woman," and "Follow Me."
CITY: Oakbrook Terrace
Parade of Lights
Join the Champaign Center Partnership as they officially launch the holiday season with a Parade of Lights. Marching bands and lighted floats weave their way through the streets of Downtown Champaign with Santa making his grand appearance just in time to light the City Christmas Tree.
Geneva's Christmas Walk & House Tour
On Friday evening, Santa Lucia arrives by horse-drawn carriage and Santa arrives to open his Gingerbread House. Enjoy carolers, the Great Tree lighting, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies, and old-fashioned candy cane pull, and holiday shopping. On Friday & Saturday, five distinctive homes festively decorated for the holidays by local decorators open their doors to visitors for self-guided tours.
Celebrate the pepper harvest from 11am to 5pm, A favorite gathering for all chile heads and hot pepper fans. Walk the pepper field and see many varieties of hot peppers in bloom, meet the vendors and see who makes the best hot/spicy food, visit the Pepper Farm Store and select your favorite salsa, jellies, spices and pepper products, relax, visit with friends, enjoy great local music and soak in great southern Illinois pepper heat. 618-893-1443. www.darnhotpeppers.com
87th Annual Lake County Fair
Come out and enjoy 5 days of fun at the 87th Annual Lake County Fair. Events at the fair include live entertainment, food vendors, carnival rides and games, live animals, motor crossing, banana derby, demolition derby, flower show, expo hall and so much more. Please visit the website for updated information.
31st Annual Pilot Home Tour & Tea
Visit beautifully decorated homes, sponsored by the International Pilot Club of Jacksonville.
20th Annual Galena Triathlon & Duathlon
Ranked by USAT as one of the top 10 sprint distance triathlons in the United States, this challenging multi-sport event offers unique terrain and beautiful scenery, beginning at Nixon Beach on Apple Canyon Lake.
CITY: Apple River
Marion Main Street Hubfest
All day event featuring car show, food vendors, and live entertainment. Lots of activities for kids including bounce houses, face painting and games. Street fair all day long.
Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival
The inaugural Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival is set to take place September 11-14, 2014 at the beautiful 3.000 acre Kennekuk County Park. Phases of the Moon is a four-day music, arts and camping event thoughtfully tailored to provide a unique festival experience. It boasts four outdoor stages: two main stages that alternate following each set and two smaller stages. Along with amazing music, attendees will have access to farm-to-table food, craft beer, a farmer's market and a mall of diverse craft vendors featuring an array of original items. Large interactive sculptures, live art, and works from renowned national and local artists will be on display.
Christmas in Paris
Come join us for a magical night in Paris, Illinois - full of games, crafts, laughter and fun for the entire family. Most storefronts will be open for shopping or hosting an activity. Most activities are free. All are invited. Visit our facebook page to learn more.