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One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, the Festival of Lights, returns with dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. Enjoy the magic! This year features a 20’ tall “singing” Christmas tree. This signature winter event is a drive-through of more than one mile of spectacular lighted displays, many of which are animated, and are illuminated by tens of thousands of bulbs. Staged at Aurora's gem, Phillips Park, the festival will be open from 5 - 9 pm Sundays through Thursdays and 5 - 10 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Presented by the Aurora Rotary Club in partnership with the City of Aurora, Free: donations encouraged.
Pumpkin Weekends bring the spectacular fall season to life with autumn festivities amid the spectacular fall colors. Enjoy seasonal craft-making, harvest decor and pumpkin stories galore! Kids can roll around in the giant corn crib and enjoy unlimited rides on the train, ponies, hay wagon and carousel. Experience a pumpkin paddle, trick-or-treating and a costume contest. It’s all the best of autumn in one place! Weekends in October and Columbus Day (Oct. 10), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Celebrate Fall at Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze! This old-fashioned farm boasts a variety of activities and events for all ages. Who is ready for the Human Hamster Ball Experience? New attractions abound at Abbey Farms Pumpkin Daze this year! Just a few of the fun activities included with the price of admission are tractor hay rides and log balancing beams, a pirate ship imagination adventure and two 200’ foot long zip lines, the all ages jumping pillow and adult pedal go-karts and Kane County’s largest corn maze! New for 2016 (additional cost): Strap yourself into the air-filled Human Hamster Ball experience, take aim with the corn cannon challenge, run a lap on the new bouncing cow train ride and grab a craft beer and or pumpkin from the pumpkin patch! Lastly, be sure to visit our new Pine Tree Café & country store & bakery for a dozen of our famous Apple Cider donuts on your way out!
All aboard! Take a magical ride on the Holiday Express train. You’ll see Lake Gregory and Blackberry Farm in all its holiday glory amid the twinkling lights and songs of Christmas. Back in the village, enjoy storytelling of the classics, festive decorations, reindeer food bar, hay wagon rides and a visit with Santa! And don’t miss the famous Adventure Playground – decorated as Candy Cane Village! It all happens on 8 magical days in December. Admission is just $5 per person. Tasty concessions with seasonal favorites and drinks (non-alcoholic) available for purchase. Fridays: 5 - 8 pm. Saturdays: 2 - 6 pm. Sundays: 2 - 6 pm. Pre-purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket window.
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.
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.
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season with a full day of family friendly activities, concerts by top musical artists and the best holiday shopping. The day’s excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
Celebrating our 20th birthday this year, our Halloween Parade is known throughout the nation for its outlandish costumes, creative programming, and entertaining parade. With over 2,000 entries into our annual Costume Contest, be sure to join the crowd and see Chicago’s most amazing display of costumes. Your 2016 Northalsted Halloween Parade comes to Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood on Monday, October 31st – Halloween Night!
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.
Take a magical trip to a winter wonderland of twinkling lights and holiday beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden when we kick off the holiday season! Outside, 750,000 lights sparkle and welcome you and your family to the Garden's wonderland. Inside the Regenstein Center, a 10,000-square-foot exhibition of miniature trains winds over bridges, under trestles, past waterfalls, and through more than 80 mini-replicas of Chicago's favorite landmarks. Paul Busse, designer of the Model Railroad Garden, created this amazing exhibition exclusively for the Garden's holiday celebration.
A Peoria area tradition during the season of fright, Wildlife Prairie Park transforms into a spooky, kid-friendly Halloween experience. See website for dates and times.
Walk through the magical park, listen to caroler and enjoy cookies in the Shelterhouse. Drive and view the lights throughout the city streets and neighborhoods of Edgewood, Prospect and Chestnut.
Join us for our Torchlight Halloween Hike and Wiener Roast where you. won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy Lincoln Log Cabin in the dark! We will start at the Log Cabin Visitor Center for a bonfire and wiener roast. Bring out your best carved pumpkin by 6:00 pm and visitors will judge the best carvings and prizes will be awarded. You will also want to hike the paths between our historic farms by torchlight and hear storytellering in the Lincoln Cabin. Enjoy live music as you sit around the fire.
The event is family friendly and involves a haunted 45 minute walk through the historic downtown. At about a half a dozen locations you'll stop for a few minutes to meet some characters from Long Grove's past. Some of their tales seem to jive pretty closely with real history, but other parts seem like they're lavishly embellished. Required donation of $5/adult and $3/child. Reservations are required and space is limited.
Who you gonna call? The Douglas-Hart Nature Center for our most popular event – Haunted Hike! Once again the Douglas-Hart Nature Center will transform the trails into a dark and scary experience for Halloween goers on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 from 5-9p.m. Last year our participants walked with zombies but this year we will be Ghostbusting! We’ve doubled the size of our festival….hikes leave every five minutes. Our guides will escort you through the haunted forest as you encounter many ghostly creatures. We recommend young children walk the trails during our daylight hours, 5-6p.m. Last hike leaves at 8:40p.m.
2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Safe House Animal Rescue. Over 20,000+ Easter Eggs. A Visit with the Easter Bunny. All eggs filled with Candy, toys, with a possibility of larger prizes. Raffle Baskets, Baked Goods. Hunt free for all, age divided. Lunch will also be provided for small fee. Hunt starts at Noon, Pictures with the Easter Bunny and kids crafts starts at 11am, Face Painting, Games, Cake Hop, Bake Sale all start following the Egg Hunt games cost $1 a game.
Tucked among the charming small towns, lush scenery and hassle-free motoring in Northern Illinois is the Trail of Terror, a self-guided tour of the area's finest haunted houses, cemetery walks, pumpkin patches, wineries, festivals and other spook-tacular seasonal sensations. The fun begins in September and continues through all of October across Carroll, DeKalb, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson & Whiteside counties. For all the details & more information on all of the cool creepiness, visit www.illinoistrailofterror.com
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 also added. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. The Historical Chautauqua Building becomes a huge carousel. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
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.
Kids enjoy Halloween Fun at the historic Lyon Farm the last two Sundays in October. They can Trick-or-Treat in the historic Lyon Farm Village, participate in a costume parade around the square, earn prizes awarded for best costume, play old-fashioned games, take hay rides, and get spooked in the Haunted house! At the 39 acre Lyon Farm, you can enjoy historic buildings such as the Oswego-Fox House, Union School one-room schoolhouse, the Seward Town Hall, Corrigan’s General Store, the 1850 Plano CB&Q railroad depot, a CB&Q caboose, a blacksmith shop and several large buildings containing displays of household, farming and commercial artifacts and archival records.