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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.
Chicago Air and Water Show
This summertime favorite brings approximately two million people to the lakefront each year to witness the many feats that will be attempted and performed both in water and air. Civilian and military air crafts perform at soaring heights, while parachute teams and flying aerobatic acts entertain the audience below.
Lincoln's Ghost Walks - Legends and Lore
Take a 90-minute nighttime tour of sites throughout Springfield that are linked to spirited stories about Lincoln’s life and death. Founder Garret Moffett based the tour partly on local lore about Lincoln’s visions and dreams, as well as on reported ghost sightings.
Lambs Farm Famous Farmyard
The Lambs Farm Farmyard will open daily March 22nd through October and weekends only through November 16th. Come and enjoy Lambs Farm's famous Farmyard. Meet Miss Wiggles, the 450-pound pig with an affinity for Bavarian Crème donuts and Oreo Cookies® and meet all of the new miniature animals, including Levi the miniature horse. Climb into the petting zoo with goats, sheep and lambs. Check out the llamas, alpacas, cows, horses, ducks and more. Enjoy a ride on the old-fashion carousel or the train. Then challenge friends and family to a round of mini golf! Farmyard memberships are available. Day passes for all activities available for $8 for adults and $12 for children 2-12.
Illinois State Fair
Make plans now to bring the entire family for adventure, thrills, top name entertainment and the best agriculture exhibition in the country! Each August, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Springfield for the Illinois State Fair. Enjoy 10 days of Illinois excitement and entertainment, with everything from top name stars to carnival rides, food, contests, concerts, livestock shows and auto racing.
Mercury's Canine Cruise
Dogs on boats? Yes! Bring your pooch on a leash and enjoy quality time with your dog while cruising on Chicago's waterways. This tour highlights dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, dog parks and fire hydrants. Enjoy the cool breeze in your hair (and fur!) aboard the Skyline Queen which offers plenty of safe outdoor-seating. Dogs may choose to sit on your lap, in a seat or on the deck. Don't worry, we have one-restroom for humans and one lined with newspapers for your pet. Water bowls are also onboard. Buy online or at the ticket office open daily at 8:30am.
Look up the word "lollapalooza" and you'll find this definition: an extraordinary thing; an outstanding example. You won't find any other music festival with a more fitting moniker than Lollapalooza, Chicago's grandest stage for music legends from across the globe. Each year in August, some of the top names in alternative, hip hop, punk and pop join more than 100 bands and musicians in Grant Park to bring you one loud, heart-stopping 3-day event.
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.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2014! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 22 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 marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
Quad Cities Hot Air Balloon Fest
Red, yellow and orange-hued leaves aren’t the only colors to view in Western Illinois’ skies this fall. At Moline’s annual Quad Cities Hot Air Balloon Fest, a myriad of hot air balloons take off throughout the weekend and glow high above the town after dark.
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.
History Comes Alive
Every day for 12 weeks this summer, you’ll be able to take a step back in time as you participate in a whole array of living history performances and programs that will both delight and educate about the Springfield Abraham Lincoln knew and loved for most of his life. From Civil War encampments to White House kitchen chats with Mr. Lincoln himself, there’s something for everyone. Some events may have a fee.
13th Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival
Come take part in a celebration of America's Highway, Route 66, at the 13th Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. More than 1,000 cool cars will roll into the heart of Springfield's historic downtown this September. Enjoy music, entertainment, great food and a great time, as well as visit some of the nation's most popular automotive aftermarket vendors. It's a wonderful event for the whole family!
The Amazing Race – Starved Rock Style
Spend an exciting day solving devious clues each step of the way and getting to know the Starved Rock Lodge area a little more. Try to be the first to uncover the Legend of Starved Rock. Use your wits, energy and sense of adventure as you race against time and your fellow racers. Enjoy a post-race awards ceremony at the finish line. The Amazing Race is fantastic for families, but children under the age of 8 and guests with limited mobility may find this event too strenuous. Teams are of 2-4 people and at least one person must have a valid drivers license and their own transportation as there is driving involved. Check in for the race will be at 11:15 a.m in the Starved Rock Lodge Lobby. Race start time is 11:30 a.m. $50.00 per couple. Race Dates for 2014: June 8 & 22, July 13 & 27, August 10 & 24, September 7 & 21.
Nouveau Wine Weekend
Downtown Galena comes alive with the release of Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery's Nouveau Wine. A traditional French stew, paired with Nouveau wine is served at most local restaurants, followed by horse-drawn wagon deliveries down Main Street. Take your choice of various downtown locations for one of the afternoon wine and cheese parties or plan to celebrate with all of them.
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.
Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest
Come and enjoy watching as these balloons are filled and then take off for various areas. Friday night is a launch from Forest Park, Saturday morning, they will launch from various locations and try to hit their targets as they float through the air. There will be a Balloon glow and basket burn at the Dam Spillway area Saturday night with food and entertainment. You can meet the pilots on Friday evening. Sunday morning will be another opportunity to watch. These colorful balloons will be launched daily (weather permitting) and you can watch as they fly and do tasks around the Lake Shelbyville area.
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.
Wolff's Flea Market
Come out and enjoy Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont every Sunday from April to October in the Allstate Arena parking lot. You will find tons of great deals and rows and rows of great vendors!
Mercury 3D Fireworks Cruise
Enjoy Chicago's summer fireworks on a Wednesday or Saturday from the unique vantage point of Lake Michigan. This fun boat ride for the whole family offers panoramic views of the Chicago skyline and the popular fireworks show at Navy Pier. Put on your complimentary 3D glasses to experience each magnificent burst in a whole new light!
8th Annual Galena Oktoberfest
Annual German celebration featuring live music, kids games, wiener dog races and lots of food and beverage.
Galena Country Fair
With more than 150 vendors selling original, handmade arts, crafts, and fine arts there is something for everyone. Choose from a variety of fair food, enjoy live entertainment, and fresh fruit and vegetables from the local farmers’ markets. Children will enjoy the many games and contests provided to keep them entertained throughout the day.
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.
Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Shows
Enjoy this professional water ski team as they perform on the Rock River with jumps, human pyramids and more. Great fun for all ages and admission is free. Shows are offered every Wednesday and Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day beginning at 6:30pm.
CITY: Rock Island
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.
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!
Bald Eagle Trolley Tours
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.
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
Mt. Vernon Fall Festival
This three day October festival in downtown Mt. Vernon includes a beer tent with live entertainment, parade, children's area, food, fun, car show, band competition, pumpkin competition, and so much more!
CITY: Mount Vernon
Windsor Harvest Picnic
Come and enjoy this family-friendly festival which is in its 118th year. Entertainment comes to you in gospel, country and rock, with entertainers from as far away as Australia.. Fountain City Amusements provides a carnival atmosphere with plenty of food as well as the Ice Cream Social. There is also a 5K run/walk, a pedal tractor pull, parade, and a raffle drawing. This year for one show only is Country Legend Marty Stuart.
Six Flags Great America Fright Fest
It's Thrills by Day, Chills by Night at Fright Fest Presented by Snickers®. Six Flags Great America will be totally transformed into a Halloween playground, Fridays - Sundays. Have a ghoulish good time with hair-raising shows, electrifying street entertainment and thrilling haunted houses. Plus, experience all the rides in the dark. There will also be a special trick-or-treat trail just for kids.
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
Long Grove's 21st Annual Apple Festival
More than 50 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
A fun filled family weekend featuring over 40 hot air balloons, balloon glows Friday and Saturday, entertainment throughout each day, fireworks, car show, craft fair, children's activity area and more.
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.
Effingham Farmer's Market
Effingham Farmer's Market provides our community with fresh, locally-grown food, art, live music and quality artisan goods, produced right here in downtown Effingham, on the Courthouse Museum lawn. Come on out and support our community and your health! The market will continue every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from April to October. Enjoy our beautiful downtown square with the best live entertainment, artisans and locally grown food right here in Effingham
North Halsted Halloween Parade
This iconic Halloween happening—now in its 17th year—is one of Chicago's largest celebrations of ghosts, goblins and costumes galore! Colorful and festive doesn't start to do justice to this iconic Halloween party that draws thousands of spectators of all ages who line the streets of Halsted to enjoy the evening's festivities. The parade receives widespread media coverage, and one of its highlights is the costume contest that draws scores of outrageously attired parade participants.
Scarecrow Daze Festival
During the 18th Annual Scarecrow Daze Festival, the entire city of Shelbyville is decorated with scarecrows. With a different theme every year, entrants decorate their homes and businesses to the theme. There is also a large parade on Saturday, kids' games, a beer tent, music, a quilt show, and plenty of food and crafts, in downtown Shelbyville. Held in conjunction with Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest.
Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival
The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival presented by MasterCard is all about celebrating the world-class Magnificent Mile shopping experience. Shopping Festival attendees receive VIP treatment with exclusive in-store offers and events, celebrity appearances, fashion shows, culinary celebrations, outdoor concerts, fabulous hotel packages, special perks for MasterCard cardholders and much more. The Shopping Festival is the perfect opportunity to book an end-of-summer getaway to The Magnificent Mile to enjoy an unforgettable lineup of events.
Navy Pier Fireworks
Every Wednesday and Saturday evening, join the crowds at Navy Pier this summer to view the amazing and colorful fireworks of Navy Pier in Chicago!
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.
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.
Train of Terror
All aboard the Train of Terror for a thrilling and chilling, four-mile ride with a variety of spooky scenes along the route. Buy tickets at the Silver Creek Depot and Freight House. Food and beverages are available. October 11, 18, and 25th. All Tickets: $8.00
Canal Boat and Trolley Tours
Start off with a delicious hot lunch at Starved Rock Lodge. Next, board one of our trolleys for a ride through historic downtown Utica and stop at Cattails for shopping. Your trolley will also take you on a relaxing ride to LaSalle where you will board the canal boat. Step back into time with period dressed interpreters on this 1-hour boat ride. There is minimal walking involved in this tour and restrooms are available throughout. For more information or to reserve call 815-220-7386. $39.00 Adult $34.00 children 10 and under. 11:00a.m. every Friday May through October.
Music of the River Cruise and Tour
C'mon aboard the Music of the River Cruise and Tour! Offered every Tuesday from June through September. Meet in Starved Rock Lodge's Great Hall for check in and to receive your boxed lunch. Then, board the trolley and travel a short distance to the Belle of the Rock, an authentic paddle wheel boat. Aboard the boat you will hear and enjoy the history of many river songs, such as Proud Mary, Gentle on My Mind, Alabama's Tennessee River and Credence Clearwater Revival's Green River. After the 1-½ hour lunch cruise you will re-board the trolley for a historic tour with stops at the State Park Visitor Center and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Reservations required. Every Tuesday, June through September - call for times!
114th Infantry Regiment Flag Lowering Ceremony
The Regiment, in authentic Civil War uniforms, demonstrates drill movements and performs a beautiful flag-lowering ceremony in front of the Lincoln Tomb. The flag is presented to a member of the audience. Ceremony every Tuesday evening.
Kankakee County Fair
Let's spend a day at the Fair. Go to the time-honored livestock shows, play some games, enter contests, enjoy the exciting live entertainment, be brave and ride on the carnival rides, or feast on the fair food but don't forget to see the demolition derby or rodeo.
“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.
DeKalb Corn Fest
Corn Fest is one of the last, free, summer, music festivals among Illinois music and summer festivals in Illinois. Well over 100,000 people from around Illinois and the Midwest attend the music festival over a three day weekend. This festival features a carnival complete with rides and games, food booths, free live music, kiddie korner with large inflatables, family entertainment and much more. Friday night is carnival wristband nights for the kids with unlimited rides from 6-10pm. Festival areas feature food and business vendor booths, and a beer garden
Ravinia Festival 2014
Another exciting year of entertainment at the Ravinia Festival. With a variety of performances, there is something for everyone. Choose from artists like Heart, Carrie Underwood, OneRepublic, Counting Crows, Sarah McLachlan, Tony Bennett and many more. Please visit the website for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets. Bring a picnic or pick up a complete picnic spread at one of the on-site restaurants or kiosks and sit back and enjoy the show.
CITY: Highland Park
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.
Come join us this summer as the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park blossoms into an urban dance space. Dance to the sounds of 44 different live bands and get into step with dance lessons beforehand. Glide across the restored 4,900-square-foot, 100 percent recycled, open-air dance floor designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman. Swing, waltz, cha-cha…or simply enjoy the music. Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays Dance Lessons: 6-7pm, Live Music & Dancing: 7:30-9:30pm. Sundays Dance Lessons: 4-5pm, Live Music & Dancing: 5-7pm. All free!
East West Riverfest
Come to the Quad Cities and join in on a celebration of arts, culture, history and the Mississippi River during East West Riverfest. The entire Quad Cities will be joining in on the celebration. Enjoy concerts on the riverfront, art fairs & art galleries, live theatre, ballet, museum exhibits, tours, river cruises, cultural festivals, and much, much more. Find out more details at www.eastwestriverfest.com and plan your visit for this first annual, Quad Cities-wide celebration. You can also contact or visit the Quad Cities Visitors Center in Moline for details.
Taste of Champaign-Urbana
Find your new favorite restaurant. The one that would make you willingly wait in a long line, travel miles and miles, and create special occasions just to visit. The Taste of Champaign-Urbana will aid you on your adventure to culinary discovery with 25 food vendors to tempt your taste buds. More than that, “Taste of C-U” will entertain you with free live music. It will expand your knowledge of hidden artistry within the Champaign-Urbana community. Be sure to also check out the various arts and craft vendors, enjoy plenty of activities with the entire family and run in the 2nd Annual Pie Run.
Grafton Riverside Flea Market
You won't want to miss this fabulous flea market on the river. There will be over 50+ dealers with all types of goods, antiques glassware, tools, candles, furniture and good old-fashioned junk! Join the fun the fourth weekend of every month from March through October in Grafton. For more information, call (800) 258-6645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Blacksmith Demonstrations and Tours
Live blacksmith demonstrations and tours at the Joseph F. Glidden Homestead June 8th and 22nd from Noon to 4:00 pm. and on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.
Rock Island Grand Prix
The world's best drivers come to compete for one of go-karting's largest cash purses with payouts through ninth place. Last year attracted more than 30,000 spectators to the two days of racing. Festival week includes nightly outdoor concerts, driver's parade, fan autograph session and special Sunday post-race awards ceremony. There are also food and merchandise booths, kid's activities and other race-related activities. Free admission.
CITY: Rock Island
2014 Bald Eagle Bus Tours
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.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
December 18th & 19th December 26th - 31st January 1st 4-9pm Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest light festival featuring over 120 animated light displays and million twinkling lights. Come celebrate the holiday season with family and friends during Brookfield Zoos 29th annual Holiday Magic. Enjoy live entertainment, amazing animals, model trains and a train ride, special Dolphin Show, Sing to the Animals and professional ice carvers. Call or visit website for more info.
Sycamore's Steam Show and Threshing Bee
For the last 57 years, the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club has sponsored the Sycamore Steam Show & Threshing Bee the second Thursday in August. The event starts at 6:00 a.m. with breakfast. The afternoon is filled with threshing of steam engines and tractors and spotlights a 1:30 p.m. parade of old steam engines, tractors, cars and other antique machines. Activities for kids, a petting zoo, bake sale and flea market all take place on the fairgrounds as well. Open daily 7:00am to 6:00pm. Free parking.
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.**
Geneva's Classic Car Shows
Geneva has a long history of presenting car shows on Thursday nights in July and August. It's an organized but casual opportunity for collectors to gather together and show their cars. The audience comes from near and far to stroll the grounds of the historic Kane County Courthouse, have something to eat, tap your feet to the fabulous music of the 50’s and vote for your favorite model and make of car. Held on Thursday nights during July and August.
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.
The Great River Tug Fest
This is the only tug-of-war across the mighty Mississippi River. On Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., barge traffic, pleasure boats and paddleboats yield the right of way to a 2,400 foot, 680 pound rope that stretches between LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Illinois. Eleven teams from each side are formed and the side with the most winning teams takes the Alabaster Eagle trophy for that year. Currently the score is tied 10 - 10. A family weekend event filled with carnival rides, live entertainment, a huge parade, scenic 5k run/walk, food, arts and craft vendors and one of the largest fireworks displays (friday night) in the two state area. Admission charged. Festival takes place on the Mississippi River at Port Byron IL Riverfront. Hwy. 67 & Port Byron. Call 309-523-2500 for more information
CITY: Port Byron
Ripley's Believe It or Not!
This highly interactive blockbuster exhibit is an adventure through the remarkable realms of scientific discoveries and real artifacts. Visitors will discover the real science behind the unbelievable phenomena featured in the six sections of the exhibit.
Tower Hill Fall Festival
Held in the Village Park. This is the 28th year for the festival which has unique activites such as the Produce "500" which features vehicles made from produce from as small as a grape to as large as a watermelon. It also has a car and motorcycle show, garden tractor pulls, a tractor show, plenty of kids games a parade Saturday at 4:00 pm and entertainment along with the annual demo derby on Sunday.
CITY: Tower Hill
Old Capitol Blues & BBQs
Two days of award-winning BBQ with local and national Blues talent. Free childrens activities, come to watch the IL Central Blues Club Challenge. An entertainment filled weekend for everyone.
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.
Wonderland in Lights
Each year, the City of Effingham and the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau turn Community Park into a winter wonderland! Wonderland in Lights, a drive-through light display, features a variety of lighted holiday scenes including reindeer flying, Santa coming down the chimney and a Nativity scene. We continue to add new lighting displays each year to grow the display. Santa visits the Wonderland in Lights every Saturday to bring special presents to the children. Come drive through the light display and stick around to talk to Santa and listen to your favorite Christmas carols! The Wonderland in Lights is free, but donations are welcome.
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
Join us for the return of the Grafton Rendezvous on the banks of the Illinois River. See pre-1840 history come to life and experience what a busy river port was like during that period. Traders will demonstrate candle and rope making, bead working, wood carving, metal working and leather crafting. There will be tomahawk and knife throwing and much more. Bring the family and enjoy the fun.
Grant Park Music Festival
The Grant Park Music Festival celebrates its 80th season June 11-August 16 in Millennium Park. Join Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra for the Festival’s 80th Anniversary Season opener, featuring the dazzling young piano sensation Natasha Paremski performing one of Tchaikovsky’s keyboard gems. Audiences can watch as the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus and guest artists rehearse upcoming performances. Rehearsals take place Tuesday-Friday afternoons all Season long. During breaks in rehearsals, Festival docents lead informal talks about the music, composers, and the history of classical music. For a full schedule, see the Festival website.
Kane County Flea Market - October, 2014
Monthly flea market at the Kane County Fairgrounds. "The Best in the Midwest or Anywhere". Up to 1000 dealaers display and sell antiques, collectibles & Fancy Junque. Food served all day.
CITY: St. Charles
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.
Sycamore Pumpkin Fest
2014 is the 53rd Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. Back in 1956, Wally Thurow, who is known as Sycamore’s "Mr. Pumpkin", began what was to become the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival when he displayed a few decorated pumpkins on his front lawn to turn Halloween into a time of fun and creativity. In 1962, through the efforts of Mr. Pumpkin and the Sycamore Lions Club, the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival became an official celebration in Sycamore. The Courthouse lawn is the center of activities, including thousands of decorated pumpkins on display, there are also art and craft shows, a house walk, a pie eating contest, a carnival, a fun fair, a race and other events. The festival is concluded by a giant parade on Sunday afternoon.
Cedarhurst Craft Fair
More than 160 exhibitors from throughout the country show and sell diverse craft items. Includes continuous entertainment, children's activities, and a variety of food.
CITY: Mount Vernon
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.
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
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.
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.
19th Century Christmas at Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Don't miss these two beautifully decorated Deere family mansions during the holiday season. The 19th Century Christmas features the interiors of the homes decorated for the holidays; along with living-history volunteers, Choir performances, Santa Claus, music, and make-and-take activities for the children. These homes once belonged to the John Deere family and are now operated by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. Open noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
Didier Farms' Pumpkin Fest
Bring the family out for this annual fall festival. Hayrides, pony rides, camel rides. Children's kiddie rides, exotic petting zoo, parakeet exhibit, corn maze, concessions, pig races(weekends only). Be sure to visit Grandma D.’s Bake Shop for the best pies, cookies, and fudge. Homemade apple cider, fresh made kettle korn and pumpkin donuts also available.
Ya Maka My Weekend
Ya Maka My Weekend is a celebration of Caribbean culture, the festival brings the islands to the Quad Cities. Featuring nationally known, as well as regional, reggae and steel drum bands. Visit the open-air marketplace offering authentic island wares. Enjoy Caribbean foods, sand volleyball tournaments and a children's craft area. The family area, featuring a pirate costume contest, limbo contests and street performers, is another highlight of this summer festival. Event hours are Friday 5:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. and Saturday, 12 noon - 12:30 a.m. Admission Admission Charged. Call (309)788-6311 for more information
CITY: Rock Island
Autumn Pioneer Festival
Travel back to the 1800’s and learn about the lifestyles and crafts of the day. Watch a blacksmith working at his forge, talk to voyageurs, settlers and buckskinners. Explore a wigwam in the Native American area, visit two authentic 1800’s log cabins, a one room schoolhouse and 5 ethnic gardens. Enjoy the sights as you tour the grounds on a horse drawn wagon. Learn to throw a tomahawk, use a cross cut saw and play old time games. Listen to live music throughout the day. Sample apple butter and bean soup cooked over an open fire. Food vendor offerings include prairie chicken, pioneer fries, buffalo stew, pie and ice cream, doughnuts, popcorn, old fashioned root beer and lemonade. These are just a few of the many fun activities offered at the festival.
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
2014 Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival
Come out to the Logan County Airport to experience awesome hot air balloon launches and evening balloon glows. Downtown, enjoy musical entertainment, food, an art and craft show, the Art of Wine, and much more.
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.
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.
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
Big Bang at Hidden Lake Winery
Dueling piano's. Meal prepared by Winery Chef.
Fall Color Festival
Visit The Morton Arboretum this season and enjoy the beautiful fall color of trees and plants from more than 40 different countries. On select days in October, enjoy a variety of seasonally-themed activities for kids and families. Admire nature-themed scarecrows showcased around Meadow Lake on our Scarecrow Trail, open daily in October from 7am - sunset. The Fall Color 5K Run & Walk will be Sunday, October 5 at 8am. Run under a canopy of brilliant fall color on our rolling, USATF-certified course. Enjoy our Theatre-Hikes at 3pm on weekends in October plus Columbus Day.
Illinois Products Farmers Market
Held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Commodities Pavilion across from the grandstand, The Illinois Products Farmers Market features fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, Illinois wine and craft beer, plants and flowers Live entertainment, health screenings, kids activities and more! Takes place every Thursday, excluding Aug. 7 & 14 due to the Illinois State Fair.
Chuck Wagon Dinner & Cowboy Show
Slide out of the saddle, listen for the clang of the dinner bell and pull up a spoon! Plan for an evening of tasty vittles and ole' fashioned fun for the family at Starved Rock Lodge's Chuck Wagon Dinner & Cowboy Show. You'll enjoy a hearty western themed chuck wagon supper served outdoors from our very own chuck wagon. The evening continues with cowboy legends, pioneer stories, and rope tricks along with music at the campfire with Randy Erwin - popular rope trickster, yodeler, and all around real-life cowboy. Dinner and entertainment will take place at Fox Ridge - Starved Rock Lodge's outdoor entertainment & education venue. We'll even supply the bandanna to help you dress the part. The menu will include: Chuck Wagon Snacks Cold Salad Skillet-fried Potatoes Cowboy Beans Steak, chicken Hamburgers & Hot Dogs for the kids Fruit Cobbler Iced Tea, Water, Soda. Admission $45 Adults, $32 Children 10 and under. 5pm - 7/20, 8/17.
Downtown Car Show/Cruise Night
Downtown Car Show / Mt. Vernon Cruise Night - The Car Show will be located on 9th Street between Harrison and Jordan. Features cruise night, car, truck, and motorcycle show; entertainment, food, demonstrations, and a 50/50 drawing. The Car Show will have various models from "Classics" to "Modern".
CITY: Mount Vernon