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Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden
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.
Windy City Smokeout
Windy City Smokeout: BBQ & Country Music Fest presented by Bub City returns for its fourth year! This summer festival brings together the best of live country music, beer and BBQ to our city's popular River North neighborhood. Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy southern-inspired fare from Chicago's BBQ restaurants. Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to interact with chefs and their culinary teams, and enjoy ice cold beers to wash it all down! country fans can also take in performances by country music's biggest stars as well as emerging talent.
Windsor Harvest Picnic
Come and enjoy this family-friendly festival in its 120th year. Entertainment comes to you in gospel, country and rock. 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. Entertainment this year is Gospel Group Firebox, Phil Dirt presents Surfs Up, a tribute to the Beach Boys, and Country Artists Chris Cavanough and Shenandoah.
West Fork Encampment
This event will take you back in time with a historic re-enactment of military life from 1750-1820. Military and camping demonstrations will be provided daily. Both campers and public are welcome.
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.
Walking Tour of Historic Riverside
The Frederick Law Olmsted Society is pleased to offer great opportunities to learn about our historic landmark village. Discover the winding roads, delightful parks, beautiful landscapes, varied architecture and much more!
VW Welcomefest Downtown Party
Join us for in Downtown Effingham on the Courthouse Lawn for VW Welcomefest, where the night begins with a road tour from Mid America Motorworks. The VWs will make their way through town and come down the parade route about 5 p.m. Food by the Gabby Goat, ice cream, tropical snow and great music will await everyone at the Courthouse lawn from 5-8:00 p.m. Don't forget to sign up to win a Ipad Mini, along with other great giveaways. We've added some cool new things this year you won't want to miss, like "Big Red," a 10,000 pound VW Beetle and a fortune teller! This event is sure to be fun for the whole family!
US Log Rolling Open
The opening of the 2016 Professional Log Rolling season kicks off June 11. The event will include the worlds top ranked rollers & be televised on CSN Chicago. 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Union Dairy Family Day
After the Dairy Days Parade, enjoy this free family day with a bounce house, pony rides, a petting zoo and face painting. All at the Union Dairy in Freeport from 1pm to 5pm.
Union County Colorfest
Enjoy the fall color of the Shawnee National Forest and guided home tours. Shop at local orchards, farm markets and art and craft fairs. Sample wine along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, participate in the fun run or biathlon race.
UL International Crown at the Merit Club
The UL International is coming to the Merit Club in Lake County. The golfing competition will take place over four days with 32 players from 8 different countries. It will feature three days of four-ball competition and one day of singles matches on Sunday. Five of the eight countries will advance to the Sunday singles matches based on the outcome of the four-ball matches contested Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are on sale now.
Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair
Want to learn to fish or become a better angler? The Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair offers fun and information for the entire family. Event includes: trout pond, seminars on fishing and water safety, educational activities, gifts, prizes and lots more! Free. For more information, contact Pere Marquette State Park at (618) 786-3323, ext. 1.
Twilight Thursdays at the Tower
Watch the sunset over the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers from 150 feet in the air at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower. Experience the breathtaking view of the landscape during the twilight hours, April 21st and May 26th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at “Twilight Thursdays” at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, call (618) 251-9101 or go to www.ConfluenceTower.com.
Twilight Shuffle 5K Run
Run through the historic neighborhoods of the east side of Libertyville. Professional timing. Families are encouraged (no children under 9) to run. After finishing the course, all participants are invited to join their fellow racers for a fabulous post-race party (including light dinner and non-alcoholic drinks for all registered participants) at the new Mickey Finn's Brewery. No registrations will be accepted or processed after 12pm on race day.
Tunnel Hill 50/100 Mile Run
Are you looking for your first 100 mile run? This could very well be the course you're looking for! Flat, fast course on the Tunnel Hill Illinois State trail . Unlike a lot of rails-to-trails, there is nothing "flat" about the scenery. From wildlife inhabited wetlands to gorgeous rock formations, this trail has it all. Smooth crushed limestone covered dirt bed is wide and contains no trip hazards. Best of all is the iconic tunnel... over 600' of thrills you'll always remember. Includes a 50-mile option... all the fun of the 100 miler, except you run the course once instead of twice.
Try your hand at the Litchfield TriathLou at Lake Lou Yaeger. Swimming in Lake Lou Yaeger is the best open water swim you will have in the Midwest. There really is no comparison to this large beach with pristine flat racing water. The bike course is flat and fast with some great curves to keep you entertained the whole ride. Both the 5k and 10k runs see very honest mile paces with plenty of flats, and a couple hills throughout. Sprint and Olympic distances are available.
Experience "Life on the Mississippi River" at this annual festival. Take free tours of working towboats. Enjoy live music, special deals, giveaways and much more. For more information, call (618) 786-7678.
Tour de Shawnee Bike ride
Bicyclists meet at the Olive Branch Community Center at 8 AM. Organized bike routes of 15, 30, 45, 62 and 100 mile rides around scenic Horseshoe Lake and area. Entry fee includes: Event bag, chance for attendance prizes. Early registration includes commemorative t shirt.
Thee Olde Time Farm Show
There's fun for the whole family, and if you would like the collection of David Bradley tractors this is the place to come. Along with the tractors there's farm demonstrations, children activities, tractor pulls, weed wacker pulls, a flea and crafts market, plus for a fun filled experience you don't want to miss the tractor square dancing show.
The Del Melton Kids Fishing Derby
Join the annual fishing derby. No experience necessary. Bring your fishing gear. Bait donated by Fishing Connection. Under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Rain or Shine! 9-11AM.
Taste of Westmont
Visit Westmont in July for the award-winning Taste of Westmont summer festival. A four-day weekend full of fun for the whole family. Thursday is Kidzapalooza featuring carnival specials, Irving stage, battle of the bands, car show and more. More carnival specials all weekend, plus craft show, kids activities, face painting, beer tent, and of course, grab a “taste” at our local restaurant food booths. Free admission to all areas including our Main Stage.
Sycamore's Turning Back Time Weekend
The 50’s are making a come-back in Sycamore during Turning Back Time Weekend scheduled for July 29th through July 31st. Hop into your vintage ride and cruise over to Downtown Sycamore for classic cars, live entertainment, and three days of fun.
Sycamore's Steam Show and Threshing Bee
The History of the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club invites you to their annual Sycamore Steam Show & Threshing Bee. This family friendly event is a great way to step back in time and see many antique machines at work. Threshing using steam engines and gas tractors. Also, a sawmill in operation sawing logs into lumber using Steam Power and Baling Straw using Club's 1900 Sandwich stationary wire-tie baler are just a few of the engaging machine exhibitions that will be presented at the Bee. There will also be Barrel Train rides, rope making, mule team wagon rides and much more to entertain everyone.
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.