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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.
Wonderland Express is one of the Chicago area’s top holiday “must-sees,” and a family-friendly, made-for-memories experience. Bring the smartphones and video cameras, as our holiday exhibition delights children and parents, friends and families. Kids, look for Thomas the Tank Engine!
The Park District of Oak Park presents Winter Fest, a free family-friendly event at the expansive space of Taylor Park. Enjoy games in the snow, horse-drawn carriage rides, roasting s'mores around a campfire, festive tunes, sledding, rich hot chocolate, and more at this beloved annual event!
A weekend of winter family fun! In addition to the activities already offered like cross country skiing, sledding and skating at the Nordic Center and sleigh rides at Shenandoah Riding Center, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa celebrates winter fun with snow golf, ice turkey bowling, live ice sculpture carving and the Fire & Ice Night Glow with Galena on the Fly.
Wildlife Prairie Park transforms into a Winter Wonderland! Take a train ride through the North Pole and enjoy games, crafts, cookie decorating, pictures with Santa and animal encounters!
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, a lego display, lego maze, camel rides and a petting zoo. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
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.
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!
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.
See tractors of all shapes, sizes and ages. Held along with a Farmer's Market in downtown Golconda.
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.
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.
Cars and trucks are polished to perfection and fill Fort Massac State Park for a popular summer show. Winners are determined in various classes, including Mayor's choice and Superman's Choice.
Join the fun on our weekly, guided hikes! Explore Starved Rock State Park, Matthiessen State Park, the I & M Canal and a nearby Nature Preserve. Every Thursday morning, year round, the Starved Rock Walkers Club meets in the lobby of the Lodge and departs at 9:00 am. Hikes last between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the destination. The hikes vary each week and over a 4-month period, the group will see the entire park. Make some new friends and learn about wildlife, wildflowers and more. This event is free and open to the public. Please note: We will not hike on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Every Thursday (year round).
Whether you are just beginning in photography, are an advanced amateur or a professional, you are welcome to the Starved Rock Photography Club. Monthly photography walks at Starved Rock State Park’s Lodge with club leader, Jacki Pienta. The Photography Club will meet each month throughout the year for guided walks to planned sites for photography opportunities. Members will informally exchange ideas and tips for quality nature and wildlife photos. We will meet the 4th Saturday of every month at 9am in the back of the Large Parking Lot at Starved Rock Lodge. All meetings will consist of a hike to an area of either Starved Rock State Park, Matthiessen State Park or Buffalo Rock. Please be prepared to carpool if necessary. $25.00 annual fee to join which will include a club t-shirt and an annual cookout! Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 4th Saturday of each month. For more information, call 815-220-7386.
The 4th Annual Starved Rock Country Marathon and Half Marathon is set to take place in May of 2017! Be one of the first people to run through and around Starved Rock Country. The course will encompass the scenery of the Illinois River and the rolling landscapes in and around Starved Rock State Park. Runners will experience a course that is not a flat fast course as other courses advertise, the course has characteristics that will inspire you with scenic beauty and experience the highs and lows of the hills created by the Illinois River thousands of years ago.
Start the day with the 5K run/walk race at 9 a.m. Watch the parade at 11am, enjoy corned beef & cabbage at the 17th Street Bar and Grill Warehouse. The Irish Kids’ Fest will feature arts and crafts, games and story telling at the Murphysboro Youth Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Grab a shillelagh and pour a green beer, or sample local craft beers while listening to the Irish music, and try your hand in the Leprechaun Classic Bocce Tournament to be held at Riverside Park.
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.
The 26th Annual Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days will be held at John A Logan College. It is the largest celebration of Hunting and Fishing Day in the country. This 200+ vendor show offers something for the whole family. Bass Fishing and Crappie seminars, catfish contest, Goose calling contests, Dock Dogs competitions, retriever demonstrations and a kids fishing hole are just a few of the activities throughout the weekend.
A weekend long event sponsored by the Youth Outdoor Education Foundation and the Williamson County Tourism Bureau. The show features boats, trailers, trucks, ATVs, fishing tackle, live entertainment and more. Admission and parking is free. Great fun for all ages.
Come on out and witness an exciting seminar about dog sledding and the Siberian Husky while enjoying exciting sled demos. There will be huskies for you to meet and greet as well as the Husky Boutique and information about the rescue. Admission is free and event is open to the public. Sled demo times are 9:30am,12pm, and 3pm and are located at the Southwest end of the Starved Rock State Park Visitor's Center Parking Lot. Seminar times are 10:30am and 1:30pm and will be in the LaSalle Room in Starved Rock Lodge.
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.
Come to the huge fireworks display at the Mt. Vernon Airport for July 4th. This event also includes live entertainment, children's area, food vendors, and much more!