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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.
Winter Wonderland Festival
Enjoy a horse & carriage ride through the Festival of Lights, great food, shopping, pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, hot chocolate, crafts, a present for every child and so much more.
Winter Holiday Hayride
Our annual holiday hayrides will feature the food, fun and traditions from the pioneers of North America. We'll ride on our decorated hay wagon through the streets of Palos Heights singing Christmas carols then return to the Nature Center to enjoy food, crafts and other activities. Registration and payment to be made in person or by mail no later than the Monday before hayride. $8 per person.
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!
Volo Bog's WinterFest
Looking for a great combination of indoor and outdoor fun in mid January? WinterFest is a long-standing event at Volo Bog featuring live music and storytelling, photo contest awards, and winter-theme and other crafts indoors, while outdoors winter bog hikes, and snow permitting - snow sculpting contests and cross-country skiing, may be enjoyed throughout the afternoon. There will also be cookies, hot cocoa & coffee for sale by the Friends of Volo Bog. Visit the website for a complete agenda. Donations accepted.
Village of Robbins Open Air Market
Year round, each Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday. Thinking of going into business? Let us be your testing ground. Become a vendor or shop til you drop. We have new and used merchandise.
Union County Colorfest
Enjoy the fall color of the Shawnee National Forest and guided home tours. Shop at local orchards and 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
The UL International Crown is a first-of-its-kind biennial, team match play competition featuring the best female golfers from the top eight countries in the world, based on the combined Rolex World Ranking of the top four players from each country. Since it will be along the lines of the FIFA World Cup of women’s golf, come root for your country! The tournament also precedes golf’s return to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil by a few weeks, so meet future Olympians as well. Volunteer registration is open and tickets are now on sale. Visit www.ULCROWN.com to find out more.
Trolley Tours - Starved Rock
Board a trolley outside of the Great Hall area of the Lodge. Learn about the rich history and legends of Starved Rock State Park and Lodge. Travel to the Lock and Dam, through historic downtown Utica and the Starved Rock Visitor Center. Reservations are recommended. April & May: Saturday 3-4:30 & Sunday 12-1:30, 1:30-3 & 3-4:30. Jun. 1, 2015 - Oct. 31, 2015 , Mon-Sat 3:00pm - 4:30pm, Sun 12:00pm-1:30pm, 1:30pm - 3:00pm, 3:00pm - 4:30pm. June-October: Monday-Saturday 3-4:30 pm, Sundays 12:00-1:30, 1:30-3 & 3-4:30. For more information or to book, call 815-220-7386.
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 10, 17, and 24th. All Tickets: $8.00
Trail of Terror
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
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.
Torchlight Halloween Hike, Pumpkin Carving and Wiener Roast
Enjoy Lincoln Log Cabin in the dark! We will start at the Visitor Center for a bonfire and wiener roast. Bring out your best carved pumpkin by 4:30 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 to hear storytellers in the Lincoln Cabin and Sargent House there to entertain guests with seasonal stories. To benefit the educational and interpretation programs of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Foundation will be selling hot dogs and s’mores for you to roast over an open fire.
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, Nov 20-21, Nov 27-29 & Dec 4-5. Reservations required. Tickets go on sale June 6th.
The Halloween Gathering
This powerful event will gather Chicago’s vast and diverse creative communities for an all-day festival culminating with a magical nighttime parade. Drawing together world-renowned institutions including the Field Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Columbia College Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, as well as unique local organizations like Louder Than a Bomb, Silent Theatre Company, and guilds of artists in assorted fields, this dramatic display will activate Halloween as the “artist’s holiday” along one of the most prestigious cultural avenues in the world.
Thanksgiving Cruises – Odyssey
This Thanksgiving, spend time relaxing out on the water aboard Odyssey Chicago! Celebrate with the entire family as you enjoy a special holiday meal. For reservations, call 888.957.2634 or visit http://www.odysseycruises.com/chicago/cruises/specialty/thanksgiving-day-cruises.
Take a Hike & a Lunch - Starved Rock Canyons
Join us for a guided hike from the Lodge to LaSalle and Tonti Canyons. Participants meet in the hotel main lobby of the Lodge to pick up a lunch and a “Starved Rock” backpack. Hikers will stop for lunch once they reach a Canyon. The tour concludes at the Lodge about 2:00pm. Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear. Hike will be around 4.5 miles round trip. This hike is classified as strenuous. Lunch includes: your choice of turkey, ham or PB&J, bag of chips, homemade granola bar, piece of fruit and a bottle of water. Advanced reservations are required as space is limited. For more information or to book, call 815-220-7386 Saturday hikes will go to LaSalle Canyon. Depart from Lodge and hikers will stop for lunch once they reach LaSalle Canyon. After lunch, the hike continues to Eagle Cliff and Lover’s Leap. The tour concludes at the Lodge around 2:30 pm. Sunday hikes will go to St. Louis Canyon. The hike will depart from the Lodge and go to the top of Starved Rock then hike to Aurora Canyon. After Aurora Canyon, hikers will go to St. Louis Canyon and stop for lunch. After lunch, the hike continues back to the Lodge and ends around 2:30 pm. Saturday & Sundays through November, 11am-2pm. $17 per person.
Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10K
The Sycamore 10K Pumpkin Run is headed into its 37th year! Feet will hit the street Sunday, October 25th at 9:05am. The 10K is held during Sycamore Illinois’ world famous Pumpkin Festival. This race has become a staple in the Northern Illinois race schedule. In 2014, we had over 1,800 participants running. Awards are given to the top three finishers in 11 age groups!
Sycamore Pumpkin Fest
2015 is the 54th Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival downtown. What started out as an idea by Wally Thurow in 1956 to offer something creative for the students of Sycamore, has grown from a neighborhood display on his front yard into the towns biggest city wide event beginning on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony and cake cutting. The festival begins with over 1000 entries in the Lions Decorated Pumpkin Display, 2 carnivals, 2 large indoor craft shows, many non-profit vendors, and culminating with an hour and a half long parade on Sunday.
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.
Steam Weekend at Monticello Railway Museum (October)
Enjoy the unique experience of riding behind our recently restored 1907 Southern 2-8-0 steam locomotive #401! The 401 runs once a month during our regular operating season.
Starved Rock Walkers Club
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).
Starved Rock Photography Club
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.