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Maple Syrup Time
For 4 weekends in February and early March, you're invited to walk with us into the Garden's sugar bush as we tap our maples. Help us collect the sap as it flows from the trees and cook it down to pure maple syrup. A great way to shake the winter blues!
Christmas at the Mansions Tour
Travel back in time to the late 1800s and early 1900s and experience a traditional Victorian and Edwardian Christmas! Tour Ewing Manor, the David Davis Mansion and a Mystery Mansion in Bloomington-Normal and take in the architecture and history of these homes while they are decorated for Christmas. Tours will be at: 2 pm – 5 pm and 5 pm – 8 pm
Holiday Open House at the Sycamore History Museum
Sycamore History Museum says “Thank you” to its supporters Saturday, December 5th during their Annual Holiday Open House. This free event is fun for everyone who loves the holidays. Enjoy festive music, drink hot chocolate, take home a craft activity, and decorate sugar cookies. The museum will also be open for tours led by the Junior Docents.
Winter Chocolate Walk
Bring your sweet heart or just your sweet tooth to Discover Sycamore’s Winter Chocolate Walk. Enjoy the best of our downtown shops while sampling a vast array of fine chocolate desserts. Enjoy hot chocolate, chocolate covered candy canes, chocolate martinis, homemade chocolate marshmallows, chocolate donuts, chocolate dipped mini cones and much more! Shopping doesn’t get much sweeter than this! The Chocolate Walk will begin at Blumen Gardens at 5pm. You will receive a Chocolate Walk guide listing all participating businesses. Stop at each location and get your card signed when you taste a chocolaty treat. Be sure to make as many stops on the walk as you can – when your card is full – drop your card off with your name and phone number into the bag at your final location. The winner will be drawn from the names of those entered that made the most stops on the walk. We are featuring several wonderful raffle baskets this year.
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! New this year: A focus on landmark history, plus the Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon, Glencoe's Writers' Theater, Chicago "El" trains, and both Spike and Alice the Amorphophallus join Wonderland Express! Join Landmark Illinois' Bonnie McDonald for narrated tours of the history and architecture of Chicago's landmarks. Kids' tours, too!
Allerton Mansion Holiday Open House
Get into the holiday spirit at the Allerton Mansion Holiday Open House. The mansion will be festively decorated for all to see! The weekend will include tours of the mansion, live music, horse and carriage rides and decor from preferred business owners. Bring your last minute shopping list!
Wright Plus: The Great American Housewalk
Join us for the annual Wright Plus, the internationally renowned Great American Housewalk. The 2016 theme, Wright and His Studio, features rare interior tours of private buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the architects and designers who worked in Wright’s Oak Park Studio. Your Wright Plus ticket also includes entry to landmark Wright buildings. Celebrate architecture, design, Frank Lloyd Wright’s innovative vision and the talents of his fellow architects in historic Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois. Experience extraordinary living spaces and share an enjoyable day with visitors from around the world.
Ellwood House Holiday Traditions Tours
Enjoy a holiday open house and tours of the beautifully decorated Ellwood House Mansion. Every November, the Ellwood Museum partners with area businesses, community sponsors, and volunteers to decorate the mansion room-by-room on all four floors. From November 15-29, (closed Mondays and Thanksgiving) our guided holiday tours give visitors the opportunity to see the mansion in a new light. See our VISIT page for hours and information. At the end of our touring season, we open the doors for a three-day Holiday Open House weekend. Visitors may purchase tickets in the Visitor Center (or online) and present their tickets at the front door of the mansion. Upon entering the decorated mansion, volunteers will be stationed in each room, presenting the history of the Ellwood House and sharing information about the two generations of Ellwood family members who called Ellwood House home.
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Asssociation offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee.
Christmas Home Tours
Visit Historic Golconda and tour 4 homes, a church and the local museum. Christmas in the courtyard begins at 5:30 pm with refreshments and, at 6:00, a live Nativity Scene and caroling around a huge bonfire on the Court House lawn in downtown Golconda, Santa arrives on the fire truck at 6:30.
Luminary Night On Stephenson and Lincoln Streets
Enjoy the beauty of the soft light of luminaries and the architecture of these historic homes as you stroll this lovely residential neighborhood. Also, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Stephenson Street and Lincoln Boulevard from West Street to Park Boulevard.
Chicago Food Tours - Tours By Foot
Like their neighborhood history tours, the Chicago food tours have no upfront costs. All food is chosen and ordered by you. Their guides make recommendations and facilitate ordering, but you have the final say. You choose your own food and pay for it directly. They have planned in 4-5 food shops, including a dessert shop, and sometimes even a tea shop. Each establishment serves up incredibly delicious and inexpensive food served in portions that can be easily divided and shared or singularly devoured. In between the food stops, you’ll have time to digest your food as well as digest the history of the neighborhood, as told to you by one of their entertaining and knowledgeable guides.
A Big Ten school and one of the leading universities in the U.S. Its Evanston campus is on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. Founded in 1851, this renowned educational institution is rich in stunning architecture. More than 150 historically significant and interesting sites on campus are featured in various walking tours, each taking approximately 30 minutes to complete. Highlights include the Arch, University Hall and the Arts Circle.
Dicken's Holiday Village
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. The Dickens Holiday Village is back and the handcrafted Dickens characters made by our volunteer artists will bring a Public Art Program that is free for everyone to enjoy! Antioch will proudly displayed 45 Dickens characters for people to tour. Each character has a plaque describing the scene and also serves as an educational tool for students. Take a self-guided tour with one of our Dickens Walking Brochure Maps or reserve a tour guide for groups of 24 or more. Plus there is plenty of Dickens Fun for everyone in November and December. You may enjoy Dickens Teas, an Antioch "Oliver" dog afternoon, Dress like Dickens event, and much more.
Tours By Foot
Free Tours by Foot is pleased to present the only pay-what-you-like Chicago walking tours. These interesting and informative sightseeing tours will take you through many of the Windy City’s most famous neighborhoods. They’re one of the best things to do on your visit. They offer walking, food, architecture and bike tours. Come experience their Chicago walking tours.
Teutopolis Monastery Museum
See displays of early life in this German Catholic community, founded in 1838. The first Franciscans arrived in October 1858, and the three priests and six brothers quickly set about building a parish and friary.
Frye Pottery is located in a beautiful country setting. The Frye's have been professional potters for nearly thirty years. They have made award winning ceramic art as well as functional stoneware pottery designed for everyday use. Frye Pottery also has a sculpture garden for visitors to enjoy.
Franklin Creek Grist Mill & Interpretive Center
This four-story, reconstructed 1847 grist mill features a four-ton waterwheel and displays of 1800s milling equipment.
Downtown Crystal Lake/Main Street
Visit our award-winning Premier Main Street which is full of charming shops, delightful restaurants, quality entertainments and life-enhancing opportunities and events.
Carmelite Campus National Shrine of St. Therese
The National Shrine of St. Therese is a Roman Catholic shrine, chapel, and museum dedicated to St. Therese of Lisieux. The Shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effects and memorabilia of Therese outside of France. The Shrine chapel celebrates Mass every weekday at 11:30 am. Tours are available for groups of 20 or more, including a private tour of an exact replica of St. Therese's monastery cell in France. The shrine sits peacefully on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Carmelite Spiritual Center, offering meeting room rental, lodging, meals and spiritual retreats as well as organized Shrine tours.
Epiphany Farms Enterprise (EFE) is a “Farm to Fork” concept that practices sustainable, beyond organic, environmentally friendly techniques. EFE harnesses ideas from a wide range of agricultural theories, such as permaculture and intensive pasture rotation, to cultivate a multitude of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and animals. Pioneering a new food system frontier, they blend their farm and restaurants to create one self-sustaining organism. Tours of the farm are available.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Enjoy the fusion of traditional Indian architecture with modern technology; Explore the various facets of Hindu rites & rituals, as well as the core philosophical precepts of the religion; Experience peace & serenity. All are welcome.
Schurmeier Teaching Forest
Two miles of beginner and intermediate hiking trails, educational signage teaches about tree and forestry practices. This forest is the perfect place to spend the day. Horses welcome!
Oak Park Visitors Center Walking Tour
This PDA guided tour will show you the evolution of architecture in Oak Park, from the Victorian period through to Prairie School and the 1930s Art Deco period. Hear the reflections of the famous people who walked these streets and nurtured their creativity in Oak Park.