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The Lambs Farm Farmyard will open daily March 25th through October 30, 2016. 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.
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season 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 illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
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.
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show brings springtime to winter with its 20 lush gardens, beautiful and fragrant flowers, trees and other plants allowing “newbie” gardeners and experts alike to experience the latest the industry has to offer. Top garden builders create fresh designs, while nationally-known presenters teach visitors how to get that professional garden look. It's all happening at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Be among the first to see new plant varieties for 2017 and experience the newly-redesigned Navy Pier. Enjoy art, free kids activities, wine tastings, cooking demos from noted chefs, and a shopper's paradise of garden gadgets, jewelry, and more. Special rates available for groups.
Each October the streets of Downtown Mt. Vernon are packed and overflowing with friends and families, live performances, incredible foods and celebrations of autumn. In its fifth year, the Mt. Vernon Fall Fest theme is "My Hometown." You'll see the theme permeating throughout the entire three-day festival where locals and visitors alike will feel at home in Mt. Vernon! Classic favorites return with exciting new events. The Tri-State Treasure Hunt, a new 5k for Special Olympics, a Car and Motorcycle Cruise-In and even a "Great Pumpkin Contest" will be held. Local brewers will be onsite throughout the weekend to offer tastings of their Southern Illinois crafts and wines. Fall Fest 2016 Presented by Continental Tire boasts a parade, expanded kid zone, fan favorite Paw Fest and Main Stage entertainment every day!
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Annual German celebration featuring live music, kids games, wiener dog races and lots of food and beverages.
This fun Fall destination features mazes, inflatable games, face painting for the little ones, and hayrides. Grab a snack from the concession stand (try the sweet rock candy) before heading home with the perfect pumpkin. (open Oct. 1-30, 9am-6pm)
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 08, 15, and 22nd. All Tickets: $8.00
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.
Take a great adventure every June through December! Board a trolley outside of the Great Hall area of the Lodge. Enjoy a historic trolley ride with stops at the Starved Rock State Park and Illinois Waterway Visitor Center where you will see Starved Rock from across the river and watch as the river traffic lock through the locks. You will also travel through the village of Utica and hear about the Illinois and Michigan Canal. While aboard, the driver will narrate the history and legends of the area. For tickets and information please call 815-220-7386.
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.
During the 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.
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.
More than 100 handcrafted Scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children's activities, make your own scarecrow, and much more! A celebration of the autumn season!
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
Pumpkinfest will be held September 24-October 31, 2016. Includes tractor drawn hayrides, corn maze, New this year are the Buffalo Creek Mining Co, pony & camel rides, Animal Land, Pumpkin Playland, kiddie rides, Parakeet Encounter, Pig Races (Sat, Sun & Mon) Pumpkin Patch Café, homemade apple cider & pumpkin donuts made daily. Antique tractor display, fall produce, birthday parties and school groups by reservation only.
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.
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.
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.
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Programs run from November through April on Saturdays.
2016 is the 55th 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.
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.