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Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival.
Nouveau Wine Weekend
Downtown Galena comes alive with the release of Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery's Nouveau Wine. A traditional French stew, paired with Nouveau wine is served at most local restaurants, followed by horse-drawn wagon deliveries down Main Street. Take your choice of various downtown locations for one of the afternoon wine and cheese parties or plan to celebrate with all of them.
Holiday Lights Train
The Holiday Light Train is Pete's biggest event of the year. The park is decorated for the Holidays. See over 250,000 lights in various displays. Giant toy soldiers, candy canes, cascading snow flakes, flying reindeer, and swans swimming, just to name a few of Pete's displays!
Metropolis, Home of Superman, holds a celebration the second weekend in June each year celebrating the 'Man of Steel'. A Superman Drama kicks off the weekend of contests, music, food and fun, as well as a comic book & artist show, fan films, street vendors, a carnival, costume contest and a Super Car Show.
City of St. Charles RiverFest
Unique among Chicagoland festivals, Riverfest features the annual ancient sport of dragon boat racing, a 40-ton Fantasy Sand Sculpture, water ski shows, carnival, petting zoo, and an assortment of events and entertainment for all ages.
CITY: St. Charles
Fall Color Festival
Visit The Morton Arboretum this season and enjoy the beautiful fall color of trees and plants from more than 40 different countries. On select days in October, enjoy a variety of seasonally-themed activities for kids and families. Admire nature-themed scarecrows showcased around Meadow Lake on our Scarecrow Trail, open daily in October from 7am - sunset. The Fall Color 5K Run & Walk will be Sunday, October 5 at 8am. Run under a canopy of brilliant fall color on our rolling, USATF-certified course. Enjoy our Theatre-Hikes at 3pm on weekends in October plus Columbus Day.
Boo! at the Zoo
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.
12th Annual Spores N More Mushroom Festival
Come and enjoy the thrill of the hunt for the elusive morel mushroom or come and bid at the auction. Friday night kicks off the event with a welcome dinner, reception and speaker in Windsor. Saturday morning, come and join the hunt for a fee. If you like morels but not the hunt, come to the auction and bid for your winning batch. The 2015 hunt and auction will be based out of Shelbyville's Forest Park.
Sycamore Pumpkin Fest
2014 is the 53rd Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. Back in 1956, Wally Thurow, who is known as Sycamore’s "Mr. Pumpkin", began what was to become the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival when he displayed a few decorated pumpkins on his front lawn to turn Halloween into a time of fun and creativity. In 1962, through the efforts of Mr. Pumpkin and the Sycamore Lions Club, the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival became an official celebration in Sycamore. The Courthouse lawn is the center of activities, including thousands of decorated pumpkins on display, there are also art and craft shows, a house walk, a pie eating contest, a carnival, a fun fair, a race and other events. The festival is concluded by a giant parade on Sunday afternoon.
Didier Farms' Pumpkin Fest
Bring the family out for this annual fall festival. Hayrides, pony rides, camel rides. Children's kiddie rides, exotic petting zoo, parakeet exhibit, corn maze, concessions, pig races(weekends only). Be sure to visit Grandma D.’s Bake Shop for the best pies, cookies, and fudge. Homemade apple cider, fresh made kettle korn and pumpkin donuts also available.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
December 18th & 19th December 26th - 31st January 1st 4-9pm Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest light festival featuring over 120 animated light displays and million twinkling lights. Come celebrate the holiday season with family and friends during Brookfield Zoos 29th annual Holiday Magic. Enjoy live entertainment, amazing animals, model trains and a train ride, special Dolphin Show, Sing to the Animals and professional ice carvers. Call or visit website for more info.
Cache River Nature Festival
Enjoy the area’s rich bird life and wetland habitat. A 12-minute orientation film gives a wonderful overview and introduction of the watershed, explaining the unique bio-diversity of the flora and fauna that can be experienced here. Visitors can also acquaint themselves with the area by exploring an interactive diorama of a bald cypress-water tupelo swamp, area state champion tree information and changing landscape displays. Activities include guided field trips, canoe tours, live bird demonstrations and various exhibits from 8am to 4pm.
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.
Paddock Hills Equestrian Center
Imagine a golden ball of Midwestern sun breaking on the horizon. As the night dew still clings to the vines and the grass in the pastures, a farm comes to life with the sights and sounds of morning. Hot coffee steeps in the pot. Hard-working farm-hands begin the daily chores. Horses whinny as the cool rush of morning air fills their lungs. The gently rolling hills are aglow with another new day. This is the beauty of horses and the magic of a vineyard. Paddock Hills Equestrian Center is located with Prairie Orchard Farm vineyard in the majestic countryside of Union, IL, and is minutes from the I-90 expressway, but miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city and suburbs. Whether, attending one of our many horse shows, riding lessons, clinics, or programs, we are sure that your time with us will be well spent.
Gallery of Trees
Throughout the Kankakee County Museum, Christmas trees are decorated by community organizations. Yearly, a special theme is added for your enjoyment. Come in and view the different arrangements and vote for that special tree.
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
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available with advanced reservations by calling Greatting Horse Farm at 618-458-6986. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-866-465-7890.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill
Historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's "Bunker Hill Historic Area" will be lit for the occasion and decorated for the holidays. Continuing throughout the holiday season, the holiday lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
17th Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show
Located along the banks of the Fox River, this juried art show features 100 fine artists, live music, demonstrations and artists’ awards.
CITY: St. Charles
Jacksonville Main Street's Pumpkin Fest
Join them for a weekend of free family fun! Children and adult costume contest, pet costume contest, pumpkin decorating, food, games and entertainment.
Fall Festival at New Salem
Typical autumn life on the 1830s Illinois prairie will be demonstrated. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate daily tasks such as candle dipping, butter churning, soap making, basket making, spinning wool, gardening, natural dyeing, and fishing with nets. Demonstrations of meat smoking will take place in one of the log village's period smokehouses, and wild game cooking will be demonstrated in the log homes. Visitors can step down into the cellar at the tavern to see how fruits and vegetables were preserved during the winter.
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
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.
CITY: Du Quoin
Avenue of Lights
Avenue of Lights is a two-mile holiday display of animated lights at Moorman/Wavering Park in Quincy. It runs from Thanksgiving until New Years, nightly from 6-9:30pm. A staple attraction of Quincy during the holiday season.