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2014 Christkindl Holiday Festival
Come to downtown Barrington for the annual Christkindl Festival. This is an open-air event during the holiday season featuring authentic German food, live entertainment, drinks, fun activities for families and kids crafts, live reindeer, carousel & train rides, Gingerbread House competition and even Santa's house. Please visit the website for a complete list of entertainment.
Winneshiek Players Present: "Greetings"
Winneshiek Players celebrate the holiday season with this hilarious comedy by Tom Dudzick. Andy brings home his fiance to meet the family on Christmas Eve and family blow-ups occur because Andy's family are devout Catholics and his fiance is Jewish and an atheist. All is not lost when, Mickey, Andy's mentally challenged non-verbal brother, suddenly has a lot to say. A heartwarming comedy about family and acceptance. December 5,6, 11, 12, 13. Curtain time: 7:30 pm. $15.
Stephenson County Historical Museum Christmas Tea
Stephenson County Museum's annual event to kick off the Holiday Season. Live music will fill the historic Taylor Home and Vistorian Christmas decorations and fresh cut pine will fill the air. Enjoy cookies, punch,tea and coffee as you tour the mansion in its Christmas finery.
Fall on the Wine Trail
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail presents Fall on the Wine Trail: A progressive tour of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Each of 12 unique wineries will present you a sample of a wine/food pairing! Tickets are $35/person - advanced purchase only. Ticket sales will end on Monday, October 27th.
James Taylor in Concert
On Thursday, November 6, James Taylor takes the stage at the iwireless Center in downtown Moline, Illinois at 8 p.m. As a recording and touring artist, James Taylor has touched people with his warm baritone voice and distinctive style of guitar-playing for more than 40 years, while setting a precedent to which countless young musicians have aspired. Over the course of his celebrated song-writing and performing career, Taylor has sold more than 100 million albums, earning gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards for classics ranging from Sweet Baby James in 1970 to October Road in 2002. He has won multiple Grammy awards and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame. Come spend an unforgettable night with America’s iconic singer-songwriter James Taylor. Ticket Prices: $67.50 $87.50
Seecago Tours, Inc
Historical and sightseeing motorcoach day-tours of Chicago and the suburbs. Tour packages available for out-of-town groups, conventions, family reunions, local groups and organizations. Call for group tour details.
2014 Blues Blast Music Awards
The Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremony will make its debut in Champaign with a stellar event, honoring the greatest blues musicians in the nation. Presented by Blues Blast Magazine, the 2014 Blues Blast Music Awards will feature live music from Tweed Funk, Lisa Mann, Lonnie Brooks, and more! Plus, with nominees like Buddy Guy, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and John Primer, it's sure to be a night to remember!
The Golden Dragon Acrobats Present: Cirque Ziva
Cirque Ziva is a fast-paced, technically innovative and beautifully presented new show, featuring the elite members of the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Enjoy an unique cirque spectacular showcases traditional Chinese acrobats who dazzle with amazing feats of athleticism, daring heart-stopping stunts and the grace of their centuries-old art form.
The Second City Hits Home
Come out for a night of laughter as The Second City takes on all the news that’s fit to twist. The biggest headlines! The hot-button issues! All served up with a side of that famous Chicago-style improv. Don’t miss this chance to see the superstars of tomorrow live on stage now!
The Millennium Reserve
The Millennium Reserve stretches from downtown Chicago to the Indiana border and suburban Park Forest. It encompasses numerous neighborhoods, the Southeast lakefront, and 37 South suburban municipalities. In aggregate, the Reserve includes a collection of over 15,000 acres of open space such as parks, trails, wetlands, and forest preserves; Making it ideal for runners, bikers and kayakers alike.
The Colaw Rooming House
Return to Rt. 66, circa 1947, when you overnight at The Colaw Rooming House. Where you'll experience travel on the Mother Road before Interstates and motel chains were the norm. Located just 2 blocks from Rt. 66 in quaint Atlanta, Illinois, The Colaw Rooming House offers three bedrooms, two full baths, a charming living room with fireplace, dinning room, curved front porch, and delightful yellow and red 1940's kitchen. To further enhance your step back in time, your stay includes a complimentary breakfast at The Palms Grill Cafe-Atlanta's fully restored, circa 1935 small town diner. For more information please visit our website www.thecolawhouse.com
Danville Symphony Orchestra Presents "Beethoven Lives Upstairs"
Experience the award winning and ever popular dramatic story of Beethoven through the eyes and ears of the young boy who "lives below his apartment" in Beethoven Lives Upstairs presented by the Danville Symphony Orchestra.
Von Bergen's Country Market
Our farm market features a large variety of farm fresh family grown vegetables. Our sweet corn is picked fresh every morning when its the sweetest. Tomatoes, green beans, pickling cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini and other summer squash, a variety of specialty peppers are among the fresh vegetables we grow here on our farm. If fruit is what you are looking for, you will find our homegrown muskmelon, honeydew and watermelon delicious. We also carry Michigan peaches, pears, nectarines and other in season fruit from the Midwest. We are a working family operated farm. We want you to have a day on the farm experience when you stop by during the summer or the fall. Our tractor/sand box play areas are available all during the season. Our own animals are always here for you to visit, but we do bring in more during the fall season. In the fall we have our family grown pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, Indian corn and other specialty decorations. Of course we will still have the fall veggies, squash and more, plus the continuing of the summer treats! KNOW YOUR FOOD! KNOW YOUR FARMER!
Downtown Crystal Lake Main Street
Visit the award-winning Premier Main Street which is full of charming shops, delightful restaurants, quality entertainments and life-enhancing opportunities and events.
CITY: Crystal Lake
Red Barn Market
It's spring and we are open 8 to 6 everyday. We now have a great selection of vegetable plants, herbs, annuals, perennials, and hanging baskets. New plans are coming in every week. As always there is pottery, outdoor furniture, and fountains. Also, we have fresh asparagus direct from or farm. Come today and check us out!
Celebrate the season with this pumpkin patch offering pumpkins, gourds, mums, and straw bales. Plus photo boards for some great photo opportunities. Open 7 days a week, dawn to dusk.
Paramount Theatrical Production: The Who's Tommy
Set in the 1940s, Tommy is the story of a little boy who witnesses his father murder his mother’s lover upon his surprise return home after being released from a prisoner of war camp. Find out the rest for yourself, be a part of the greatest rock opera ever written. Rated PG-13
Danville Symphony Orchestra Presents "Heroes and Heroines"
Heroes and Heroines have been the focus of the greatest story tellers throughout history! Join Danville Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jeremy Sterling and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Principal French Hornist, Robert Danforth for this musical survey of some of the most heroic stories ever set.
NJCAA Division II Men's National Basketball Tournament
Danville Area Community College and the City of Danville will again host the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Men’s National Basketball Tournament at the DACC campus March 17-21, 2015. This year marks the 22nd year that Danville has hosted the tournament and the 30th year of the tournament.
Rachel Barton Pine at Ravinia
Called “the definition of the ideal musician for the 21st century” by Yo-Yo Ma, cellist Mike Block joins Rachel Barton Pine to chronicle the flow of music from Bach to Bartók to the blues. Bennett Gordon Hall Ticket Price: $10
CITY: Highland Park
Grafton Homestead Retreat
This country home, located in Grafton, Illinois, is nestled on over 70 acres of trees, pasture and farmland. Enjoy hours with your family exploring the outdoors, fishing, roasting marshmallows or taking a ride on the paddle boat. The property features pond fishing, camping, bonfire and BBQ facilities, hiking areas and picnicking. No hunting is allowed on the property but hunters are more than welcome to stay in this region known for its duck and deer hunting. Reservations are required.
Paramount Theatrical Production: Les Misérables
This monumental novel comes to life in one of the greatest musicals of all time. It’s the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his journey for redemption. On that road, he encounters the never-wavering love of a mother, the innocence of a child, the steely determination of a hunter and the passion of youthful freedom fighters.
Westfield Fox Valley Mall
More than 180 stores anchored by Macy’s, Carson Pirie Scott, JC Penney and Sears.
Paramount Theatrical Production: Mary Poppins
Enormous dance numbers on the ground and the roof tops. Statues coming to life, giant orchestrations for such iconic songs as “Spoon Full of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” And of course, a few Mary Poppins magical moments that will leave you flying high. Celebrate the holidays with the ones you love at Paramount’s Mary Poppins! A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers & the Walt Disney Film. Rated G
Kewanee Lighted Parade and Windmont Park Lighting
View Kewanee’s magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. Open daily 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through New Years Day.
Festival of Lights
Smile, laugh, be de-lighted at the East Peoria Festival of Lights! The festival features the fantastic Folepi's Winter Wonderland lighted drive-through display, open from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, and many other events during December including a competitive run, gift show, theatrical productions and more. The Festival of Lights annual Parade of Lights covers three miles of Washington Street starting on one side of the city and ending just past downtown. The parade features floats shaped entirely from lights, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the chopper motorcycle float illuminated with LED lights, a 70-foot long float of the famous Clydesdale horse team pulling a delivery wagon, Frosty the Snowman, the starship Enterprise illuminated with 48,000 LED light bulbs, and the 95-foot-long smoke-spewing China dragon.
CITY: East Peoria
Aurora's Holiday Festival of Lights
Enjoy the sparkle, shimmer and shine of the 2014 Festival of Lights. One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois. Dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. A winter wonderland of animated visual arts, lighted tunnels, a forest full of lights and more! Open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 28, 2014. Donations accepted.
International Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon
The 49th Annual International Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon invites runners from around the world to participate in the 13.1-mile race past the nation’s premier Lincoln sites.
Jubelt’s Bakery in Litchfield offers routine breakfasts and lunches, but this family has been in the bakery business since their German immigrant ancestors arrived a century ago. Stop by for a slice of pie or the whole pie, either way you’re sure to leave with a smile on your face.
Winneshiek Players Present: "Rocky Horror Picture Show"
For two nights only The Winnieshiek stage will transform into a mysterious old castle, where two unsuspecting travelers meet a crazy doctor and other crazy creatures. The cult classic film will be presented with a shadow cast and provide many opportunities for audience participation. October 24 and 25; 8:30 pm. $15.00.
Festival of Trees
Annually, more than 14,000 visitors stream through the David S. Palmer Arena to see beautifully decorated trees and wreaths, participate in activities and entertainment, special events, and the sounds and tastes of the holidays at the Danville Festival of Trees. Proceeds from the Festival of Trees fund outreach programs that give back to the greater Danville community.
Christmas in the Village
Spend the day in downtown Cobden, where you can enjoy fresh-roasted nuts while listening to strolling Victorian carolers and madrigal players, take an old-fashioned horse-drawn surrey or wagon ride around the village, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Feed Store, where handcrafted wreaths and gingerbread houses will be on display, shop the Christmas Bazaars and watch the lighting of the village tree.
Come out to Allstate Arena this summer to enjoy a night of world-class basketball and family fun with the Chicago Sky! With a season that runs May through August, the Sky provides summer-fun for all ages. Chicago's premier women’s professional basketball team offers fans the unique opportunity to get their group in the game, and on the court. Groups can register to high five the Sky players, deliver the game ball to the referee, play on the same court as the Sky or sing the National Anthem. No other sporting event allows you to get as up-close-and-personal with the players!
First Slice in Chicago isn’t just a great place to get slice of pie, it’s much more to the hundreds of people they help feed through their Shareholder Program; and even more to the people they help provide skills for so they can find work in restaurants throughout the city. That warm feeling you get from eating at First Slice could just be from the fresh delicious ingredients they use, or perhaps from the satisfaction of helping out.
NIU Huskies Football Home Schedule for 2014
The NIU Huskies Football Team will play five home games at Huskie Stadium during the 2014 season. The first home game will be played on Thursday, August 28th at 6pm against the Presbyterian Blue Hose. The second home game will take place on Saturday, October 4th at 4pm against the Kent State Golden Flashes. The third home game will be played on Saturday, October 11th at 4pm against the Central Michigan Chippewas. Home game four will be played on Saturday, October 18th versus the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. (Time TBA) The final regular season home game will be played against the Toledo Rockets on Tuesday, November 11th at 7:00pm.
Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago is a new artisanal bakery striving to be a great "old" pie company. The pies are created by hand; kneading the dough, pinching the crust and using only the freshest ingredients. It’s one of the greatest pieces of diner pie you’ve never eaten.
Cracker Jax Shop
Cracker Jax began in 1984 as a vintage clothing store and has since transformed into the magical place it is today! All senses are delighted as you shop 15 cases of new and vintage jewelry, eclectic clothing, soy candles, oils, incense, gemstones of every kind, unique gifts, stunning greeting cards, books, antique and shabby chic furniture, art and one-of-a-kind treasures. We are lovers of all things beautiful!
Bennison’s Bakery has been a North Shore institution since 1938, earning a reputation as a high quality full line bakery with emphasis on European style pastries, cookies, and custom decorated cakes. Bennison’s Bakery is one of the few bakeries in the country to employ two Certified Master Bakers, and with experience comes unsurpassed quality.
Lyon Farm & Village
Features 15 historic buildings that trace the history of Kendall County plus an 1819 Chicago Burlington & Quincy caboose, a fully-stocked general store, an 1840s schoolhouse, town hall, a working blacksmith shop, the Plano Train Depot, (c. 1850s) and Yorkville Firehouse (c. 1888).
From the Field Cooking School and Catering
From the Field Cooking School and Catering, located in Morton, offers a variety of cooking classes and catering services. Classes are hands on; and From the Field is happy to build a class around your needs… just tell them what you’re looking for! There’s something for everyone: from couples’s classes to knife skills, kitchen rentals to corporate outings, and custom baked goods made just to your liking. We are a culinary education center designed for the everyday person. We teach you how to prepare great meals, cooking techniques, the science of cooking, kitchen safety and sanitation, some food history and other useful information presented in clear easy to understand and entertaining manner. We offer hands-on cooking classes, demonstration classes, couple's night, corporate team building, private group cooking classes and offer commercial kitchen rental.
Slagel Family Farm
Slagel Family farm is a 6th generation farm in central Illinois. Re-connect with the land and watch the livestock roaming the pastures in the wide-open skies outside the city. As more and more people have the desire to learn more about their food and where it comes from, a farm tour and dinner would be an excellent way to bring you closer to your food. Tours, which run from spring to fall, are a full afternoon of learning and enjoying food. Each farm tour/dinner will be paired with one or more well-known chefs from Chicago. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions, hold baby piglets, gather fresh eggs, and interact with playful goats and lambs. Following the tour, you will head back to the barn and enjoy a four-course meal prepared using products raised within feet of where we are sitting.
Ellwood Holiday Traditions Weekend
Start your holiday season by taking a guided tour of the decorated Ellwood House mansion. Local businesses, decorators, college groups, and clubs help to present the home in a new, elegant way each year. This is the place to get ideas for your own decorating or view what times were like while the Ellwoods inhabited the opulent home.
The Fudge Pot
The Fudge Pot in Chicago provides delicious chocolate, daily. Their specialists’ work around the clock making sure only the sweetest covered strawberries, apples and nuts are provided. Take your pick of famous toffees, award winning fudge and chocolate bars. You can always expect only the tastiest treats at The Fudge Pot.
Pumpkin Run 10K
The 10K is held during Sycamore Illinois’ world famous Pumpkin Festival. This race has become a staple in the Northern Illinois race schedule. • USATF sanctioned & certified • ChronoTrack Timing with Bib tags • Course Marshals and Accurate Route Markings • Water stations • Official race results immediately • Traffic control • Medical team on hand • Finish line staffed & supervised by experienced race workers • Refreshments after race including an ice cold Oktoberfest beer for 21 & over • Colorful long-sleeve dri-release shirt The Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10k has had running beginners of all ages as well as advanced runners. Register today!
Bang Bang Pie Shop
Bang Bang Pie Shop has been banging out delicious pies in Chicago for a short time, but the notoriety they have received is nothing short of delicious. Every day they offer a chocolate, cream and fruit pie option using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. But beware; if you’re looking for a place that just bangs out everything for everyone, you might want to look elsewhere because these guys make their pies like Grandma used to. From made-from-scratch warm biscuits to homemade pies, either way you can’t go wrong.
Richardson Adventure Farm
Richardson's Adventure Farm - Home of the World's Largest Corn Maze! Their name says it all! This isn't your typical fall farm- Richardson Adventure Farm is an experience you can't find anywhere else!
CITY: Spring Grove
Inn at 835
Springfield's only Nationallly Landmarked Inn... The Inn offers 13 guest rooms plus six extended stay suites, all with attached private bathes, internet, Wi-Fi, voicemail, wake-up calls and individual thermostatic room controls. Enjoy the Inn's amenities during your stay; a full Midwestern breakfast, local and national newspapers, and free off street parking. During your visit you will be within walking distance to most historic sites, all of the downtown and public transportation.
The Sugar Path
The Sugar Path in Geneva is an innovative dessert bakery offering cupcakes, artisan cakes and pies. They bake farm-to-table, using ingredients sourced locally from farmers and vendors they have existing relationships with. The menu changes seasonally so you’ll be sure to get the freshest ingredients available.
Amenti: Egyptian Theatre Haunted House
Amenti is the Egyptian Goddess guarding the world of the dead. Within her gates lie the horrors of the Egyptian underworld. Terror after terror await those who dare to enter. But be careful, Amenti jealously guards her gates and assures that no one escapes. The haunted house Amenti will take you throughout the historic Egyptian Theatre taking you to six different levels featuring over 20 different scenes. This attraction usually takes 20-30 minutes to go through once you start. This attraction is one of the most talked about events in the DeKalb area every October. Over 3,000 people experience the horrors of Amenti each year. The Amenti Haunted House will be open October 17-19, 24-26, 30-31 and November 1, 2014.
At Kinnikinnick Farm, you’ll sleep in tents and feed off the land as you experience life in a more relaxed environment. This is a 30-acre organic market farm that sells organic produce to some of Chicago’s best chefs and restaurants and direct to the public at the Evanston and the Chicago Green City Farmers Markets. In addition to organic vegetables, the farm produces eggs, raises chickens, and is the home for a small herd of sheep, hogs, 6 dogs, a rabbit named Bandit, and Shelly, the family’s Nubian milk goat.
Poppy Seed Primitives
A simple gathering of all things primitive and country. Poppy Seed Primitives is a cozy place where you can find antiques, primitive home decor items and gift ideas. We strive to find products that are unique and sometimes one-of-a-kind. We are proud to offer many items that are made here in the U.S. Some are even locally hand-made. Our inventory is always changing for the seasons. That's just a sampling of what we offer, it's even better to experience it.
Holiday House Walk
Come and enjoy a tour of five beautifully decorated and historic homes in Hinckley open to the public. Five homes will be featured in this holiday event. Tickets will go on sale beginning November 1. Tickets will be available for purchase the day of as well. The house walk will be from 2:00pm-6:00pm. Sponsored by Hinckley Parks and Recreation. Tickets are available at the following locations: Hinckley Fresh Market, Hinckley Public Library, Hinckley Village Office, Jack and Jina’s BP, and Treasures Old and New
Rusty Wallace Driving Experience
No matter what your need for speed, you’ll find it at the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience. You can get your basic adrenaline rush from the “Taste of Speed” racing experience at Chicagoland Speedway. Or ramp things up with the “Advance Racing” option that puts you behind the wheel of a race car powered by a TRD engine—the same one used in Rusty Wallace’s Nationwide cars. In 2014, the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience will be at Chicagoland Speedway April 26-27, May 24-26, June 20-22, August 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, and October 18, 19, 25, 26. See their site for more details.
McPike Mansion Haunted Tours
Learn the history of the McPike Mansion and take a look at the documented photos of the mansion and paranormal activity. Then, take a tour of the surrounding grounds and the crypt. Talking with the spirits with Dowsing rods and join us for a dark session in the cellar with our experienced medium. Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. All proceeds go toward the restoration of the mansion. For more information, contact Sharon at (618) 830-2179.
Based on the timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. The showings are on: December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm December 7, 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Harrison/Bruce Historical Village
The Robert L. Mees Village Centre serves as the hub of the Harrison/Bruce Historical Village by providing a venue for College and community events. Historical buildings include: The Purdy School, a one-room public school in Perry County, IL from 1860-1951. The Julia Harrison Bruce House, a replica of the house the house that was built in 1868 by David Ruffin Harrison. The Harrison Storefront, this "double dog trot" style log cabin is a replica of the cabin the David Ruffin Harrison family occupied prior to the construction of the brick, "Harrison House". And The Hunter Cabin, Emmanuel Hunter built the Hunter Log Cabin in 1818; the year Illinois became a state.
28th Annual Greater Downstate Indoor Bluegrass Music Festival
The Midwest's largest music event for Bluegrass - an original American art form. Features award-winning artists from across the nation. Acoustic instrument workshops, (youth/adult) guitar show, music-related vendors, jamming open stage.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Experience NASCAR racing firsthand at Chicagoland Speedway in an “adrenaline pumping thrill of a lifetime.” Suit up and get behind the wheel of a real stock car as you drive 155 mph around the track, or ride shotgun and feel the rumble of 600 horses as you motor down the same asphalt driven by NASCAR drivers. In 2014, the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be at Chicagoland Speedway May 16-18, July 25-27, and September 19-21. See their site for more details.
Wind Ridge Herb Farm
Wind Ridge Herb Farm in Caledonia, IL grows over 400 varieties of culinary and medicinal herbs without the use of chemical fertilizers. The herbs produced by Wind Ridge Herb Farm are Certified Naturally Grown. They carry only natural products with no artificial dyes, preservatives, or additives; personally harvesting, inspecting, drying, and packaging the herbs in order to guarantee quality and freshness. The garden is available for meetings, tours, groups and catered lunches. Lunches are provided for groups of 8 or more, and include a garden tour.
Sweety Pies Bakery
A family-owned operation since 2007, Sweety Pies is a bakery, cakery and cafe serving up delicious handmade goodies in he heart of downtown Skokie. Featured are family favorites such as buttery cinnamon rolls, scones, croissant, quiche and famous pies. Specializing in custom cakes, cupcakes and old-fashioned handmade desserts. Also serving omelets, sandwiches and homemade soups.
Glidden Homestead Patent Day Celebration!
Joseph F. Glidden was granted a patent on November 24, 1874 for "The Winner," what became one of the most-widely used types of barbed wire in the nation. It all began on the Glidden farm, at the time “a mile west of the City of DeKalb.” Joseph began searching for a better fencing method after his wife, Lucinda, complained about livestock getting into the yard. Hours: Noon to 4:00 pm. Barbed Wire Sites Tour at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
Mattoon Welcome Center & Historic Railroad Depot
Mattoon Tourism & Arts Welcome Center is located in the historic Illinois Central Railroad Train Depot, which also still serves as the Amtrak Station for the Community. The original Railroad Depot was constructed in 1918 by the Illinois Central Railroad, and it was then remodeled in 2011. The Depot is still an active Amtrak Station with 3,000 passengers boarding and un-boarding per month. The welcome center offers a host of information: state-of-the-art schools & colleges, a growing economy, beautiful parks, lakes and sports amenities round out the more favorable quality of life found in Mattoon.
NIU Convocation Center
Northern Illinois University's 10,000 seat Convocation Center is a $36 million multipurpose facility that hosts a variety of events such as concerts, family shows, theatrical productions, commencement ceremonies, job fairs, trade shows and NIU Huskie Division I athletic events (basketball, volleyball, track, gymnastics and wrestling). The NIU Convocation Center hosted a total of 200+ events per year.
Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure
You’ve seen them race, now drive in real stock cars that have been used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. At the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, you can drive around Chicagoland Speedway at speeds over 170 mph. Or you can choose the Ride-Along to experience the thrill of NASCAR racing like never before as a professional driver thunders you around the track. In 2014, the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure will be at Chicagoland Speedway June 14-15 and August 16-17. See their site for more details.
Lake Sara Pavilions
Two different locations on Lake Sara. The pavilions offer a chance to host a meeting on the lake. The two outdoor facilities are perfect for receptions and parties with plenty of outdoor space. It also features a large open room, kitchen area, boat dock and outdoor decks.
Cedarville Historical Museum
This museum is located in an 1889 school building and features a permanent exhibit honoring Jane Addams, who was born and raised in Cedarville. Miss Addams was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Museum exhibits include personal items and memorabilia from her life and the life of her family. There are also changing exhibits on topics of local historical interest and a research center and a research center. Open: May thru October: Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair
Held the first Saturday of every month, this farmers market and flea market features crafts, antiques, furniture, household items, baby furniture, produce, collectibles, art, food booths, and live entertainment!
CITY: Mount Vernon
Trefzger’s Bakery has been treating the neighborhood in which it’s located in Peoria with the scent of baked goodness since 1861; creating delicious pies through a process that hasn’t changed much from its humble beginnings. Trefzger's also offers a variety of breakfast pastries and cookies and specializing in cakes for all occasions from luncheons to weddings. Stop in and see how a Peoria original can keep residents and visitors happy for over 150 years.
Vermilion County War Museum
The Vermilion County War Museum, housed in a former Carnegie Library, contains over 25,000 artifacts and memorabilia ranging from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The museum enjoys a steady stream of both U.S. and foreign visitors who appreciate the ever-increasing collections of artifacts and research materials.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad Antique Steam Train
All aboard, as a 36-ton, 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses, including an antique red caboose reported to be the oldest in the state, for a four-mile ride through farmlands. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts, and browse the Freight House Gift Shop and visit the Silvercreek Museum across the street. Open: May thru October on selected holiday and weekends; 1 am - 4 pm. Train departs on the hour.
Indulge your decadence in the heart of historic downtown Galena. With well over 200 flavors of Swiss, German, French, Belgian, Venezuelan and domestic chocolates – Chocolate’ is the destination all chocolate lovers must experience.
Chestnut Mountain Open House & Ski Swap
This ski resort's open house includes hayrides, chairlift rides, resort tours, refreshments, and a ski swap with both new and used equipment available.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Walking Tours include visits to several haunted buildings as well as an exclusive guided tour of the most haunted building in Alton, the Mineral Springs Hotel. The only tour to enter Mineral Springs! Tour includes light refreshments. Bring cameras, recorders, flashlights, and any ghost hunting equipment you may have. For more info, call (618) 465-3200.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Soda Fountain
A Ghirardelli® Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is the perfect destination to experience decadent chocolate & irresistible World Famous Hot Fudge Sundaes topped with freshly homemade hot fudge. While at a Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop, you can also indulge in unforgettable fountain treats including shakes, floats, malts and other delectable fountain creations.
Martin Ranch Bed & Breakfast
Newly constructed French Country style home located on 100 acres featuring equine hotel, nature trails, and fishing pond. The outdoors is as enchanting and as lively as it is indisde. Each of the 4 guest rooms is tastefully decorated.
NASCAR Racing Experience
You can’t get much closer to the real thing than this. At the NASCAR Racing Experience, you’ll drive a race car that’s been driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and other NASCAR drivers. You’ll get a true NASCAR driving experience: There’s no pace car to follow. Passing is allowed. And you’ll have in-car Racing Electronics radio communications. In 2014, the NASCAR Racing Experience will be at Chicagoland Speedway May 9-10, July 4, 5, 11, 12, and August 29-30. See their site for more details.
Play set in Dusseldorf, Germany on 1910, Louis Maske inadvertnetly drops her ill-fitting drawers in the middle of town square during a parade to honor the king.
Stang Arts Studio & Gallery
Stang Arts Studio & Gallery features art classes for both children and adults, along with holding various events throughout the year. The artist, Jamie Stang, also specializes in "paint parties." These parties are great for a group, as they feature great food, drinks, music and art. Jamie helps visitors discover their inner-artist while relaxing in a chic studio-style atmosphere. Check out her gallery while you're there too.
The Pie Pantry
The Pie Pantry offers a great selection of soups, salads, and burgers, and of course delicious pies, by the slice or as a whole.
Heritage Prairie Farm
Farm dinners at Heritage Prairie Farm, in Elburn have been a tradition since 2007. All farm dinners include a welcome cocktail upon arrival to the farm with butler-passed appetizers, and live acoustic music. For dinner, an upscale five-course meal, introduced by the chef himself, is served family-style in a charming atmosphere, regardless of the season. Get an inside look at how the farm operates from one of their knowledgeable staff with a private tour of the farm.
Kokopelli Golf Club
This 18-hole course, designed by renowned golf architect Steve Smyers, was named by Travel + Leisure as one of "America's 100 Best Courses for $100 or Less." Kokopelli offers a full-service pro shop, professionals who offer personal golf instruction and an eight-acre practice facility. This course has a restaurant, lounge, and banquet facilities available.
Little Cubs Field
This replica of Chicago's historic Wrigley Field is complete with ivy, bricks, box seats, dirt and sod from the real Wrigley Field, plus a replica scoreborad and entry sign. It is open for exploring at no cost or is available for rental for birthday parties, picnics, corporate events and more. Rental fees are $45 per hour or $90 for two hours.Reservations may be made at our website.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair
Don't miss the Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair and Wildlife Art Show at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island, Illinois. The show is heralded as the largest event in the Midwest dedicated to the United States' national symbol of freedom. The three-day event includes live eagle, hawk, owl and vulture flying demonstrations along with educational programs and over 200 fun and informative exhibits.
CITY: Rock Island
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Discover the beautifully restored, historic Vaudeville-Era Dinner Playhouse. Circa '21 services up exciting musical productions with dinner. Even your wait staff are part of the pre-show! Watch your waiter dance, and sing before each show begins. Matinee performances are also available. Check website for current show schedule.
Fever River Railroad
For model railroad aficionados -- and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains -- this model railroad is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 120X24-foot HO scale model of a hypothetical railroad running from Duluth, Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri. This fully operational model railroad has detailed scenery, rail yards, factories, and interchanges with many other railroads. The model railroad allows for the operation of multiple trains along railroad right-of-way that portrays typical towns along the Duluth to St. Louis route. The Fever River Railroad is an ongoing project with upgrades to the layout and scenery that provides an exciting model railroad experience. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures, many from the surrounding area, are on display throughout the facility. The Stephenson Society of Model Trainmen, who operate the railroad, host an open house twice a year, and visitors are welcome at other times by appointment.
Green Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast
Come home to Green Tree Inn where you can enjoy all the comforts of home and more. Let us pamper you while you enjoy the peacefulness of the quaint village often referred to as the “town that time forgot”. Green Tree Inn is located right off the Great River Road between Alton and Grafton. Take advantage of all the local activities and then come back to the Inn to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. All rooms have private bathrooms with shower/tub combo. Take advantage of our screened in porch, fire pit in the garden or fireplace in our great room to relax and unwind. The Inn is great in all seasons. Free Wi-Fi is available. Bicycles are available for our guests to take a leisurely ride around the village or on one of the local bike trails. This is a non-smoking facility
Mt. Vernon Market
Mt. Vernon Market is located at the former armory building in downtown Mt. Vernon and features farmers markets, flea markets, vendor fairs, trade shows, entertainment, and other events throughout the year.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Bishop Hill Prairie Arts Center & Colony Pottery
Enjoy watching the potter in an open air studio creating artwork on the potter's wheel. The center also features rug, broom, weaving and spinning artisans.
CITY: Bishop Hill
My Just Desserts
Follow the lead of the locals in Alton and order dessert first, at My Just Desserts, as fresh-baked favorites like the Tollhouse brownies and Mrs. Ledbetter’s chocolate pie sell out early. Every morning 9 to 13 pie varieties are baked fresh. You’ll swear you stepped back in time when you enter this unique establishment, from the squeak in the hardwood floors to the Mason jar glasses.
Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
The opulent Cuneo Museum and Gardens, located on 75 acres and dotted with formal gardens and statuary was the perfect setting for the wedding scenes in "My Best Friend's Wedding." The gazebo where the best friends were caught kissing was built specifically for the film, but Cuneo's owners liked it so much they decided to keep it permanently. Take a guided tour through the historic Mediterranean-style Cuneo mansion to see Renaissance artworks and lavish European furnishings.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
The Hennepin Canal State Park, a 104-mile linear park, is a rustic, historic, educational, and recreational jewel spanning five counties and includes the entire width of Henry County with access points in Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, and Colona. It offers an up-close look at a fascinating piece of transportation history. It is popular with bicyclists who ride from town to town exploring the history, dining, lodging, and entertainment possibilities as they travel. The canal multi-purpose recreational trail is a portion of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail devoted to non-motorized use. It is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail, a 535-mile loop through northern Illinois. The tree-lined park is a refuge with prairie restorations and wetlands slicing through corn and soybean farmland. Home to diverse flora and fauna, it has become a favorite for bird watchers and prairie enthusiasts. It offers numerous year-round opportunities to boat, hike, bike, fish, ride horseback, snowmobile, ice skate, and cross-country ski. Explore Henry County’s jewel – the Hennepin Canal. In wintertime experience the longest snowmobile trail in the state -- 91 miles on the tow path. You can use the ice at your own risk, but pay heed to the locks, bridges and culverts where the ice likely is thinner than the rest of the canal. Bring your blades, skating along the canal is free! Keep in mind the rule is there must be 4" of snow and 6" of frost on canal for route to be open. Call the Visitor Center for automated message.
Chicago's newest and largest cruise ship located at Navy Pier. Cruises are available for group and private charters along Chicago's lakefront for groups of 50 to 400 passengers.
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
Lagomarcino’s has been creating fine chocolates in Moline since 1908. A family run business, you can’t help but feel the love and dedication to all things sweet in their historic location. This authentic, turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor and confectionery is renowned for homemade chocolates and ice cream. Stop by and get a taste of history for yourself; your life will be a lot sweeter for it.
Northern Illinois University
Come tour the Northern Illinois University, catch a show preformed by their Theatre or Dance department, or explore one of their Art Galleries. There is much to do on campus including their new Anthropology Museum, an Observatory, the Huskies Den or take in a game! Their Museums are free to visit, some fees may apply for shows or School of Music Concerts. There is never a dull moment on campus!