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Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local, Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB on the last Saturday of each month (10 a.m. to noon). The two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
Civil War Weekend
Friday, Sep 18: 7 pm - The Play, “The Women in Abraham Lincoln’s Life.” Call 618-697-0009 for $15 reservation. Saturday, Sep 19: 9:30 am to 4 pm – Speakers, exhibits, & Re-enactors. Exhibits Include Civil War Era guns and quilts, Civil War Re-enactors, Civil War Era Memorabilia, Music, Exhibit Contest, Kirkpatrick Pottery, and Children Activities. It is FREE! Saturday, Sep 19, 7 pm - The Play, “The Women in Abraham Lincoln’s Life.” Call 618-697-0009 for $15 reservation. Sunday, Sep 20: 1 pm - Historical Bus Tour: Lincoln’s Footsteps and Friends in Anna-Jonesboro. Call 618- 833-8745 for $10 reservation. 2-4 pm - Open House at the PAST Heritage House, It is Free! 2:30 pm - Recognize All Exhibit Contest Winners, and 2:35 pm - The Play, “The Women in Abraham Lincoln’s Life.” Call 618-697-0009 for $15 reservation.
Dicken's Holiday Village
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. Experience this public art exhibit while strolling among the delight streets of Antioch. Enjoy the charm of Dickens among the many boutiques, gift shops and eateries. Also enjoy special Saturday Dickens activities.
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.
Symphony in Lights
The Promenade Bolingbrook and the Village of Bolingbrook join together to provide spectacular Holiday family fun with the Symphony in Lights Holiday Light Show beginning at dusk and runs every hour on the hour until 9 p.m., Nov 15 - Dec 31. Tree Lighting is November 15th, 3pm – 8pm. Take more than 250,000 computer-controlled, brightly colored, energy efficient lights, choreograph them to the thunderous sounds of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, add flickering, multi-directional, strobe-like bursts of light, and the result is Symphony in Lights, the largest, most energetic, innovative, public holiday light show in the country that twinkles and shimmers as it illuminates the million-square-foot Promenade Bolingbrook. The show is designed to fit its environment. Spectators will experience 40 life-sized snowflakes dance around a massive 48-foot tall tree in the center's Village Green gathering area. LED lights at the Center run the entire show on the amount of energy needed to power only one average-sized home.
John A. Logan College Autumn Fest
This annual event features over 100 original, handmade arts and crafts, great food, free admission, and free parking. For more information call 1-800-851-4720, extension 8287.
Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days
The 26th Annual Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days will be held at John A Logan College. It is the largest celebration of Hunting and Fishing Day in the country. This 200+ vendor show offers something for the whole family. Bass Fishing and Crappie seminars, catfish contest, Goose calling contests, Dock Dogs competitions, retriever demonstrations and a kids fishing hole are just a few of the activities throughout the weekend.
Home Garden & Business Expo
Annual Home Garden & Business Expo featuring over 40 exhibitors and 2 full days of "How To" demonstrations. Breakfast and lunch available, hourly door prizes, blood screenings on site and register for the "Grand Prize!"
Snow Globe Saturdays
Experience the magic of the holidays as downtown Champaign’s historic Orpheum Theater transforms into a winter wonderland! The theater becomes its very own snow globe featuring indoor sledding, snowman making, snow ball throwing, ice fishing, and more! Bring your wish list for Santa and enjoy sounds of the season floating through the glittery air. After a couple of runs down the snow hill, return to the Orpheum’s mezzanine for hot chocolate, treats, and crafts.
Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Christmas Around the World began in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to American allies during the war, is now in its 70th year. The exhibit features more than 60 dazzling trees and displays that are decorated by members of Chicago's ethnic communities to reflect holiday customs from around the world. Holidays of Light showcases various global holidays that celebrate light or enlightenment such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali. Festivities include ethnic dancing and singing, storytellers, and school choir performances.
Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. All Chicago Auto Show exhibits are held in the McCormick Place complex. Exhibitions include: multiple world and North American introductions; a complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks; sport utility vehicles; and experimental or concept cars. In total, nearly 1,000 different vehicles will be on display. Additionally, attendees will also have the opportunity to see numerous accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles and project, antique and collector cars.
The Discerning Eye
This exhibition features the work of photography masters Dawoud Bey, Terry Evans and Joseph Jachna.
CITY: Chicago Heights
Suite Prints: 25th Years of chicago Printmakers Collaborative
This exhibition features the works of 10 artists from this 25 year old collaborative.
CITY: Chicago Heights
American Indian and Ethnographic Show
Historic artifacts on display.
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
Fever River Railroad Fall Open House
For model railroad aficionados-and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains-this is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 103 by 24 foot HO scale model of a hypothetical railroad. The railroad intersects with models of "real" railroads, each of which can be operated independently. Up to 20 trains can be operating at one time. Industries along the railroad right-of-way duplicate either actual facilities or are typically correct of the industries that would be found in the Upper Midwest. The scenery represents the geographical area as well. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures are on display.
Visitors Center Holiday Gift Expo
Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center, 4596 US Highway 20 East, Freeport. 8 am to 7 pm. Shop for unique local products during this special expo at the Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center. Over a hundred local vendors with products ranging from Pretzel items to books to cards to rugs to mugs to more are featured. The gifts are either produced in Stephenson County or highlight some aspect of local culture and history. Open: 8 am - 7 pm seven days a week.
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.
Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
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.
Fine Art of Fiber
Viewers will enjoy an exhibition of more than 150 pieces, including quilts, various types of needle arts, knitting, weaving, wearable art, dolls and jewelry. Sales boutiques offer a similarly wide variety of items for sale, including woven and knitted pieces, artwear, traditional and contemporary quilts, handmade holiday gifts, and much more. There will also be fashion shows and lectures. Parking fees apply.
Jacksonville Main Street’s Bridal Expo
Jacksonville Main Street’s Bridal Expo at Hamilton’s from 12 to 4 p.m. There will be lots of vendors and prizes. The Bridal Fashion Show will be at 2:45 p.m.
Rialto Square Theatre Festival of Trees
The Rialto Square/ComEd Festival of Tees is a week-long extravaganza to kick off the holiday season! Festivities include a fabulous display of 60 decorated trees and wreaths, on which bids are taken, plus numerous special events throughout the week that will put you in the holiday spirit. Schedule: 11/24-Opening Night Celebration; 11/25-Festival of the Vine-Wine Tasting, Holiday How-to Seminar & Senior Day; 11/26-"Salute to Our Heroes" Day; 11/28-Kids' Workshop, Santa's Hotline, Teddy Bear Brunch & Young Professionals Party.
You will see many hand crafted items made by the creative minds of the artists that made all of these beautiful items. Original art work will include water color and oil paintings, blown and fused glass creations, woodworking, jewelry, hand knits, porcelain paintings and other media.
Art and Artifacts Tour
Art and Artifacts Tour at Hegeler Carus Mansion in LaSalle on Sat-Sun, Nov 1st & 2nd. Guides will tell the story of the Hegeler Carus family and their extraordinary home. For prices, information or to register for events (all registration is done online), please visit www.hegelercarus.org.
Gazebo Art Festival
The Gazebo Art Festival is held on the outdoor grounds of Chandler Park in downtown Macomb! This setting is a wonderful place for the public to view art, chat with artist and enjoy live performances and music from the Al Sears Jazz Music Festival. There will also be activities and fun for children!
Gem & Mineral Show
Annual Gem and Mineral Show showing off Indian artifacts, fossils, lapidary displays, shell crafts and much more.
Ever After Bridal Show
Buy a dress, pick out flowers, and find a photographer all in one place. Over 100+ vendors to choose from all under one roof. This annual event is presented by River Radio and held at The Pavilion of the City of Marion.
Festival of Lights Drive-Through
Outstanding Christmas light drive through. Experience a festival of lights without ever getting out of your car! Located at Clark County Fair Grounds in Marshall during December.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard
Come visit the Quad Cities during its annual Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard weekend. While many local residents take advantage of this annual promotion, it is also a great time to explore the Quad Cities as a visitor. Enjoy discounts on lodging, attractions, dining and shopping during the Martin Luther King Day weekend. Go online to take advantage of the discounts or pick up a coupon booklet at the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau visitor center - Open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2nd Annual Outdoor Sculpture Walk
Take a self-guided tour of public art from June 2 to September 2 as part of the 2nd annual Sculpture Walk in downtown Oak Park. The walk features 12 world-class sculptures prominently placed among Oak Park's many shops and restaurants.
CITY: Oak Park
Art on Harrison
Seeking a way to announce the emerging Arts District, galleries and building owners in partnership with the Oak Park Arts Council inaugurated Art on Harrison in 1995. Conceived of as an informal Friday evening gallery walk, the event has continued each September since its inception, expanding to include entertainment and performances at participating galleries. Come out and see what the area has to offer in a convivial atmosphere, a celebration of what the creative spirits of this community have accomplished.
CITY: Oak Park
Sports Collectable Show
Sports Collectable Show. Sports Cards, NASCAR, Toys, Comic Books, Collectable cards and other collectable items.
CITY: Orland Park
Reddick Mansion Holiday Decor Preview
Be the first to see the Mansion in its holiday splendor! All of the holiday decorations are sure to put you in the holiday mood. Be the first to purchase lovely and unique ornaments off the Mansion's Christmas trees.
WGEM Home & Living Show
The area's largest show dedicated to the newest in home and living products at the Oakley Lindsay Center in Quincy. Friday 5-9 Saturday 10-5 Sunday 12-4
Mark Twain Toy Show
29th Annual Toy Show The Mark Twain Toy Show is one of the finest toy shows in the Mid-West. It showcases collectible toys and crafts related to agriculture, construction, transportation and motor sports. The various items you will find at the show include die-cast collectibles, scale models, hand-built custom equipment, pedal tractors, autographs, memorabilia, and apparel. Collectibles, new and old, ranging from Hot Wheels to Tonka to Ertl to SpecCast will be on hand in the hotel lobby, ball room and in the second floor hotel rooms. Every kind of tractor, implement, heavy construction equipment, tractor-trailer, circle-track racer and pulling tractor can be found here for your chance to add to your collection. Event held at Town and Country Inn & Suites. http://www.marktwaintoyshow.com/index.html
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
Build It! Make It! - Discovery Center Museum
Back by popular demand! Creativity flows this fall in the Build It! Make It! exhibit as Discovery Center visitors design, invent, and construct whatever they can dream up. Woodward Exhibit Hall has been transformed into an innovative space filled with all kinds of building items where kids and adults can play with ideas, explore materials and tinker with tools. Legos, K'Nex, and our Imagination Playground giant foam blocks are just the beginning of the imaginative construction zone. Additional Tinkering and Make It areas provide opportunities for children to explore and invent using real materials and real tools.
Aquatic Experience - Chicago
The Aquatic Experience – Chicago combines everything aquatic under one roof. From saltwater to freshwater with pond and aquatic reptiles, the Aquatic Experience has it all. Consumers and retailers are invited to join in on the educational seminars, fish auctions and a thriving show floor filled with hobbyists from entry level to the most sophisticated aquarium keepers as well as livestock and equipment experts and the industries best and trend setting manufacturers. Add in a bevy of high powered speakers you’ve heard of and read articles from but have not had the chance to meet in person and you’ve got a “must see” for any aquarist no matter what their experience level. Aquatic Experience – Chicago is proudly produced by World Pet Association (WPA), presenter of SuperZoo – The National Show for Pet Retailers and America’s Family Pet Expo, an industry leading consumer event. Located at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel.
Old House New House Home Show/Fall 2015
Explore 300 deluxe displays with the latest in kitchens, baths, building, remodeling and landscaping. Meet award-winning contractors and creative craftsmen to improve your home and surroundings.
CITY: St. Charles
North American Vintage Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show
This is the "granddaddy" of all shows and It's open to the public. For a discount coupon go to the website. One of the largest shows of its kind in the entire country. All types of hunting and fishing memorabelia. Buy, sell and trade. On Wednesday there will be two decoy seminars for collectors and the public. There will be a major exhibition featuring Louisiana Decoys. This exhibit will coincide with the show and is located in the Mega Center.
CITY: St. Charles
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
Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show
The largest Pipe Smoking Club Show in the world with vendors from around the globe. On Sunday, they will have the UPCA United States of America National Pipe Smoking Championship, with the winner representing the UPCA in the World Smoking Championships. Adults only.
CITY: St. Charles
58th Annual Fox Valley Antiques Show
Authentic antiques exhibited indoors at the Kane County Fairgrounds. Plenty of free parking. Admission $8 benefits local historical, educational endeavors.
CITY: St. Charles
17th Annual Chicago Drum Show
World's largest, longest running vintage and custom drum show. Exhibits, clinics, classes, demonstrations, entertainment, celebrity guests. Admission: $15; children 5-12 $10.
CITY: St. Charles
Chicago Toy Show an Antique Collectible Toy and Doll Show
42 years at the Kane County Fairgrounds. Toys, dolls, holiday keepsakes from 1900-2014. Six buildings, 600+ exhibitors with rare, unusual treasures. Comic characters, dolls, space toys, automotives, airplanes, DC, Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, Barbee, teddy bears, Star Wars. banks.
CITY: St. Charles
Original Quilt & Sewing Expo
Experience seminars, hands-on workshops and an exhibit hall bursting with industry vendors and beautiful quilts!
CITY: Tinley Park
Autumn Festival - An Arts & Crafts Affair
At this annual fest, you can browse the works of more than 500 artists and craftsmen from 30 states. Find home decor and gifts (all handcrafted and one-of-a-kind), entertainment, and plenty of food and drink. Voted one of the top 100 art shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine.
CITY: Villa Park
The President’s Photographer: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office Exhibit
Visitors will be transported through presidential history, from photos made when the first official presidential photographer was hired in 1963, to today’s unprecedented coverage of Barack Obama. This exhibit will showcase the power of the still image as a tool for understanding 50 years of president's history. Assembled by three-time Emmy Award-winner John Bredar, this exhibition features works by veteran presidential photographers David Hume Kennerly (Gerald Ford), David Valdez (George H.W. Bush), Bob McNeely (Bill Clinton), Eric Draper (George W. Bush), Pete Souza (Barack Obama) and many more.
LEGO Train Show
The LEGO show has become a holiday tradition and this year it is even better with the show extended throughout the entire Visitors Center and restaurant. This extraordinary event is produced by the Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club and is the group’s largest annual show in terms of display space and attendance. Visitors to the show are encouraged to bring a new and unwrapped toy for the Marine Toys for Tots drop boxes inside the Cantigny Visitors Center.