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Woodstock Groundhog Days
In 1992, something astonishing happened in the historic city of Woodstock, Illinois. People came to town and roped off the picturesque city square, moved all sorts of equipment into the park and started playing the Pennsylvania Polka, over and over and over again. They were filming a movie that has become a favorite of young and old for more than 20 years, and the city gathers each year to remember the fun and celebrate the special community that Woodstock has always been. There are events for everyone during this celebration: Groundhog trivia, free viewing of "Groundhog Day" at the movie theater, walking tours of the film sites, a Chili cook-off, a dinner and dance, bowling, and pancake breakfasts. The main event for Groundhog Day is the annual prognostication. Gather on the Woodstock Square to see Woodstock Willie emerge from his tree trunk home. If he sees his shadow, it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter and if he doesn't see his shadow, it means we will have an early Spring.
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!
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.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show
A Lake County holiday tradition. Visit Northern Illinois' largest drive-through Holiday Light Festival, held at the Cuneo Mansion, and view thousands of twinkling lights, animated displays and holiday decorations. While visiting the light show, the Cuneo Mansion & Gardens invites you to walk through the museum for a magical view of Christmas' past. Please visit the website for more information.
CITY: Vernon Hills
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.
Happy Holiday Railway
Embark on a magical train ride through the winter countryside on your way to visit with Santa Claus himself! Warm treats will be served and gifts will be given to children on Santa's "good list".
Cache River Days
This fun fest includes a flea market, parade, softball tournament, yard sales, BBQ and music.
Holiday Happenings in Downtown Tinley
Holiday celebration inside large heated tent featuring entertainment, tasty treats, gift vendors, kid's crafts, carriage rides, children's rides, ice carving, visit with Santa and more.
CITY: Tinley Park
Sweet Autumn Clematis Festival
See and smell hundreds of feet of walls covered in Autumn Clematis; followed by punch served in Luther Hall. The event runs from 10:00am- 5:00pm.
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
30th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
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!
CITY: St. Charles
Fine Line Arts Festival (formerly Raku Day)
Fri. May 29 Festival opening night! Come socialize, enjoy a catered dinner, participate in a specialty event. There is a fee. Sat. May 30 is a great outdoor fun day for everyone! Bring the kids! Experience a variety of hands-on art experiences including Japanese Raku, etching, welt felting and more. Visit www.fineline.org for details and registration.
CITY: St. Charles
Celebrate the winter holidays in the traditional way. Holiday decorations, gifts, games, and historic reenactments come alive in our reproduction log cabins.
CITY: South Holland
Rockin' at the Park
Free Summer Concert Series The Rockin' in the Park festival will be a summer-long concert series, beginning in May and continuing through August. The festival features live bands, fireworks and food and beverage tents on the great lawn in the center of MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Visit www.mbparkatrosemont.com for complete line up!
The Stadium at the Ballpark
The Stadium at the Ballpark at Rosemont is the 2,000-seat home of the Chicago Bandits, the 2011 NPF World Champion women's softball organization, East Leyden High School's girls softball team and the Rosemont School's boys and girls softball team. It is located on the west side of 1-294, and is the first facility of its kind in the nation built expressly for women's professional sports. The team plays 25 home games a year, from June through August.
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
Walking Tour of Historic Riverside
The Frederick Law Olmsted Society is pleased to offer great opportunities to learn about our historic landmark village. Discover the winding roads, delightful parks, beautiful landscapes, varied architecture and much more!
Blues In The District
Regional and local blues bands provide outdoor free concerts in Quincy's historic Washington Park. Concerts are held from 5-9:30pm and food from local venders is typically available. Dates of concerts: June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24 August 14 August 28 September 11 Bring a chair!
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.
Quincy’s spring event opener includes a parade, an annual tradition held the first weekend in May when traditionally the dogwood trees that line Maine street are in their glory. The parade travels from 24th to 4th & Maine beginning at 9:30am Saturday. Washington Park brings vendors, contests for children and carnival rides both Saturday and Sunday.
Gus Macker Basketball
Macker in May means summer starts in Quincy. Gus Macker basketball takes to the streets around Washington Park Central Square for the 27th year May 23-24, which will mean summer has arrived. And once again the family oriented festival of fun celebrates the passion for basketball in this wonderful community. Quincy loves hoops. http://www.macker.com/macker-tournament
Quincy Classic Boat Show
Quincy Classic Boat Show! Join us at Kessler Park! Classic boats will be making a 17 mile Mississippi River Run from Mark Twain’s home town of Hannibal, MO to Quincy, IL. FREE registration for participants - Also during the event is the self-powered boat sale and swap meet in Kesler Park. For anyone wanting to buy or sell a row boat. For more information or to register your classic boat visit www.quincyboatshow.com
Quincy Five Miler & Bear Creek Grunt Rowing Races
The Quincy Five Miler is a 5.4 mile head race on the Mississippi River and Quincy Bay from Hogback Island along the Illinois Shore, through the cut and into the Quincy Bay. Utilizing the same course of the 1st Quincy Boat Race in 1872, the race will begin from the Knapheide Landing. Bring anything you can row, pedal or paddle. $25 per race www.quincy5miler.com or 503-704-2133
Folk Life Festival
Join us for our Annual Folk Life Festival! Stroll the beautiful grounds of the Quincy Museum and enjoy a variety of demonstrators, crafters and activities for children. Bring your appetite for our famous Buffalo Sandwiches, our Bake Sale booth and delicious caramel apples and old fashioned bottled soda. 1601 Maine Street Quincy, IL 62301 (217)224-7669 thequincymuseum.com
KLONDIKE FESTIVAL Peoria Riverfront
Peoria's First Winter Festival! * Heated Tent * Human Dog-Sled Races! * JammSammich & Feudin' Hillbillys * Peoria Rivermen Hockey * Puck Shot Challenge
Christmas in Paris
Come join us for a magical night in Paris, Illinois - full of games, crafts, laughter and fun for the entire family. Most storefronts will be open for shopping or hosting an activity. Most activities are free. All are invited. Visit our facebook page to learn more.
Leaverton Park Holiday Lighting Festival
The Friday after Thanksgiving at 5:00 p.m., the park comes alive with over 40,000 lights and displays. Watch the Fireworks and enjoy food and refreshments.
Earth Day at the Oaks
Celebrate the Earth with activities, presenters, games, lunch, and more!
CITY: Olympia Fields
Tour de Shawnee Bike ride
Bicyclists meet at the Olive Branch Community Center at 8 AM. Organized bike routes of 15, 30, 45, 62 and 100 mile rides around scenic Horseshoe Lake and area. Entry fee includes: Event bag, chance for attendance prizes. Early registration includes commemorative t shirt.
CITY: Olive Branch
Bald Eagle Trolley Tours
Be mesmerized by the beautiful bald eagles at Starved Rock. In January and February ride the trolley from Starved Rock Lodge to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for bald eagle viewing and an educational program. Includes lunch during the week and brunch on Sunday in the Main Dining Room. Tour options: 9:00am w/tour first & 11:00am w/lunch first, $25 Includes Lunch/Adults; Children under 10/$5 less. January & February Mon, Wed, Sat & Sunday Monday: Tour begins with lunch at 11am Wednesday: Tours begins with lunch at 11am Saturday: 1st tour begins at 9am, ending with lunch 2nd tour begins with lunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 24th) Sunday: Tour begins with brunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 25th).
Historic Trolley Tour
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 Visitor Center where you will see a short video of the area. You will also travel to the 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. $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $8 Child 10 and under. 2014 Dates: JUNE – OCTOBER- Tuesday – 3:00pm, Thursday – 3:00pm, Saturday – 3:00pm, Sunday – 12:00pm & 1:30pm. November & December- Saturday - 12:00pm & 1:30pm, Sunday - 12:00pm & 1:30pm.
Eagle Watching at Starved Rock State Park
You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. The Starved Rock Lodge in Utica offers a “Bald Eagle Trolley Tour” in January and February on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Viewing birds from the Veranda at the Starved Rock Lodge is good as well. Dress warmly though. This great viewing spot is right outside the doors of the Great Room. If you’d like some exercise, take a hike on one of the trails at the Starved Rock State Park. One trail begins right at the Veranda. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock. Another popular event is "Eagle Watch Weekend" with activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center.
Hike into History
This hiking tour is offered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights every month (excluding July and October). There's nothing better than a guided hike to see the best parts of the park and learn its rich history. Reserve your room or cabin at Starved Rock Lodge on Tuesday or Wednesday night and take a guided hike on Wednesday or Thursday morning at 9:00 am from the Lobby. When you get back from your hike, you'll enjoy lunch in the Dining Room. The hike on Tuesday and Wednesday will go to Starved Rock and French Canyon unless otherwise requested. On Thursday you will join the weekly Walkers Club and go along with them on their pre-scheduled, weekly hike. Family Cabins are excluded from packages.
Tribute to the Stars
Each of the "Tribute to the Stars" musical tribute shows is offered with an overnight stay - just steps away from the Great Hall in the comfort of historic Starved Rock Lodge. From Bing Crosby to Patsy Cline, you've never seen so many stars in one place. Tribute to the Stars Ticket Only Prices: Matinee: $32.00 per person (includes lunch & show), Dinner Show: $37.00 per person (includes wine tasting, dinner & show) Overnight Package Pricing: Matinees: $144.00 - Includes Lunch & Show with an overnight stay for two guests (plus tax). Evening Shows: $154.00 - Includes Wine Tasting, Dinner & Show with an overnight stay for two guests (plus tax). Family Cabins are excluded from packages.
Bald Eagle Watch Weekend
"Eagle Watch Weekend" includes activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock.
Oglesby Turkey Trot 3 Mile
The 3 Mile Run is a Starved Rock Runners, Ltd. Circuit Race. The 36th Annual Oglesby 3 Mile Turkey Trot, in memory of Chris Christian, begins and ends at Holy Family School at 9am.
Art Dans La Rue
Join us on Tuesday, August 6th from 12-9pm for Downtown Oak Park's authentic urban French Street Festival! Featuring: art exhibits by local artists, special showing of a French film, Can-Can dancers, French music by "Paris La Nuit," Poodle Parade, French lessons, Fresh made crepes, Wine tastings, Sidewalk chalk contest, Bike Rentals, and much more!
CITY: Oak Park
WinterFest in Downtown Oak Park
Join Oak Park for a cookie walk inside over 50 participating shops and restaurants! Catch a glimpse of Saint Nicholas, enjoy a variety of family friendly acts and warm up inside the hospitality tent with free hot chocolate and coffee.
CITY: Oak Park
Home for the Holidays in Downtown Oak Park
Catch the old fashioned holiday spirit in Downtown Oak Park! Celebrate the season with free horse-drawn sleigh rides and a visit from Santa!
CITY: Oak Park
Home For The Holidays
Catch the old fashioned holiday spirit in Downtown Oak Park! Celebrate the season with free horse-drawn sleigh rides and a visit from Santa.
CITY: Oak Park
Family Fun Night Event
This is a perfect event to try out ice-skating and spend quality time with your family and friends
CITY: Oak Lawn
Murphysboro Apple Festival
The Murphysboro Apple Festival is the oldest and largest, alcohol-free festival in Southern Illinois. Over 45,000 people attend the festival each year. During the five days of the Apple Festival, there are numerous activities drawing large crowds such as evening stage shows, carnival/concessions, Queen Contest, Prince and Princess Contest, contests from apple pie eating to apple core throwing, firefighters' water fights, marching band competition, car shows, Appletime 5K Walk/Run and much more. In addition, the festival's Grand Parade is one of the largest parade in Southern Illinois. The parade features an average of about 160 total units, 25 of those marching bands, and a variety of groups and organizations.
St. Patrick's Day Festival
Start the day with the 5K run/walk race at 9 a.m. Watch the parade at 11am, enjoy corned beef & cabbage at the 17th Street Bar and Grill Warehouse. The Irish Kids’ Fest will feature arts and crafts, games and story telling at the Murphysboro Youth Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Grab a shillelagh and pour a green beer, or sample local craft beers while listening to the Irish music, and try your hand in the dart tournament or the Leprechaun Classic Bocce Tournament to be held at Riverside Park.
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
It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life. Located on the historic I & M Canal, Nostalgic Downtown Morris offers a rich history and continues to be the gathering place year after year for community festivals. For more information visit www.shopmorrisil.com.
Ugly Sweater Extravaganza
Ugly Sweater Extravaganza. Located on the historic I & M Canal, Nostalgic Downtown Morris offers a rich history and continues to be the gathering place year after year for community festivals.
Home for the Holidays
Start the season of good cheer off right with an old-fashioned holiday feeling in downtown Morris. The nostalgic street lights downtown take on a festive glow with wreaths and lights adorning the lampposts. The celebration features a house walk, a night time lighted parade, carriage rides, trolley rides, a children's winter carnival, the festival of trees, live reindeer and of course, Santa!.
Lunch with Santa on Train
Come out for Lunch with Santa on the Train at the Wabash Depot in Monticello, Illinois, a holiday favorite for kids of all ages. Enjoy a train ride, individual visit with Santa, and kid friendly sack lunch. The ride is about 60 minutes per trip. Reservations Recommended.
The Polar Express at Monticello Railway Museum
Held at Monticello Railway Museum. Read along with the story as the train makes its round-trip journey to the North Pole. Meet Santa and enjoy caroling, hot chocolate, surprises and a treat. And, for those who believe, a special gift for each child. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas! Nov 14-15, Nov 21-22, Nov 28-30 & Dec 5-6.
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.
Cabela's King Kat Tournament Trail
This catfish tournement will be held at Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis. Bring a rod & reel and enter to win prizes and cash. A $500 big fish award will be given. A kids tournament is also planned.
ASA Pro/Am Archery Tournament
Archery Shooters Association's Illinois Championship 3-D Archery Tournament for men, women and Children. Archers from all over North America visit Metropolis for one week in June to compete for cash and prizes and the title of Illinois Champion.
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.
Southern Illinois Boat & Fishing Show
A weekend long event sponsored by the Youth Outdoor Education Foundation and the Williamson County Tourism Bureau. The show features boats, trailers, trucks, ATVs, fishing tackle, live entertainment and more. Admission and parking is free. Great fun for all ages.
Gem & Mineral Show
Annual Gem and Mineral Show showing off Indian artifacts, fossils, lapidary displays, shell crafts and much more.
Bald Eagle Tours at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Crab Orchard is home to six nesting pairs of resident bald eagles and their offspring. A few nesting sites are visible from public roads throughout the Refuge and eagles are spotted daily. Guided tours visit eagle nests and areas of the Refuge where eagles may be spotted. The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth under the age of 12, and reservations are required.
Crappie USA Super Tournament
Crappie USA will hold one of the 2015 Super Tournaments on Lake of Egypt in Marion, IL. This will be a guaranteed payout of $10,000 and prizes. The tournament starts at 6:30am and will run until 3pm with a weigh-in at 4pm.
Black Vultures and turkey vultures fly and swoop in the skies surrounding Makanda each fall. Local residents await their return each fall as an end to the hot summer and the beginning of cooler fall weather. This event is a celebration of the Vulture’s annual migration with live music and displays by local artists for purchase. Come join the celebration and see this awesome unique event as these birds return.
Maple Festival at Touch of Nature, a free educational family-fun event to learn the history and see the process of making maple syrup from the woods to the kitchen. It includes maple syrup demonstrations, tree identification hikes and a home-cooked pancake breakfast which includes maple syrup harvested a Touch of Nature. The event also features blacksmith, hide tanning, silk embroidery, furniture making and other demonstrations, as well as local artisans and vendors. Admission to the event is free. The Pancake breakfast is $10.
Long Grove's Annual Apple Festival
The distinctive Long Grove shops and restaurants help celebrate the Apple Festival with unique seasonal gifts and foods, including cider donuts, caramel apples and the Long Grove Apple Haus’ famous brown bag apple pie. Live toe-tapping music, carriage rides, hayrides and children’s activities round out the fest.
CITY: Long Grove
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Come to The Morton Arboretum this holiday season to see trees in a different light! Illumination will engage your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to your touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. This is an outdoor event on a one-mile, gently rolling, paved path that takes approximately one and one-half hours to complete. Please dress for the weather. Food and beverage concessions are available for purchase. Walking along the paved trail you can hug a tree to make it grow brighter, sing to a tree and watch it change color, interact with light and color with a swipe of your hand, and many more surprising experiences around every turn! Also, be sure to warm up next to fire pits while enjoying hot cocoa, s'mores, and other delights, stop in to browse the holiday wares at The Arboretum Store, and enjoy energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly LED lighting. Please note, the event closed November 27, December 1, 8, 15, 24, 25.
Hometown Holiday in Lemont
A traditional welcome to the Christmas season with tree decorating throughout town, an ice sculpting demonstration, horsedrawn wagon rides, face painting, caroling, visits with Santa, a variety of children's activities and our official tree lighting.
6th Annual Lemont Park District Frigid 5K
Bundle up and join in the fun for the 6th Annual Lemont Park District Frigid 5k! Break out those Santa hats and ugly Christmas sweaters for this festive 5k Race. Register by November 19th to be guaranteed a Frigid 5k or Candy Cane Kids Dash Hoodie! Held at Centennial Park. Frigid 5k Start: 8:00am. Candy Cane Kids Dash Start: 8:45am.
Run Your Ice Off
Over 200 runners participate in this annual “Hardcore” 5k race held, snow, rain or shine beginning at 11am.
Mid America Morel Mushroom Fest & Hunt
Learn all about the morel in the heart of prime & proven morel habitat. Participate in the hunt, see cooking demonstrations, exchange recipes, come to buy or sell in the mushroom auction, and enter your best morel dish in the morel cook-off. Fun for the whole family, and trophies in many categories.
Santa 5K/Santa Stroll 1/Mile Walk
Imagine 400 Santas identically dressed running or strolling throughout downtown Joliet! This was an event presented by the JTHS Alumni Association in November of 2014 with the inaugural untimed family Santa Run 5K/Santa Stroll 1/Mile walk. All registered participants receive a five-piece Santa suit to keep that included the hat, beard, jacket, belt and pants. Stroll starts Saturday, November 29, at 9 a.m. The start and finish line is at JT Central High School.
Bandy's Pumpkin Patch
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)
CITY: Johnston City
4th of July Celebration & Parade
Two day Celebration at Nichols Park beginning at 6 p.m. July 3 and ending after fireworks on July 4th. Parade, concessions, kid’s events, live entertainment, fireworks and more!
Volo Bog's WinterFest
Looking for a great combination of indoor and outdoor fun in mid January? WinterFest is a long-standing event at Volo Bog featuring live music and storytelling, photo contest awards, and winter-theme and other crafts indoors, while outdoors winter bog hikes, and snow permitting - snow sculpting contests and cross-country skiing, may be enjoyed throughout the afternoon. There will also be cookies, hot cocoa & coffee for sale by the Friends of Volo Bog. Visit the website for a complete agenda. Donations accepted.
Arrival at Camp DuBois
Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois. This annual event commemorates the day William Clark and the men of the detachment arrived at the confluence of the Riviere a Dubois, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The event will include members of the detachment portraying military life, re-enactors recreating the civilian population and demonstrators. Site admission is free. For more information, call (618) 251-5811 or go to www.campdubois.com.
87th Annual Lake County Fair
Come out and enjoy 5 days of fun at the 87th Annual Lake County Fair. Events at the fair include live entertainment, food vendors, carnival rides and games, live animals, motor crossing, banana derby, demolition derby, flower show, expo hall and so much more. Please visit the website for updated information.
Bald Eagle Days at Pere Marquette State Park
A site interpreter at Pere Marquette State Park, will be presenting informative programs about bald eagles this winter. Visitors will learn to distinguish between immature and mature bald eagles, what eagles eat, why they spend winter months in the area and much more. All programs will begin at the park's visitor center at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required. There will be a short video presentation followed by an observational drive to view the wintering bald eagles. Please dress warmly and have a full tank of gas. For more information on dates or reservations, call (618) 786-3323.
4th of July Celebration events includes: Freedom Run a 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run; a Gospel Show; a Parade; Free Concert at the City Park and much more. Capping off the Freedom Fest is one of the largest fireworks display in Southern Illinois.
See tractors of all shapes, sizes and ages. Held along with a Farmer's Market in downtown Golconda.
Winter Horseback Riding
With all the foliage gone from the trees, winter offers some great views of bluffs and rock formations in the Shawnee National Forest area. Enjoy the beautiful countryside, with no bugs in the cooler weather. Due to milder winters, several Southern Illinois stables offer year round riding, with, or without guide service.
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.
Chicago Botanic Garden- Weekend Family Classes
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.
Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival
The festival showcases the work of 95 unique artists in a pristine setting overlooking a lake, spectacular gardens and 385 acres of majesty. All of the artwork embodies a botanic theme, use or material. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to see the masters at work, with interactive art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long!
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.
Swedish Days Festival
This “granddaddy” of Illinois festivals features a host of family-friendly activities with live musical entertainment, a carnival, rosemaling show, pet parade, kids’ day fun, grand parade, the state’s largest music competition, multi-ethnic food plus great shopping in our historic downtown. Geneva’s train station is located just blocks from the festivities.
Galesburg Railroad Days
The 38th annual celebration of railroad history in downtown Galesburg. This event returns to Main Street. It marks the 160th year of the Railroad in Galesburg. Come by auto via I-74 or by rail via Amtrak. Galesburg is the gateway to the west and leading Amtrak Depot on the corridor to Quincy.
Bald Eagle Bus Tour
Guided, four-hour tours of bald eagle, wintering communities. View and learn about the bald eagle's habits, life history, preservation efforts and threats to its future. Reservations required. Bus departs from Stoney Creek Inn.
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.
Stephenson County Fair
Old fashioned county fair, with food, carnival rides, animals, entertainment, tractor pulls, Home Ec displays, animals, youth night, musical entertainment, commercial exhibits, 4-H and more.
Holiday Walk & Live Window Display
You'll revel in all things Christmas while strolling Madison Street during the Holiday Walk. Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, meet Santa's reindeer, warm up with a marshmallow roast, and visit merchant open houses featuring special sales, refreshments and more! The highlight of the event is the shopkeeper's windows, featuring creative and sometimes humorous live holiday displays. You've never seen anything like it-not even on State Street! The Holiday Walk begins when Santa arrives by fire engine to light the Christmas tree in Constitution Court (Thomas and Madison) at 6 p.m. Photo op and visit with Santa from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Forest Park National Bank.
CITY: Forest Park
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
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
Deerfield's 4th Annual Winter Celebration
The Village of Deerfield will be celebrating the holidays with festive holiday activities for every age. Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts, carolers, warm treats, live animals and more. In addition Saturday will include the big man, Santa Claus to offer photo opportunities for children of all ages, holiday games, including dreidel games, petting zoo, pony rides, gingerbread house decorating and much more.
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.
Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival
The inaugural Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival is set to take place September 11-14, 2014 at the beautiful 3.000 acre Kennekuk County Park. Phases of the Moon is a four-day music, arts and camping event thoughtfully tailored to provide a unique festival experience. It boasts four outdoor stages: two main stages that alternate following each set and two smaller stages. Along with amazing music, attendees will have access to farm-to-table food, craft beer, a farmer's market and a mall of diverse craft vendors featuring an array of original items. Large interactive sculptures, live art, and works from renowned national and local artists will be on display.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill Historic Area
The historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's Bunker Hill Historic Area will be decorated for the holidays and thousands of lights illuminated Friday - Sunday 5:00 - 8:00 PM through the holiday season.
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.
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
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.
Festival of Lights Parade
What a fabulous parade! Thousands of people bundle up and line the streets of downtown Crystal Lake to watch the lighted parade. Businesses, organizations, and individuals go "over the top" with lights and festive floats!
CITY: Crystal Lake
Jingle Bell 5K Run
This certified race is accurately marked and measured. Features mostly rolling terrain and a few hills. Held at Prairie Bluff Golf Course, 7:30 am - 11:00 am, $30 pre-registration; $35 day of event. Be sure to enjoy the post-party.
CITY: Crest Hill
Coulterville Holiday Light Display
The half mile walk through display features a million lights and 400 Christmas figurines. Don't miss the walk through version of the "Candyland" game with favorites such as Lolli Pop Lane. Friday and Saturday evenings there's food, crafts and Santa Claus.