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The Chicago Flower & Garden Show brings springtime to winter with its 20 lush gardens, beautiful and fragrant flowers, trees and other plants allowing “newbie” gardeners and experts alike to experience the latest the industry has to offer. Top garden builders create fresh designs, while nationally-known presenters teach visitors how to get that professional garden look. It's all happening at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Be among the first to see new plant varieties for 2017 and experience the newly-redesigned Navy Pier. Enjoy art, free kids activities, wine tastings, cooking demos from noted chefs, and a shopper's paradise of garden gadgets, jewelry, and more. Special rates available for groups.
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Celebrate the local peach harvest, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club. Join us for fresh peaches from local orchards, carnival rides and games, crowning of ‘Miss Peach Queen’, homemade food and peach cobbler & pie with a 5K run/walk and parade on Saturday. Free admission.
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are also added. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. The Historical Chautauqua Building becomes a huge carousel. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
Red, yellow and orange-hued leaves aren’t the only colors to view in Western Illinois’ skies this fall. At Moline’s annual Quad Cities Hot Air Balloon Fest, a myriad of hot air balloons take off throughout the weekend and glow high above the town after dark.
Enter a winter wonderland illuminated by the laughter of children and more than one million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual ZooLights. This holiday classic has become one of the Windy City’s must-see seasonal events. Join us for the brilliance of this fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds. Animal exhibits stay open late as guests roam taking in the lights, music and taking photos with Santa. Prepare holiday crafts and enjoy the zoo’s incredible animals immersed in an atmosphere unlike any other.
Take a great adventure every June through December! Board a trolley outside of the Great Hall area of the Lodge. Enjoy a historic trolley ride with stops at the Starved Rock State Park and Illinois Waterway Visitor Center where you will see Starved Rock from across the river and watch as the river traffic lock through the locks. You will also travel through the village of Utica and hear about the Illinois and Michigan Canal. While aboard, the driver will narrate the history and legends of the area. For tickets and information please call 815-220-7386.
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
Three-mile drive through Christmas lights display is open every night. Weekends in December, the beautifully decorated winter wonderland in Expo Hall will have vendors with items for sale, food, kids corner and musical entertainment.
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.
Thousands of motorcyclists travel to Bald Knob Mountain, Southern Illinois’ highest point and the site of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace located just outside of Alto Pass, about 10 miles south of Murphysboro on IL-127.
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.
One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, the Festival of Lights, returns with dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. Enjoy the magic! This year features a 20’ tall “singing” Christmas tree. This signature winter event is a drive-through of more than one mile of spectacular lighted displays, many of which are animated, and are illuminated by tens of thousands of bulbs. Staged at Aurora's gem, Phillips Park, the festival will be open from 5 - 9 pm Sundays through Thursdays and 5 - 10 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Presented by the Aurora Rotary Club in partnership with the City of Aurora, Free: donations encouraged.
Let's spend a day at the fair. Go to the time-honored livestock shows, play some games, enter contests, enjoy the exciting live entertainment, be brave and ride on the carnival rides, or feast on the fair food; but don't forget to see the demolition derby or rodeo.
Whether you are just beginning in photography, are an advanced amateur or a professional, you are welcome to the Starved Rock Photography Club. Monthly photography walks at Starved Rock State Park’s Lodge with club leader, Jacki Pienta. The Photography Club will meet each month throughout the year for guided walks to planned sites for photography opportunities. Members will informally exchange ideas and tips for quality nature and wildlife photos. We will meet the 4th Saturday of every month at 9am in the back of the Large Parking Lot at Starved Rock Lodge. All meetings will consist of a hike to an area of either Starved Rock State Park, Matthiessen State Park or Buffalo Rock. Please be prepared to carpool if necessary. $25.00 annual fee to join which will include a club t-shirt and an annual cookout! Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 4th Saturday of each month. For more information, call 815-220-7386.
Illumination is where lights meet nature, harnessing technology to draw attention to the beauty of trees in the winter months. Immerse yourself in a symphony of music and light at our interactive experience of dazzling projections, sweeping lights, sparkling chandeliers, and lilting melodies on a mile-long walk through the Arboretum.
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.
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!
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.
Join the fun on our weekly, guided hikes! Explore Starved Rock State Park, Matthiessen State Park, the I & M Canal and a nearby Nature Preserve. Every Thursday morning, year round, the Starved Rock Walkers Club meets in the lobby of the Lodge and departs at 9:00 am. Hikes last between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the destination. The hikes vary each week and over a 4-month period, the group will see the entire park. Make some new friends and learn about wildlife, wildflowers and more. This event is free and open to the public. Please note: We will not hike on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Every Thursday (year round).
March 16, 2015 - Bluegill Music Festival will lunch its inaugural event on July 4, 2015 for a one-day festival packed with some of country music's hottest acts. The all-day festival will be complete with Southern Illinois' largest fireworks display, along the shores of the Rend Lake Dam, in Benton, IL. The lineup includes Eli Young Band, LoCash, Clayton Anderson and more exciting acts to be announced. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 20th and can be purchased at www.bluegillfest.com and at Black Diamond Harley Davidson. Drawing fans from around the country, including Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, the festival is at the intersection of some of the nation's most dedicated country music fans. Bluegill Music Festival will feature nationally recognized BBQ vendors from around the country. Interactive entertainment for fans will also include activations, like: bags, washers, bubble soccer, Illinois longest slip n' slide, helicopter rides from Black Diamond Harley Davidson, a mechanical bull, a kids area with a large inflatable slide and the "Bluegill Lagoon", featuring a 60 x 100' VIP beach, with cabanas, private wading pools & lounge area. Additionally, Southern Illinois' largest fireworks display will begin at 9:30pm, and is free for all guest.
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.
Meet at the reconstructed Woodhenge to hear an explanation of the discovery, form end function of this post-circle sun calendar. Arrive by 6:45 a.m.
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!"
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!
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2016 will be open from November 25th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. There will also be a special walk-through night (no cars allowed) the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Admission for the walk-through night is $1 per person. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call (800) 258-6645.
This is the only tug-of-war across the mighty Mississippi River. On Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., barge traffic, pleasure boats and paddleboats yield the right of way to a 2,400 foot, 680 pound rope that stretches between LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Illinois. Eleven teams from each side are formed and the side with the most winning teams takes the Alabaster Eagle trophy for that year. Currently the score is tied 10 - 10. A family weekend event filled with carnival rides, live entertainment, a huge parade, scenic 5k run/walk, food, arts and craft vendors and one of the largest fireworks displays (friday night) in the two state area. Admission charged. Festival takes place on the Mississippi River at Port Byron IL Riverfront. Hwy. 67 & Port Byron. Call 309-523-2500 for more information
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.
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.
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, a lego display, lego maze, camel rides and a petting zoo. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
Cars and trucks are polished to perfection and fill Fort Massac State Park for a popular summer show. Winners are determined in various classes, including Mayor's choice and Superman's Choice.
We are celebrating the grand opening of our Corn Maze and Activities for the season! Enjoy the corn maze, petting zoo, kettle corn barn, play area, apple train, apple cannons and launchers and much more! The Haunted Corn Maze Opens for the month of October. Each weekend September - October, Jonamac Orchard has great events happening. From a Food Truck & Antique Farm Equipment Shows to Pumpkin Picking & Cider Fest Weekend, there's tons of fun to be had at Jonamac Orchard. Orchard activities have a fee, but free to enter the orchard grounds.
Come see live eagle demonstrations 10 a.m. til 2 p.m. every Saturday in January at the Alton Visitor Center. See a live bald eagle up close and personal! Ask and learn about their species and habitats. Then, grab your official All Around Alton Eagle Watcher's Guide as you journey out along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway to see eagles in their natural habitat. Free! For more information, call 1-800-ALTON-IL or go to www.VisitAlton.com.
Jack O’Lantern meets Jack and the Beanstalk! Like Jack’s plant, a pumpkin can grow, and grow, and grow – until it becomes one of the stars of the annual Giant Pumpkin Festival! See pumpkins weighing over 500 pounds. Most are for sale, so–give yourself the ultimate challenge and wrestle a giant out in our 20-acre pumpkin patch–or just point at one that’s been pre-picked at the farmstand. We’ll help with the wrestling, weighing and toting. Fall fun park, hayrack rides, corn cannons, our famous “Cow Train” barrel train, “Mining for Gems” ,bounce house, and Kids’ Corn Maze. Free admission, ample parking, nominal charge for events. Fall Fun Park open: 10:30am to 6pm.
Crappie USA will hold one of its fishing Super Tournaments on Lake of Egypt in Marion, IL. This will be a guaranteed payout of $10,000 and prizes to winners. The tournament starts at 6:30am and will run until 3pm with a weigh-in at 4pm.
Each June, visitors enjoy the splendor of the Butterworth Center's impressive gardens while participating in several exciting activities; including old-fashioned music, games of the 1800s, jugglers, a scavenger hunt, an antique auto show, tours and refreshments. Come and see these Deere family home gardens at the Butterworth Center & Deere Wiman House.
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. Reservations are required.
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.
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 Leprechaun Classic Bocce Tournament to be held at Riverside 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.
Enjoy a large Flea Market with over 20 vendors each day displaying their wares for sale from 10am to 5pm. Hayrack Rides, U-Pick Pumpkins, Corn Maze. Fall Fun Park Hours: 10:30am to 6pm.
Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois. This annual event commemorates December 12, 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 demonstrations. For more information, call (618) 251-5811.
Join us for the kick-off of the eagle watching season. Activities include: live eagle meet & greet, preview of events at the Eagle Watching Hot Spots, kid's activities, crafts and eagle viewing walks. Learn about eagle watching - how to spot eagles, where to look and what brings the eagles here each winter. Then, head across the river to Downtown Alton for ice sculpting on the streets.
This beautiful and unique amphitheatre is easily accessible from the Constitution Trail. Some of the current programs include: High School Summer Theatre productions, Dress-Up Movie Nights and the outstanding concert series known as the Sounds of the Amphitheatre, which highlights local talent from the Bloomington/Normal area. Programming begins in May and runs through October, weather permitting.
Chicagoland's longest-running lights festival is back and ready to dazzle families with more than one million LED lights. Brookfield Zoo's 35th annual Holiday Magic, presented by ComEd and Meijer, offers guests 12 enchanted evenings to enjoy the lights, and so much more, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays December 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, and the week of December 26-31. For more information and a complete schedule of Holiday Magic activities and entertainment, visit CZS.org/HolidayMagic or call 708.688.8000. Guests will also receive a schedule of events when they arrive.
Come to the huge fireworks display at the Mt. Vernon Airport for July 4th. This event also includes live entertainment, children's area, food vendors, and much more!
Don't miss this exciting PGA golf tournament. Monday and Tuesday are professional practice rounds with free admission all day. Wednesday is the Pro-am. Thursday through Sunday are the official tournament rounds. For ticket information visit the website or call. Don't miss the exciting action of this PGA Tour event played at the Tournament Players Club Deere Run in the Quad Cities. For more information visit www.johndeereclassic.com or call 800-336-4655 or 309-796-6000.
Join us in Effingham, IL for the Largest Corvette Party in the World! Corvette Funfest is 4 days full of Corvette FUN, with thousands of Corvettes flocking to Mid America Motorworks’ corporate campus in Effingham, IL. Highlights include Celebrity Choice Awards, a Fall Swapfest swap meet, Expert Seminars, tons of Corvette Vendors, Special Display Corvettes, a Saturday night concert, and much more! For more information or to register, please check out our website: www.corvettefunfest.com
Calling all Volkswagens! Funfest for Air-Cooled VW celebrates all eras of the iconic VW June 2-4, 2017. With thousands of Beetles, Buses, Dune Buggies, Ghias and more on display for 3 full days, this is on every VW-lover’s bucket list! Highlights include Celebrity Choice Awards, Spring Swapfest swap meet, Slalom races, Expert Seminars, VW club activities, tons of VW vendors, Friday night Fun Run road tour, a Saturday night concert, MY Garage Museum and much more! For more information or to register, please check out our website: www.funfestacvw.com/
The 4th Annual Starved Rock Country Marathon and Half Marathon is set to take place in May of 2017! Be one of the first people to run through and around Starved Rock Country. The course will encompass the scenery of the Illinois River and the rolling landscapes in and around Starved Rock State Park. Runners will experience a course that is not a flat fast course as other courses advertise, the course has characteristics that will inspire you with scenic beauty and experience the highs and lows of the hills created by the Illinois River thousands of years ago.
This marathon offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River, entertainment and more. 5 Races to choose from including: Marathon, Half Marathon, 5-Person Relay, 1 Mile Walk, 5K Run/Walk, and kids runs.
Let's rock on the river! LaSalle County’s largest festival, Ottawa’s Annual Riverfest, celebrates summer with a bang! Carnival rides, art shows, craft and flea markets, kids activities, sidewalk sales, music and the now famous Taste of Ottawa all come together at the fest. You are sure to find something for everyone! Visit their website for everything this fest has to offer.
All aboard! Take a magical ride on the Holiday Express train. You’ll see Lake Gregory and Blackberry Farm in all its holiday glory amid the twinkling lights and songs of Christmas. Back in the village, enjoy storytelling of the classics, festive decorations, reindeer food bar, hay wagon rides and a visit with Santa! And don’t miss the famous Adventure Playground – decorated as Candy Cane Village! It all happens on 8 magical days in December. Admission is just $5 per person. Tasty concessions with seasonal favorites and drinks (non-alcoholic) available for purchase. Fridays: 5 - 8 pm. Saturdays: 2 - 6 pm. Sundays: 2 - 6 pm. Pre-purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket window.
See tractors of all shapes, sizes and ages. Held along with a Farmer's Market in downtown Golconda.
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 lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
Want to learn to fish or become a better angler? The Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair offers fun and information for the entire family. Event includes: trout pond, seminars on fishing and water safety, educational activities, gifts, prizes and lots more! Free. For more information, contact Pere Marquette State Park at (618) 786-3323, ext. 1.
It’s all about the kids! Festivities are held at Howe’s Park and feature kid friendly activities like an obstacle course, pedal tractor pull, water fights, and the Twinkie train! Evenings offer a movie, food, nightly entertainment, and fireworks – first of the season in Henry County! After the Sunday parade, have a slice of pie or buy one to take home from the annual auction.
Nothing pairs better than a warm, summer day and a ripe, juicy peach! The Peach Festival will feature local farmers displaying their delicious local peaches as well as some of those famous Calhoun Peaches hand picked that morning and still warm from the sunshine. Come on out to the beautiful Pere Marquette Lodge and join us for an afternoon of fun, festivities and peaches. There will be live entertainment, craft vendors, tons of family friendly fun and all the ripe, juicy peaches you can eat! For more information, call (618) 786-2331.
There's fun for the whole family, and if you would like the collection of David Bradley tractors this is the place to come. Along with the tractors there's farm demonstrations, children activities, tractor pulls, weed wacker pulls, a flea and crafts market, plus for a fun filled experience you don't want to miss the tractor square dancing show.
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 with printable and mobile-friendly coupons.
Over 200 runners participate in this annual “Hardcore” 5k race held, snow, rain or shine beginning at 8am.
Wiley Parks’ beautiful trees provide shade to view a wide variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles on display. Bring your lawn chair, sit back and enjoy the 50’s and 60’s music, raffles, and food tent.
Come and enjoy a hometown filled with pride. 4th of July events begin at 8am, including a pancake breakfast, 5K/fun run, a parade filled with antique tractors, bands and floats. Stop by the park for an art jam, photo photo show, talent show, food and much more. Stay the for the evening and join us at the park for professional entertainment and spectacular fireworks fired by International award winners Melrose Pyrotechnics.
Enjoy the perfect ending to the summer. Orion celebrates Labor Day weekend with a long standing tradition. Friday evening begins the event with a pie auction, carnival rides, and arts and crafts. The pie auction is legendary and encapsulates the best of small-town, Midwesterner living. The fun continues Saturday with a 5K run, a parade, and lots of food and fun. Events wrap up Sunday with a talent show.
The Siberian Husky Club of Greater Chicago will bring out its fully trained sled dogs to demonstrate mushing or dog sled racing during this family friendly event. Other winter activities include ice sculpting, photos with a husky, human mushing and an outdoor campfire. A warming tent will be on site and food will be available for purchase. The event is held with or without snow. Please leave your own dogs at home. 12-4PM.
Join refuge rangers from Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge for a morning of eagle watching. Visit multiple areas at the wildlife refuge that are known for eagles. A personal vehicle will be needed. Attendees are reminded to dress for the weather. Open to all ages. Space is limited, call 618-883-2524 to register in advance. This program will be on December 10th, January 7th & 14th, and February 4th at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day.
Wonderland Express is one of the Chicago area’s top holiday “must-sees,” and a family-friendly, made-for-memories experience. Bring the smartphones and video cameras, as our holiday exhibition delights children and parents, friends and families. Kids, look for Thomas the Tank Engine!
See Siberian husky sled pulling, skijoring, and speed demonstrations. Visit with the dogs and sled team, inspect the equipment, and have your photo taken with the rig during this yearly event. Please leave pets at home.
Witness the "Masters of the Sky" birds of prey demonstration. Come see eagles, falcons, owls and other birds of prey at this educational and informational program. Show times at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The National Great Rivers Museum will be full of crafts and activities for the kids, opportunities for photos with "Eric the Eagle", and more! For more information, call the National Great Rivers Museum at (618) 462-6979.
One of Peoria’s biggest holiday traditions returns for the 32nd year - the East Peoria Festival of Lights! Enjoy your favorite light displays; from the Budweiser Clydesdales to the Starship Enterprise, this drive-through event is a holiday season must do!
As many as 70,000 visitors view these massive works of snow art each year. Teams from around the state will compete in Rockford for the right to represent Illinois in the 2017 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition, and high school teams from the Rockford area will compete in the high school division the same week. Sinnissippi Park is open to the public for sculpture viewing while weather permits. Viewing hours are daily from sunrise until 10:30pm. You may drive or walk through the park. Visitors are encouraged to take the time to walk through to maximize their experience and allow them to view the sculptures from all sides. Limited parking is available at Sinnissippi Park. Additional parking is available at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens just west of Sinnissippi Park across N. Second Street.
The 2017 NCAA National Golf Championships will be held at Rich Harvest Farms and hosted for the first time by Northern Illinois University, with play taking place from May 19-24 (women) and May 26-31 (men). Sugar Grove will be only the third Illinois city to host the Division I Golf Championships. Cook County’s Olympia Fields Country Club hosted the men’s championship in 1943, while Conway Farms Golf Club outside of Chicago played host to the men’s as well in 1997.
Take a 45-minute shuttle to spots along the Mississippi River to try to spot some eagles. Pick up will be at the Alton Visitor Center with stops scheduled for Maple Island, Heron Pond, Ellis Island and at the Audubon Center. The shuttle will return to the Alton Visitor Center for drop off. These tours are $5 a person. There will be a guide on board the shuttle who will provide tips on how to eagle watch this season. Shuttles run every Saturday in January at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm For more information or to receive a free Eagle's Watchers Guide, contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
Come to Ottawa and check out the antique and custom cars during the city’s 17th Annual Cruise Night! Over 100 different models of cars will line the streets! It’s every car buff’s dream! LaSalle Street will be closed down for this event. Hosted by The LaSalle County Cruisers and the City of Ottawa.
Walk through the magical park, listen to caroler and enjoy cookies in the Shelterhouse. Drive and view the lights throughout the city streets and neighborhoods of Edgewood, Prospect and Chestnut.
There will be live bald eagles on display every weekend in January and February at the TreeHouse Wildlife Center. Free admission. Donations are appreciated. For more information call (618) 466-2990.
Celebrate and Discover Colona! Breakfast will be served by the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary chefs beginning at 7 a.m. then peruse over 100 vintage cars at the Show & Shine car show from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join in the fun of the co-ed softball tournament held throughout the weekend at Ty Massey park. Visit for the day and stay for the grand finale fireworks show at dusk. Rise and shine early Sunday morning for the Hennepin Hustle 5K run on Sunday.
Come on out and witness an exciting seminar about dog sledding and the Siberian Husky while enjoying exciting sled demos. There will be huskies for you to meet and greet as well as the Husky Boutique and information about the rescue. Admission is free and event is open to the public. Sled demo times are 9:30am,12pm, and 3pm and are located at the Southwest end of the Starved Rock State Park Visitor's Center Parking Lot. Seminar times are 10:30am and 1:30pm and will be in the LaSalle Room in Starved Rock Lodge.
2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Safe House Animal Rescue. Over 20,000+ Easter Eggs. A Visit with the Easter Bunny. All eggs filled with Candy, toys, with a possibility of larger prizes. Raffle Baskets, Baked Goods. Hunt free for all, age divided. Lunch will also be provided for small fee. Hunt starts at Noon, Pictures with the Easter Bunny and kids crafts starts at 11am, Face Painting, Games, Cake Hop, Bake Sale all start following the Egg Hunt games cost $1 a game.
Fridays and Saturdays, Christmas in the Park features horse drawn carriage rides, Little Toot Train rides, petting zoo, Santa Claus in the Santa House, lots of festive light displays and more!
PNC Winterfest, Peoria’s newest holiday tradition is back and bigger than before! This 2nd annual event gives central Illinois the chance to enjoy outdoor ice skating on the corner of Fulton Street and Jefferson Avenue! Bring your own skates or rent them from the skate shack. The skate shack carries skates from size 9 in juniors through 13 adults. Spectators can watch the action from a heated tent with seating and refreshments. PNC Winterfest will also feature Peoria’s only ice slide, a 100ft long, 6ft wide slide made of ice! Slide down on a disc, fun for all ages!
Start off the winter Eagle Season at the Confluence Tower by watching the Itchy Brothers Chainsaw Art create amazing bald eagles using raw wood and their chainsaws. Luke Harris and Don Johnson, the duo that makes up Itchy Brothers, have over 30 years experience in chainsaw art. There will be pieces of finished wood sculptures available for sale. For more information, call (618) 251-9101.
One of central Illinois largest and most spectacular light shows! Our unique venue offers viewing from the high school bleachers all the way to the bluffs along the Illinois & Fox Rivers either on shore or in your boat. 9pm show time.
Come check out this spectacular car show! Open to all cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Vehicle registration takes place from 8:00 am. Cash prizes awarded at 3:00 pm. Music provided. Hosted by LaSalle County Cruisers during Riverfest. Location: YMCA Parking Lot, Columbus Street in Ottawa.
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring their 52nd Annual Welcomeburger in Washington Square Park! This is the kick-off for the Riverfest! Everyone is welcome! Enjoy food, drink, and live music! The fee includes a picnic buffet, with drinks and admission. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Reddick Library, or any local bank. (All RiverFest Events subject to change.) View the website for more information.
The Garfield Park Conservatory, considered the largest indoor conservatory of its kind in the country, showcases vibrant and festive flora with its annual holiday flower show. This year's exhibit, titled Sky Forest, evokes a walk through delicate wintry woods by highlighting snow-topped branches and towering fir trees. The free exhibit will run from November 24, 2016-January 8, 2017.
Ottawa presents the 30th Annual Scarecrow Festival! Bring the kids for free buckboard rides, face painting and a petting zoo! While you're downtown check out the farmer's market as well as the shops, boutiques, and restaurants that will be offering special events inside their facilities! And don't forget what this fest is all about - scarecrows that will once again line the streets! 10:00am - 4:00 PM.
One of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. The streets, steps, and sidewalks of Galena will be lined with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries.
The Park District of Oak Park presents Winter Fest, a free family-friendly event at the expansive space of Taylor Park. Enjoy games in the snow, horse-drawn carriage rides, roasting s'mores around a campfire, festive tunes, sledding, rich hot chocolate, and more at this beloved annual event!
This family-friendly, alcohol-free event is a Springfield area tradition. Free children's activities from 1 pm - 4 pm at Springfield High School Commons. Fireworks at 8 pm. Over 30 performances around Downtown Springfield from 6 pm-11:15 pm.
A weekend of winter family fun! In addition to the activities already offered like cross country skiing, sledding and skating at the Nordic Center and sleigh rides at Shenandoah Riding Center, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa celebrates winter fun with snow golf, ice turkey bowling, live ice sculpture carving and the Fire & Ice Night Glow with Galena on the Fly.
Drive up to Bald Knob Mountain, Southern Illinois’ highest point and the site of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace, located just outside of Alto Pass, and have your car blessed for the summer season.
Stroll down historic Main Street and watch the shop windows come to life with holiday cheer. This event includes the 2nd Annual Wedding in A Window.
Wildlife Prairie Park transforms into a Winter Wonderland! Take a train ride through the North Pole and enjoy games, crafts, cookie decorating, pictures with Santa and animal encounters!