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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.
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
Sample savory hotwings from the talented chefs of area restaurants. Sponsored by the Great River Restaurant Association and held at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center in downtown Quincy. Held annually the day before Superbowl Sunday. For more information contact 217-223-1000.
Way of Lights
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, an interactive children's village, camel rides and an indoor laser show. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
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.
Visit downtown Makanda, Gateway to Giant City State Park, where black vultures and turkey vultures fly and swoop in the skies each fall. This event is a celebration or the vulture's annual migration with live music and displays by local artists for purchase.
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.
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.
The 18th Annual Lincolnshire Art Festival
The festival hosts 100 juried artists from around the country in the Village Green of Lincolnshire and offers extraordinary examples of fine art and fine craft in a variety of mediums and price points. Take in the tranquility of Lincolnshire with a wonderful weekend that combines the fun of art with the art of fun. Live music on the music stage, great food and fun activities for kids, including an art scavenger hunt and spin art, make the festival a perfect family experience. Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see the masters at work with interactive art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long! Festival-goers of all ages will have an opportunity to get into the “art-filled” action by contributing to a mural on-site at the festival.
The 12th Annual Buffalo Grove Invitational Art Festival
Currently rated as one of the top 100 art festivals in the country, the festival hosts more than 100 juried artists from around the globe. Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to watch the masters at work with art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long! In addition to the work of the 100 juried artists, festival-goers will have the opportunity to view and purchase works from young artists, ages 18 and under, who participate in the Youth Art Division of the festival taking place on Sunday. In addition to the artwork, festival-goers will enjoy live performances from a variety of musical acts, great food and art activities for kids, including an art scavenger hunt and spin art at the festival and much more!
CITY: Buffalo Grove
Taste of Chocolate
Love chocolate? This event is for you! Enjoy dozens of homemade chocolate treats from businesses and residents of Grafton. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served, too!
Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival.
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.
Metropolis, Home of Superman, holds a celebration the second weekend in June each year celebrating the 'Man of Steel'. A Superman Drama kicks off the weekend of contests, music, food and fun, as well as a comic book & artist show, fan films, street vendors, a carnival, costume contest and a Super Car Show.
Stroll on State - Downtown Rockford
Stroll on State, a new Rockford tradition, returns for a second year on Nov. 29 from 4-9 p.m. with a wide variety of family-friendly activities, including a candlelight stroll to the tree lighting, ice sculptor Randy Finch and his team from Ice Brigades, horse and carriage/wagon rides, a visit with Santa and some of his reindeer, a fireworks show, “Frosytland” with local artist Lisa Frost, live entertainment, music, and food vendors. There will be shopping opportunities at downtown stores and pop-up shops special to the evening. Shuttles are available from remote parking areas. Visit the website for more details.
Southern Illinois Irish Festival
This Festival began in 1997 and continued to grow and expand with new events and excitement for participants of all ages. A Celtic cultural celebration with special concerts, fairs with music, dance workshops & demonstrations, Celtic arts & crafts, and merchandise, children’s activities. This year's Southern Illinois Irish Festival will be hosted by Walkers Bluff. This new venue provides a picturesque location just northwest of Carterville, Illinois.
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.
Visit beautiful Glazebrook Park lit up with twinkling lights to celebrate the holiday season. Everyone is invited to attend this free old-fashioned festival complete with carolers, hot cocoa, horse-drawn carriage rides and pictures with Santa! Bundle up since it may be chilly! All ages are welcome. In honor of the giving season, please bring a nonperishable food item for donation to the Crisis Food Center.
Smoke on the River
This Illinois state championship BBQ contest features live entertainment and barbecue sampling at Kesler Park on the Riverfront.
This is a shrimp cook-off with fresh Southern Illinois shrimp cooked more ways than you can imagine! Locally grown prawns will be available for purchase. Helicopter, & carriage rides, music & entertainment, beer & wine tent and lots more.
Rialto Square Theatre Festival of Trees
The Rialto Square/ComEd Festival of Trees 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.
This festival is attended by approximately 50,000 during the course of the weekend. PrairieFest events are held throughout Oswego with the main festival grounds located at PrairieFest Park, 91 Plank Road. The event features main stage entertainment, children's performers, expo village, petting zoos, pony rides, camel rides, children's activities, parade, bed races, touch a truck event and more. The event is free, compliments of our generous business sponsors.
Port Clinton Art Festival
Port Clinton Art Festival is one of the most successful juried art festivals and attracts more than 250,000 art enthusiasts from places near and far. More than 260 of the world’s most celebrated artists come together to showcase their work over the course of the weekend, creating an atmosphere brimming with renowned creativity. Alongside established artists, a youth art division celebrates the talents of young artists ages 18 and under, offering them the opportunity to participate, exhibit, and experience the inner workings of an art festival.
CITY: Highland Park
Pope County Deer Festival
The Pope County Deer Festival is a local tradition, held during the 1st shotgun deer season in Golconda, the 'Deer Capital' of Illinois. Held Thursday thru Saturday featuring vendors, food & music. A Deer Queen coronation on Friday night, a parade on Saturday at 2pm. On Sunday morning, a community breakfast and town sweep are held.
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.
Celebrate the pepper harvest from 11am to 5pm, A favorite gathering for all chile heads and hot pepper fans. Walk the pepper field and see many varieties of hot peppers in bloom, meet the vendors and see who makes the best hot/spicy food, visit the Pepper Farm Store and select your favorite salsa, jellies, spices and pepper products, relax, visit with friends, enjoy great local music and soak in great southern Illinois pepper heat. 618-893-1443. www.darnhotpeppers.com
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.
Ottawa's Ice Odyssey
Make this spectacular Ottawa festival a new holiday tradition for you and yours! Experience the amazing art of ice sculpting as you stroll the downtown streets with your family! Watch first hand, as artists carve ordinary blocks of ice into whimsical holiday visions. Free admission, with event time from 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Oswego Christmas Walk
Come hear the sound of Christmas, the natural warmth and ambience that draws thousands to the downtown, Mason Square, and Douglas Square, the first weekend of December. Carolers, cookie walk, crafts, entertainment, and more.
Celebrating Quincy's German heritage and history. Oktoberfest brings live music, food and specialty beers along with contests and home brewers samplings. All located in the German District between 9th -10th & York Streets. Hosted by the Quincy Rotary Club- held from 4-10pm on the 2nd Sat. in October.
Night of the Luminaria
Be a part of one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. The streets, steps and sidewalks of Galena come alive with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries at dusk. Take a special luminaria trolley ride, be a part of a pub crawl, or just stroll through the streets for this enchanted view.
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.
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.
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
Marion Main Street Hubfest
All day event featuring car show, food vendors, and live entertainment. Lots of activities for kids including bounce houses, face painting and games. Street fair all day long.
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.
Historic National Landmark, Bishop Hill, glows with luminary lit sidewalks and candle lit windows in honor of St. Lucy, a celebration of lights. Musical entertainment abounds throughout the village. Musicians will perform at the Steeple Building and at Vagnhall Galleri, the air will be filled with musical melodies. The village specialty shops and dining establishments stay open late for an enchanted evening to remember. Feel like dancing? Experience the Old Colony School barn dance serenaded by the Rusty String Pickup Band. Experience a utopia on the prairie holiday experience this season.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Long Grove's Holiday Festivities
Charming, historic downtown Long Grove is the destination for the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy a variety of family fun beginning Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas Eve, such as the Humbug Scavenger Hunts for kids. Check back for upcoming details about additional family-friendly winter weekend activities including our annual tree lighting ceremony, cookie walk, snowman building, caroling, storytelling, kids’ Humbug coloring contests, Christmas with Santa, and more! Plus, warm up with, hot apple cider in the Visitors’ Center!
CITY: Long Grove
Long Grove's Chocolate Festival
Enjoy the sweet life! Back by popular demand, Long Grove invites you to enjoy the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest, held every May. Families can fill a day – or a weekend – with chocolaty treats, live music, great food and distinctive shopping in charming Long Grove. Enjoy chocolate demonstrations and workshops, wine parings, live music all over town and plenty of children's activities. Long Grove combines the best of trendy shopping and dining with the ambiance of yesteryear. You will discover beautiful gardens, trendy shops, art galleries and one-of-a-kind restaurants.
CITY: Long Grove
Long Grove's Annual Strawberry Festival
The pleasures of summer are celebrated with “berry” wonderful strawberry-inspired treats. Strawberry lovers of all ages flock to Long Grove’s renown fest to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries, fruit smoothies, and other strawberry drinks, ice creams, strawberry donuts, baked goods and, of course, the farm-fresh berries themselves. There is free live entertainment all three days at venues all over town and most of Long Grove’s many shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants offer variations of strawberry-themed foods, drinks, and merchandise. Fun for All Ages Strawberry Fest features plenty of activities and fun for children, including a variety of kiddie rides, face painting and outdoor activities and tents full of family and education-oriented products.
CITY: Long Grove
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
Lincoln Park ZooLights
Enter a winter wonderland illuminated by the laughter of children and more than one million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One. This holiday classic has become one of the Windy City’s must-see seasonal events. Watch live ice carving then escape Jack Frost with an exotic trip past crocodiles, pygmy hippos and meerkats at the Regenstein African Journey. 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.
Lights Fantastic Activities & Parade
Take pictures with Santa’s reindeer in Carbondale's Town Square, stop by the Polar Express Station (the Old Train Depot) for candy cane treats, and enjoy the Holiday Cookie Walk, where downtown businesses offer cookies and refreshments. The Lights Fantastic Parade kicks off at 6pm.
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival is held on the Friday following Thanksgiving each year. Activities begin at 10:00am and include the Renaissance Center Fun Fair, activities in the Joliet Historical Museum, Joliet Public Library, Gji's Sweet Shoppe, Jitters Coffeehouse, Chicken-N-Spice, The Red Goose Bakery and more. The Annual Festival of Trees held yearly inside the Rialto Square Theatre also add to the holiday festivities. Tree Lighting begins at 5:15pm in Van Buren Plaza Followed by the Light Up the Holidays Parade at 5:30pm.
Light the Veltway
Roosevelt Road will light the way to the holiday season with merriment including live music, food and libations. Berwyn's entertainment row will offer festivities for the whole family.
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.
KLONDIKE FESTIVAL Peoria Riverfront
Peoria's First Winter Festival! * Heated Tent * Human Dog-Sled Races! * JammSammich & Feudin' Hillbillys * Peoria Rivermen Hockey * Puck Shot Challenge
Hometown Holly Day
Featuring 40+ vendors to complete your Christmas shopping. Local shops offering discounts. Breakfast with Santa at the Methodist Church, put on by the Optimist Club. Cookie Walk at the Catholic Church. Light parade at dusk, Bingo at Harlan Hall the complete the fun filled day!
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.
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
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!.
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
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Chicagoland’s largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling LED lights, ice carving, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You’re sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31 See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the Tradition.
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!
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.
Highland Park's Art Center's Festival of Fine Arts
Situated on the beautiful tree-lined streets surrounding TAC, the revamped festival will showcase original works from 120 juried artists. Exceptional examples of fine arts and fine craft, including ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, wood and more will be featured at the festival. The Art Center’s Festival of Fine Arts will offer activities for children and families, as well as live entertainment and tasty festival treats throughout the weekend. Art enthusiasts will get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making these original works of art with live art demos taking place at the festival.
CITY: Highland Park
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Hatch: A Creative Re-Use Art Festival
What happens when you mix artists with unwanted materials destined for the landfill? You get Hatch, a Creative Re-Use Art Festival from the I.D.E.A. Store in Champaign, a marketplace of ideas from recycled materials. In its third year, the event will kick off with a “Trashion” Show, where designers use only recycled materials to make the latest in fashion. An exhibit filled with inspired, recycled pieces follows and concludes with an art fair where you can purchase the artwork that you just can’t live without.
Hardin County Heritage Festival
The Hardin County Heritage Festival is held the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and celebrates the county’s rich heritage and history. The event includes exceptional period entertainment and activities to fill your weekend, including; 1800’s outdoor play, Civil War reenactment, pageant, quilt show, duck race, area craft and food vendors. Festivities also include a period ball, a Regal Women’s Tea and live entertainment throughout. Events are held in Elizabethtown (Saturday) and at the Hardin County K-12 School located East of Elizabethtown on 146. (Friday night pageant)
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!
Gallery of Trees
Throughout the Kankakee County Museum, Christmas trees are decorated by community organizations. Yearly, a special theme is added for your enjoyment. Come in and view the different arrangements and vote for that special tree.
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.
Galesburg Historical Society Annual Chocolate Festival
Annual festival featuring homemade and commercially made chocolate treats. It's an endless buffet of tortes, cakes, pies, cookies, candies, beverages and much more. A chocolate lover's dream. Being held on the third floor of The Galesburg Antiques Mall. Event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. $8 per person.
Now celebrating its 34th year, Fountain Square Art Festival is the largest and oldest fine arts fair on Chicago's majestic North Shore. Featuring the eclectic works of more than 225 juried artists, this sprawling art showcase epitomizes words like "cosmopolitan” and "sophistication." The festival takes place in downtown Evanston, just steps from the eponymous Fountain Square. It also features a popular children's art tent with fun activities overseen by the acclaimed Evanston Art Center, food, and a soothing jazz-centric music lineup.
Hardin County Fluorspar Festival celebrates the influences brought to the area by the Fluorspar Mining Companies. Located on the banks of the Ohio River. Rosiclare (once known as the “Fluorspar Capital”), has a colorful history that revolved around this mineral. Each year, the Festival highlights and brings back memories of days gone by. Held on the first weekend in October in Downtown Rosiclare, the Festival features an ever-growing list of activities and things to do, including a Queen’s Pageant, a carnival, hickory-smoked barbeque, a pet parade, kid’s games, karoke, food and craft vendors, a quilt show, an open-house at the American Fluorite Museum, a car, truck and motorcycle show and a large parade featuring local school bands, groups, floats, a Grand Marshall and horse clubs. Local musical talent will also be on hand and the finale is held Saturday evening at the City Park on the Ohio River.
First Night Springfield
28th Annual First Night Springfield! This family-friendly, alcohol-free event is a Springfield area tradition. Free children's activities from 1 - 4 pm at Springfield High School Commons. Fireworks at 8 pm. Over 30 performances around Downtown Springfield from 6 pm - 11:15 pm.
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
Festival of Trees & Holiday Lane Craft Show
Experience the magic of a holiday wonderland filled with an assortment of uniquely decorated trees. The Festival includes holiday musical entertainment by local church choirs, school groups, and community musical groups scheduled at various times throughout this free festival. Be sure to visit the Holiday Lane Craft Show and Home Business Showcase located in the convention center for a perfect holiday shopping opportunity. This special community event is sponsored by the Sandwich Park District in cooperation with Timber Creek Inn and Suites.
Festival of Trees
They're decked out for the holidays; they’ll have twinkle lights, Sam is dressed up, and of course the tree competition! During the month they will also have ‘special events’ happening weekly!
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
Celebrate the fall season with a farmers market, arts and craft vendors and local musical entertainment.
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.
Deck the Depot
Saunter over to Berwyn's Depot District for Deck the Depot, a brisk holiday walk through Berwyn's downtown Winter Wonderland complete with lights, live reindeer and a petting zoo at the Municipal Parking Facility. Let Santa know what's on your wish list and then get a complimentary photo with the Big Man in Red at Bounce Sports. Snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a hayride (Windsor & Grove Ave.). Relax to the sounds of Carolers. For those who prefer a traditional chauffeur, a heated trolley will also make stops at all of the Open Houses. Best of all, even the "naughty" will be treated like the "nice" as all of the event's aforementioned features are family-friendly and free. Opening Ceremony will take place at 5:15pm at the "Berwyn" Train Depot at Windsor & Grove. Pick up an event punch card and enter our event raffle by visiting Bounce Sports. Depot District merchants will stay open late to offer complimentary goodies, holiday specials and cheer to all who visit. Don't forget that holiday shopping list! As an extra incentive, the event will feature a special drawing for adults 21+ who spend $10 in the Depot District and have the event passport "punched" by all of the participating open houses for a chance to win a basket worth over $200!
Deck the Depot
Enjoy Deck the Depot, a brisk holiday walk through Berwyn's downtown Winter Wonderland complete with lights, live reindeer and a petting zoo at the Municipal Parking Facility. Let Santa know what's on your wish list and then get a complimentary photo with the Big Man in Red at Bounce Sports. Snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a hayride. Relax to the sounds of Carolers. For those who prefer a traditional chauffeur, a heated trolley will also make stops at all of the Open Houses. All of the event's are family-friendly and free! Opening Ceremony will take place at 5:15 p.m. at the "Berwyn" Train Depot at Windsor & Grove. Pick up an event punch card and enter our event raffle by visiting Bounce Sports. Depot District merchants will stay open late to offer complimentary goodies, holiday specials and cheer to all who visit. The event will also feature a special drawing for adults 21+ who spend $10 in the Depot District and have the event passport "punched" by all of the participating open houses for a chance to win a basket worth over $200!
Country Folk Art Festival
Extraordinary handmade arts and crafts made by award winning artisans. Reproductions of antique American furniture, historic crafts, folk art, primitives, unique Halloween, Christmas creations! Also some original antiques.
CITY: St. Charles
Cobden Peach Festival
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.
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
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available first come first serve on weekends. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-800-258-6645.
Christmas Market "Julmarknad"
The holiday festivities in Bishop Hill begin with Julmarknad, or Christmas Market. This event is based on Scandinavian customs dating back to the Middle Ages when farmers and artisans would gather in the village squares to sell their wares. Bishop Hill businesses will be offering unique gifts, handmade wares, antiques, quilts, collectibles, baked goods, delicious foods, and Swedish imports. Scandinavian foods such as herring, lutfisk, and rye bread are also in abundance. You can also participate in the Chocolate Walk, located at the Steeple Building, where you can choose from a variety of chocolate delicacies.
CITY: Bishop Hill
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.
Christmas in Carterville
This annual Christmas celebration encompasses the entire downtown area of Carterville. Santa and his helpers will be on hand for photos. There will be hot chocolate and cookies, caroling, chili supper, gingerbread contest, festival of trees, Sugar Plum Dance Fairies, face painting, Candy Land Path, Horse and Carriage rides and much much more. This event is held in downtown Carterville.
Christmas Begins at Walnut Grove Farm
Begin your winter holiday season on Thanksgiving weekend with festive music, simmering foods, friendly greetings and a visit with St. Nicholas. Take home natural Christmas trimming and exquisite one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends. End your visit with a horse-drawn wagon ride through the walnut grove! Admission: a generous gift of non-perishable food items for Knoxville Council of Churches’ Christmas baskets.
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!
Cave-In-Rock Frontier Day
Cave-In-Rock Frontier Festival is held on the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. The festival, which commemorates the extensive and colorful history connected to Cave-In-Rock and the surrounding community, is an entertaining and fun filled community event. First held in the 1960’s, the celebration includes a parade, carnival, various entertainment held in the Old Opry House, food and craft vendors. A Little Miss and Mister Frontier Days and Frontier Queen pageant is a highlight as well as various other activities. Come join the festivities for a weekend of fun and entertainment.
CITY: Cave In Rock
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.
Cache River Days
This fun fest includes a flea market, parade, softball tournament, yard sales, BBQ and music.
Boo! at the Zoo
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
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.
Barrington Art Festival
Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at the Barrington Art Festival. The festival offers the work of 125 juried artists from around the country in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, watercolors and wood. Live music, great food and fun activities for kids make the Barrington Art Festival a perfect family experience!
Bald Eagle Festival
Join Pere Marquette Lodge for its annual eagle festival. The World Bird Sanctuary will showcase and teach about these majestic creatures in their Masters of the Sky show. In addition to the show, enjoy live entertainment, tons of craft vendors and fun for the whole family. For more information call 618-786-2331, ext. 0
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.
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.
Atlanta Fall Festival
A small town festival has carnival rides, a petting zoo, car show, pie and cake baking contest/auction, bingo and bands nightly that are sure to entertain the whole family!
Join us at the Art Center for ArtFest on Saturday, September 19 & 20 from 12 to 5 p.m for hands on art projects! There will be a free clay competition for kids & adults, an art exhibit scavenger hunt, a collaborative mural, live figure drawing, and demonstrations & hands on activities by local artists. quincyartcenter.org
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