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Learn about local Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB. These two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
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.
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.
Spend the weekend seeing horse powered equipment, antique tractors, and gas & steam engines. If that is not enough, watch demonstrations on bailing, blacksmithing, plowing, threshing, and more! Enjoy train rides, tractor pulls, great food, and a large flea market. There is something for everyone at this three day event.
Take a self-guided tour of public art from June 2 to September 2 as part of the 2nd annual Sculpture Walk in downtown Oak Park. The walk features 12 world-class sculptures prominently placed among Oak Park's many shops and restaurants.
Annual Gem and Mineral Show showing off Indian artifacts, fossils, lapidary displays, shell crafts and much more.
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.
Look for over 120 artists to be showcased at this year’s Cedarhurst Art & Craft Fair featuring glass, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, wood, basketry and leather, two-dimensional art and much more. An exciting area just for Children will include lots of games and make and take crafts for children to enjoy as well as their very own place to shop, the “Children’s Store.” Have a seat in the Grand Tent and enjoy entertainment by national and regional bands and tasty treats in the Cedarhurst Beer Garden! Local civic groups will be serving up delicious items at a variety of food booths throughout the weekend. There's plenty of seating in the Grand Tent plus the Beer Garden!
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!"
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.
This annual event features over 100 original, handmade arts and crafts, great food, free admission, and free parking. For more information call 1-800-851-4720, extension 8287.
The DuQuoin fair is one of the nation's best agricultural events. The fair offers plenty of entertainment, including a carnival, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, contests, and national acts on the grandstand stage.
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.
For model railroad aficionados and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains, this is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 103 by 24 foot scale model of a hypothetical railroad. The railroad intersects with models of "real" railroads, each of which can be operated independently. Up to 20 trains can be operating at one time. Industries along the railroad right-of-way duplicate either actual facilities or are typically correct of the industries that would be found in the Upper Midwest. The scenery represents the geographical area as well. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures are on display.
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.
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. The Dickens Holiday Village is back and the handcrafted Dickens characters made by our volunteer artists will bring a Public Art Program that is free for everyone to enjoy! Antioch will proudly displayed 45 Dickens characters for people to tour. Each character has a plaque describing the scene and also serves as an educational tool for students. Take a self-guided tour with one of our Dickens Walking Brochure Maps or reserve a tour guide for groups of 24 or more. Plus there is plenty of Dickens Fun for everyone in November and December. You may enjoy Dickens Teas, an Antioch "Oliver" dog afternoon, Dress like Dickens event, and much more.
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.
The Sandwich Fair (DeKalb County Fair) is the oldest continuing fair in the State of Illinois. It brings over 175,000 visitors to the Sandwich Fairgrounds every year with harness races, draft horse pulls, carnival rides, demo derby, grandstand shows and the Midwest’s largest display of agricultural and home arts exhibits. It’s a traditional fair with the awesome fun of a modern theme park. The Sandwich Fair is quaint, old-fashioned fun – a great place to stay connected. There’s something for everyone! Join the fun! Fair starts the Wednesday after Labor Day and continues through Sunday. (Check out their web site for live entertainment lineup and ticket information.)
Buy a dress, pick out flowers, and find a photographer all in one place. Over 100+ vendors to choose from all under one roof. This annual event is presented by River Radio and held at The Pavilion of the City of Marion.
Coinciding with the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Games, Nazi Olympics tells an important historical story. Given that sports play a powerful developmental role in the lives of so many youth and adult athletes, this exhibition expands on many important themes—racism and discrimination, propaganda, fair play, and ethical decision making—allowing the public to personally connect to the history and lessons of the Holocaust and relate them to present day Olympics and human rights issues.
Explore the power of play at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s new temporary exhibition, Brick by Brick, opening March 10. Brick by Brick features a spectacular collection of more than a dozen LEGO®-built structures of engineering marvels, including a 60-foot-long Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, St. Louis Gateway Arch, Hoover Dam, Roman Colosseum, the Burj Khalifa and more. These models are constructed by LEGO Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. Guests will also experience hands-on building challenges that reinforce key principles of engineering, construction and architecture—and encourage creativity. Throughout the exhibit, guests learn how architects and engineers push the limits of design, materials and location to make the seemingly impossible, possible; witness how form follows function; and learn how building beautifully uplifts us all.
Shakespeare 400 Chicago is a yearlong international arts festival in 2016 celebrating the vibrancy, relevance and reach of Shakespeare. As the world commemorates the four hundred years since Shakespeare’s death in 1616, Shakespeare 400 Chicago will engage more than 500,000 Chicagoans and visitors to our City through 850 events.
At the Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo, you'll find Light Sport Aircrafts lined on the tarmac of the Mt. Vernon Airport. Also find LSA's for sale, ancillary equipment and related services.
The annual quilt show is like a needle and thread as it joins together family members and friends to create something memorable. This event continues to grow and over 100 quilts and quilted pieces are entered in this judged show at the Colony School. Be sure to visit the Village Smithy and VagnHall Galleri to see additional quilts on display.
Celebrate Native American heritage with dancing, cultural demonstrations, children's games and crafts, special presentations and more. Special guest is Robert Mirabalo, a Pueblo musician and Native American flute player. Presented by Midwest SOARRING Foundation.
Share in the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of the find. Discover treasures and hard-to-find items at the historic Sandwich Fairgrounds.This will be a rewarding experience for exhibitors and customers alike. Managed by seasoned antiques dealers, this Second Sunday market of antiques and collectibles has helped to define Sandwich, Illinois as a destination location for both the casual visitor and the sophisticated collector. Held one Sunday of each month May – Oct., except Sept at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, rain or shine. Free parking, food vendors and ATM available. No pets. 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 2016 Summer dates: June 12, July 10, August 14
The Pearl Banquets and Conference Center boasts a comprehensive range of rooms in a wide array of configurations. Lighting can also be customized for your event.
Lighted pumpkin House - October 25-31 Downtown Arthur - This house is decorated with over 300 pumpkins that are carved by school children, businesses, Arthur community volunteers and surrounding communities. The pumpkin come from Arthur's very own, The Great Pumpkin Patch
These shows are the best places for the general public and breeders alike to come out & meet many of the World's top reptile breeders. Reptile breeders bring out their top projects & showcase them at the NARBC Shows.The shows also provide a chance to meet some of your favorite TV personalities such as Mark O'Shea, Nigel Marven, Donald Schultz, Ton Jones and a few up and comers that you will soon be watching on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel! We welcome you get up close and personal with some of the rarest and also some of the best "beginner pet" reptiles the reptile breeding community has to offer!
A three day long fest that can’t be missed. Long Grove invites the whole family out to enjoy all the best that the Irish culture offers including: live music, dancers, best dressed dog competition each day, traditional Irish food and drink, and activities for the “wee” folk.
Every second Saturday of the month the Baltria Car Show is held from May thru October. Live music, free entry, food, giveaways, awards. Visit our Vintage Auto Gallery.
You won't want to miss the 22nd annual Fly-In and car show. On Saturday, take a close look at warbirds, antique aircraft and automobiles on display. On Sunday, free flights will be offered for kids ages 8-17, sponsored by Young Eagles EAA Chapter 864. Free admission and parking. For more information, call (618) 259-2531.
EXPO Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, opens the fall art season each September at historic Navy Pier. EXPO Chicago presents artwork from 140 leading galleries, representing countries and cities from around the world, and includes Exposure—a section that affords younger galleries the opportunity to participate in a major international art fair. Exposure provides critical opportunities for curators, collectors, and art patrons to survey the best in innovative and emerging programs.
Butterflies & Blooms is a butterfly exhibition where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of live butterflies. This exhibition is filled with species native to South America, Asia, North America, and Africa, as well as those native to Illinois. The 2,800-square-foot white mesh enclosure is located on the lawn of the Learning Campus. Weather permitting.
Shop for unique local products during this special expo at the Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center. Over a hundred local vendors with products like goats milk soaps, lotions, handmade jewelry to Pretzel items to books to cards to rugs and mugs and so much more. The gifts are either produced in Stephenson County or highlight some aspect of local culture and history. Open: 8 am - 7 pm seven days a week.
Experience World War II like no other. Over 40 authentic vehicles and 1200 reenactors will have battles with pyrotechnics, skirmishes, demonstrations, and displays. Military sales vendors will join our food vendors to help you enjoy your day. New this year: Hear the Andrew Sisters live musical performance and tour General Patton's Mobile Command Center. Tickets are available online, www.midwayvillage.com, at the Museum Gift Store, or at the gate. Parking is free. Registered card carrying reenactors are the ONLY guests admitted into the event in vintage military uniforms. Visitors may dress in civilian 1940s costumes if desired.
This collaborative exhibit explores what it means to be Hmong American. How has Hmong life changed since refugees first entered the U.S. in the 1970s? What does it mean to be Hmong American today? Through objects, audio recordings and personal stories of Hmong Americans, this exhibit immerses visitors in the material culture and social issues of Hmong American communities. The exhibition is now open and will run through December 2016. A special opening reception featuring refreshments and live music will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the museum, located in Cole Hall on the NIU campus. The event is free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Tour and explore three floors of the largest Dutch/German Illinois Windmill built in 1872, filled with antiques and exhibits. Su 1-3PM.
Knowledgeable members of the Chicago Herpetological Society will give short talks about crocodiles and their kin, including some of our very own residents. Jim Nesci and his world-famous American alligator, ‘Bubba,’ will pay a visit from 10 – 12. Come see the skull of a 24-foot saltwater crocodile, today’s largest living terrestrial predator! There’ll be face painting, storytelling and other activities for children. There will also be craft vendors and other fun for the whole family.
The Heartland Community College campus is a community resource that may be scheduled as available for activities consistent with the mission and policies of the College and Board of trustees. the campus includes several conference rooms, classrooms, computer labs and an auditorium that can hold 430 people. All of these spaces can be reserved through the special events department.
Explore real artifacts of DARPA's past and present work, like Atlas, a high-mobility humanoid robot, and Spot, the world's most technically advanced robotic dog. Discover the agency's history of scientific innovations that have made their way into our daily lives. Hands-on interactives allow you to create a virtual robot, or highlight the technologies inside a smartphone that were developed by DARPA. You may not have known the name until now, but you're definitely familiar with their work.
The DeKalb County Quilter's Guild invites you to our biennial quilt show, October 1-2, 2016. Enjoy this year's expanding our offerings to other textile and fiber arts, such as weaving, spinning, knitting, crocheting, wearable art and more. The featured artist will be Lorraine Torrence, who makes wearable art and quilts, and will be presenting three lectures, "Design Principles for Quilters," "Finding Your Voice," and "Creative Clothing for Everybody." In addition to 300+ quilts on display, there will be exhibits in other disciplines and special exhibits including the Hoffman Challenge and a trunk show by SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates.) There will be demonstrations, workshops, lectures, and a vendors mall with new and longtime favorites. Food will also be available to purchase.
This event will have daily demonstrations and displays of steam and gas engines, draft horses and pony activities, robe making, saw mill, corn shredding and shelling, cider and apple butter making, blacksmithing, steam train rides and much more. This is a family fun weekend!
Quilts are displayed in several historic churches in the Villages of Kampsville, Hardin and Brussels. Beautiful quilts that belong to the residents of Calhoun County are on display in the Churches along with quilt exhibits and activities in Church Halls. Calhoun County communities join together to share the beauty and history of quilts that have been in local families as far back as the 1800s. There are over one hundred (100) quilts on display in the various locations. A brief history of each quilt will be provided so visitors can appreciate the craftsmanship and stories that are uniquely associated with them. In addition to the quilt displays there are other vendors, demonstrations and the sale of supplies and quilts. For more information, call (618) 883-2578 or (618) 232-1268. Admission: Advance Tickets: $8 Tickets for groups of 20 or more: $7/person Tickets at the door: $12 Tickets are valid for both days of event. Tickets may also be purchased by mail. Send check payable to CCF, P.O. Box 176, Hardin, IL 62047
Festivities include plowing competition, English and Western horse show, arts and crafts show, children's games, ladies and junior fair auction. Food available from local area vendors and much more. Parking is free.
The Northern Illinois Airshow at Waukegan National Airport is scheduled as a one-day event and will carry a Remember 9-11 theme. Approximately 10,000 people are expected to watch the exciting aerial performances and share in the excitement that the roar of aircraft engines brings. The show will feature vintage warbirds, mock dogfights, aerobatics, along with many aircraft on static display. Unlike other regional airshows,this one is an up close and personal experience. Attendees can actually walk right up to the airplanes and ask the pilots questions; the show is as much education as it is entertainment. There also will be food and refreshment booths.
Come and take a tour of this historic playhouse the 2nd Saturday of every month. This playhouse was built by Dr. and Mrs. William Haskell for their five year old daughter Lucy. It is a rare architectural gem containing many of the flamboyant elements of the Queen Anne style: cartwheels, brackets, spires, diagonal sticking, fish scale shingles and stained glass windows. It's importance is magnified because so few of these accessory structures for children have survived. The playhouse contains a single room, front porch and side porch. The interior has been restored and the playhouse is open for special occasions. The playhouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Winner of ABC's 2013 Great Christmas Light Fight. Over one million led Christmas lights displayed in sync with a dozen different songs including the Blackhawks' song.
Illinois Porcelain Art Show will be celebrating 50 years of Porcelain Painting in Illinois. You will be able to view beautiful displays of hand-painted china by our member guilds, shop with our vendors and porcelain art teachers, vote on museum pieces, have the opportunity to bid on silent auction pieces (will include painted pieces as well as wreaths/swags created by our members) Supplies will be included in fee. We are excited by this new concept of learning.
The public is invited to the Ellwood House Museum for a new lecture series titled “Local Lore.” Local Lore is an adult lecture series which will cover a wide variety of topics relating to DeKalb history. Each month, a different guest speaker will present these fascinating programs. All lectures take place at the Ellwood House Museum Visitor Center. Visit the Ellwood House Museum webpage for dates and times.
Meet paranormal investigators, have a free Tarot card reading and take a free tour of the Historic Museum of Torture Devices during the Mineral Springs Haunted Autumn Solstice Extravaganza. There will be speakers, vendors, door prizes and so much more! For more information, call (618) 465-3200.
Enjoy this year's Jersey County Historic Society's Annual Apple Fest. Throughout the day, visitors can browse craft booths, demonstrations, quilt raffle, kettle corn and children's games. Pioneer stew, ham & beans with cornbread, and sweet treats will be sold throughout the day. Historic tours of the Cheney Mansion, Log House and Lone Star School are $5 for adults; free for children 6 and under. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the day. All other events are free. For more information, call (618) 498-2811.
A KR is a 2-seat composite home built aircraft, and is named KR after the names of the first builders. Each year enthusiasts, builders, and pilots travel to the KR Gathering to exchange ideas, to learn more about the KR, talk to pilots and other builders, take pictures to assist in the building process and to see friends from past gatherings.
STEMfest celebrates innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Northern Illinois University STEM departments, student groups, regional corporations, museums, educators, and national labs are joining forces to present hundreds of activities that range in complexity to entertain people of all ages. We hope to increase awareness of the critical role science and other STEM fields play in our world every day.
Freeport Art Museum, 121 N. Harlem Avenue, Freeport. Tuesday thru Friday: 10 am to 5 pm; Saturday: Noon to 5 pm. This exhibition is an installation, print and multi-media exhibition of work by Jonathan McFadden and David Wischer that presents a reaction to news and social media cycles by drawing attention to the fractured and often-sensationalized events and culture. Works are appropriated from multiple media outlets and social media sites, emphasizing the fractured narrative that news cycles create by pushing aside recent events for the most current story, creating a culture that blurs events and leaves the viewer entertained but unable to recall details. McFadden incorporates recognizable forms so that the viewer feels a sense of remembrance toward, but may not link to the original meaning. Thus the work created in reaction to these events begins to take on its own narrative about global society and how we digest information. Opening Reception: August 19, 5 pm to 7 pm. Free, but donations appreciated. (815-235-9755)
Vendors, Entertainment, Music Fest, Food Court and more. Don't miss the sounds of Steam Powered Giraffe, Candy Town, and Libido Funk Circus. Thomas Willeford from TV's Steampunk'd will also be on site.
A time honored downtown gallery walk started by the Around the Corner Artist Group, now featuring all downtown artists and galleries.
Welcome warmer weather and shake off cabin fever during Naper Settlement’s annual tribute to the changing of the seasons. Learn the time-honored method of collecting sap the old-fashioned way and see a maple tree tapping demonstration. Enjoy hands-on activities and presentations that recount Illinois’ Native American heritage and pioneer past and try a tasty maple treat. Each of the historic buildings will have a different theme and special activities for families to enjoy.