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Trolley Tours - Starved Rock
Board a trolley outside of the Great Hall area of the Lodge. Learn about the rich history and legends of Starved Rock State Park and Lodge. Travel to the Lock and Dam, through historic downtown Utica and the Starved Rock Visitor Center. Reservations are recommended. April & May: Saturday 3-4:30 & Sunday 12-1:30, 1:30-3 & 3-4:30. Jun. 1, 2015 - Oct. 31, 2015 , Mon-Sat 3:00pm - 4:30pm, Sun 12:00pm-1:30pm, 1:30pm - 3:00pm, 3:00pm - 4:30pm. June-October: Monday-Saturday 3-4:30 pm, Sundays 12:00-1:30, 1:30-3 & 3-4:30. For more information or to book, call 815-220-7386.
Starved Rock Walkers Club
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).
Tour de Shawnee Bike ride
Bicyclists meet at the Olive Branch Community Center at 8 AM. Organized bike routes of 15, 30, 45, 62 and 100 mile rides around scenic Horseshoe Lake and area. Entry fee includes: Event bag, chance for attendance prizes. Early registration includes commemorative t shirt.
Winter Holiday Hayride
Our annual holiday hayrides will feature the food, fun and traditions from the pioneers of North America. We'll ride on our decorated hay wagon through the streets of Palos Heights singing Christmas carols then return to the Nature Center to enjoy food, crafts and other activities. Registration and payment to be made in person or by mail no later than the Monday before hayride. $8 per person.
Fall Hayride and Campfire
October is pumpkin time! Join Lake Katherine for a fall hayride followed by pumpkin painting, treats and songs around the campfire. Registration and payment to be made in person or by mail no later than the Monday before the event. We do not accept telephone registration. $8 per person Program #429.
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.
Fall Festival at New Salem
Typical autumn life on the 1830s Illinois prairie will be demonstrated. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate daily tasks such as candle dipping, butter churning, soap making, basket making, spinning wool, gardening, natural dyeing, and fishing with nets. Demonstrations of meat smoking will take place in one of the log village's period smokehouses, and wild game cooking will be demonstrated in the log homes. Visitors can step down into the cellar at the tavern to see how fruits and vegetables were preserved during the winter.
Fall Festival at Lincoln’s New Salem
Come and see what a typical autumn life was like on the 1830's Illinois prairie. There will be costumed interpreters demonstrating daily tasks such as candle dipping, butter churning, soap making, basket making, spinning wool, gardening, natural dyeing, and fishing with nets. As well as a demonstration of meat smoking that will take place in one of the log village's period smokehouses. Wild game cooking will be demonstrated in the log homes and you are also welcome to step down into the cellar at the tavern to see how fruits and vegetables were preserved during the winter.
American Thresherman Fall Festival
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!
Trail of Terror
Tucked among the charming small towns, lush scenery and hassle-free motoring in Northern Illinois is the Trail of Terror, a self-guided tour of the area's finest haunted houses, cemetery walks, pumpkin patches, wineries, festivals and other spook-tacular seasonal sensations. The fun begins in September and continues through all of October across Carroll, DeKalb, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson & Whiteside counties. For all the details & more information on all of the cool creepiness, visit www.illinoistrailofterror.com
“The Third Testament,” the annual Holy Boulders Bouldering Competition
Nestled on a hillside in Pomona, IL, the Holy Boulders is a world-class climbing area offering classic lines of all grades on perfectly textured sandstone. The bouldering competition will help promote access to some of the finest sandstone bouldering in the country, the climbing area is known as “The Holy Boulders.” Last year the ICA’s Holy Boulders competition brought together over 200 competitors from 7 states and raised $15,000 to permanently secure climbing access at the Holy Boulders.
Princeton Christmas Open House
On Friday November 20th - Sunday, November 22, come see the Spectacular Christmas Tree Lighting at Darius Miller Park followed by a candy cane hunt at Soldiers and Sailors Park. All weekend you can enjoy Live music, hot chocolate, and luminaries, plus lots of shopping and family fun! Don't forget to visit Santa while your there! For more information please contact the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Walking Tour of Historic Riverside
The Frederick Law Olmsted Society is pleased to offer great opportunities to learn about our historic landmark village. Discover the winding roads, delightful parks, beautiful landscapes, varied architecture and much more!
Village of Robbins Open Air Market
Year round, each Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday. Thinking of going into business? Let us be your testing ground. Become a vendor or shop til you drop. We have new and used merchandise.
Nicholas Conservatory - Lorikeet Exhibit
For the second year, lorikeets are landing in Rockford! These bright, colorful birds will swoop in for a stay at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Inside the Conservatory, guests will find a special lorikeet house which provides guests with an intimate look into the fascinating world of the lorikeet. Visitors will be "face to beak" with the small- to medium-sized parrots known for their playful personalities, vibrant coloration, and their ability to mimic words and sounds. Lorikeets are a group of birds classified under "true parrots," and are found throughout the Australian region. Lorikeets, or lorys, have a unique brush-tipped tongue for feeding on fruits, vegetables, and flowers and are constantly looking for nectar and fruits due to their rapid metabolism. Guests will be able to purchase a nectar cup for $1 at the front desk and gift shop inside the Conservatory.
Locktoberfest Weekends at Lockwood Park
Locktoberfest is a family fun festival, with a different theme each week! Our festival features free and low fee paid activities. Each weekend we will offer carnival rides, games, children's farm, pony rides, wagon rides, pick your own pumpkin, seasonal food, face painting, and more! Parking is free. Saturdays and Sundays in October, plus Monday, October 12.
43rd Annual Settler's Day
Celebrate our heritage by stepping back into America's past. Don't miss costumed living-history demonstrators, history hikes, crafts, and an imaginary wagon train adventure and more!
Leave no child inside, family fun day!
Spend some time outside with the kids and have fun with our naturalists. Enjoy activities and games, an obstacle course, nature scavenger hunt and more.
The sparkling splendor of over 2,000 hand-carved, illuminated jack-o-lanterns will surround the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon at Washington Park at this annual Halloween festival.
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.
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.
UL International Crown
The UL International Crown is a first-of-its-kind biennial, team match play competition featuring the best female golfers from the top eight countries in the world, based on the combined Rolex World Ranking of the top four players from each country. Since it will be along the lines of the FIFA World Cup of women’s golf, come root for your country! The tournament also precedes golf’s return to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil by a few weeks, so meet future Olympians as well. Volunteer registration is open and tickets are now on sale. Visit www.ULCROWN.com to find out more.
Sycamore Pumpkin Fest
2015 is the 54th Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival downtown. What started out as an idea by Wally Thurow in 1956 to offer something creative for the students of Sycamore, has grown from a neighborhood display on his front yard into the towns biggest city wide event beginning on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony and cake cutting. The festival begins with over 1000 entries in the Lions Decorated Pumpkin Display, 2 carnivals, 2 large indoor craft shows, many non-profit vendors, and culminating with an hour and a half long parade on Sunday.
Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10K
The Sycamore 10K Pumpkin Run is headed into its 37th year! Feet will hit the street Sunday, October 25th at 9:05am. The 10K is held during Sycamore Illinois’ world famous Pumpkin Festival. This race has become a staple in the Northern Illinois race schedule. In 2014, we had over 1,800 participants running. Awards are given to the top three finishers in 11 age groups!
Downtown Tinley Boo Bash
Dress up and head out to the Downtown Tinley Halloween Boo Bash. Enjoy costume parade, trick-or-treating, games, prizes, snacks, food and refreshments available.
Starved Rock Photography Club
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.
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.
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!