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Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
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.
East Peoria Festival of Lights & Folepi's Winter Wonderland
Light up your night at the East Peoria Festival of Lights (FOLEPI)! The annual Festival of Lights is a one-of-a-kind holiday spectacular. With more than two million lights in the festival, the beauty will be sure to mesmerize you and your family.
Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
The 7,500-square-foot “Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America” exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden features trains running on 1,600 feet of track, for train and garden enthusiasts to enjoy the delightful sights and sounds of the miniature trains traversing high and low through tunnels, across bridges and around buildings.
Sycamore's Steam Show and Threshing Bee
The History of the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club invites you to their annual Sycamore Steam Show & Threshing Bee. This family friendly event is a great way to step back in time and see many antique machines at work. Threshing using steam engines and gas tractors. Also, a sawmill in operation sawing logs into lumber using Steam Power and Baling Straw using Club's 1900 Sandwich stationary wire-tie baler are just a few of the engaging machine exhibitions that will be presented at the Bee. There will also be Barrel Train rides, rope making, mule team wagon rides and much more to entertain everyone.
47th Annual Prairie Land Heritage Steam Show & Fall Festival Days
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.
Gem & Mineral Show
Annual Gem and Mineral Show showing off Indian artifacts, fossils, lapidary displays, shell crafts and much more.
2nd Annual Outdoor Sculpture Walk
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.
Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden
Take a magical trip to a winter wonderland of twinkling lights and holiday beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden when we kick off the holiday season! Outside, 750,000 lights sparkle and welcome you and your family to the Garden's wonderland. Inside the Regenstein Center, a 10,000-square-foot exhibition of miniature trains winds over bridges, under trestles, past waterfalls, and through more than 80 mini-replicas of Chicago's favorite landmarks. Paul Busse, designer of the Model Railroad Garden, created this amazing exhibition exclusively for the Garden's holiday celebration.
American Indian and Ethnographic Show
Historic artifacts on display.
Home Garden & Business Expo
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!"
Cedarhurst Craft Fair
More than 160 exhibitors from throughout the country show and sell diverse craft items. Includes continuous entertainment, children's activities, and a variety of food.
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.
John A. Logan College Autumn Fest
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.
DuQuoin State Fair
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.
Fever River Railroad/Stephenson Society of Model Trainmen Open House
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.
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.
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.
DeKalb County Barn Tour
The DeKalb County Barn Tour is a one-day driving tour of barn sites within DeKalb County hosted by the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association and the JF Glidden Homestead & Historical Center. Participants will receive a map Guide Book containing hand-drawn sketches of each barn and the barn’s history, style and use. Participants drive to each location in any order for a tour of the barn(s), including many interiors. Purchase your event ticket at any of the seven locations. Admission is $20 per vehicle (buses extra) (Museum members receive a 25% discount). Bus groups are welcome. Call for details on pricing; Marcia Wilson at the JF Glidden Homestead & Historical Center at (815) 756-7904 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dicken's Holiday Village
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.
American Thresherman Show
This steam and antique tractor show features 5 days of great events such as antique tractor pulls, ITPA & Illinois Hot Farm Stock sanctioned tractor pulls, music, a parade and much more! Featured this year is Rumely Products Collectors 24th Annual Expo and the Allis-Chalmers Triple A Tractor Club.
47th Annual Threshing Show and Antique Show
The Stephenson County Antique Engine Club proudly presents this annual event, “The Freeport Show”. It offers over 300 antique steam and horse-powered engines and equipment, and gas engines. This year’s feature is John Deere tractors and equipment. There will be a huge parade daily at 1:00 pm, a large flea market, a large display building offering antique transportation displays, home antiques, crafts, demonstrations, and farm miniatures, Gasoline Alley featuring gas powered engines, sawmill, and blacksmith shop. Also ride the Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad antique steam train A Midwest Championship Antique Tractor Pull will be held on Saturday.
12th Annual River Country Quilt Show
Whether you wish to display your own quilt or are interested in seeing some beautiful work, the River Country Quilt Show is for everyone. Spend two days seeing some of Central Illinois' beautiful quilts, antique quilts bed tuning, and the largest and newest items, fabrics, and notions from several of the area vendors.
Sugar Creek Arts Festival
The streets of Uptown Normal are painted with artists and art lovers alike during this annual festival held each July. The festival only allows original pieces of artwork to be shown, so be ready for a one-of-a-kind experience!
Henry County Fair
A week long summer event showcasing Henry County’s premier agricultural talent; area residents display their livestock, art and garden pride. Watch, or better yet, partake in the tractor pull or demolition derby. Food and carnival rides for all to enjoy.
Ever After Bridal Show
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.
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.)
Quad Cities Museum Week
Explore museums across the Quad Cities during their annual Quad Cities Museum Week. Exhibits, special events, tours and more can be found during this fun filled week.
Belvidere Mopar Happening
Illinois' best car club show! Family-friendly activities include the car show, a swap meet and car sale corral. Car display and swap meet Saturday; car-show and swap Sunday. Enjoy music all weekend with food vendors to fill you up. Held at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo
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.
Illinois Holocaust Museum Exhibit - Nazi Olympics: Berlin, 1936
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.
Lattice, Landscape and Leaves ~ Bishop Hill Quilt Show
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.
Join in an old-fashioned cruise through downtown, sponsored by J.H. Barkau & Sons. There will be music, food, car contests, and lots more. Cruise Parking Lots open for parking at 3 pm for those with pre-reserved spots and at 4 pm for non-reserved spots. Reserved Parking: $12; Non-Reserved Parking: $10; Cruise Only: Free.
Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry
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
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.
Arts in the Park - Danville
Danville's Art in the Park features over 60 regional artist booths and two full days of continuous on stage performances, festival food, and a children's tent. The "Art of Wheels" classic car show kicks off the event each year on Saturday (June 27) morning.
Pearl Banquets & Conference Center
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 Display
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
The Hummingbird Festival at Pere Marquette has been a crowd pleaser for years, and this year will be no exception. Join the Lodge in celebrating a creature full of mystery and beauty – the hummingbird. Live entertainment, presentations from naturalists on the hummingbird, catching and banding, plus craft vendors and activities. The event is free. For more information, call (618) 786-2331, or go to www.PMLodge.net.
North American Reptile Breeders
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!
Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show
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
22nd Annual Airport Open House and Fly In
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.
Long Grove's Irish Days
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.
Haunted America Conference
America's Original Ghost Conference (Founded in 1997 and often imitated, but never equaled) is back for our 20th year and will be held over the weekend of June 24-25, 2016, at the Atrium Hotel in Haunted Alton, Illinois. Join us as we return to "one of the most haunted small towns in America" and present new and returning favorite speakers on ghosts, hauntings, monsters, the supernatural, and the unexplained. The 2016 event will include lectures and presentations, a speaker's panel, haunted tours, ghost hunts, "strange stuff", the Haunted America Masquerade Party and much more! Admission is $50/person for General Admission.
Baltria Car Show
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.
Butterflies & Blooms Exhibit
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.
2016 Harvest of Quilts and Textile Art Show
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.
STORYTelling: Hmong American Voices Exhibit
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.
Heartland Community College
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.
Larsen Light Show
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.
DARPA: Redefining Possible at the Museum of Science and Industry
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.
Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center One Year Anniversary Celebration
Join us on the Museum Square to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center on Monday, April 25 from noon to 4:00 p.m. Come out and enjoy refreshments and a Route 66 performance from the Sound of Illinois Chorus on the plaza at 12:15 p.m. The Museum will also offer free admission to the new permanent exhibit gallery, Making a Home, which explores the experience of living, working, farming, and creating community in McLean County.
Northern Illinois Airshow - Wings Over Waukegan
The Annual Waukegan Air Show, Wings Over Waukegan, is a great time for the whole family. Enjoy the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Demonstration Team, F-18 Hornet, USN Static Aircraft Displays, Classic Warbirds, Jet Bus and Military Aircraft as they soar through the sky performing exciting stunts and procedures. There will also be food and refreshment booths. Gates open at 9:30am and show begins at noon.
H.A. Rathje Peotone WindMill Tours
Tour and explore three floors of the largest Dutch/German Illinois Windmill built in 1872, filled with antiques and exhibits. Su 1-3PM.
Open House at Haskell Playhouse
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.
Dozens of hummingbirds should be present to "wow" the observers. After the birds are captured and banded (through special permits), visitors may wish to adopt one (for a $5 donation to the Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders, sponsor of the event) and have the privilege of releasing it back to the wild. Those who adopt birds will receive an attractive signed certificate and will be notified if their bird is ever recaptured. Held at the Trail of Tears State Forest pavilion, Jonesboro, 9:00 am to noon. There is no charge for the event.
Ellwood House Lecture Series: Local Lore
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.
Illinois Porcelain Art Show “Celebrating 50 years!-A Golden Year”
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.
Autumn Solstice Haunted Extravaganza
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.
Eagle Meet and Greet & Raptor Awareness Program
This program gives you the opportunity to see multiple species of birds of prey including an American Bald Eagle up close and personal! Ask and learn about their species and habitats. For more information, call (800) 258-6645.
Aurora Historical Society's Independence Day Celebration
Join the Aurora Historical Society Open House at the Museum! Entertainment on the lawn, a picnic, petting zoo, magician, games, crafts, a pie-eating contest, music by Hudson Crossing and of course, the national bell-ringing ceremony at 1 pm. A free family celebration! (11 am - 2 pm)
Sugar Grove Corn Boil
Join Sugar Grove for their annual festival commemorating sweet corn. Enjoy live entertainment, carnival, parade crafts, 5K race, fireworks, beer tent and lots of corn!
Jersey County Historic Society's Annual Apple Fest
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.