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Lambs Farm Famous Farmyard
The Lambs Farm Farmyard will open daily March 22nd through October and weekends only through November 16th. Come and enjoy Lambs Farm's famous Farmyard. Meet Miss Wiggles, the 450-pound pig with an affinity for Bavarian Crème donuts and Oreo Cookies® and meet all of the new miniature animals, including Levi the miniature horse. Climb into the petting zoo with goats, sheep and lambs. Check out the llamas, alpacas, cows, horses, ducks and more. Enjoy a ride on the old-fashion carousel or the train. Then challenge friends and family to a round of mini golf! Farmyard memberships are available. Day passes for all activities available for $8 for adults and $12 for children 2-12.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2014! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 22 with a full day of family friendly activities, concerts by top musical artists and the best holiday shopping. The day’s excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest
Come and enjoy watching as these balloons are filled and then take off for various areas. Friday night is a launch from Dam West Recreation Area (9th St), Saturday morning, they will launch from various locations and try to hit their targets as they float through the air . There will be a Balloon glow and basket burn at the Shelby County Airport Saturday night with food and entertainment. You can meet the pilots on Friday evening. Sunday morning will be another opportunity to watch. These colorful balloons will be launched daily (weather permitting) and you can watch as they fly and do tasks around the Lake Shelbyville area.
Wolff's Flea Market
Come out and enjoy Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont every Sunday from April to October in the Allstate Arena parking lot. You will find tons of great deals and rows and rows of great vendors!
Eagle Watching at Starved Rock State Park
You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. The Starved Rock Lodge in Utica offers a “Bald Eagle Trolley Tour” in January and February on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Viewing birds from the Veranda at the Starved Rock Lodge is good as well. Dress warmly though. This great viewing spot is right outside the doors of the Great Room. If you’d like some exercise, take a hike on one of the trails at the Starved Rock State Park. One trail begins right at the Veranda. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock. Another popular event is "Eagle Watch Weekend" with activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center.
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.
8th Annual Galena Oktoberfest
Annual German celebration featuring live music, kids games, wiener dog races and lots of food and beverage.
Mt. Vernon Fall Festival
This three day October festival in downtown Mt. Vernon includes a beer tent with live entertainment, parade, children's area, food, fun, car show, band competition, pumpkin competition, and so much more!
CITY: Mount Vernon
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.
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!
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
Bald Eagle Trolley Tours
In January and February ride the trolley from Starved Rock Lodge to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for bald eagle viewing and an educational program. Includes lunch during the week and brunch on Sunday in the Main Dining Room.
Effingham Farmer's Market
Effingham Farmer's Market provides our community with fresh, locally-grown food, art, live music and quality artisan goods, produced right here in downtown Effingham, on the Courthouse Museum lawn. Come on out and support our community and your health! The market will continue every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from April to October. Enjoy our beautiful downtown square with the best live entertainment, artisans and locally grown food right here in Effingham
Train of Terror
All aboard the Train of Terror for a thrilling and chilling, four-mile ride with a variety of spooky scenes along the route. Buy tickets at the Silver Creek Depot and Freight House. Food and beverages are available. October 11, 18, and 25th. All Tickets: $8.00
Scarecrow Daze Festival
During the Annual Scarecrow Daze Festival, the entire city of Shelbyville is decorated with scarecrows. With a different theme every year, entrants decorate their homes and businesses to the theme. There is also a large parade on Saturday, kids' games, a beer tent, music, a quilt show, and plenty of food and crafts, in downtown Shelbyville. Held in conjunction with Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest.
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.
Swedish Days Festival
This “granddaddy” of Illinois festivals features a host of family-friendly activities with live musical entertainment, a carnival, rosemaling show, pet parade, kids’ day fun, grand parade, the state’s largest music competition, multi-ethnic food plus great shopping in our historic downtown. Geneva’s train station is located just blocks from the festivities.
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
Join us for the return of the Grafton Rendezvous on the banks of the Illinois River. See pre-1840 history come to life and experience what a busy river port was like during that period. Traders will demonstrate candle and rope making, bead working, wood carving, metal working and leather crafting. There will be tomahawk and knife throwing and much more. Bring the family and enjoy the fun.
Sycamore Pumpkin Fest
2014 is the 53rd Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. Back in 1956, Wally Thurow, who is known as Sycamore’s "Mr. Pumpkin", began what was to become the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival when he displayed a few decorated pumpkins on his front lawn to turn Halloween into a time of fun and creativity. In 1962, through the efforts of Mr. Pumpkin and the Sycamore Lions Club, the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival became an official celebration in Sycamore. The Courthouse lawn is the center of activities, including thousands of decorated pumpkins on display, there are also art and craft shows, a house walk, a pie eating contest, a carnival, a fun fair, a race and other events. The festival is concluded by a giant parade on Sunday afternoon.
Fall Color Festival
Visit The Morton Arboretum this season and enjoy the beautiful fall color of trees and plants from more than 40 different countries. On select days in October, enjoy a variety of seasonally-themed activities for kids and families. Admire nature-themed scarecrows showcased around Meadow Lake on our Scarecrow Trail, open daily in October from 7am - sunset. The Fall Color 5K Run & Walk will be Sunday, October 5 at 8am. Run under a canopy of brilliant fall color on our rolling, USATF-certified course. Enjoy our Theatre-Hikes at 3pm on weekends in October plus Columbus Day.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
December 18th & 19th December 26th - 31st January 1st 4-9pm Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest light festival featuring over 120 animated light displays and million twinkling lights. Come celebrate the holiday season with family and friends during Brookfield Zoos 29th annual Holiday Magic. Enjoy live entertainment, amazing animals, model trains and a train ride, special Dolphin Show, Sing to the Animals and professional ice carvers. Call or visit website for more info.
2014 Bald Eagle Bus Tours
Guided, four-hour tours of bald eagle, wintering communities. View and learn about the bald eagle's habits, life history, preservation efforts and threats to its future. Reservations required. Bus departs from Stoney Creek Inn.
Didier Farms' Pumpkin Fest
Bring the family out for this annual fall festival. Hayrides, pony rides, camel rides. Children's kiddie rides, exotic petting zoo, parakeet exhibit, corn maze, concessions, pig races(weekends only). Be sure to visit Grandma D.’s Bake Shop for the best pies, cookies, and fudge. Homemade apple cider, fresh made kettle korn and pumpkin donuts also available.
Bandy's Pumpkin Patch
This fun Fall destination features mazes, inflatable games, face painting for the little ones, and hayrides. Grab a snack from the concession stand (try the sweet rock candy) before heading home with the perfect pumpkin. (open Oct. 1-30, 9am-6pm)
CITY: Johnston City
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.
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.
Rockin' at the Park
Free Summer Concert Series The Rockin' in the Park festival will be a summer-long concert series, beginning in May and continuing through August. The festival features live bands, fireworks and food and beverage tents on the great lawn in the center of MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Visit www.mbparkatrosemont.com for complete line up!
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.
Downtown Car Show/Cruise Night
Downtown Car Show / Mt. Vernon Cruise Night - The Car Show will be located on 9th Street between Harrison and Jordan. Features cruise night, car, truck, and motorcycle show; entertainment, food, demonstrations, and a 50/50 drawing. The Car Show will have various models from "Classics" to "Modern".
CITY: Mount Vernon
Historic Trolley Tour
June through December. Board a trolley outside of the Great Hall area of the Lodge. Enjoy a historic trolley ride with stops at the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center where you will see a short video of the area. You will also travel to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center where you will see Starved Rock from across the river and watch as the river traffic lock through the locks. You will also travel through the village of Utica and hear about the Illinois and Michigan Canal. While aboard, the driver will narrate the history and legends of the area. For tickets and information please call 815-220-7386. $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $8 Child 10 and under. 2014 Dates: JUNE – OCTOBER- Tuesday – 3:00pm, Thursday – 3:00pm, Saturday – 3:00pm, Sunday – 12:00pm & 1:30pm. November & December- Saturday - 12:00pm & 1:30pm, Sunday - 12:00pm & 1:30pm.
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.
Chicago Botanic Garden- Weekend Family Classes
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Programs run from November through April on Saturdays.
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 with advanced reservations by calling Greatting Horse Farm at 618-458-6986. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-866-465-7890.
Jonamac Orchard's Haunted Maze
This 10-acre cornfield and 3-miles of winding pathways will take on a Halloween makeover! Adventure seekers should prepare to be scared when they challenge the maze during the Haunting! Open on Fridays and Saturdays from October 3 - 31, 2014
30th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
More than 100 handcrafted Scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children's activities, make your own scarecrow, and much more! A celebration of the autumn season!
CITY: St. Charles
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
Jacksonville Main Street's Pumpkin Fest
Join them for a weekend of free family fun! Children and adult costume contest, pet costume contest, pumpkin decorating, food, games and entertainment.
Autumn Drive in McHenry County
Welcome to a different kind of fall festival! Spend a leisurely day with family and friends on a real country road. Fourteen family farms in rural McHenry County, Illinois are open to the public for three days the third weekend in October. Each stop along the way offers a unique country experience. There are antiques, arts & crafts, pumpkins, and many surprises to discover along the way. Follow us on Facebook - facebook.com/autumndrive
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.
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.
Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair
Don't miss the Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair and Wildlife Art Show at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island, Illinois. The show is heralded as the largest event in the Midwest dedicated to the United States' national symbol of freedom. The three-day event includes live eagle, hawk, owl and vulture flying demonstrations along with educational programs and over 200 fun and informative exhibits.
CITY: Rock Island
Great Godfrey Maze
Get your kicks at the Great Godfrey Maze! It’s time to go cruising to the finish line as you race your way through two separate mazes cut into a 7-acre cornfield. You may have to yield to oncoming traffic or hit a few detours along the way, but everyone gets a little lost sometimes. Plus, ride on the car train, check out the zip line or play around in the corn crib. Go to www.GodfreyIL.org and check the calendar for special movie nights, festivities and the haunted maze! In October, the ghosts and goblins will come out after dark. Admission is $6 for 12 and up, $4 for ages 6 through 11 and children 5 and under are free. For more information, call (618) 466-1483.
Little Egypt Fly-In & Veterans Reunion
War birds and aircrafts will fill the runways of the Mt. Vernon Airport, along with many other prestigious models. There will also be field activities, including entertainment and concessions throughout the day.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Spring Equinox Sunrise Observance at Reconstructed Woodhenge
Meet at the reconstructed Woodhenge to hear an explanation of the discovery, form end function of this post-circle sun calendar. Arrive by 6:45 a.m.
Central Illinois Braggin' Rights KCBS BBQ Competition
Some of the top KCBS and backyard BBQ teams in the Midwest compete for $14,000 in cash prizes. Featuring BBQ equipment and BBQ food vendors, kids activities, and close up looks at some of the big time BBQ teams you have seen on the Food Channel.
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!"
Lansing Autumn Festival
The annual three-day Lansing Autumn Fest returns for its 3rd year. The family friendly event includes musical entertainment, food vendors, vendor Market Place and craft fair, vintage baseball game, kids zone with second entertainment stage and kids games, chili cook-off, military recognition day, pancake breakfast, 5K Hero Walk/Run, $10,000 Pumpkin Cash Raffle. For more information or to be a sponsor or vendor, visit lansingautumfest.org or call 708-646-5606.
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.
Annual Heath Toffee Harvest Festival and Parade
Celebrating the delicious Heath Candy Bar, created in 1928 by Heath Brothers Confectionary in Robinson. Features Friday night entertainment, street dance, and car show, and Saturday craft show, live entertainment, toffee bake-off, and parade, capped off by a free chili supper.
20th Annual Galena Triathlon & Duathlon
Ranked by USAT as one of the top 10 sprint distance triathlons in the United States, this challenging multi-sport event offers unique terrain and beautiful scenery, beginning at Nixon Beach on Apple Canyon Lake.
CITY: Apple River
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 Stadium at the Ballpark
The Stadium at the Ballpark at Rosemont is the 2,000-seat home of the Chicago Bandits, the 2011 NPF World Champion women's softball organization, East Leyden High School's girls softball team and the Rosemont School's boys and girls softball team. It is located on the west side of 1-294, and is the first facility of its kind in the nation built expressly for women's professional sports. The team plays 25 home games a year, from June through August.
Silver Creek & Stephenson Railroad and Silvercreek Museum Fall Harvest Demonstrations
All aboard as a 36-ton 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses for a four-mile ride through farmlands. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts, and browse the Freight House Gift Shop and Silvercreek Museum. Weather permitting, there will be fall harvest demonstrations with horses and tractors. The museum will feature sauerkraut, brats, hot dogs, chili and dessert. Train: Adults: $7; Children under 12: $3; Cab Rides: $15; Museum: Adults: $3; Children under 12: Free.
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!
The oldest footrace in Southern IL. is held the 2nd Saturday in November each year on the Mississippi River levee in Cairo. A long sleeve t-shirt is given to each participant in the 5000 & 10,000 meter run and awards will be presented to winners
12th Annual Wabash Valley Wine and Art Festival
Festival goers will be able to sample wines from approximately a dozen wineries as they stroll among the various artists booths. There will be artwork on display and for sale, live entertainment and food booths. Sat 11:30-6:30 & Sun Noon-5pm.
Arthur Amish Country Christmas Kickoff
The Christmas lighted parade steps off at 5:30pm and will showcase Santa & Mrs. Claus through downtown Arthur. Immediately following the parade, Santa will visit with children and parents in Knights Court downtown to start collecting those early Christmas requests. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served during his visit. Throughout the day, businesses in the downtown area as well as the countryside will feature early Christmas bargains and host Open Houses.
Art Dans La Rue
Join us on Tuesday, August 6th from 12-9pm for Downtown Oak Park's authentic urban French Street Festival! Featuring: art exhibits by local artists, special showing of a French film, Can-Can dancers, French music by "Paris La Nuit," Poodle Parade, French lessons, Fresh made crepes, Wine tastings, Sidewalk chalk contest, Bike Rentals, and much more!
CITY: Oak Park
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.
CITY: Olive Branch
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
Parade of Lights
Join the Champaign Center Partnership as they officially launch the holiday season with a Parade of Lights. Marching bands and lighted floats weave their way through the streets of Downtown Champaign with Santa making his grand appearance just in time to light the City Christmas Tree.
Chestnut Mountain Open House & Ski Swap
This ski resort's open house includes hayrides, chairlift rides, resort tours, refreshments, and a ski swap with both new and used equipment available.
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.
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
Luminary Night On Stephenson and Lincoln Streets
Enjoy the beauty of the soft light of luminaries and the architecture of these historic homes as you stroll this lovely residential neighborhood. Also, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Stephenson Street and Lincoln Boulevard from West Street to Park Boulevard.
Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest & 175th Celebration
This Two day sanctioned ICS Chili Cookoff event features the finest chili around, live entertainment, craft vendors, food, fun and of course, lots of chili or chilli - however you wish to spell it! Held in the downtown square. Chili tasting, Chili vendors, and Chamber Chili tent. Winners quality for 2015 World Championships. Also features Annual Pumpkin Cart Race, Lil Miss & Lil Mister contest, longest ponytail contest, cutest baby contest, children’s activities and local musical entertainment. Grand Parade 10:30am Saturday.
The Polar Express at Monticello Railway Museum
Held at Monticello Railway Museum. Read along with the story as the train makes its round-trip journey to the North Pole. Meet Santa and enjoy caroling, hot chocolate, surprises and a treat. And, for those who believe, a special gift for each child. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas! Nov 14-15, Nov 21-22, Nov 28-30 & Dec 5-6.
Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race
The Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race is a simple concept---take a carved pumpkin, decorate it and insert two independent axles through it and attach wheels, then race your pumpkin down a hill to victory! This event is great family fun and a safe, enjoyable way to celebrate fall. Plus, if you craft a winning pumpkin you get to advance to the championship where you can win prizes!
Barn Quilts of DeWitt County Bus Tour
Gearing up for our fourth year of creating barn quilt magic in DeWitt County. Throughout the county, vibrant, hand-painted 8’X8’ quilt blocks on ‘wooden canvases’ adorn numerous barns, making a drive through the countryside all the more enjoyable. Bus tours are on the first Saturday in June and October from 9am - 1pm.
Great River Road Run
It is time again for the Great River Road Run. Race your way to victory with the choice of a 2 mile route or a 10 mile route out and back on the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, beginning in Alton. It's the most scenic run you'll ever make as you race to the finish along the Mississippi River and the majestic limestone bluffs.
Arrival at Camp DuBois
Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois. This annual event commemorates the day William Clark and the men of the detachment arrived at the confluence of the Riviere a Dubois, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The event will include members of the detachment portraying military life, re-enactors recreating the civilian population and demonstrators. Site admission is free. For more information, call (618) 251-5811 or go to www.campdubois.com.
I&M Canal Mule-Pulled Boat Rides
Your 90-min, round trip journey on the mule-pulled, full-size replica canal boat will take you on the same hand-dug waterway that 19th century pioneers traveled. Your guides, dressed as Canal Era crew and passengers, will take you back in time to life on the American frontier and the Illinois prairie. Meet our mules, Larry and Moe, and learn how mules and horses powered the boats in the last century. Seating on open-air deck and in enclosed cabin. Plenty of seating for inclement weather - boat runs rain and shine. Handicapped Accessible except motorized wheelchairs. Parking is free. All tickets must be picked up at the Lock 16 Center, 754 First Street, LaSalle, IL. Please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before scheduled departure. Call 815-220-1848 for questions, special requests & additional days and times, other than Friday through Sunday, LaSalle Canal Boat.
All the events are family friendly from the flea market and craft fair to the entertainment and kids’ games. Don’t miss the evening lighted parade or the area’s largest end of season car show. Be sure to buy into the huge 50/50 drawing (past winners have taken as much as home $12,307).
Des Plaines River Trail Marathon Races
Welcome to year five of the Des Plaines River Trail Half-Marathon, Marathon and 50 Mile Ultra Marathon along the beautiful and fast Des Plaines River Trail. This is a truly special running course. The DPR Trail is a wide, crushed gravel track, free of roots and rocks, and very flat. All of the major road crossings are managed by way of bridges or viaducts This is a great track through alternating lush forests and open wetlands. With cool temperatures expected, and given the flat terrain and ideal running surface, you'll find these to be extremely fast courses. Registration is open until it reaches full capacity or October 10th. Register early and save.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Scarecrow Harvest Festival - Midway Village Museum
Enjoy the ambiance of Midway Village and the fall colors as you make and take a Scarecrow. The museum will provide the straw for free. Purchase a cloth head, hat, shirt, pants and other traditional scarecrow accessories on site or bring your old clothes from home to make as many scarecrows as you can carry. When you are here, take the time to explore the charming Victorian-era village and gardens at one of the most scenic times of the year when the leaves are in full color and the traditional harvest activities are in full swing.
Marshall's Halloween Frolic
This family-friendly one-day event features Halloween games, stories, hayrides and hot chocolate, & parade of costumes with costume judging at the gazebo. Games for kids of all ages, trunk or treat in a safe family friendly environment, and then join in the parade around the courthouse and then enter in the costume contest. Each contestant receives $1 just for entering. Located at Courthouse Square lawn in downtown Marshall on the National Road.
Grand Levee and Harvest Festival
The Grande Levee is a celebration of the grand receptions held during the 1800s to honor government dignitaries and important visitors. Friday evening the event kicks-off with a ham and bean dinner on the Vandalia Statehouse grounds along with musical entertainment. Saturday brings a day full of events at the Statehouse grounds for the Ground Levee. The Harvest Festival, which is held on Gallatin Street, will have vendors, sidewalk sales, bingo, kids' activities, inflatables, RC race car exhibition and more!
Lunch with Santa on Train
Come out for Lunch with Santa on the Train at the Wabash Depot in Monticello, Illinois, a holiday favorite for kids of all ages. Enjoy a train ride, individual visit with Santa, and kid friendly sack lunch. The ride is about 60 minutes per trip. Reservations Recommended.
7th Annual Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon
The annual Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon is one of the most popular spring running events in the Midwest… and, arguably, the country with its fast and flat course, ideal for qualifying for the Boston Marathon. With over 20,000 participants expected in the 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, relay and the youth run, the Illinois Marathon is a destination race for people from all over! From flat and fast courses to the Memorial Stadium 50-yard line finish to the rockin’ State Farm 27th Mile Celebrate Victory Bash, this has all the makings for the perfect spring getaway. 217-351-4133
Hike into History
This hiking tour is offered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights every month (excluding July and October). There's nothing better than a guided hike to see the best parts of the park and learn its rich history. Reserve your room or cabin at Starved Rock Lodge on Tuesday or Wednesday night and take a guided hike on Wednesday or Thursday morning at 9:00 am from the Lobby. When you get back from your hike, you'll enjoy lunch in the Dining Room. The hike on Tuesday and Wednesday will go to Starved Rock and French Canyon unless otherwise requested. On Thursday you will join the weekly Walkers Club and go along with them on their pre-scheduled, weekly hike. Family Cabins are excluded from packages.
Autumn at the Arboretum - Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Gardens
Join us for out annual fall festival. Experience the beauty of fall as we use our entire 155 acre property for family-friendly fun. October is one of the best times to witness trees with their rich autumn colors. Build a scarecrow, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, make a fall craft to take home, and enjoy entertainment and activities for kids of all ages.
Festival of Lights Drive-Through
Outstanding Christmas light drive through. Experience a festival of lights without ever getting out of your car! Located at Clark County Fair Grounds in Marshall during December.
Challenge of the Bluffs
Beginning in front of the Riverbender.com Community Center, runners will make their way up a scenic and challenging 5-mile route through the Christian Hill and Fairmount neighborhoods and finish on Belle and 4th Street. Walking participants have the option of a 2-mile route to Riverview Park and back on the same course.
Tribute to the Stars
Each of the "Tribute to the Stars" musical tribute shows is offered with an overnight stay - just steps away from the Great Hall in the comfort of historic Starved Rock Lodge. From Bing Crosby to Patsy Cline, you've never seen so many stars in one place. Tribute to the Stars Ticket Only Prices: Matinee: $32.00 per person (includes lunch & show), Dinner Show: $37.00 per person (includes wine tasting, dinner & show) Overnight Package Pricing: Matinees: $144.00 - Includes Lunch & Show with an overnight stay for two guests (plus tax). Evening Shows: $154.00 - Includes Wine Tasting, Dinner & Show with an overnight stay for two guests (plus tax). Family Cabins are excluded from packages.
Pumpkin Run 10K
The 10K is held during Sycamore Illinois’ world famous Pumpkin Festival. This race has become a staple in the Northern Illinois race schedule. • USATF sanctioned & certified • ChronoTrack Timing with Bib tags • Course Marshals and Accurate Route Markings • Water stations • Official race results immediately • Traffic control • Medical team on hand • Finish line staffed & supervised by experienced race workers • Refreshments after race including an ice cold Oktoberfest beer for 21 & over • Colorful long-sleeve dri-release shirt The Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10k has had running beginners of all ages as well as advanced runners. Register today!
Fun for the whole family including roasting hot dogs on an open fire, haunted trail rides and a kid's activity tent.
Torchlight Halloween Hike and Weenie Roast
Join us for a torchlight hike around the historic site then return to the Visitor Center for a Barn Dance and weenie roast. Lincoln Log Cabin is the last home of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's parents. It shares the site with the Sargent farm, an 1840's living history farm.
Oblong’s Annual Fall Follies
48th Annual event, featuring “Spooktacular” Band Festival, band field competition, craft and food booths, entertainment, Little Miss & Mister contest and Illinois’ largest nighttime parade with approx. 30 marching bands.
Pumpkin Fest 2014
Pumpkin Fest features over 20 attractions included in general admission! Siegel's Cottonwood Farm is "The Place" to Harvest your Family Memories on 40 Acres of "Affordable Family Fun®." Siegel's corn maze, Zach's Petting Zoo and Farmer Frank's Haunted Barn are just several activities Siegel's Cottonwood Farm has to offer. Admission Weekday $10 with coupon; Weekends and Columbus Day $12 with online coupon. Children 2 and under enter FREE! Open Daily 10am - 6pm.
Fall Colors Weekend at Starved Rock State Park
Enjoy Starved Rock during the most beautiful time of the year. Guided hikes to view the spectacular colors of fall. Meet at the Visitor Center at 9:00a.m.& 1:00p.m.
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.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill Historic Area
The historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's Bunker Hill Historic Area will be decorated for the holidays and thousands of lights illuminated Friday - Sunday 5:00 - 8:00 PM through 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.
ILBA Pub Crawl for Food Pantry
This charity event starts with Breakfast and Bloody Mary's at Ninth Street Pub and Ride Bikes to six other bar sponsors in a Poker Run Style and return to the Pub for door prizes and smokehouse food and music at 5pm. $15 donation - pub crawls through October 4th. Call 9th St. for details.
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.