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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.
A Peoria area tradition during the season of fright, Wildlife Prairie Park transforms into a spooky, kid-friendly Halloween experience. See website for dates and times.
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.
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!
Are you looking for your first 100 mile run? This could very well be the course you're looking for! Flat, fast course on the Tunnel Hill Illinois State trail . Unlike a lot of rails-to-trails, there is nothing "flat" about the scenery. From wildlife inhabited wetlands to gorgeous rock formations, this trail has it all. Smooth crushed limestone covered dirt bed is wide and contains no trip hazards. Best of all is the iconic tunnel... over 600' of thrills you'll always remember. Includes a 50-mile option... all the fun of the 100 miler, except you run the course once instead of twice.
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 08, 15, and 22nd. All Tickets: $8.00
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
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.
Timber Terror, a bone chilling experience that recreates and relives the Witter Hills Asylum. Patients experienced a macabre, sadistic torment while housed at the facility. A patient revolt took place and the Witter Hill Asylum was burnt to the ground. Survivors had not where to go and hid in the woods for years. The patient's spirits lurk in the woods and become vocal each October with unsettling noises and vibes coming from the area which once was the Witter Hills Asylum. Hours: 7pm to 11pm, Fridays and Saturdays. Admission: $10
The Sycamore 10K Pumpkin Run is headed into its 38th year! Feet will hit the street Sunday, October 30th 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 2015, we had over 1,800 participants running. Awards are given to the top three finishers in 11 age groups!
2016 is the 55th 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.
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.
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).
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.
The 4th Annual Starved Rock Country Marathon and Half Marathon is set to take place in May of 2017! Be one of the first people to run through and around Starved Rock Country. The course will encompass the scenery of the Illinois River and the rolling landscapes in and around Starved Rock State Park. Runners will experience a course that is not a flat fast course as other courses advertise, the course has characteristics that will inspire you with scenic beauty and experience the highs and lows of the hills created by the Illinois River thousands of years ago.
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.
A weekend long event sponsored by the Youth Outdoor Education Foundation and the Williamson County Tourism Bureau. The show features boats, trailers, trucks, ATVs, fishing tackle, live entertainment and more. Admission and parking is free. Great fun for all ages.
Come on out and witness an exciting seminar about dog sledding and the Siberian Husky while enjoying exciting sled demos. There will be huskies for you to meet and greet as well as the Husky Boutique and information about the rescue. Admission is free and event is open to the public. Sled demo times are 9:30am,12pm, and 3pm and are located at the Southwest end of the Starved Rock State Park Visitor's Center Parking Lot. Seminar times are 10:30am and 1:30pm and will be in the LaSalle Room in Starved Rock Lodge.
Six Flags Great America will be open for an extra bonus weekend this year for those who want to take on the thrill rides one more time before the park closes for the season. With Fright Fest closing on October 31st, the park will open for regular visits on November 5th and 6th with limited hours. Please check the website for special hours.
Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are also added. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. The Historical Chautauqua Building becomes a huge carousel. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
"Shades of Autumn" is the annual fall festival at Stade's Farm & Market. Located in McHenry County in northern Illinois, Shades of Autumn is a great place to bring the whole family to enjoy nature's bounty, plus great entertainment, during the most beautiful time of the year. During Shades of Autumn, you can experience a day on the farm filled with family fun and forever memories.
Come to the huge fireworks display at the Mt. Vernon Airport for July 4th. This event also includes live entertainment, children's area, food vendors, and much more!
Over 200 runners participate in this annual “Hardcore” 5k race held, snow, rain or shine beginning at 8am.
Pumpkin Weekends bring the spectacular fall season to life with autumn festivities amid the spectacular fall colors. Enjoy seasonal craft-making, harvest decor and pumpkin stories galore! Kids can roll around in the giant corn crib and enjoy unlimited rides on the train, ponies, hay wagon and carousel. Experience a pumpkin paddle, trick-or-treating and a costume contest. It’s all the best of autumn in one place! Weekends in October and Columbus Day (Oct. 10), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.