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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.
Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local, Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB on the last Saturday of each month (10 a.m. to noon). The 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.
Civil War Weekend
Friday, Sep 18: 7 pm - The Play, “The Women in Abraham Lincoln’s Life.” Call 618-697-0009 for $15 reservation. Saturday, Sep 19: 9:30 am to 4 pm – Speakers, exhibits, & Re-enactors. Exhibits Include Civil War Era guns and quilts, Civil War Re-enactors, Civil War Era Memorabilia, Music, Exhibit Contest, Kirkpatrick Pottery, and Children Activities. It is FREE! Saturday, Sep 19, 7 pm - The Play, “The Women in Abraham Lincoln’s Life.” Call 618-697-0009 for $15 reservation. Sunday, Sep 20: 1 pm - Historical Bus Tour: Lincoln’s Footsteps and Friends in Anna-Jonesboro. Call 618- 833-8745 for $10 reservation. 2-4 pm - Open House at the PAST Heritage House, It is Free! 2:30 pm - Recognize All Exhibit Contest Winners, and 2:35 pm - The Play, “The Women in Abraham Lincoln’s Life.” Call 618-697-0009 for $15 reservation.
Berwyn Cruise Nites in the Depot District
Head to the Depot District for the 9th Annual Cruise Nites presented by Berwyn Kia, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, Mike & Sons Auto Services, Cicero Auto Parts, Deece Automotive! Cruise Nites take place on Tuesdays from 6-9pm in the Depot District at Windsor & Grove Avenues steps away from the Berwyn Metra Station. Enjoy your summe evenings while taking a stroll through a combination of car show and nightlife.
Cruise Nites in Berwyn
Head to the Depot District on Tuesday, August 6th for a combination of car show and nightlife. Evening begins at 6pm in the Depot District at Windsor & Grove Avenues steps away from the Berwyn Metra Station.
August 20th Cruise Nite in Berwyn
Come down to the Depot District and enjoy Cruise Nites with other families, residents and car enthusiasts. Learn more about Berwyn's proud classic car culture and historical automotive heritage. Cruise Nites are free! Just show up and have a great time!
Holiday House at Magnolia Manor
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Magnolia Manor is adorned in Holiday decorations, and, many of the displays are for sale. Luncheon reservations are available, as well as tours of the 14 room mansion by members of the Historical Society.
Chicago Ghost Tours - Tours by Foot
The Windy City is known for her food, architecture, and haunting history! Walk with us as the sun sets through downtown Chicago hearing some of the most gruesome and creepy Chicago stories. First stop is the Congress Hotel, known as the most haunted hotel in Chicago. Walk along the streets that H. H. Holmes, Chicago’s first serial killer wandered as he stalked his prey, get a glimpse of Chicago’s sordid past through stories of the Everleigh Club and the 1900’s Red Light district, and learn about downtown prison breaks. This tour is not for meant for the faint of heart, taking those who seek a good thrill and are interested in the underbelly of Chicago. Reservations are required.
Blacksmith Demonstrations and Tours
Live blacksmith demonstrations and tours at the Joseph F. Glidden Homestead June 8th and 22nd from Noon to 4:00 pm. and on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.
Glidden Homestead Patent Day Celebration!
Joseph F. Glidden was granted a patent on November 24, 1874 for "The Winner," what became one of the most-widely used types of barbed wire in the nation. It all began on the Glidden farm, at the time “a mile west of the City of DeKalb.” Joseph began searching for a better fencing method after his wife, Lucinda, complained about livestock getting into the yard. Hours: Noon to 4:00 pm. Barbed Wire Sites Tour at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
Ellwood House Holiday Traditions
Enjoy a holiday open house and tours of the beautifully decorated Ellwood House Mansion. HOLIDAY TRADITIONS Decorated Mansion Tours November 15-30 closed Thanksgiving day HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE SPECIAL EVENTS Friday, December 5: 7:00-8:30pm Saturday, December 6: 1:00-4:30pm Sunday, December 7: 1:00-4:30pm MEMBER'S NIGHT Thursday, December 4: 4:00-6:30pm Membership Information Kick off your holidays with a tour of the elegantly decorated mansion at the end of November, or join us for our open house events at the beginning of December. Every November, the Ellwood Museum partners with area businesses, community sponsors, and volunteers to decorate the mansion room-by-room on all four floors. From November 15-30, our guided holiday tours give visitors the opportunity to see the mansion in a new light. See our VISIT page for hours and information. At the end of our touring season, we open the doors for a three-day Holiday Open House weekend. Visitors may purchase tickets in the Visitor Center (or online) and present their tickets at the front door of the mansion. Upon entering the decorated mansion, volunteers will be stationed in each room, presenting the history of the Ellwood House and sharing information about the two generations of Ellwood family members who called Ellwood House home. HOLIDAY TRADITIONS is generously sponsored by Castle Bank. For times and information visit www.ellwoodhouse.org.
Christmas Tea at the Stephenson County Historical Museum
Celebrate this holiday tradition at the historic 1857 Oscar Taylor home decorated in Christmas finery. Enjoy music and and homemade cookies with coffee, tea or punch as your tour the mansion. The Holiday Gift Shop will be open featuring a selection of historical books, toys and other unique gift items.
Fever River Railroad Fall 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 HO 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.
Galesburg Railroad Days
The 38th annual celebration of railroad history in downtown Galesburg. This event returns to Main Street. It marks the 160th year of the Railroad in Galesburg. Come by auto via I-74 or by rail via Amtrak. Galesburg is the gateway to the west and leading Amtrak Depot on the corridor to Quincy.
Galesburg Historical Society Annual Chocolate Festival
Annual festival featuring homemade and commercially made chocolate treats. It's an endless buffet of tortes, cakes, pies, cookies, candies, beverages and much more. A chocolate lover's dream. Being held on the third floor of The Galesburg Antiques Mall. Event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. $8 per person.
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.
General Grierson Days Civil War Reenactment
Largest mounted Civil War re-enactment in the Midwest. Step back in time and experience the life of a Civil War soldier. Visit the Confederate and Union camps. Watch the soldiers drill and prepare for battle, prepare meals and practice medicine. Veterans Remembered from WW1 and WW2 re-enactors will have their tents set up and will be giving rides in WW2 trucks. 1850’s vintage baseball game, featuring teams from Chicago, St. Louis and several more. Kid’s corner keeps the children entertained while learning about the past. Parades, full period dress grand ball, exhibits, food and of course major battle reenactments. Historic home tours to be announced.
Annual Downtown Celebration
Plan to be part of the Downtown Celebration, a festive day of music, food and fun in the heart of Historic Downtown Jacksonville.
Governor Duncan Christmas Gala
Governor Duncan Christmas Gala at Hamiltons’s. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. Gala features silent and live auctions. Tables of 8 are available for $320.00, single tickets are $40.00 each. Entertainment will be provided by Sherri Mitchell, vocalist, accompanying herself at the piano, a holiday sing-along and a special appearance by Dr. E.C. Bone.
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival is held on the Friday following Thanksgiving each year. Activities begin at 10:00am and include the Renaissance Center Fun Fair, activities in the Joliet Historical Museum, Joliet Public Library, Gji's Sweet Shoppe, Jitters Coffeehouse, Chicken-N-Spice, The Red Goose Bakery and more. The Annual Festival of Trees held yearly inside the Rialto Square Theatre also add to the holiday festivities. Tree Lighting begins at 5:15pm in Van Buren Plaza Followed by the Light Up the Holidays Parade at 5:30pm.
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.
October Moonlight Tours
If you’ve seen the grandeur of the Mansion during the day, just wait until it gets dark! Amid diffused lighting and soft shadows, guides will take guests back in time to tell the story of the Hegeler Carus family and their extraordinary home. Tours available: Friday, October 24 & 31, 2014 at 9:00pm, 10:00pm, 11:00pm. Online registration is required.
Tales of Terror by Tricia Kelly
Hegeler Carus Mansion 2014 Events Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 7:00pm Tales of Terror by Tricia Kelly. For prices, information or to register for events (all registration is done online), please visit www.hegelercarus.org.
Dinner & A Little History in LaSalle
Topic: "The TR! Show". Derek Evans presents "The TR! Show" at our November session. Mr. Evans brings to life the dynamic character of Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, the youngest President of the United States, was one of the most interesting men who ever lived. Throughout his life he was a cattle rancher, deputy sheriff, historian, naturalist, explorer, author of 35 books, police commissioner, assistant secretary of the Navy, governor of New York, war hero, lawyer, and the first American to win a Nobel Prize. Speaker, Mr. Evans was trained for the theatre at Northwestern University, New York University, and the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. As manager and director of the Monarch Theatre Company, he brought Shakespeare, Opera, and literary adaptations to schools throughout the American Midwest. Reservations required. 5:30pm - 8:00pm, Canal Corridor Association. $24 CCA Members, $29 Non-Members.