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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.
2014 Illinois Paddlesports Festival
The 6th Annual Illinois Paddlesports Festival takes place on the 2nd weekend in June, in Aurora’s beautiful Phillips Park on Mastodon Lake. Admission is free. So come on out and enjoy two full days of paddling fun and action.
Way of Lights
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, an interactive children's village, camel rides and an indoor laser show. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
Celebrate the Christmas season with a parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, crafts, music, storytellers, a petting zoo, and children's activities at the Apollo Theater and Fire House on State Street. Seasonal vendors and a Christmas tree display are featured at the Community Building Complex.
Historic National Landmark, Bishop Hill, glows with luminary lit sidewalks and candle lit windows in honor of St. Lucy, a celebration of lights. Musical entertainment abounds throughout the village. Hammer and Pick will perform at the Steeple Building and at Vagnhall Galleri, the Mountain Men, Kewanee Community Choir and the Peoria Children’s Choir fill the air with musical melodies. The village specialty shops and dining establishments stay open late for an enchanted evening to remember. Feel like dancing? Experience the Old Colony School barn dance serenaded by the Rusty String Pickup Band. Experience a utopia on the prairie holiday experience this season
CITY: Bishop Hill
Wild Lights at Miller Park Zoo
Celebrate the holiday season as you stroll through the Zoo lit by hundreds of luminarias at this special two night, after hours event!
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.
See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest holiday lights festival featuring over one million twinkling lights, animated light displays and a laser light show!Many of our indoor exhibits will be open for viewing favorite animals, including our newest, Great Bear Wilderness. Plus, there is a special dolphin show each evening at 6:30 p.m. In addition, the zoo restaurants and food stands will be open with full menus and holiday treats, and gift shops will have hundreds of unique items for those hard-to-shop-for loved ones.Enjoy a full schedule of nightly music and entertainment in the Pavilions. Outside enjoy nightly ice carving and an amazing magic show. Then step inside the Holly Jolly Theater and enjoy performances by local choirs and many more holiday themed performances. 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m Regular parking and admission fees apply. Saturdays & Sundays: Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21- 22 Thursday through Tuesday: Dec. 26-31
Annual Lights Fantastic Activities & Parade
Take pictures with Santa’s reindeer in Carbondale's Town Square, stop by the Polar Express Station (the Old Train Depot) for candy cane treats, and enjoy the Holiday Cookie Walk, where downtown businesses offer cookies and refreshments. The Lights Fantastic Parade kicks off at 6pm.
Bloomington Gold Corvette Show
Bloomington Gold is not only the longest running national Corvette event, but also is noted for innovations that have been commonly copied by many other automotive events. Corvette auctions, swap meets, certification, SURVIVOR®, educational seminars and special museum-type displays all began at Bloomington Gold. Over 4,000 Corvettes will descend on Champaign County for the first time and over 1,000 are expected to take part in the Gold Tour showcasing the open roads.
Hatch: A Creative-Reuse Art Festival
Hatch: A Creative-Reuse Art Festival opens February 28, 2014 and runs through March 15, 2014. The I.D.E.A. Store is proud to produce a juried artists’ festival focusing on high quality, repurposed craft and fine art from artists all over the Midwest right here in Champaign County, IL.
Join thousands of music fans in Chicago’s Grant Park for the summer’s biggest music festival. This three-day gathering features 70 acts on five stages, giving you a chance to see everything from hip hop and heavy metal to punk and alternative rock.
Chicago Air and Water Show
This summertime favorite brings approximately two million people to the lakefront each year to witness the many feats that will be attempted and performed both in water and air. Civilian and military air crafts perform at soaring heights, while parachute teams and flying aerobatic acts entertain the audience below.
Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival.
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.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2013! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 23 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.
Taste of Lincoln Avenue
One of the city's largest and most popular summer celebrations, Taste of Lincoln Avenue will be celebrating its BIG 30th in 2013! This iconic event takes place over six city blocks and boasts four music stages, food, a one-block long kids' area, the Lill Street Craft Fair and lots more! Located on N. Lincoln Ave between Fullerton & Wrightwood.
Cobden Peach Festival
Celebrate the local peach harvest, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club. Join us for fresh peaches from local orchards, carnival rides and games, crowning of ‘Miss Peach Queen’, homemade food and peach cobbler & pie with a 5K run/walk and parade on Saturday. Free admission.
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.
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.
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
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.
CITY: East Peoria
47th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival
The 47th installment of the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival is shaping up to be one of our best yet! Featured performers include The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart, Andy Martin, Bobby Shew, Gary Smulyan, and Ryan Truesdell and the Gil Evans Project. College ensembles will also perform throughout the festival.
Now celebrating its 34th year, Fountain Square Art Festival is the largest and oldest fine arts fair on Chicago's majestic North Shore. Featuring the eclectic works of more than 225 juried artists, this sprawling art showcase epitomizes words like "cosmopolitan” and "sophistication." The festival takes place in downtown Evanston, just steps from the eponymous Fountain Square. It also features a popular children's art tent with fun activities overseen by the acclaimed Evanston Art Center, food, and a soothing jazz-centric music lineup.
Night of the Luminaria
Be a part of one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. The streets, steps and sidewalks of Galena come alive with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries at dusk. Take a special luminaria trolley ride, be a part of a pub crawl, or just stroll through the streets for this enchanted view.
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.
Taste of Chocolate
Love chocolate? This event is for you! Enjoy dozens of homemade chocolate treats from businesses and residents of Grafton. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served, too!
Grafton Holiday Riverwalk
Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Grafton. Stop in the various businesses along Main Street and near the riverfront for special promotions, discounts, refreshments and entertainment. The Jerseyville High School choir will be caroling throughout the town. Visitors will also be able to tour the various B&Bs and guest houses in town, a perfect opportunity to check out the accommodations and purchase a gift certificate as a gift. The festivities will conclude with a Show Choir performance at the Grove Memorial Park Gazebo as we light up the town!
86th Annual Lake County Fair
Come out and enjoy 5 days of fun at the 86th Annual Lake County Fair. Events at the fair include live entertainment, food vendors, carnival rides and games, live animals, motor crossing, banana derby, demolition derby, flower show, expo hall and so much more. Please visit the website for updated information.
Santa is inviting kids of all ages to come join him on the ranch for the first ever Holiday Hoedown! This indoor, winter festival will feature a Magical Midway of rides, games, and food, Santa’s Farm with Jingle Bell Junction train rides and hayrides, Frosty’s Fairway mini golf, Gingerbread Square entertainment & special events, holiday vendors, Blitzen’s Brewery, and more! Closed December 24 & 25. Admission is free, but there is a parking fee.
Arrival at Camp River Dubois
Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois. This annual event commemorates December 12, 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 demonstrations.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade, midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Volo Bog's WinterFest
Looking for a great combination of indoor and outdoor fun in mid January? WinterFest is a long-standing event at Volo Bog featuring live music and storytelling, photo contest awards, and winter-theme and other crafts indoors, while outdoors winter bog hikes, and snow permitting - snow sculpting contests and cross-country skiing, may be enjoyed throughout the afternoon. There will also be cookies, hot cocoa & coffee for sale by the Friends of Volo Bog. Visit the website for a complete agenda. Donations accepted.
37th Annual Festival of the Gnomes
Come see live theater action with actors of all ages. Festival of the Gnomes celebrates the legends and lore of the "wee folk," who do good works for man and nature. See them outsmart the Snotgurgle too! Visit the gift shop filled with gnomemade crafts or try your luck in the raffle for two original soft sculpture hand-crafted gnome dolls. First year? Gnome caps are here! Every year have a tassle sewn on by our grandma gnomes. Great family fun!
Gallery of Trees
Throughout the Kankakee County Museum, Christmas trees are decorated by community organizations. Yearly, a special theme is added for your enjoyment. Come in and view the different arrangements and vote for that special tree.
Gazebo Art Festival
The Gazebo Art Festival is held outdoors on the grounds of Chandler Park in downtown Macomb. Chandler Park boasts a picturesque gazebo, fountain, memorials, brick paths and shaded lawns. This setting is a wonderful place for the public to view original art, chat with artists and enjoy live music performances of the Al Sears Jazz Festival. Art activities for children and food vendors will be on site. Artists must represent their own work at the festival. All work is original at this juried event.
Enjoy the lights of the season in beautiful Peterson Park with more than 50 magnificent light displays, many of which are animated. Definitely a site to see! Drive through at your leisure starting at 5pm. Over 15,000 visitors each year see this great display of holiday lights. Admission is free, donations accepted.
Metropolis, Home of Superman, holds a celebration the second weekend in June each year celebrating the 'Man of Steel'. A Superman Drama kicks off the weekend of contests, music, food and fun, as well as a comic book & artist show, fan films, street vendors, a carnival, costume contest and a Super Car Show.
Uncorked Summer Nights
On Friday, July 26th experience the Oak Park Conservatory from a new perspective with Uncorked Summer Nights. The evening features music by TIMITY and a display of ceramic jewelry, available for purchase by local artists, Linda Hillman and Joan Friedberger of Bebeka Design. Enjoy wine and craft beer from Marion Street Cheese Market and appetizers by Taste of Brazil. The event is from 6-8pm, with a cost of admission of $10 per person.
CITY: Oak Park
Oaktoberfest in Downtown Oak Park
Don't miss this year's Oaktoberfest! Celebrate the coming of fall at Downtown Oak Park's 23rd annual music festival. This free two-day event will offer seasonal food, microbrews, wine and live music! Kids can enjoy zucchini races and a root beer garden Saturday on Marion Street. Event will be on Friday, September 20th from 4-10pm and Saturday, September 21st from 12-10pm.
CITY: Oak Park
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.
CITY: Oak Park
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
Join us in Downtown Oak Park for a cookie walk inside over 50 participating shops and restaurants! Catch a glimpse of Saint Nicholas, enjoy a variety of family friendly acts and warm up inside the hospitality tent with free hot chocolate and coffee. The event will be held on Saturday, December 7th from 11am-5pm.
CITY: Oak Park
Oswego Christmas Walk
Come hear the sound of Christmas, the natural warmth and ambience that draws thousands to the downtown, Mason Square, and Douglas Square, the first weekend of December. Carolers, cookie walk, crafts, entertainment, and more.
5th Annual Ottawa's Ice Odyssey and Holiday Bazaar
Make this spectacular Ottawa festival a new holiday tradition for you and yours! Experience the amazing art of ice sculpting as you stroll the downtown streets with your family! Watch first hand, as artists carve ordinary blocks of ice into whimsical holiday visions! Enjoy 9-holes of Miniature golf, visit with the Christmas Characters and horse-drawn carriage rides. Also, be sure to stop by our Holiday Bazaar and browse the Holiday Farmers Market. Visit the website for more information free. 8:00am - 4:00pm
Christmas in Paris
Come to Paris, Illinois, on December 7th for an entire day of activities that will provide fun for the entire family. The Mistletoe Marketplace will be open from 10 am to 3 pm at 118 E. Court Street featuring 20 plus local vendors available to aid in all your holiday shopping needs. At 2 p.m., head to the Paris Theater, located at 119 N Central, for a free showing of "A Christmas Story." From 4 pm to 7 pm, the downtown area will be a host to many different free activities. Most storefronts will be open, serving as home to either a free activity or a special shopping experience. Activities that night include a magic show, story time with Mrs. Claus, a visit with Santa, cookie decorating, several children's crafts, a silly photo booth, marshmallow roasting, reindeer games on the courthouse lawn, live entertainment and much, much more.
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.
12th Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival
Come take part in a celebration of America's Highway, Route 66, at the 12th Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. More than 1,000 cool cars will roll into the heart of Springfield's historic downtown this September. Enjoy music, entertainment, great food and a great time, as well as visit some of the nation's most popular automotive aftermarket vendors. It's a wonderful event for the whole family!
16th Annual St. Charles Fine Art Show
Located along the banks of the Fox River, this juried art show features 100 fine artists, live music, demonstrations and artists’ awards.
CITY: St. Charles
Pride of the Fox 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
Festival of the Horse & Drum
Festival of the Horse and Drum is an equestrian festival with a diverse, exciting twist. Featuring an American Indian Pow-Wow and horsemen of Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Tanner and Glaze. Also, equestrian games, equine abilities expo and more.
CITY: St. Charles
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.
Kites Over Sycamore
Come join us for some high flying fun. Create and decorate your own kites, plant a pumpkin, blow bubbles, enjoy cotton candy and popcorn, and of course fly a kite! This event is free to attend and fun for all ages.
Cinco de Mayo
A festive Sycamore celebration with games, prizes, crafts, food, petting zoo, live music and family entertainment.
Come and enjoy this annual downtown Tuscola event featuring craft vendors, a house walk, breakfast with Santa, a parade, the "Santa Chase" 5k run/walk, children's games, Madrigal Dinner at the community center and more!
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.
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
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!
In 1992, something astonishing happened in the historic city of Woodstock, Illinois. People came to town and roped off the picturesque city square, moved all sorts of equipment into the park and started playing the Pennsylvania Polka, over and over and over again. They were filming a movie that has become a favorite of young and old for more than 20 years, and the city gathers each year to remember the fun and celebrate the special community that Woodstock has always been. There are events for everyone during this celebration: Groundhog trivia, free viewing of "Groundhog Day" at the movie theater, walking tours of the film sites, a Chili cook-off, a dinner and dance, bowling, bags tourney, and a pancake breakfast. The main event for Groundhog Day is the annual prognostication. Gather on the Woodstock Square to see Woodstock Willie emerge from his tree trunk home. If he sees his shadow, it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter and if he doesn’t see his shadow, it means we will have an early Spring.