There are so many fun events in our region! Here’s a collection of many events that are guaranteed to nurture the mind and spirit.
Exhibit: “A Celebration of Rural America”
Through Oct. 31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tues.-Sat. A Blair-Murrah traveling exhibition of 1920s and 1930s American art, with original prints by well-known Regionalist artists Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry. Geneva History Center, 113 S. 3rd St., Geneva, genevahistorycenter.org.
Authors on the Fox: Dan Van Haften
Sept. 5, 7 p.m. The author discusses his book, Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason, analyzing the craft of Lincoln’s speech-making, which showcases his iron logic, compelling reason and convincing oratory. Book sales and signing will follow. Registration req. Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Sept. 8, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Janie Grillo from Monarch Watch gives a presentation about monarchs in all stages of life. Butterfly release follows, weather permitting. $4 plus museum admission. Midwest Museum of Natural History (MMNH), 425 W. State St., Sycamore, (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
“The War of 1812: Mr. Madison’s War”
Sept. 9, 7-8 p.m. During the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, hear a first-person presentation by veteran actor and historian Terry Lynch, exploring the causes and consequences of the conflict. History Speaks Lecture Series. Century Memorial Chapel, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Churchville School: One Room, Many Lessons
Sept. 13, 1 p.m. Author and historian Guy Todnem shares people’s personal stories and archive photos of one-room schoolhouses from days gone by. Free. Reservations req. Churchville Schoolhouse, 3N784 Church Road, Bensenville, (630) 833-1457.
Footsteps: A Guided Tour of Century Walk Art
Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. A museum educator shares the stories represented by 10 of the Century Walk public art pieces throughout downtown Naperville. Meet at Naper Settlement Visitor Center, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Sept. 15, 7 p.m. Fundraiser for Prairie Center for the Arts. Gourmet specialties from area restaurants; live music on four stages; a silent auction; cash bar. Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg, (847) 895-3600, ci.schaumburg.il.us.
Sept. 16, 1-4 p.m. Learn to cook the pioneer way. Durant House, 37W370 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org.
“Chicago Victory Gardens”
Sept. 16, 3-4 p.m. Master Gardener LaManda Joy, founder of Chicago’s Peterson Garden Project, talks about Chicago’s urban food production during WWII and the current homegrown food revolution. Free with admission. Naper Settlement Visitor Center, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Almshouses, Poorhouses and Poor Farms
Sept. 18, 1-2 p.m. Archaeologist Rochelle Lurie examines the history of caring for the poor, elderly and mentally ill in the U.S., based on her Chicagoland excavations. $7 includes museum admission. Registration req. Lake County Discovery Museum (LCDM), 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, (847) 968-3400, lakecountydiscoverymuseum.org.
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Sept. 19, 7:30-9 p.m. Prof. Ben Goluboff of Lake Forest College leads a discussion of this Charles Mann book. Ryerson Reads series. $15. Brushwood, Ryerson Woods Conservation Area & Visitor Center, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Deerfield, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Art of the Land
Sept. 21-22, 6-10 p.m. Art show/sale to benefit The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. Nature-inspired works by local artists, food, wine, music. Starline Gallery, 300 W. Front St., Harvard, (815) 337-9502, conservemc.org.
History Bites Walking Tour
Sept. 22, 4:30-6:30 p.m. A progressive food experience through downtown Naperville, with tastings at local restaurants and liberally seasoned with local stories and architectural highlights. Registration req. Group size limited. $35/person. Naper Settlement Visitor Center, (630) 420-6010.
25th Annual Cemetery Walk
Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Bluff City Cemetery, Elgin Area Historical Society, 360 Park St., Elgin, (847) 742-4248, elginhistory.org.
The Things They Carried
Sept. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. Powerful stage presentation, by members of New York’s renowned American Place Theatre, of part of author Tim O’Brien’s fictional stories, based on his personal experiences in Vietnam. Followed by discussion. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
Fossil Find at Vulcan Quarry
Sept. 29, 9:30-11 a.m. Meet at Vulcan Materials Quarry in Sycamore, learn about fossils and mining and then head into the field to find your own fossils; keep what you find. $20/person; $55 for family of 3-4 (members pay less). Registration req. Space limited. MMNH, Sycamore, (815) 895-9777.
Sept. 29, noon-4 p.m. Drop-in program: See demonstrations of prehistoric skills; try your hand at spear throwing; listen to archaeologists share a timeline of the prehistoric past. Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m. Drop by the Community Gardens along Kimball Street to celebrate the harvest. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
Exhibit: “Dickens: 200 Years of Celebrity”
Sept. 29-Jan. 6, 2013. The legendary author was the first international celebrity of the modern age, and this exhibition of objects and documents from an exclusive private collection, along with a rare collection of first editions of his most famous works, show how he and his characters became enduring cultural icons. LCDM, Wauconda, (847) 968-3400.
Old Glory in Barn Wood
Sept. 30, 2-3 p.m. Local artisan Marie Roth recounts the history of Old Glory, as well as her adventures reclaiming the barn wood she uses to create unique American flags. Fee includes museum admission. LCDM, Wauconda, (847) 968-3400.
Listeners Club: Night of Enchantment
Oct. 3, 1-3 p.m. Discussions to enhance enjoyment of the Elgin Symphony’s Classics Series concerts, led by Jim Kendros. No preparation needed. Free. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
“When Love Doesn’t Conquer All”
Oct. 9, 7-8:30 p.m. Behavioral specialist and special education expert James Kling offers techniques for parents and professionals working with children and adolescents who exhibit behavioral problems. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
WhizzBang Traveling Salesman
Oct. 14, 1 p.m. General meeting, featuring Ron Solberg. Elgin Area Historical Society, 360 Park St., Elgin, (847) 742-4248, elginhistory.org.
Trail of History
Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A living history event with interpreters from across the country portraying life from 1670–1850 in the Old Northwest Territory. Glacial Park, Ringwood, mccdistrict.org.
Authors on the Fox: Randy Richardson
Oct. 21, 1:30-2:30 p.m. The author of Turning Reality into Fiction shows how he uses real-life experiences as inspiration for his fiction, such as Lost in the Ivy and Cheeseland. Book sales/signing. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
Hauntings of the Civil War
Oct. 21, 7-8 p.m. Victorian Spiritualism was fueled by more than 600,000 casualties of the Civil War. Rebecca Tulloch portrays Maggie Fox, a founder of American Spiritualism, talking about the methods used to communicate with the spirits. Reservations recommended. Century Memorial Chapel, Naper Settlement, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Authors on the Fox: Sandra Switzer
Oct. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. This success coach and author of Yes, You Can! Reaching Your Potential While Achieving Greatness, explains how simple changes can reveal potential and be effective at any age. Book sales/signing. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
Traveling Exhibit: “American World’s Fairs, 1853-1982”
Oct. 26-Jan. 6, 2013. National traveling exhibition with photographs, posters and artifacts from U.S. World’s Fairs. Special exhibit, “Elmhurst Goes to the Fair,” with museum artifacts from both Chicago fairs, including a section on former Elmhurst resident and international World’s Fair promoter Thomas Barbour Bryan. Elmhurst Historical Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst, (630) 833-1457, elmhurst.org.
Green Living Expo
Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free event with more than 50 local businesses and organizations in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, offering eco-friendly products and services; demos and drawings. Free. McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy. 14, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-7570.
Annual Benefit/Silent Auction
Nov. 3, 6-9 p.m. Fundraiser for the Elgin Area Historical Society. Theme: “The Rise of American Music: Stephen Foster,” with a performance by Chris Vallillo. Event: Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin. Info/Tickets: Elgin Area Historical Society, Elgin, (847) 742-4248.
Harvest Gathering of 1858
Nov. 4, noon-4 p.m. Drop-in program: Presentations of harvest preparations, like baking bread in wood-burning stoves and making candles; hands-on activities like shelling corn, grinding corn into flour and making a cornhusk doll; tours of historic farmhouse. Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park, Ringwood, mccdistrict.org.
The Secret to Endless Creativity
Nov. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. Certified Master Coach and professional artist Patricia LaCroix uses the principles of author Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way to show how to restore and release creativity on a regular basis. Registration recommended. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
Thanksgiving: The Great American Holiday
Nov. 10, 1-3 p.m. Presenter Penelope Bingham discusses what this holiday and its food traditions mean for American culture. Bring a favorite holiday recipe for the website. Naper Settlement Visitor Center, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
“FDR & Lincoln Together: America in Crisis”
Nov. 11, 4-5 p.m. Moderator Donna Daniels questions Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Max Daniels, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, portrayed by R.J. Linsdey, about the presidents’ individual challenges, like Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbor, and the role of government. Century Chapel, Naper Settlement, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Sustainability 101: How to Save Money & Energy
Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m. Learn ways to save money and energy at the same time with a representative from the Citizens Utility Board. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake, mccdistrict.org.
The Making of Downton Abbey
Nov. 15, 7-8 p.m. Landscape historian Barbara Geiger explains the evolution of the aristocratic way of life and how so few families came to own so much English property. Learn about the landscape designers, land ownership patterns and inheritance laws that produced great estates like Downton, and why radical changes were inevitable. Gail Borden Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411.
Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-noon. Learn to identify McHenry County’s winter birds and how to attract them to your backyard. Participants will make a simple bird feeder to take home. Registration req. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779.
“A Dickens Christmas”
Nov. 17- Dec. 31. Stroll through a mid-1800s street to see how Dickens influenced the holiday season. LCDM, Wauconda, (847) 968-3400.