Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Long Grove’s Chocolate in Bloom Festival
May 2-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sample chocolate in all of its many forms; live entertainment throughout the village; shopping; food; specialty vendors. Historic Long Grove Village, (847) 634-0888, visitlonggrove.com.
Free Bird Walks: Songbirds
May 3-4, 10, 17, 7 a.m. Search for migrating birds. BYO binoculars and field guides, if you have them. Ryerson Woods Conservation Area & Visitor Center, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Kane County Flea Market
May 3-4, May 31-June 1, July 16-20, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles, Fancy Junque. Country breakfast served on Sundays. $5. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 377-2252, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Professional Rough Stock Rodeo
May 3, 7:30 p.m. Top rodeo athletes in the world bareback ride, saddle-bronc ride & bull ride. Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffman Estates, (888) 732-7784, searscentre.com.
International Pipe & Tobacciana Show
May 3-4, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. More than 300 vendors and exhibitors. Sun: UPCA national smoking contest. Adults only. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 271-1317, chicagopipeshow.com.
Bob Blazier Run For The Arts
May 4, 8 a.m. The 16th year for this CARA-registered 5K run, one-mile walk/run and kids’ 50-yard dash through downtown Crystal Lake to support the arts locally. Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org.
Adlai Stevenson Historic Home Tours
May 4, 1 & 2:30 p.m. Learn more about this influential American statesman during guided tours of his home. Registration req., (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org. Adlai Stevenson Historic Home, 25200 N. St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa.
Sounds of Spring
May 4, 1 p.m. A guided walk through Ryerson Woods to learn to identify frogs and birds by their calls. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Spring Wildflower Walk
May 4, 3 p.m. Learn to identify common wildflowers and a bit of their folklore during a guided walk. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Bird Walks: Songbirds
May 7, 7:30 a.m. BYO binoculars and field guides if you can. Free. No registration. Nippersink Forest Preserve, Belvidere Road (Rt. 120) west of Cedar Lake Road, Round Lake, (847) 367-6640, lcfpd.org.
Spring Canoe Trip on the Fox
May 10, 8-10:30 a.m. Learn about this riparian habitat and visit a heron rookery. Canoe equipment provided; BYO binoculars and drinking water. Not suitable for beginners. Hickory Grove Riverfront, Cary, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
May 10, 7-9:30 a.m. Steady 2-3 mile hike in search of as many species as possible. BYO binoculars/field guides if you can. Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
May 16, 7-9 p.m. Learn about frogs and toads with a colorful slide show, then take a 1.5-mile hike to hear the park’s amphibian chorus sing. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
Paddle in the Park
May 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Paddling demos/clinics; local retailers; voyageur canoe paddling; more. $5. Hollows-Lake Atwood Shelter, 3804 U.S. Hwy. 14, Cary, (815) 479-5779, visitmchenrycounty.com.
Chicago Drum Show
May 17-18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibits, clinics, classes, demonstrations, entertainment, celebrity guests. Admission: $15/$10 ages 5-12. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (989) 463-4757, chicagodrumshow.com.
Annual Fair Diddley Craft Show
May 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 300 artists and crafters, sponsored by the Mental Health Resource League McHenry County. All proceeds benefit county mental health services agencies. Historic Woodstock Square, Woodstock, (815) 385-5745.
Civil War Days
May 17-18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 300 Civil War re-enactors camp on site; 2:30 p.m. battle each day; Civil War surgeons demonstrate 19th century medical techniques; talk with Pres. and Mrs. Lincoln; generals Grant and Lee; more. Food, shopping on “Sutler’s Row.” Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010 napersettlement.org.
Rare Breeds Livestock Show
May 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Breeders from around the Midwest display rare and historic types of livestock and poultry. Member participation by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Prairie Path Prowl
May 22, 6-8:30 p.m. Walk of 1-2 miles to look for birds native to this area. BYO binoculars and field guides if you have them. Refreshments and tallies follow at Lost Valley Visitor Center. Meet at Harts Road Parking Lot, Glacial Park, Ringwood, mccdistrict.org.
37th Elgin Valley Fox Trot
May 24, 7:30 a.m.-noon. Try out a new course at this annual CARA-endorsed, 10-mile/5K run/2-mile fun walk. Cash prizes. Proceeds benefit 18 local nonprofits. 6:30 a.m. registration. Discount for advanced registration: cityofelgin.org/foxtrot, (847) 531-7005. Race start: Kimball & Douglas, Elgin.
May 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Kites as large as 90 feet; demos by Team Chicago Kite; lessons; family fly time; free kite to first 250 children. Lippold Park Soccer Fields, Ill. Rt. 176, Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, cyrstalakeparks.com, chicagokite.com.
Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race
June 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Annual amateur event for all ages and abilities, with a 10-mile and a 6-mile race, and a noncompetitive division. Use your own or rentals available. Two start points: Mt. St. Mary Park or VFW. Rt. 25, St Charles. Registration/info: (630) 966-4527, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
73rd Annual Harvard Milk Days
June 6-8, events daily. This tribute to our farming heritage is three days of horse, car, antique tractor shows, carnival, milk-drinking contest, cow chip lotto, Milky Way parade, fireworks. Downtown Harvard, (815) 943-4614, milkdays.com.
Pride of the Fox Riverfest
June 6-8, events daily. Citywide celebration with live entertainment, dragon boat race, water ski show, fine arts show, carnival, more. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 513-1836, prideofthefox.com.
Athleta Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon
June 8, 5 a.m. transition opens; 7 a.m. race. Sprint distance triathlon: swim guided course in Centennial Beach Reservoir; bike 14.2 miles through town; run 3.1-mile course through Riverwalk Park. June 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration and Expo for the Triathlon at Naper Settlement. Early registration/info: espritdeshe.com. Centennial Beach, 500 W Jackson Ave, Naperville.
Railroad Collectibles & Model Train Show
June 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The 38th annual, with model trains, operating layouts, authentic railroad lanterns, china, silverware, keys, locks, timetables, train parts, maps, books, more. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (847) 358-1185, rrshows.com.
Lake in the Hills Triathlon
June 15, 6:30 a.m. 8th annual event; 350 spots. Half-mile open water swim; 15.5-mile bike ride; 4-mile run. Reg./info: lith.org/parksrec/page/triathlon. (847) 960-7460. Ken Carpenter Park, Indian Trail Beach, 600 Harvest Gate, Lake in the Hills.
Pottawatomie Garden Club Garden Walk
June 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tour gardens at five residences and visit a garden boutique. $15. Various locations, St. Charles. Info/tickets: (630) 803-7999, pottagardenclub.org.
June 17-22, events daily. Family-friendly activities with live musical entertainment, a carnival, Rosemaling show, Kids’ Day fun, Grand Parade and much more. Downtown Geneva, (866) 443-6382, genevachamber.com/swedish_days.
30th Annual America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta
June 28, 9 a.m. Build A Boat on Site and other categories; trophies; fun for the entire family. Registration/info: cardboardcup.com. Event: Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr., Crystal Lake.
35th Annual Lakeside Festival
July 3-6, Thu. 4-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. noon-11 p.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m. Live music, Taste by the Lake, carnival, tours, gallery exhibits, beer and wine. Fundraiser for Lakeside Legacy Foundation. Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesidelegacy.org.
July Fourth Celebration
July 4, 6-9:15 p.m. Picnicking, mini-golfing, golfing, swimming, concert, fireworks. Concessions available. Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, stcparks.org.
July 12, 8:30 a.m. Outdoor survival skill race with 14 events/challenges including hatchet throw, archery, log splitting. Lippold Park, Ill. Rt. 176, Crystal Lake, (815) 814-1100, visitmchenrycounty.com.
23rd Annual Civil War Days
July 12-13, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., battle 3 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., battle 1:30 p.m. Military & civilian camps & re-enactors; Abe Lincoln and other historical figures; period games for kids; Civil War-era shopping area; food vendors. Two-day pass: $15/$7 students & seniors. Free parking. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, lcfpd.org.
July 25-26, Fri. 5-11 p.m., Sat. 4-11 p.m. Annual celebration with two days of Irish dancing, heritage, food. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, 110 W. Freemont St., Arlington Heights, (847) 255-1225, ahmuseum.org.
International Dragon Boat Festival
July 26, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Twenty paddlers, on 27 teams, race for the best times in a boat whose elaborate design originates in ancient China. Lake Arlington, 2201 N. Windsor Dr., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-3059, gwndragonboat.com.