Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Windmill City Festival
July 10-13, events daily. Carnival, 5K run, ice cream eating contest, parade, more. Batavia Riverwalk, 100 N. Island Ave., Batavia, (630) 879-5235, windmillcityfest.org.
July 12, 8:30 a.m. Outdoor survival skill race. 14 events/challenges include hatchet throw, archery, water carry, log splitting, fire starting. Lippold Park, Rte. 176, Crystal Lake, (815) 814-1100, visitmchenrycounty.com.
23rd Annual Civil War Days
July 12-13, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., battle at 3 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., battle at 1:30 p.m. Largest Civil War re-enactment in Northern Illinois: military and civilian camps and reenactors; historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, Gen. U.S. Grant; period games for kids; Civil War-era shopping area; period music; food vendors; exhibits. Two-day pass: $15/$7 students & seniors. Free parking. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, lcfpd.org.
Kane County Fair
July 16-20. FMX Freestyle, championship bull riding, demolition derby, carnival midway, bands including Neverly Brothers, American English. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
July 19, 1-2:30 p.m. During this leisurely walk on the Fox River’s eastern bank, learn about the many species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals that call it home. Free; registration req. Glenwood Park Forest Preserve, 1644 S. River St., Batavia, (630) 444-3190, kaneforest.com.
July 19-20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Vintage diesels will pass in review at the depot. Take a ride on a coach train and a caboose train pulled by one of these powerful giants. Illinois Railway Museum (IRM), 7000 Olson Road, Union, (815) 244-7245, irm.org.
Powers-Walker Living History Open Houses
July 20 & Aug. 17, noon-4 p.m. July’s open house in this restored Greek Revival 1854 house will feature the Miller family, who inhabited the area during the World War I era. The August open house will feature the Schaeffer and Steinmetz families, who lived in the area during the World War II era. Knowledgeable volunteers in historical attire will answer questions for visitors. Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
July 25-26, Fri. 5-11 p.m., Sat. 4-11 p.m. The annual celebration of Celtic Pride with two days of Irish dancing, heritage, fun and food. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, 110 W. Freemont St., Arlington Heights, (847) 255-1225, ahmuseum.org.
Turning Back Time Weekend
July 25-27, events daily. Outdoor movie, Main Street Cruise Night, classic car show, parade, live entertainment, food, music, more. Downtown Sycamore, discoversycamore.com.
International Dragon Boat Festival
July 26, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Twenty paddlers, on 27 teams, race for the best times in boats with elaborate designs that originated in ancient China. Lake Arlington, 2201 N. Windsor Dr., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-3059, gwndragonboat.com.
Late Night at the Museum
July 26, 6-9 p.m. Snacks and family fun, including reptiles presentation, spooky stories, science experiments, crafts, more. $10/$15 non-members. Midwest Museum of Natural History (MMNH), 425 W. State St., Sycamore, (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
Bike the Great Western Trail
July 26, 9-11 a.m. A leisurely bike ride with Forest Preserve District naturalists who’ll interpret the natural and cultural history of the trail. About 10 miles round-trip. Meet at the Creek Bend Nature Center. Free; registration required. Creek Bend Nature Center, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 444-3190, kaneforest.com.
July 29, 8-9 p.m. Use the bat detector to locate bats and follow their movements. Play some bat games and learn about bat ecology. Free; registration required. Creek Bend Nature Center, St. Charles, (630) 444-3190, kaneforest.com.
July 30, 8-9 p.m. We’ll use the bat detector to locate bats and follow their movements. We’ll also play some bat games and learn about bat ecology. Free; registration req. required. Binnie Forest Preserve, 38W040 Binnie Road, West Dundee, (630) 444-3190, kaneforest.com.
McHenry Rotary Blues, Brews & BBQ
Aug. 1-3, F 5-11 p.m. Sat 4-11 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m. BBQ Cook-off with great food, craft beers and blues music. Petersen Park, McCullom Lake Road, McHenry, (815) 331-6428.
Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring your dog and see agility and disc-catching demonstrations, dog rescue organizations and animal shelters (on-site adoption services), vendor booths, pet play area, kids’ Stuff-A-Dog. All dogs must have current vaccination tags and be social with others. Free with $5 per car parking. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Kane County Flea Market
Aug. 2-3, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Up to 1,000 dealers display, sell antiques, collectibles, Fancy Junque. A country breakfast is served on Sundays. $5. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 377-2252, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
24th Annual Vintage Transport Extravaganza
Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The past comes alive through the display of antique autos, trucks, fire engines, tractors, motorcycles and buses-hundreds of vehicles assemble throughout the Museum campus. Ride the streetcars to the various display areas. Interurbans and diesel coach trains will be running on the mainline. IRM, Union, irm.com.
Antique Tool Show and Sale
Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Members of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association and the Early American Industries Association display, trade, sell antique and collectable tools. Admission Adults $6 Children $2. Garfield Farm and Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, St. Charles, IL 60147 (630) 584.8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Big Truck Show
Aug. 9, Free Event. Kids of all ages will enjoy climbing aboard emergency vehicles, tractors, construction trucks and more. Remember to bring your camera. James O. Breen Community Park, Campton Hills Drive, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, stcparks.org.
French Connection Day
Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. French open air market; wine tasting and French food at Le Jardin, kids’ art project, French music, street performers, caricaturist, 23 foot Eiffel Tower, more. Free; $5 parking fee. Cantigny, Wheaton, cantigny.org.
Aug. 11, 6 p.m. Bring a picnic to the library’s west lawn; beverage and dessert provided. 7 p.m., outdoor stage: Rick Kelley and his Musical Zoo. Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
8th Annual Bob Leonard 5K Run/Walk
Aug. 16, 8 a.m. USATF certified course-chip-timed race that finishes along the river. The walk is a separate course. Party with prizes, music, food. River Corridor Foundation fundraiser. Pottawatomie Park Pavilion, 8 North Ave., St. Charles, (630)418-6309, stcrivercorridor.org.
3rd Annual Colonial Cafe Kids Turtle Hurdle Obstacle Course
Aug. 16, 8 a.m. Children ages 4-11 go over, under, around and through barriers while being timed. Just like the grown-ups. Prizes, food, games. Pottawatomie Park Pavilion, St. Charles, stcrivercorridor.org.
Festival of the Horse & Drum
Aug. 16-17, An equestrian festival with a diverse and exciting twist. American Indian Pow-Wow, Horsemen of Spain, Portugal & Mexico, Tanner & Glaze. Equestrian games, Equine abilities expo & more. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 272-3077, festival of thehorseanddrum.com.
A Day Out With Thomas
Aug. 19-21, 27-28, 9 a.m. The popular tank engine returns. Food and beverages available. No passes for these days. IRM, Union (815) 244-7245.
Aug. 22-23, Fri 9-6 p.m. ; Sat 9-5 p.m. Manufacturers and local papercraft retailers selling supplies and tools to the public. Make and take projects, workshops and crop parties. Discount coupons available. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main Street, St. Charles, (888) 252-3976, scrapbookexpo.com.
Sycamore Block Party
Aug. 23, 3-11 p.m. Kid’s activities, Bark on the Block, games, prizes, DJ, beer garden, free live concert. Downtown Sycamore, discoversycamore.com.
Elgin Kennel Club Dog & Obedience Trials
Aug. 23-24, 8 a.m. All-day, all-breed dog show, obedience and rally trials. AKC-sanctioned. Enter dogs at royjonesdogshows.com. Closing date: Aug. 10. Human (but not canine) spectators welcome . Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
Geneva Concours d’Elegance 2014
Aug. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This year marking the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway and 50th Anniversary of the PORSCHE 911. See 175 invitational automobiles on display: classics, exotics and racecars competing for the Carl F. Benz Award. Free to spectators. Proceeds benefit LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. Third Street, Geneva, genevaconcours.net.
Heirloom Garden Show
Aug. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Rare and specialty fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs are displayed and sold by Midwestern growers. Member participation by Seed Savers Exchange. Garfield Farm and Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, La Fox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
DeKalb Corn Fest
Aug. 29-31, Fri. 3-11 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. to 6 p.m. One of the last remaining free music festivals is back in Downtown DeKalb, with sound stage, carnival, food, beer garden, more. Downtown DeKalb, between 1st and 4th streets, cornfest.com.
Labor Day Weekend/Band Organ Rally
Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 11 a.m. Enjoy the happiest music on earth as the Carousel Organ Association of America returns to IRM. Pack a picnic, ride the trains, tour the grounds. IRM, Union, irm.com.
Aug. 31, 9 a.m.-noon. Introduction to basic kayaking, from equipment and safety to paddling and manuevering. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water and shoes that can get wet and stay on your feet. Independence Grove Forest Preserve, 1899 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville. Registration: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.