Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
32nd Country Folk Art Festival
Sept. 25-27, Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Handmade arts & crafts by award-winning artisans, primitives, reproductions of antique American furniture, some original antiques. Robinson Hall, Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (815) 772-3279, artoftheheartlandinc.com.
Habitat Restoration Workday at Community Research Forest
Sept. 26, 9 a.m.-noon. Habitat restoration workday at Community Research Forest, 20500 Lembcke Road, Harvard. Info: The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. (815) 337-9502, conservemc.org.
Harvest Hustle Twilight All-Terrain 5K
Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m. The Harvest Hustle benefits the Geneva Park District Scholarship Fund, which provides recreational opportunities to the community. Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva, (630) 232-4542, genevaparks.org.
Johnny Appleseed Festival
Sept. 26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin train, pumpkin bowling, clowns, face painting, storytelling, wagon rides, scarecrow contest, apple pie contests, craft fair, food, live music. Downtown Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 479-0835, downtowncl.org.
Old World Foundation’s Oktoberfest, Old World Style
Sept. 26, 4-7 p.m. Enjoy a traditional Oktoberfest celebration. Old World Wisconsin, W372 S9727 Wisconsin 67, Eagle, Wis., (262) 594-6301,
Farm Heritage Festival
Sept. 26-27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Hundreds of tractors, cars, engines and other farm machinery. Daily tractor parade, sheep herding demonstrations, scarecrow making, petting zoo. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, lcfpd.org.
The Old House New House Home Show
Sept. 26-27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Explore 300 deluxe displays with the latest in kitchens, baths, building, remodeling and landscaping. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 515-1160,
Annual Elgin Cemetery Walk
Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. An autumn tradition in the Fox Valley. Bluff City Cemetery, Elgin,
Primrose Farm Frolic
Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Pumpkin painting, folk music, horse-drawn hayrides, petting zoo, straw maze for young children, antique farm equipment, food for sale. Primrose Farm, 5N576 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4370, stcparks.org
Autumn on the Farms
Oct 1-31; Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Bring in the season’s harvest and button up the farmsteads for winter with a full slate of autumn activities. Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, Wis.,
(262) 594-6301, wisconsinhistory.org.
Terror on the Railroad Haunted Event
Oct. 2-24, Fri.-Sat. 7-11 p.m. A terrifying haunted Halloween train experience. Visitors must be at least age 13 and in good health. Illinois Railway Museum, 7000 Olson Road, Union, (815) 244-7245, irm.org.
Fifth Annual Harvest Festival
Oct. 3, 1 p.m. Families are welcome to visit outside and inside the Youth Room to harvest the Elgin Community Garden Network gardens and to celebrate the harvest season with games, crafts, music by area musicians and fall treats. Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Kane County Audubon Bird Walk
Oct. 3, 8 a.m. Guided walk at the Nelson Lake and Dick Young Forest Preserve. Park at the east lot, Nelson Lake and Deerpath roads. Info: Terry Murray, (630) 896-3219, kanecountyaudubon.org.
Second Annual Woodstock Ale Fest
Oct. 3, 1-5 p.m. More than 80 unique beers from craft breweries around the country, live Bluegrass music. Net proceeds benefit the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Adult & Child Therapy Services. Clay & Bartlett streets, Woodstock, (815) 338-8844, woodstockalefest.com.
Oct. 4, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Demonstrations of 1840s farm and household skills, tours, 1840s music, farmers market, food and more at this 250-acre location. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Seventh Annual Run & Roll for the Dole
Oct. 4, 9 a.m. A 2-mile run, 12.4-mile bike ride and another 2-mile run through Crystal Lake and Lakewood. Benefits Lakeside Legacy Foundation. Dole Mansion, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesidelegacy.org.
Pumpkin Pedal Bike Tour
Oct. 4, 7:30 a.m. Choice of 10-, 20- or 26-mile routes on the Great Western Trail or 40- or 62-mile road ride. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics Illinois. LeRoy Oaks Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-7250, soill.org.
Durant House Heirloom Apple Fest
Oct. 5, 1-4 p.m. Step back in time and embrace fall with its most iconic fruit. Durant House Museum, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org.
St. Charles Scarecrow Fest
Oct. 9-11, Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. to 5 p.m. More than 100 handcrafted scarecrows on display. Huge juried craft show, carnival, food, live entertainment, many free children’s activities, more. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 377-6161, scarecrowfest.com.
Autumn On the Fox Art & Craft Show
Oct. 9-11, Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. More than 170 artisans with handmade wares including jewelry, metal art, stained glass, photography, primitive wood, fall decor, more. Food, baked goods, caramel apples, more. Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles, artoftheheartlandinc.com.
Cantigny Fall Festival
Oct. 10, 10 a.m. Pony rides, juggler, petting zoo, face painting, Candy Dive, inflatables, arts & crafts show, book fair, live music. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
27th Annual Autumn Drive
Oct. 16-18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Special fall festival with antiques, produce, arts and crafts along a 3-mile area in rural Woodstock and Marengo. 16105 Garden Valley Road, Woodstock, autumndrive.net.
41st Fall Fox Valley Antiques Show
Oct. 17-18, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Browse 55 dealers from 14 states offering authentic antiques. Info: Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles,
Oct. 17 & 24, 7 p.m. Unique and frightening haunted house located in an old limestone quarry. Hall Quarry Beach, 400 S. Water St., Batavia,
54th Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 21-25, events daily. Thousands of decorated pumpkins, crafts show, entertainment, carnival, 10K race, food vendors, parade on Sunday. Downtown Sycamore & various locations,
Nightmare on Chicago Street
Oct. 24, 6-11 p.m. Party in the “safe zone” during a zombie invasion. Live entertainment, costumes, food and other vendors, live graffiti artists, hookah lounge and special guests. Chicago Street between Douglas Avenue and Villa Court, Elgin,
Oct. 24, 10 a.m. Downtown trick-or-treating, Mother’s Club parade, pumpkin bowl, contests, BatArt and games for family fun. Batavia Riverwalk and Peg Bond Pavilion, 151 N. Island Ave., Batavia, bataviaparks.org.
Oct. 24, 5 p.m. An obstacle course that navigates the land of the undead by using designated “safe zones” and forces participants to use creatively various items for survival. Wheeler Park, IL Rt. 31, Geneva, (630) 232-4542, genevaparks.org.
Antique & Collectible Toy & Doll Show
Oct. 25, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 500 exhibitors with all categories of fine antique & collectible toys, dolls, playthings & holiday heirlooms. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, kanecountyfair.com.
Boo-Palooza! Downtown Trick-Or-Treat
Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Safe trick-or-treating, all ages costume contest, pet costume contest and more Halloween activities. Downtown Wheaton. Info: (630) 682-0633, downtownwheaton.com.
Kane County Flea Market
Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Dec. 5-6, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques and collectibles indoors and out. Country breakfast on Sunday. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, kanecountyfair.com.
Panting for Paws 5K Walk/Run
Nov. 1, 8:30 a.m. 1-mile Fun Run; 9 a.m. 5K. Proceeds benefit the Fox Valley Helping Paws Animal Welfare Association. Lippold Park, IL Rt. 176, Crystal Lake, (815) 338-4400, pantingforpaws.com.
Seventh Annual Chili Cook-Off
Nov. 7, 1-5 p.m. Downtown Wheaton businesses compete for the best chili dish. Downtown Wheaton. Info: (630) 682-0633, downtownwheaton.com.
Chicago Pet Show Rescue
Nov. 7-8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. More than 100 pet-related companies, several petting areas and opportunities to see everything pet-related. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, chicagopetshow.com,
Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Jukebox Show
Nov. 13-15, 9:30 a.m. More than 300 booths with jukeboxes, pinball machines, arcade games, slot machines, neon signs, Coke machines and signs, circus and carnival items, antique gas pumps, more. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (815) 353-1593,
Nov. 20, 6-8 p.m. Live holiday displays in the windows of downtown businesses, special moonlight madness deals, activities for the entire family. Downtown Sycamore. Info: discoversycamore.com.
Nov. 21, 7-8:30 p.m. A joint worldwide evening of storytelling, with stories appropriate for all ages. Admission: One nonperishable food item for McHenry County food pantries. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
Dickens of a Christmas Celebration
Nov. 27, 6 p.m. Ring in the holiday with this time-honored tradition, including the tree lighting ceremony, lighted holiday parade, carriage rides, visits with Santa and more. Front Street, downtown Wheaton. Info: (630) 682-0633,
Festival of Lights Holiday Parade
Nov. 27, 7 p.m. Decorated floats, marchers, music and Santa’s arrival. More than 50 parade entries in this lighted nighttime parade. Five categories of awards, trophies distributed to winning businesses, organizations and individuals. Downtown Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 479-0835, downtowncl.org.
Christmas on the Fox
Nov. 28-29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Juried show with more than 90 exhibitors of quality, handmade art and crafts – no manufactured items. Info: Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (815) 772-3279,
Celebration of Lights
Nov. 29, 5:30 p.m. Hayrides, hot food and drinks, community sing-along, photos with Santa, story hour and ceremonial tree lighting. Batavia Riverwalk and Peg Bond Pavilion, 151 N. Island Ave., Batavia. Info: (630) 879-5235, bataviaparks.org.
Christmas Walk & House Tour
Dec. 4-5, Fri. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. to 5 p.m. Welcome the Christmas holiday with arrival of Santa Lucia and tree lighting ceremony. Self-guided tours of five distinctive homes decorated for the holidays. Geneva Chamber of Commerce, 8 S. Third St., Geneva, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Lions Club Reindeer 5K Run
Dec. 5, 8:30 a.m. A portion of the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. The first 750 runners receive a long-sleeve commemorative race shirt and antlers. DuPage Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley St., Wheaton. Info: (630) 682-7343, active.com.
Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The shops and boutiques in Downtown Wheaton share holiday treats, including roasted chestnuts, cider, eggnog, peppermints, Christmas cookies, other treats. Downtown Wheaton. Info: (630) 682-0633, downtownwheaton.com.
Celebrate the Season: Holiday Festival
Dec. 5, 4-7 p.m. An assortment of activities and offerings to kick off the season in style. Visit the Mistletoe Market, take in the decorations and partipate in McCormick Museum activities. Cantigny Park, 15151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Happy Holiday Railway
Dec. 5-6, 12-13, Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Take a magical train ride to visit with Santa Claus and his elves at the Toy Workshop. Holiday event; museum grounds/buildings not open. IRM, Union, (815) 923-4000, irm.org.
Night of the Luminaria
Dec. 12, 6-10 p.m. The streets, steps and sidewalks of Galena will be lined with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries. Various streets. Info: (877) 464-2536, galena.org.