Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Woodstock Groundhog Days
Jan. 29-Feb. 8, events daily. Festivities kick off 6 p.m. Wed. and continue throughout the week, including Woodstock Willie with his weather prediction. Many activities celebrate the town’s role in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day.” Historic Woodstock Square. Info: (815) 334-2620, woodstockgroundhog.org.
Nature Open House and Campfire
Jan. 30, 8 a.m. first heat. Adventure race on a 3.5-mile route that includes 24 snowy and icy obstacles. Elite, Open, Hero and Family heats. Veteran Acres Park, 431 Walkup Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 570-9483, abominablesnowrace.com.
Winter Nature Walk/Snowshoe
Jan. 31, 5-6:30 p.m. Go on a guided nature walk along the snow-plowed path, learn about winter ecology and possibly hear hoots and howls. Hastings Lake, 21155 W. Gelden Road, Lake Villa. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Winter on the Frontier
Feb. 5, 7-8:30 p.m. Hear the stories and winter survival techniques of earlier times. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Walk with a Naturalist: Van Patten
Feb. 6, 9-10 a.m. A one-hour guided nature hike of the DPR trail. Van Patten Woods, Wadsworth. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Wonders of Winter
Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Try ice fishing, geocaching, snowshoeing, hiking or horse-drawn hayriding, and then warm up with indoor activities as you talk with rangers, naturalists and volunteers about forest preserve plants, animals and programs. 1717 W. 31st Street, Oak Brook. Info: (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.
Feb. 6, 1:30-3 p.m. Enjoy a short hike, take a family picture (to be emailed later) and make a ‘‘natural’’ picture frame. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood. Info: (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
Sunset Snowshoe Hike
Feb. 6, 4:30-6 p.m. Take a snowshoe trek and venture out across windswept fields to visit an out-of-the-way corner of the farm. Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. Info: (630) 513-6200, st-charlesparks.org.
8th Annual Groundhog Gala
Feb. 6, 6-9 p.m. Enjoy food, cocktails, live music, raffles and a silent auction to benefit the Midwest Museum of Natural History. Jane Fargo Hotel, 355 W. State St., Sycamore. Info: (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
6th Annual Super Shuffle 5K
Feb. 7, 9-9:45 a.m. check-in; 10 a.m. race. Awards to overall top female and male finishers. Food & beverages for sale. Game Day Party follows at Persinger Recreation Center. Race: Geneva Middle School South, 1415 Viking Dr., Geneva. Info to register: (630) 232 – 4542, genevaparks.org.
Feb. 7 & 27, 1-2 p.m. Join a guided tour that includes a history of the garden as well as secret winter highlights. Fabyan Japanese Garden, Fabyan Forest Preserve, IL Rt. 31, Geneva. Info: (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org.
Winter Walk Wednesdays: Fox River
Feb. 10, 10-11:30 a.m. Keep active outdoors in the colder months with these bi-monthly walks and experience the wonders of the winter season. Fox River, 28500 W. Roberts Road, Port Barrington. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
The Old House New House Home Show
Feb. 12-14, 10 a.m. Explore 300 deluxe displays with the latest in kitchens, baths, building, remodeling and landscaping, and meet award-winning contractors and creative craftsmen. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. Info: (630) 515-1160, kennedyproductions.com.
Bald Eagle Bus Tour
Feb. 13 & 27, 8 a.m. A four-hour exploration of five bald eagle wintering communities. Reservations required. Stoney Creek Inn, 940 Galena Square Dr., Galena. Info: (877) 464-2536, galena.org.
McHenry County Home and Garden Expo
Feb. 13-14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hundreds of home improvement displays offering thousands of inspiring ideas and the latest products and services to remodel, repair and beautify homes. Exclusive marketplace for unique items. Crystal Lake Holiday Inn Conference Center, 800 S. IL Rt. 31, Crystal Lake. Info: (630) 953-2500, freehomeshow.com.
Romantic Night Hike
Feb. 14, 7:30-9 p.m. Learn wildlife courtship behaviors in a guided hike or self-guided ski/hike, then warm up with hot chocolate and s’mores. Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, Riverwoods. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Valentine’s Day Love Nature Celebration
Feb. 14, 2-5 p.m. Spend Valentine’s Day afternoon with a guided hike, crafts, games, music and sweet treats. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
4-by-4 Pond Hockey Tournament
Feb. 20, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. This inaugural tournament will feature three rinks on Crystal Lake. Exclusive tournament jerseys given to the two teams in the championship game. 300 Lakeshore Dr., Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 477-5873, crystallakeparks.org.
YMCA Indoor Triathlon
Feb. 21, 7:15 a.m. Novice event for all levels, individuals or teams of three. 10-minute swim in the Y’s indoor pool, a 20-minute bike on a facility cycling bike and a 15-minute run on a treadmill. Kishwaukee Family YMCA, 2500 W. Bethany Road, Sycamore. Info: (815) 756-9577, kishymca.org.
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides
Feb. 21, noon-3 p.m. Hear about farming with real horsepower on a 15-minute ride. At least 4 inches of snow required. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Info: (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.
Winter Nature Walk/Snowshoe
Feb. 21, 5-6:30 p.m. Enjoy a guided nature walk along the snow plowed path, learn about winter ecology and possibly hear hoots and howls. Grassy Lake, 23900 W. Kelsey Road, Lake Barrington. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Winter Walk Wednesdays: Lyons Woods
Feb. 24, 10-11:30 a.m. Keep active outdoors in the colder months with these bi-monthly walks and experience the wonders of the winter season. Lyons Woods, 10200 W. Blanchard Road, Waukegan. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Feb. 27, 6 p.m. Celebrate the New Year with a variety of activities related to the lovable yellow characters: Minion crafts, treats and a movie. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Info: (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Winter Woods Walk
Feb. 27, 2:30-4 p.m. A walk in the cool, crisp air to watch for winter wonders. Dress for the weather and for walking through snow. Pleasant Valley, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock. Info: (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
March 1, 11 a.m. Join Bob Carr, Cantigny Greenhouse Grower, for a guided tour of spring bedding plants as well as a peek at the beginning stages of the summer plant series. Cantigny, Wheaton. Info: (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Kane County Flea Market
March 5-6, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. “The Best in the Midwest or Anywhere.” Up to 1,000 dealers display, sell antiques, collectibles, Fancy Junque. A country breakfast is served on Sundays. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. Info: (630) 377.2252, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Festival of the Sugar Maples
March 5-6 & 12-13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Learn more about how maple trees produce sap and the collection process. Coral Woods Conservation Area, 7400 Somerset, Marengo. Info: (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
Run Fur Fun
March 6, 9 a.m. This two-mile walk and run is for humans and four-legged friends alike. James O. Breen Community Park, Campton Hills Road, St. Charles. Info: (630) 513-4334, st-charlespark.org.
March 12, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Witness the local birding scene as red-winged blackbirds, killdeer, common grackle and song sparrows come out for the season. Cantigny, Wheaton. Info: (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
St. Patrick’s Parade
March 12, 2 p.m. Dancers, marching bands, contests, music, more. Downtown St. Charles. Info: (630) 443-3967, downtownstcharles.org.
Fox Valley 59th Annual Antique Show
March 12-13, 10 a.m. Chicago Suburban Antique Dealers Assoc. show with 55 dealers from 14 states. Benefits local historical and educational efforts. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles. Info: (815) 838-0606, csada.com.
Maple Sugaring Spring Fever
March 12-13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn how early settlers made maple syrup; visit the buildings; try maple treats; take home recipes. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Info: (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Get Sticky! Maple Syrup Sunday
March 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Take a guided stroll through the woods and discover the secret of turning sap into syrup. Fullersburg Woods, 3609 Spring Road, Oak Brook. Info: (630) 850-8110, dupageforest.com.
Weed Ladies Spring & Summer Sale
March 17-19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Unique seasonal silk and dried floral arrangements and accessories. Daniels House, Naper Settlement. Info: (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Crystal Lake’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt
March 19, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Hunt for nearly 10,000 eggs. Veteran Acres baseball field, 431 Walkup Road, Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 477-5873, crystallakeparks.org.
People and Puppies in the Park
March 23, 2-4 p.m. Romp in the park on National Puppy Day. Prairie Wolf Dog Park, Lake Forest. Info: (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Cooking with Maple, Dutch Oven Style
March 26, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Learn to cook Dutch oven recipes with maple syrup, then try cooking over a fire. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Ringwood. Info: (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.