Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Fox River Distilling Company Tours
Oct 1, noon-1 p.m., 2-3 p.m., 4-5 p.m. Visit Fox River Distilling Company to learn how local grains are used in the small batch production of vodka, gin, bourbon, moonshine and several seasonal spirits. Fox River Distilling Company, 204 Dearborn Court, Unit 110, Geneva, (630) 402-0027, foxriverdistilling.com.
Woodstock Ale Fest
Oct. 1, 1-5 p.m. Sample more than 80 unique beers from craft breweries around the country while enjoying 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.
Consignment Shop Hop
Oct. 1, 7 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. Have your kids outgrown their clothes already? Enjoy Downtown Wheaton while visiting consignment shops to see what they do. The tour ends with wine tasting at Tasting deVine. Downtown Wheaton, downtownwheaton.com.
Pumpkin Pedal Bike Tour
Oct. 2, 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. Sycamore Speedway, 50W086 Illinois 64, Maple Park, (630) 377-7250, soill.org.
Bird Walks at McHenry Dam
Oct. 2, 15, 29, Nov. 12. Bald eagles nested just a mile downriver from McHenry Dam and are often seen on the river. Kingfishers, egrets, herons, cranes and osprey are also among the birds found along the river. Bring binoculars and walk two miles. Meet at the south end of McHenry Dam parking, (815) 344-1294, McHenryAudubon.org.
8th Annual Run & Roll for the Dole Duathlon
Oct. 2, 8-11 a.m. Participate in a 2-mile run, 20K bike ride and another 2-mile run through Crystal Lake and Lakewood. Proceeds benefit the Lakeside Legacy Foundation. Dole Mansion, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesideartspark.org.
Fall Color 5K Run & Walk
Oct. 2, 8 a.m. Experience a challenging course that follows rolling terrain and finishes at a post-race party. Proceeds help support The Morton Arboretum. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois 53, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Oct. 2, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Join museum volunteers in this celebration of the season. Enjoy continuous demonstrations of farm and household skills, 19th-century music and food. Garfield Farm and Museum, Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Historic Estate Walking Tour at Fabyan Forest Preserve
Oct. 2, 4-4:45 p.m. Get your walking shoes on and step back in time during the historic estate walking tour at the Fabyan Forest Preserve, 1925 S. Batavia Ave., (630) 377-6424, Ppfv.org.
Ladies Night Out at Park Place
Oct. 5, 5-8 p.m. This free event is for the ladies. The evening features drink specials, raffles, purses, jewelry, chocolate and much more. Vendors have samples, special prize drawings and special offers for Ladies Night attendees. Park Place, 406 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5871.
Downtown Wheaton Culinary Walking Tour
Oct 5, 12:15-3 p.m. Join fellow foodies on a culinary walking tour featuring Downtown Wheaton restaurants. Downtown Wheaton, downtownwheaton.com.
St. Charles Scarecrow Fest
Oct. 7-9, Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. to 5 p.m. More than 100 handcrafted scarecrows are on display. Enjoy a juried craft show, carnival, food, live entertainment and free children’s activities. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 377-6161, scarecrowfest.com.
Cantigny Fall Festival
Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There’s pony rides, a juggler, a petting zoo, face painting, a candy dive, inflatables, an arts & crafts show, a book fair and live music. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Witches of Wheaton
Oct. 15, 2:30-5 p.m. Grab your friends and enjoy a festive day filled with witch-hat decorating, photo ops, store and restaurant promotions and a decorated witches hat contest. Dowtown Wheaton. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com/e/witches-of-wheaton-tickets-27681177146.
Wheaton Wedding Walk
Oct. 15, 1-4 p.m. Special bridal exhibits and services promoted by the Downtown Wheaton merchants. Downtown Wheaton, downtownwheaton.com.
Oct. 29, 6-10 p.m. Join a Halloween-themed fundraiser for A Heart for Animals, a non-profit animal rescue. Proceeds go to continued rescue efforts. Mandile’s Italian Ristorante & Banquets, 2160 Lake Cook Rd., Algonquin, (847) 868-2432, aheartforanimals.org.
Boo Palooza Halloween Celebration
Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Costume contest and trick-or-treating at stores in Downtown Wheaton. Downtownwheaton.com.
Oct. 31, 3-5 p.m. Participating merchants throughout downtown Crystal Lake open their doors to invite costumed children 12 and under in to receive a treat. Participating merchants will have an orange “Halloween Handout” pumpkin flyer on their window. Dowtown Crystal Lake, downtowncl.org.
8th Annual Chili Cook-Off
Nov. 5, 1-5 p.m. Area restaurants compete with unique chili dishes for participant votes. Downtown Wheaton, downtownwheaton.com.
A Very Electric Christmas
Nov. 10, 7-9 p.m. Audiences of all ages treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky. Raue Center For The Arts, Crystal Lake, rauecenter.org.
Nov. 17, 5-6:30 p.m. Learn how to buy and sell merchandise on eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace. Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Festival Of Lights Parade
Nov. 20, 7-8 p.m. The Festival of Lights Parade is the traditional start to the holiday season, as Santa Claus comes to Downtown Crystal Lake. There’s lights, music, a pageantry and a little holiday magic. Downtown Crystal Lake, downtowncl.org.
Festival of the Wreaths
Nov. 22-Dec.4. The Festival of Wreaths returns to the Arlington Heights Historical Museum for a second event. Public viewing and silent auction bidding will take place at the museum. Winning wreath bids will be announced Dec. 4. Proceeds support the museums collections and programs. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, (847) 255-1225, ahmuseum.org.
Nov. 25, 8-10 p.m. This traditional holiday parade in Downtown Wheaton features lighted floats, community organizations, costumed characters, marching bands and Santa. Downtown Wheaton, downtownwheaton.com.
A Christmas Survival Guide
Nov. 26, Dec. 2 & 3, 8 p.m., Nov. 27, Dec. 3-4, 3 p.m. Do you find the holidays more than a little stressful? This intimate revue takes a wry and knowing look at a stressful season. Raue Center For The Arts, Crystal Lake, rauecenter.org.
Carriage Rides/Visits with Santa
Nov. 26, 12-5 p.m. Enjoy free old-fashioned carriage rides. Santa meets and greets the kids at Martin Memorial Plaza in Downtown Wheaton, downtownwheaton.com.
Elburn Chamber Christmas Stroll
Nov. 26, 4-8 p.m. There’s holiday music, lights, hot chocolate, goodies with local merchants, Santa Claus and much more. Downtown Elburn, (630) 365-2295, Elburn.com.
Christmas Walk & House Tour
Dec. 2 & 3. Welcome the Christmas holiday with arrival of Santa Lucia and a tree lighting ceremony. There’s also 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.
Breakfast With Santa
Dec. 3, 9-11 a.m. Children can sit on Santa’s lap and recite their Christmas list. Each child receives a keepsake photo with Santa. Everyone also enjoys breakfast as music and singing fill the room. Old Towne Hall, 54 Brink St., Crystal Lake (815) 479-0884 downtowncl.org.
Reindeer Run/Holiday Stroll
Dec. 3, noon-10 p.m. Start off the morning with the Lion’s Club Reindeer Run and enjoy a day of complimentary treats and family activities offered by the merchants of Downtown Wheaton. Carriage rides, caroling and Santa visits are featured. Downtown Wheaton, wheatonparkdistrict.org.
8th Annual Snowflake Shuffle
Dec. 3, 9 a.m. The Snowflake Shuffle is a 5K/10K race that raises money and awareness for mental health services through TriCity Family Services. Runners receive a pullover hoodie, if signed up by Nov. 15. The 10K racers also receive a holiday ornament. Mill Creek Golf Club, 39W525 Herrington Drive, Geneva, tricityfamilyservices.org.
Kiwanis Santa Run/Reindeer Dash
Dec. 4, 9 a.m. A 5K run/walk or 1 mile run/walk. 5K participants get a five-piece Santa Suit. Proceeds go to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, CASA, Turning Point, Girls on the Run, Main Stay and Kiwanis. Raue Center for the Arts, Crystal Lake, (815) 459-1773, kiwaniscrystallake.com.
Merry Cary Holiday Parade & Festival
Dec. 4, noon-3:30 p.m. Let the holiday magic whisk you away as a parade travels through downtown Cary. Participants are encouraged to stay downtown and enjoy holiday activities. Downtown Cary, (847) 639-2800, carygrovechamber.com.
Dec. 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Stop by the wagon shed to see a blacksmith demonstrate the tools and techniques of the trade. Registration is not required. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 Country Farm Road, West Chicago, (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.