Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
May 4, 10 a.m.-noon. Enjoy a one-hour guided walk as you learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. Social time and refreshments follow. Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve, 35W003 Ill. Rt. 31, South Elgin, (630) 232-5980, kaneforest.com.
Spring Bird Walk: Ryerson Woods
May 6-7, May 13-14, May 17, May 21, 7-9 a.m. May is the month for songbirds, so join skilled birders on these guided walks. Binoculars encouraged. Ryerson Woods Conservation Area, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Kane County Flea Market
May 6-7, June 3-4, July 1-2, 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.
Bob Blazier Run For The Arts
May 7, 8 a.m. CARA-registered 5K run, one-mile walk/run and kids’ 50-yard dash through downtown Crystal Lake. Proceeds support local arts institutions. Raue Center For The Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org.
40th Anniversary of Garfield Farm Museum
May 12, 6:30 p.m. Celebrate Garfield Heritage Society and the museum’s founding 40 years ago. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live and Why They Matter
May 13, 10 a.m. Biologist Colin Tudge travels around the world to bring life stories and facts about the trees around us. From tiny saplings to centuries-old redwoods and desert palms, from the backyards of the American heartland to the rainforests of the Amazon and the bamboo forests, Tudge takes you on a journey through history and illuminates these ever-present and often-ignored companions. Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Road, Ingleside, (815) 344-1294, dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/VoloBog.aspx.
May 13, 8 a.m. Steady 2-3 mile hike through woodlands and grasslands in search of as many species as possible. BYO binoculars and field guides if you have them. Refreshments and tallies follow. Powers-Walker House. Kettle Lot, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Trek With a Naturalist
May 18, 6 p.m. A naturalist interprets the ecology of the preserve as you hike. This program is intended for those who like active hiking. Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve, 35W076 Villa Marie Road, St. Charles, (630) 232-5980, kaneforest.com.
Prairie Path Prowl
May 18, 6 p.m. Meet volunteer birding expert Dave Miller for an early evening walk along the Prairie Trail. Search for birds that are native to this area and enjoy a scenic stroll covering 1-2 miles. Glacial Park Conservation Area, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Long Grove Chocolate Festival
May 19-21, Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. to 6 p.m. Chocolate in its many forms; live entertainment throughout the village; shopping; food; specialty vendors. Historic Long Grove Village, 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove, (847) 634-0888, longgrove.org.
Fox River Valley Pony Club Mini Event
May 20-21, 8 a.m. Area riders will participate in the Fox River Valley Pony Club’s Mini Event and Combined Test-Schooling Show. Barrington Hills Riding Center, Spring Creek Valley Forest Preserve, 361 Bateman Road, Barrington, (847) 381-9290, bhillsparkd.org.
Origami in the Garden Opening Weekend
May 20-21, 11 a.m. Morton Arboretum celebrates the arrival of Origami in the Garden, a series of large-scale metal sculptures inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding. The exhibit is open through Oct. 22. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Ill. Rte. 53, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Civil War Days
May 20-21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 300 re-enactors camp on site; 2:30 p.m. battle each day; demonstrations of 19th century medical techniques; food; shopping; more. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Swing Into Summer Barn Dance
May 20, 6-10 p.m. Experience a traditional 1930s barn dance, complete with swinging music and dance lessons. Primrose Farm, St. Charles Park District, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4370, stcparks.org.
May 21 & 27, 8 a.m. With prairie restorations, woodlands, old fields and marshes, Volo Bog State Natural Area affords birders the opportunity to see a variety of species. About 193 have been documented on the site. Bring binoculars and field guides. Registration requested. Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside, (815) 344-1294, dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/VoloBog.aspx.
Rare Breeds Show
May 21, 11 a.m. Breeders from around the Midwest display rare and historical livestock. Individual breeders may offer livestock, poultry and byproducts for sale. Garfield Farm Museum, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
49th Annual Fair Diddley Craft Show
May 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Featuring more than 300 artists and crafters, sponsored by the Mental Health Resource League McHenry County. All proceeds benefit county agencies concerned with mental health services. Woodstock Square, Woodstock, (815) 385-5745, mhrl.org.
40th Elgin Valley Fox Trot
May 27, 7:30 a.m.-noon. Registration 6:30 a.m. Race through the streets of Elgin on a 10-mile/5K run/2-mile fun walk with cash prizes; CARA-endorsed. Proceeds benefit 25 local nonprofits. Race start: Intersection of Kimball & Douglas, Elgin. Info/register: (847) 531-7005, cityofelgin.org/foxtrot.
May 27 & July 1, 9 a.m. Tour the prairie with museum staff to learn about the native environment and ecosystems of Illinois. Reservations encouraged. Garfield Farm Museum, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Harvard Milk Days
June 2-4, events daily. This tribute to our farming heritage includes a 10K run, antique tractor show, carnival, milk-drinking contest, cow chip lotto, Milky Way parade, more. Downtown Harvard, (815) 943-4614, milkdays.com.
Medications of the 1840s
June 4, 1 p.m. Museum volunteer Aimee Daramus discusses how medicine impacted people around the Fox River Valley during the early years of settlement. Garfield Farm Museum, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
June 10-11, 11 a.m. Fold paper into something magical with origami expert Marilyn Schweitzer. Morton Arboretum, Children’s Garden, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
41st Annual Kane County Railroad Collectibles & Model Train Show
June 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate our nation’s railroad heritage and collectibles. View model trains and operating layouts. Collectibles include items used by railroads such as lanterns, china, silverware, keys, locks, timetables, train parts and maps; also books, photography and DVDs on railroad topics. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (847) 358-1185, kanecountyrrshow.com.
June 14, 6 p.m. Join resident bird expert Dave Miller for an evening walk in search of grassland birds at Glacial Park. Listen for the ‘bubbling’ calls of the bobolink along the way. Kettle Parking Lot, Glacial Park Conservation Area, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire
June 16-17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit the grounds and gardens of three outstanding Barrington-area estates for inspiration, shopping and leisure. Gifts, garden accessories, designer vignettes, food, free shuttle service. Benefits Barrington-based charity Hands of Hope. Hands of Hope, 800 Hart Road, Ste. 100, Barrington, (847) 381-7367, handsofhopeonline.org.
America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta
June 17, 9 a.m. Build a life-sized boat from cardboard and race it along a 200-yard course on Crystal Lake. Prizes awarded in several categories. Proceeds support local charities. Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, cardboardcup.com.
June 20-25, events daily. Annual heritage celebration, with live entertainment, carnival, children’s activities, Grand Parade, Sweden Väst, multi-ethnic food, shopping, more. Location: Downtown Geneva. Info: Geneva Chamber of Commerce, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Long Grove Strawberry Festival
June 23-25, Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. to 11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Three days of live entertainment, activities, children’s rides, vendors and, of course, strawberries, including fresh, chocolate-covered, in ice cream, smoothies, baked goods, plus merchant specials. Historic Long Grove Village, (847) 634-0888, longgrove.org.
Japanese Game Day
July 8-9, 11 a.m. Play games and make crafts inspired by Japanese culture. Morton Arboretum, Children’s Garden, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
26th Annual Civil War Days
July 8-9, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Battle 3 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Battle 1:30 p.m. Largest Civil War re-enactment in northern Illinois: military/civilian camps & re-enactors; historical figures; period games for kids; Civil War-era shopping; period music; food vendors; exhibits. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, lcfpd.org.
Shakespeare in the Park
July 15, 5 p.m. Grab your lawn chair and check out the annual Shakespeare in the Park play, “As You Like It.” The Midsummer Theater Troupe brings the laughs in this 90-minute production, making this outing fun and appropriate for the whole family. Island Park, 2 E. State St., Geneva, (630) 232-4542, genevachamber.com.
Geneva Arts Fair
July 22-23, 10 a.m. This art fair showcases more than 150 fine artists from around the country. Original artwork on display is in media including photography, pottery, fiber, printmaking, wood and sculpture, painting and more. Location: Downtown Geneva on South 3rd Street. Info: Geneva Chamber of Commerce, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.