Nothing says autumn like pumpkins! Visit Long Grove’s OktoberFest Oct. 13-14, tour McHenry County farms during the Autumn Drive Oct. 19-21, and celebrate the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Oct. 24-28. (Cody's Farm photo)

Events at a Glance: Recreation & Destinations Calendar

There’s so much to do in our region! Here are some exciting recreation events happening this season.

Nothing says autumn like pumpkins! Visit Long Grove’s OktoberFest Oct. 13-14, tour McHenry County farms during the Autumn Drive Oct. 19-21, and celebrate the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Oct. 24-28. (Cody’s Farm photo)


Shades of Autumn
Through Oct. 28, Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Annual weekend festival with live entertainment, food, petting zoo, maze, pumpkin cannon, hayrides, more. $10/person. Stade’s Farm & Market, 3709 W. Miller Road, McHenry, (815) 675-6396,

Sunset Prairie Hike
Sept. 14, 6:30-8 p.m. Enjoy a sunset hike andthe colors, fragrance and folklore of fall prairie flowers. Kishwaukee Headwaters, U.S. Hwy. 14 & Dean St., Woodstock, (815) 479-5779,

Flying Squirrel Night Hike
Sept. 14, 7-8:30 p.m. Explore the outdoors at night in search of the elusive flying squirrels (no guarantees on finding any) and learn if they actually fly, what they eat and more. No flashlights allowed. Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779,

Migratory Madness Morning
Sept. 15, 8-10:30 a.m. Join bird enthusiasts on a search for migratory birds stopping over at Glacial Park, followed by notes and refreshments at Lost Valley Visitor Center. If possible, BYO binoculars, field guides. Main Lot, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779,

Harvest Fest/Fair In The Square
Sept. 16, noon-5 p.m. Farmers market, craft show & sale, demos by spinners, blacksmiths, weavers; banjo, guitar, fiddle and mandolin contests; live entertainment. Free. Historic Woodstock Square, Woodstock, (815) 338-5164,

Fall Harvest
Sept. 16, noon-4 p.m. See how pioneers harvested crops; churn butter and shell corn; buy pioneer harvest treats. Admission incl. activities. Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora, (630) 892-1550,

Fox Valley Marathon
Sept. 16, 7 a.m. Free to spectators, registration fee for participants. Award-winning Boston-qualifying marathon, half and Fall Final 20. All skill levels. Downtown St. Charles, Illinois & 1st streets, (630) 549-3070,

Quilt Artist Lecture & Trunk Show
Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m. Author, designer and instructor Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts will share her talent for machine appliqué and scrap piecing, at the meeting of the Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild. Members free/$7 non-member guest. Concorde Banquets, 20922 N. Rand Road, Kildeer, (847) 438-0025,

30th Country Folk Art Festival
Sept. 21-23, Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Handmade folk arts & crafts by award-winning artisans, historic crafts, primitives, reproductions of antique American furniture, some original antiques. Robinson Hall, Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (815) 772-3279,

Night Voyageur Paddle
Sept. 22, 6-8 p.m. Paddle a giant canoe while learning about the lives of the Voyageurs and the fur trade in 18th-century Lake County. Must bring completed waiver & release. $7/$10 nonresident. Independence Grove Forest Preserve, 1899 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville. Registration: (847) 968-3321,

Tractors for Charity
Sept. 22-23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. This annual antique tractor, truck and construction equipment show features a large number of restored remnants from our rich agricultural and construction history. Stade’s Farm & Market, 3709 W. Miller Road, McHenry, (815) 675-6396,

Farm Heritage Festival
Sept. 22-23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A celebration of Lake County’s rural roots, with hundreds of tractors, cars, engines and other farm machinery, daily tractor parade, sheep herding, scarecrow making, petting zoo, train rides, live music. $8/$4 seniors & youth, includes museum admission, rides, parking. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, (847) 968-3400,

Harvest Pow Wow
Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate Native American heritage with dancing, cultural demonstrations, children’s games & crafts, presentations. By Midwest SOARRING. Info: (773) 585-1744. Event: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010,

Farm Frolic
Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Pumpkin painting, folk music, horse-drawn hayrides, petting zoo, straw maze, antique farm equipment, food vendors. $8/$4 ages 2-11. Primrose Farm, 5N576 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4370,

Treasures of the Tri-Cities House Walk
Sept. 23, 1-5 p.m. Featuring six Greek Revival and Italianate homes in the Tri-Cities area from the mid- to late 1800s. Tickets $20/$23 day of. Sponsored by Preservation Partners of Fox Valley, 8 Indiana Ave.,
St. Charles. Info: (630) 377-6424

Long Grove Apple Festival
Sept. 28-30, events daily. Celebrate fall’s favorite fruit and the many delicious ways to enjoy it, from the village’s restaurants to outdoor food booths. Apples by the bushel, activities, live music. Historic Long Grove, (847) 634-0888,

Johnny Appleseed Festival
Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Live entertainment, pony rides, petting zoo, storytelling, wagon rides, farmers market. Meet Johnny Appleseed. Demonstrations of antique cider press & peeler, contests, craft fair. Downtown Crystal Lake,

14th Annual Antique Tractor Show & Plow Day
Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy the fall day with the farm animals, corn maze, kids maze, antique farm equipment, tractor rides (guests can even plow a field), tractor parade, food vendors, more. Von Bergen’s Country Market, 9805 Rt. 173, Hebron, (815) 648-2332,

Prairie Fest
Sept. 29, noon-4 p.m. Celebrate the life and lore, beauty and diversity of local prairies, with guided prairie hikes, activities for the kids, seed collecting, live music. Bring a picnic lunch or buy food on-site. Pleasant Valley, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock, (815) 479-5779,

Harvest Fest
Sept. 30, noon-5 p.m. Celebrate the year’s harvest with cider pressing, face painting, apple stamps, pumpkin painting, facility tours, free food, live music, beverages, more. Free; donations accepted.
Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus, 2710 S. Country Club Road, Woodstock, (815) 338-1032.


Marengo Settlers’ Days
Oct. 4-8, Thur.-Fri., Mon. 11 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 8:30 a.m. Carnival, parade, live music, food, beer tent, craft show, bags tourney, petting zoo, pumpkin launcher, corn maze, hayrides, antique car & tractor show, more. Downtown Marengo & various locations. Complete schedule online at

Oct. 5-6, Fri. 4-10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. A salute to the community’s German heritage, under a tent, with live music and authentic cuisine. Enter north of Martin Mitchell Mansion on Aurora Avenue. Naper Settlement, (630) 420-6010,

27th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
Oct. 5-7, Fri.-Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. to 6 p.m. More than 100 handcrafted scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children’s activities, more. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 377-6161,

Autumn On the Fox Art & Craft Show
Oct. 5-7, Fri.-Sat. 9 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 décor, more. Food, baked goods, caramel apples, more. Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles,

Terror on the Railroad Haunted Event
Oct. 5-27, Fri-Sat. 7-11 p.m. A terrifying haunted Halloween Train Experience. Visitors must be at least age 13 and in good health. Special fare event/no passes honored. Illinois Railway Museum, 7000 Olson Road, Union, (815) 244-7245,

Kane County Flea Market
Oct. 6-7, Nov. 3-4, Dec. 1-2, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. “The Best In The Midwest.” Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques and collectibles indoors and outside. Country breakfast on Sunday. $5/kids 12 & under free. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926,

Migratory Hawk Hike
Oct. 6, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Learn about hawks and their fall migration patterns, and get identification tips; indoor presentation followed by a hike in Glacial Park. Limited supply of loaner binoculars; BYO if you have them. Wiedrich Education Center, Glacial Park, Ringwood,

35th Annual Cider Fest
Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Displays and demonstrations of old tools and crafts, tours of historic buildings, apples pressed into cider, musical entertainment, barn raising beginning at 12:30 p.m., white elephant sale, food vendors. McHenry County Historical Society, 6422 Main St., Union, (815) 923-2267,

Harvest Days
Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Volunteers portray our agricultural heritage, as they demonstrate farm and household skills needed to bring in the harvest on an 1840s farm. Suggested donation: $6/$3 kids under 12. Garfield Farm, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485,

Living History Open House
Oct. 11, 5-8:30 p.m. Drop-in event displays this 1850s house by candlelight and lamplight, with aromas of baking from the wood-burning stove and an evening view of changing colors in the Lost Valley Marsh. Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park, Ringwood,

Moonlight Hayrides
Oct. 12-27, Fri.-Sat., 5:30-8 p.m. Special hour-long antique tractor ride, 5:30-6:30; all others 30 minutes. Bonfire, marshmallow roast, hot chocolate and cider. $8/$12 non-residents. Primrose Farm, 5N576 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4370,

Long Grove’s OktoberFest
Oct. 13-14, 10:30 a.m. Saturday parade, hayride & carriage rides, pumpkin decorating, children’s activities, haunted walk, folk dancing and German bands. Beer, brats and other traditional German food. Historic downtown Long Grove, (847) 634-0888,

Harvest Time
Oct. 13-28, Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the fall harvest with weekend activities that include learning about root cellars, food preservation and canning, grinding corn, pressing apples for cider. Naper Settlement, (630) 420-6010,

Heirloom Apple Fest
Oct. 14, 1-4 p.m. Sample apple varieties no longer sold by grocers or orchards. Children’s activities; costumed guides. $3/$1 ages 3-12. Durant House Museum, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W370 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-6424,

Autumn Drive 2012
Oct. 19-21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Three-day fall festival with antiques, produce, arts and crafts, along Garden Valley/River/Rt. 176 & Franklinville roads in rural Woodstock and Marengo.

Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour
Oct. 19-31, dusk-10 p.m. for best view. Admire ghoulish yard displays and spooky homes of some of St. Charles’ finest home haunters. Some displays may not be appropriate for all ages. Respect homeowners’ rights and property. Homeowners wishing to participate: email [email protected] in early October. St. Charles-area homes. Info: (630) 513-6200. Downloadable map available starting Oct. 18 at

Fall Fox Valley Antiques Show
Oct. 20-21, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Browse 55 dealers from 14 states offering authentic antiques. $8. Proceeds benefit local historical/educational groups & Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Info: (815) 838-0606, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles.

21st Annual Chicago Railroadiana Show & Sale
Oct. 21, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Vendors, displays, working trains, collectibles. $5.50/kids 12 & under free. Info: (847) 934-4000, Event: Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles,

Adlai E. Stevenson Historic Home Public Tours
Oct. 21, 11 a.m., 1 & 2:30 p.m. Learn more about this influential American statesman as you tour his home. Adlai E. Stevenson Historic Home, 25200 St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa. Registration: (847) 968-3321,

Annual Quilt Program & Quilt Raffle
Oct. 24, 1:30-4 p.m. Quilt collector Nancy Lehman of Walworth, Wis., will show her collection of McElwain Quilts. Visitors may bring favorite quilts to show. Quilt drawing at 3:30 p.m. 6422 Main St., Union, (815) 923-2267,

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 24-28, events daily. Annual event for more than 50 years. Thousands of decorated pumpkins, craft show, house walk, carnival, food vendors, parade on Sunday. Downtown Sycamore/various locations,

Fall Color Canoe Trip
Oct. 27, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy fall colors during a 7-mile paddle from Pioneer Road Landing to Nippersink Canoe Base. Basic river canoe skills req. Bring sack lunch, plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, shoes suitable for wading. Pioneer Landing, Glacial Park, Ringwood,

Antique & Collectible Toy & Doll Show
Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 600 vendors with every toy imaginable: pre- and post-war, die-cast, games, action figures, holiday heirlooms, pedal cars and other riding toys, more. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles,


Mistletoe Magic
Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fundraiser for local nonprofit groups. Handcrafted items from members of Grace Lutheran Church, doll clothes, vintage jewelry, fair trade coffee, bake sale, luncheon, carolers, live entertainment, more. Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock, (815) 338-0554.

Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Juke Box Show
Nov. 9-11, 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, gumball machines, more. Info: (815) 353-1593, Event: Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles.

Chicago Pet Show
Nov. 10-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Meet local veterinary experts, nutritionists and breed rescue experts. Pets welcome on flat lead, with proof of rabies shot. Fun events. $7. Info: Event: Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles,

Great American Cooking Expo
Nov. 10-11, Fri. 6-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Food, wine and cooking enthusiasts gather for a gourmet extravaganza. Discover the best wines, recipes, products, techniques and ideas available in today’s culinary marketplace. Arlington Park Race Track, 2200 Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, (847) 486-9005,

Tellebration Celebration
Nov. 17, 7-8:30 p.m. Join McHenry County Conservation District in a joint worldwide evening of storytelling, with stories appropriate for all ages. Admission: One non-perishable food item for McHenry County food pantries. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake,

Festival of Arts & Crafts
Nov. 17-18, Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. American handmade crafts: furniture, photography, stained glass, holiday and home décor, jewelry, doll clothes, more. DuPage Expo Center, 4050 E. Main St., St. Charles, (847) 301-8543,

Festival of Lights Parade
Nov. 23, 7 p.m. Decorated floats, marchers, music and Santa’s arrival. More than 50 parade entries and thousands of spectators attend this lighted nighttime parade. Downtown Crystal Lake,

Antique Market
Nov. 24-25, Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Exhibitors pack 25,000 square feet with quality antiques and collectibles. Info: (715) 526-9769, Event: DuPage Expo Center, St. Charles.

Christmas on the Fox
Nov. 24-25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Juried show with more than 90 exhibitors with quality, handmade art and crafts – no commercial/manufactured items. Info: (815) 772-3279, Event: Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles,

Celebration of Lights Festival
Nov. 25, 5:30 p.m. Free hayrides, community sing-a-long, visit with Santa, the ceremonial tree lighting. Info: Event: Batavia Riverwalk, Downtown Batavia.

Christmastime at the Fine Line
Nov. 30-Dec. 8, Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. to 5 p.m. A juried members show and sale with a variety of quality items priced for all budgets. Fine Line Creative Arts Center, 6N158 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-9443,