Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Campton Township Prairie Fest
Sept. 20, 1-5 p.m. Experience nature and Corron Farm history. Children’s games, activities, wagon rides. Local exhibitors, free refreshments. Corron Farm, 7N761 Corron Road, Campton Hills, (630) 387-1016, corronfarmpreservationsociety.org.
Sept. 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Pony rides, crafts, hay rides, musical entertainment, a petting zoo, Birds of Prey exhibit, observation silo, Hawks Hollow Nature Playground, Butterfly House, raffle. Food/beverages for sale. Free admission. Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva, (630) 232-4542, genevaparks.org.
Farm Heritage Festival 2014
Sept. 20-21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Hundreds of tractors, cars, engines and other farm machinery. Daily tractor parade, sheep herding demonstrations, scarecrow making, wagon and barrel train rides, petting zoo. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, lcfpd.org.
Primrose Farm Frolic
Sept. 21, 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. $12/ages 2-11 $4; includes all activities. Primrose Farm, 5N576 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4370, stcparks.org
Sept. 26-27, 4 p.m.-midnight. Raue Center’s 1st Annual Oktoberfest. Beer varieties from L&V Distributors; free kids’ activities; polka and contemporary bands. Event: 100 S. Main St., Crystal Lake. Info: Raue Center for the Arts, (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org.
32nd Country Folk Art Festival
Sept. 26-28, Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Handmade arts & crafts by award-winning artisans, historic crafts, folk art, 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.
Kane County Audubon Bird Walk
Sept. 27, 7:30 a.m. Guided walk at the Prairie Green Wetland, part of Peck Farm Park. Wetland is north of Keslinger Road and south of IL Route 38. Park on Heartland Drive, east side of Peck Road. Info: Paul Mayer, (630) 377-3438, kanecountyaudubon.org.
Johnny Appleseed Festival
Sept. 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin train, pumpkin bowling, clowns, face painting, storytelling, amusement rides, wagon rides, heritage demonstrations, scarecrow contest, apple pie baking & eating contests, craft fair, food, live music, Johnny Appleseed. Downtown Crystal Lake, (815) 479-0835, downtowncl.org.
Cary Main Street Fest
Sept. 27-28, Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Craft beer, fall flavors, local market vendors, live entertainment and a large family area showcase all the charm of the village. 100 W. Main St., Cary, (847) 639-2800, carygrovechamber.org.
Fall Fest and Wine Walk
Sept. 27, noon-10 p.m. A portion of the proceeds donated to Memorial Hall Renovation projects. Downtown Richmond Gazebo, Stevens Park, Richmond, (815) 678-7742, rsgchamber.com.
The Old House New House Home Show
Sept. 27-28, 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, (630) 515-1160, kennedyproductions.com.
Terror on the Railroad Haunted Event
Oct. 3-25, 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, irm.org.
Inaugural 2014 Woodstock Ale Fest
Oct. 4, 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. 5, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Volunteers showcase our agricultural heritage as they demonstrate farm and household skills needed to bring in the harvest on an 1840s farm. Suggested donation: $6/$3 under 12. Garfield Farm, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Honey Bee Hike
Oct. 5, 2-3 p.m. Visit an apiary (a place where a colony or colonies of bees are kept) and learn about the honey bee family tree and their lives in the hives. Ryerson Woods Conservation Area & Visitor Center, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Heirloom Apple Fest
Oct. 5, 1-4 p.m. Participants will learn how heirloom apples are harvested. $2/$1 kids. Durant House Museum, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org.
Marengo Settlers’ Days
Oct. 9-13, 10 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 settlersdays.com.
29th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Fest
Oct. 10-12, Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. to 4 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, scarecrowfest.com.
Autumn On the Fox Art & Craft Show
Oct. 10-12, 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. 11, 10 a.m. Pony rides, stilt walker/juggler, petting zoo, face painting, Candy Dive, inflatables, arts & crafts show, book fair, live music. Free with $5 paid parking. Nominal fee for some activities. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
27th Annual Autumn Drive
Oct. 17-19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Special fall festival with antiques, produce, arts and crafts along Garden Valley/River/IL Rt. 176 and Franklinville roads in rural Woodstock and Marengo. autumndrive.net.
41st Annual Country Arts & Crafts Show
Oct. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Approximately 50 area crafters, silent auction, baked goods, lunch, homemade jams and jellies, raffle. St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 485 Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-5096, stpaulsucccl.org
40th Fall Fox Valley Antiques Show
Oct. 18-19, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun to 4 p.m. Browse 55 dealers from 14 states offering authentic antiques. $8. Info: Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (815) 838-0606, csada.com.
Oct. 18-26, Sat.-Sun. Ride the trolley to the “Ole Pumpkin Patch” and pick a pumpkin. Fares: $4/$3 seniors/$2 ages 3-11/under 3 ride free. Pumpkins are $2 apiece. Fox River Trolley Museum, 365 S. LaFox St., South Elgin, foxtrolley.org.
23rd Annual Chicago Railroadiana Show & Sale
Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Vendors, displays, working trains, collectibles. $5.50/12 & under free. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (847) 358-1185, chicagorrshow.com.
53rd Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 22-26, events daily. Thousands of decorated pumpkins, crafts show, house walk, carnival, 10k race, food vendors, parade on Sunday. Downtown Sycamore & various locations, sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.
Mistletoe Magic Boutique
Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Handcrafted wearables, wood items, holiday decor, jewelry, doll clothes, pet items, fair trade food and coffee, bake sale, cookie walk, carolers, more. Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock, (815) 338-0554, gracewoodstock.org.
Kane County Flea Market
Nov. 1-2, Dec. 6-7, 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. $5/12 & under free. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, kanecountyfair.com.
Migratory Hawk Hike
Nov. 4, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Presentation on hawks, their fall migration patterns and identification tips, followed by a hike in Glacial Park. Some loaner binoculars; BYO if you have them. Amphitheater, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Chicago Pet Show
Nov. 8-9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Meet local veterinary experts, nutritionalists and breed rescue experts. Pets welcome on flat lead, with proof of rabies shot. Fun events. $7. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, chicagopetshow.com, kanecountyfair.com.
Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Juke Box Show
Nov. 14-16, 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, chicagolandshow.com.
Nov. 21, 6-8:30 p.m. Live holiday displays in the windows of downtown businesses, special moonlight madness deals, activities for the entire family. Downtown Sycamore, discoversycamore.com.
Nov. 22, 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, mccdistrict.org.
Christmas on the Fox
Nov. 22-23, 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, artoftheheartlandinc.com.
Festival of Lights Parade
Nov. 28, 7 p.m. Decorated floats, marchers, music and Santa’s arrival. More than 50 parade entries in this lighted nighttime parade. Downtown Crystal Lake, downtowncl.org.
Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest & Exhibit
Nov. 29, 1-4 p.m. Gingerbread FIREhouses, burning buildings or those related to firefighting. Winners announced at 3:30 p.m. All entries will be on display through Dec. 21. Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, Aurora, (630) 892-1572.
Celebration of Lights Festival
Nov. 30, 5:30 p.m. Santa’s arrival, tree lighting, hayrides, snacks for sale, roasted chestnuts, trees decorated by local businesses and organizations, visits with Santa. Batavia Riverwalk, 100 N. Island Ave., Batavia, bataviaparks.org.
Christmas Walk House Tour
Dec. 5-6, Fri. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. to 5 p.m. Self-guided tours of five distinctive homes festively decorated for the holidays by local decorators. $30. Tickets available Oct. 24, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, 8 S. 3rd St., Geneva, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Dec. 5-7, Fri. 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. See the arrival of Santa Lucia, the first candy cane of the season and Santa’s lighting the great tree, and continue with roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers, a live nativity and free carriage rides on Saturday and Sunday. Downtown Geneva, genevachamber.com.
Dec. 6-7, 3-7 p.m. Experience the tradition of winter visits as practiced by families like the Garfields in their 1846 Brick Inn. Hospitality, food, music and bake sale. Donations accepted. Garfield Farm, LaFox, garfieldfarm.org.
Happy Holiday Railway
Dec. 6-7, 13-14, Sat.-Sun. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Take a magical train ride to visit with Santa Claus and his elves at the Toy Workshop. Special Fare Event. No passes honored. Holiday event; museum grounds/buildings not open. IRM, Union, irm.org.
Saturday with Santa
Dec. 13, 1-3 p.m. visit with Santa, create a holiday craft with his elves, sip hot cocoa and warm your feet by the fire. Santa habla español tambien. $5 per person. Pre-registration is recommended. Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva, genevaparks.org.