Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Woodstock Groundhog Days
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, events daily. Celebrate the annual event in the town where the 1993 film Groundhog Day was shot. Walking tours of filming sites, film screenings, Family Fun Fair, Woodstock Willie’s prediction, more. Historic Woodstock Square, Woodstock, woodstockgroundhog.org.
5th Annual Super Shuffle 5K
Feb. 1, 9-9:45 a.m. check-in; 10 a.m. race. Awards to overall top female and male finishers. Food & beverages for sale. $34/$39 day of. Register at signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/95666 or (630) 232-4542. Game Day Party follows at Persinger Recreation Center. Race: Geneva Middle School South, 1415 Viking Dr, Geneva.
The Old House New House Home Show
Feb. 6-8, 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.
Learn to Snowshoe
Feb. 7, 10 a.m.-noon. Snowshoeing techniques, proper use of equipment, how to dress. Equipment provided. Dress in synthetic layers; hats, gloves, scarves encouraged. BYO water bottle. $40/$35 members. Brushwood Center, Ryerson Woods Conservation Area, 21850 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Nature Open House
Feb. 7, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Explore the woods in search of clues left by our winter residents. Join a fun-filled afternoon of hands-on nature exploration. Outdoor exploration, crafts and live animals (in the cozy Welcome Center) will reveal the secrets to winter survival. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Miss Fox Valley Pageant
Feb. 7, 4-10 p.m. A local preliminary to the Miss Illinois/Miss America Scholarship Organization, crowning six title holders to compete for state titles in June. Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., DeKalb, egyptiantheatre.org.
Feb. 8, 1-2:30 p.m. Enjoy a short hike, have your family’s picture taken (to be emailed later), make a ‘‘natural’’ picture frame to complete your gift. $3. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
John & Mary Jones & the Illinois Black Codes
Feb. 8, 4 p.m. Fully costumed performance on the life, times and accomplishments of this family, influential in removing the Black Codes from Illinois law, and life during the abolitionist movement. Meeting House, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Winter Nature Walk/Snowshoe
Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a guided nature walk along the solar light path; the 1.4-mile hilly stretch may be snow-covered, uneven and slippery. Warm, sturdy boots or snowshoes recommended. Meet at the Winter Sports Area trailhead. Old School, 28285 St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa, lcfpd.org.
Lucky Luminaria Hike
Feb. 13, 5:30-7 p.m. Take a self-guided luminaria-lighted night hike through the woods that ends at the picnic shelter with toasty marshmallow roasting and the warmth of hot cocoa. Red Oak Nature Center, 2343 S. River St., Batavia, (630) 897-1808, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Murder Mystery Event
Feb. 13, 7-9 p.m. Special adult activity new this year. $20/$35 couple. Part of Discovery Days at Hickory Knolls. Registration required. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
Feb. 13, 7-9 p.m. Ornithologist Steve Bailey discusses owl behavior, identification and habitat, then leads a night hike to look and listen for them. Dress for cold weather; BYO flashlights, binoculars. Brushwood Center, Ryerson Woods Conservation Area, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Valentine’s Day Love Nature Celebration
Feb. 14, 3-6 p.m. Drop-in program. Celebrate your love of nature with loved ones. Crafts, games, music, snacks. Puppet show 4 p.m. Guided hike 5 p.m. Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Alive at Night!
Feb. 14, Fri. 6-9 p.m. An evening of hiking and stargazing. Discovery Days at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. $5. (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
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. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
McHenry County Home and Garden Expo
Feb. 14-15, 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. Free admission/parking. Crystal Lake Holiday Inn Conference Center, 800 S. IL Rt. 31, Crystal Lake, FreeHomeshow.com.
Outdoor Winter Fun
Feb. 15, noon-4 p.m. Dog sledding, ice sculpting, cardboard sled race, more. Part of Discovery Days at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. $5. (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
Cross-Country Candlelight Ski
Feb. 20-21, 5-9 p.m. Cross-country ski on trails lit only by candlelight; all experience levels. Must bring your own equipment. Campfire, refreshments. It will be a hike if fewer than 4 inches of snow. Rush Creek Conservation Area, 20501 McGuire Road, Harvard, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Hunting Like a Wolf
Feb. 21, 2-4 p.m. Ages 10-14. In a capture-the-flag style game, kids form wolf pack teams, set up home territories in the woods and attempt to take over other packs’ territories and hunt for food. Played outdoors and off-trail. Proper footwear and dress for the weather. Glacial Park, Ringwood, mccdistrict.org.
YMCA Indoor Triathlon
Feb. 22, 8 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, (815) 756-9577, kishymca.org.
Kane County Flea Market
Feb. 28-March 1, April 11-12, 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. $5. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 377.2252, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Winter Woods Walk
Feb. 28, 2:30-4 p.m. A walk through the woods in the crisp air to watch for winter wonders. Dress for the weather and walking through snow. Pleasant Valley, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Festival of the Sugar Maples
March 7-8, 14-15, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Learn how maple trees produce sap, see sap collected from maple trees and how maple syrup is made at the evaporator house. Coral Woods Conservation Area, 7400 Somerset, Marengo, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Run Fur Fun
March 8, 9 a.m. Walk/run with your four-legged friend. T-shirts, prizes for dog weight classes. Dogs must have current vaccinations, visible tags and be on retractable leash. Breen Community Park, Campton Hills and Peck roads, St. Charles, stcparks.org.
March 8, 4 p.m. Relive the early days of the frontier with writer, historian and pioneer Juliette Magill Kinzie, portrayed by Betsey Means. Century Memorial Chapel, Naper Settlement, napersettlement.org.
Indoor Women’s Triathlon
March 14, 2 p.m. Non-intimidating novice-level triathlon. Swim in the pool for distance and/or time in heats of 2-6 athletes; bike on spin bikes; finish with run on treadmill. Prizes to farthest distance or quickest time. All participants get a goody bag. $25. Vaughan Athletic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail, Aurora, (630) 907-9600, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
St. Patrick’s Parade
March 14, 2 p.m. Dancers, marching bands, contests, music, more. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 443-3967, downtownstcharles.org/stpats.
Fox Valley 58th Annual Antique Show
March 14-15, 10 a.m. Chicago Suburban Antique Dealers Assoc. show with 55 dealers from 14 states offering authentic antiques. $8/benefits local historical and educational efforts. Free parking. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles. Info: (815) 838-0606, csada.com.
Maple Syrup Hikes
March 14-15, 21-22, 12:30-2:30 p.m. One-hour hikes leave every half-hour. Last departure 2:30 p.m. Learn how trees work and about the sweet sap of sugar maples. Everyone gets a taste. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Maple Sugaring Days
March 14-15, Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. See how early settlers tapped trees and made maple syrup. Visit the historical buildings; try maple treats; take home maple syrup recipes. Naper Settlement, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Weed Ladies Spring & Summer Sale
March 19-22, Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. Unique seasonal silk and dried floral arrangements and accessories. Daniels House, Naper Settlement, napersettlement.museum.org.
Country Folk Art Festival
March 20-22, Fri. 5-9 p.m, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m, Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Unique handmade Easter and spring items. Historic and primitive crafts, traditional American and folk art, country furniture and authentic antiques. Admission: Fri. $8, Sat. $6, Sun. $4. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (815) 772-3279, artoftheheartland.inc.
St. Charles Home Shows
March 21-22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All your home improvements under one roof. Refresh, remodel and renew your home. Save money and energy, too. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 385-4000, chicagohomeshow.net.
Blackberry Farm 5K Spring Gallop
March 28, 8:30 a.m. CARA-certified 5K run/walk on a course that combines the paved Virgil Gilman Trail and a scenic loop around picturesque Lake Gregory. All pre-registered runners will receive a T-shirt. Pre-registration ends at noon on March 22. Ages 8 and up by March 22: Non-CARA Members: $29; CARA Members: $25. Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora, (630) 892-1550, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Earth Day Tree Planting/Celebration
April 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Help to plant trees from 10-11 a.m., then stay to take part in some fun, nature-inspired self-guided activities, or just drop in any time between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration req. for tree planting. Red Oak Nature Center, Batavia, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Scarecrow Kite Fly
April 25, noon-2 p.m. Make your own scarecrow-themed kite. Bring the whole family for a picnic lunch. Advance registration requested. Mt. St. Mary Park, Prairie Street, east of IL Rt. 31, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, stcparks.org.
Antique & Collectible Toy & Doll Show
April 26, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Antique/collectible toys, dolls, memorabilia, holiday items from 600 exhibitors. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (847) 800-3009, chicagotoyshow.com.
Glorious Spring Songbirds
April 30, 6:30-9 p.m.; May 2, 7-10 a.m. In two sessions, Sheryl DeVore, author of Birds of Illinois, discusses key identification marks and plays the songs of spring migrants, then leads a hike to look and listen for the American robin, song sparrow, eastern towhee, gray catbird, and other early migrant songbirds. $99. Brushwood Center, Ryerson Woods Conservation Area, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.