Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Kane County Fair
July 20-24. Championship bull riding, demolition derby, carnival midway, bands including Neverly Brothers, American English. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
DuPage County Fair
July 27-31. Enjoy entertainment, beer and wine tasting, rodeo, demolition derby, exhibits, food vendors, more. DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-6636, dupagecountyfair.org.
National Night Out
Aug. 2, 5-7:30 p.m. McHenry County Conservation District, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Wonder Lake Fire Department team up to promote crime prevention and safety programs, while strengthening police-community partnerships and encouraging neighborhood camaraderie. Harrison Benwell preserve, McHenry County Conservation District, 7055 McCullom Lake Road, Wonder Lake, (815) 334-2877, mccdistrict.org.
McHenry County Fair
Aug. 3-7, Wed. 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy a carnival midway, magic show, the McHenry County Queen Pageant, rodeo, motocross racing, antique truck and tractor pulls, demolition derby, more. McHenry County Fairgrounds, 11900 Country Club Road, Woodstock, (815) 338-5315, mchenrycountyfair.com.
Lake County Fair
Aug. 5-14, Wed.-Thu. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Four days of livestock barns, midway, entertainment, beer garden, more. Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake, (847) 680-7200, lcfair.com.
McHenry Rotary Blues, Brews & BBQ
Aug. 5-7, Fri. 5-11 p.m., Sat. 4-11 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m. BBQ cook-off with food, craft beers and blues music. Petersen Park, McCullom Lake Road, McHenry, (815) 331-6428, mchenryrotarybluesbrewsandbbqs.com.
Aug. 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring your dog and see agility and disc-catching demonstrations, dog rescue organizations and animal shelters, vendors, pet play area, Stuff-A-Dog. All dogs must have current vaccination tags and be sociable with others. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Wheaton Brew Fest
Aug. 6, noon-4:30 p.m. Event features more than 80 craft brews, entertainment, food vendors, more. Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton, wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Kane County Flea Market
Aug. 6-7, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Up to 1,000 dealers display, sell antiques, collectibles, Fancy Junque. A country breakfast is served on Sundays. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 377-2252, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Antique Tool Show and Sale
Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Members of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association and the Early American Industries Association display, trade and sell antique and collectible tools. Garfield Farm and Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Meteor Showers and Summer Constellations
Aug. 11, 8-10 p.m. Relax under the summer night sky while we wait and watch for meteors. Listen to the stories of heroes such as Hercules and Perseus, whose constellations can be seen along with other characters from their adventures. Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, Marengo, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
South Elgin RiverFest Express
Aug. 11-14. Includes live entertainment, craft show, trolley rides, car show, carnival rides, fireworks, more. Panton Mill Park, 10 N. Water St., South Elgin, (847) 774-1151, riverfestexpress.net.
Naperville Wine Festival
Aug. 12-13, 4:30-10 p.m. Sample more than 300 wines from around the world. City Gate Centre, 2155 City Gate Lane, Naperville, napervillewinefestival.com.
Sycamore’s Ribs, Rhythm & Brews Fest
Aug. 20, 5-11 p.m. Enjoy lip-smackin’ ribs from some of the best grill masters in the region, a wide variety of refreshing brews and three live bands, including Back Country Roads. Somonauk Street, Sycamore, discoversycamore.com.
Geneva Concours d’Elegance
Aug. 27-28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. See cars orphaned when their manufacturers went out of business, Jaguars, police cars and – in honor of the 60th anniversary of Elkhart Lake – race cars built in 1955 or earlier. 3rd Street, downtown Geneva, genevaconcours.net.
Aug. 26-28, Fri. 3-11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. One of the last remaining free music festivals is back in Downtown DeKalb, with sound stage, carnival, food, beer garden, more. Between 1st and 4th streets, downtown DeKalb. Info: (815) 748-2676, cornfest.com.
Sept. 3-4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Experience a fair from DuPage County’s agricultural past. See 1890s technology, trades and blue-ribbon winners, and visit the midway for games, entertainment and a peek inside the Museum of Wonder and Awe. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Info: (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.
Tour de Blackberry
Sept. 10, 10 a.m. Registration for this adventurous race includes a T-shirt, snacks and refreshments. Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Info: (630) 892-1550, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Crystal Lake Park District Half Marathon
Sept. 11, 6 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. start. Help honor the area’s fallen heroes and celebrate Crystal Lake’s first responders for the 20th annual competitive race on a USATF-certified course. Awards are given to top finishers for males and females in each age division, as well as the overall male and female winner. Start: Lippold Park, 851 IL Rt. 176, Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
Harvest Cider Tasting in the Garden
Sept. 14, 6-8 p.m. Toast the season by trying 2-ounce tastings of seasonal ciders. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. Info: (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.
Big Truck Show
Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-noon. A rare chance to view the inner workings of the trucks, cars, emergency vehicles and tractors usually viewed only from a distance. Representatives will be on hand to offer tours and answer questions. James O. Breen Community Park, Campton Hills & Peck Roads, St. Charles. Info: (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
Go Nuts for Fall!
Sept. 24, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Feel squirrel pelts, learn about the two most common types of squirrels in the area and what squirrels are up to in the fall, and go on a hike to look for these furry friends. Red Oak Nature Center, 2343 S. River St., Batavia. Info: (630) 897-1808, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Johnny Appleseed Festival
Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin train, pumpkin bowling, clowns, face painting, storytelling, wagon rides, scarecrow contest, apple pie contests, craft fair, food, live music. Downtown Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 479-0835, downtowncl.org.
24th Annual Farm Heritage Festival
Sept. 24-25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sheep herding demonstrations, scarecrow making, wagon and barrel train rides, petting zoo, tractor parade, hundreds of tractors, cars, engines and other farm machinery. Lake County Discovery Museum, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda. Info: (847) 968-3400, lakecountydiscoverymuseum.org.
Light the Torch 5K Night Run
Sept. 30, 5:30-9 p.m. Participants receive glow-int-the-dark giveaways, race through luminary lanes and end with a street fest, featuring a DJ, carnival rides and food trucks. A portion of proceeds supports FT Cares Foundation. Start: Downtown Wheaton, 120 E. Liberty St. Info: (630) 510-5135, wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Tales by Firelight
Sept. 30, 6:30-8 p.m. Enjoy an evening of folktales and legends around the fire. Listen to spooky, family-friendly stories while roasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate. Hickory Knolls Natural Area, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles. Info: (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
Woodstock Ale Fest
Oct. 1, 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. Info: (815) 338-8844, woodstockalefest.com.
Fall Color 5K Run & Walk
Oct. 2, 8 a.m. start. Experience the challenging USATF-certified course that follows the East Side Main Route through rolling terrain and finishes at a post-race party. Proceeds help support The Morton Arboretum. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.