Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Geneva French Market
Sundays, April 15-Nov. 11, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Fresh fruit and vegetables, unique gifts for home and family in a canopy-covered European-style market. Downtown Geneva, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
April 28, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. Become a detective for the day and solve a case by exploring techniques used by law enforcement to collect evidence and compare fingerprints. Bring a change of clothes. Reg. online. Midwest Museum of Natural History, 425 W. State St., Sycamore, (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
April 28, 7 p.m. Take a dance lesson, choose a partner, then dance the night away in the newly renovated pavilion; refreshments included. Reg. online. Main Beach Pavilion, 300 Lakeshore Drive, Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5873, crystallakeparks.org.
April 29, 12:30 p.m. Relax and enjoy a luncheon tea in the Colonel Palmer House parlors, then hear a presentation on “Baby Dolls, Ballerinas and Bride Dolls.” Participants encouraged to bring a favorite doll. Reg. online. Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5873, crystallakeparks.org.
International Mud Day
April 29, 1-2:30 p.m. Dress to get messy; squish and relish in the joy of mud. Reg. req. Parent must attend; mud play optional. Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Road., St. Charles, (630) 513-4370, stcnature.org.
By the Light of the Moon
April 29, 8-9 p.m.; May 29, 8:30-9:30 p.m. Learn some astronomy and the legends surrounding full moons – April’s Pink Moon and May’s Flower Moon – and the important natural events they signify. Reg. Req. Creek Bend Nature Center, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 232-5980, kaneforest.com.
Woodstock Outdoor Farmers Market
May through October, Tue. & Sat., 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Fresh fruits and vegetables, pastries, popcorn, knit items, flowers, knife and scissor sharpening, cheese, olive oil, honey, pet treats and more. Woodstock Square, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock, woodstockfarmersmarket.org.
May 4, 6-8 p.m. Children and parents enjoy a night of dancing to a DJ, eating pizza and participating in butterfly activities. Age 2 and up. Reg. req. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-4399, stcparks.org.
May 5, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring the family for fun outdoor activities with the library and other local organizations. Barrington Public Library, Citizens Park, 511 N. Lake Zurich Road, Barrington, (847) 382-1300, balibrary.org.
Pizza & Trivia Night
May 5, 6:30-9 p.m. Create a team and test your knowledge of nature-related trivia in the scenic overlook room. Prizes awarded; non-alcoholic beverages provided; over 21, BYOB if desired. Reg. req. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 678-4532, mccdistrict.org.
Kane County Flea Market
May 5-6, June 2-3, June 30-July 1, Sat., noon-5 p.m., Sun, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. One of the longest-running antique and collectible flea markets anywhere. Hundreds of dealers inside and outside. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
Bob Blazier Run for the Arts
May 6, 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, raucenter.org.
Greenhouse Open House
May 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Take a self-guided tour to view annual bedding plants, native seedlings and wetland natives; staff on hand to answer questions. Cantigny Park, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
National Public Gardens Day
May 11, 7 a.m.-sunset. Celebrate with family-friendly activities all day. Discounted admission. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Ill. Rt. 53, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Family Twilight Adventures
May 11 & 26, June 1 & 16, 7-9 p.m. Bring the family to the arboretum for an evening tram ride, activities and a hike. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
May 12-13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Featuring spring-blooming trees, bonsai on rocks and suiseki (the Japanese art of stones); demonstrations and workshops. Midwest Bonsai Society, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.
Cantigny Bus Tour
May 16, 12:45-4 p.m. Explore World War I history on an adult field trip to the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton; includes a guided tour and transportation. Reg. online. Meet at Elmhurst History Museum Education Center, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst, (630) 530-6879, elmhursthistory.org.
May 18-20, Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun to 6 p.m. From chocolate pudding pie pops to burgers with chocolate sauce, treats abound at this 3-day festival; children roam the village for a chocolate scavenger hunt, vendors fill the cobblestone streets and live entertainment rounds out the day. Downtown Historic Long Grove, (847) 634-0888, longgrove.org.
Bike, Hike, Paddle Triathlon
May 19, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. After a light breakfast, your team of 2 or more sets off on this non-competitive biking, canoeing and off-trail hiking adventure; pedal 14 miles, hike/run 5 miles and paddle 7 miles. Participants provide bikes; canoes and refreshments provided. Reg. req. North Branch Conservation Area, 11355 Keystone Road, Richmond, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Civil War Days
May 19-20, 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.
May 19, 6-10 p.m. Swing into summer with an evening of dancing and live music at a traditional 1930s-style barn dance, complete with lessons. Take a wagon ride and see the farm animal babies; pie baking and costume contests. Reg. req. Primrose Farm, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, st-charlesparks.org.
Living History Open House
May 20, noon-4 p.m. Volunteers in historical attire answer your questions as you visit the Powers-Walker house and learn about Samuel Walker, the prominent and influential owner of this Greek-Revival-style home in the late 1800s. Glacial Park, Ringwood, (815) 678-4532, mccdistrict.org.
Elmhurst Museum Day
May 21, 1-5 p.m. Hop aboard the Elmhurst trolley to visit all three museums for exhibit tours, refreshments and family activities, such as Peanuts characters face-painting and drawing, radio-controlled model airplanes and a flight simulator to test flying skills. Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst History Museum and Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art. Info: (630) 833-1457, elmhursthistory.org.
41st Elgin Valley Fox Trot
May 26, 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.
Taste of Wheaton
May 31-June 3, see website for times. Four days of fun, including entertainment at the band shell, carnival, arts and crafts fair, Cosley Zoo run, food and drink vendors, climbing wall and Art in the Park. Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton, (630) 690-4880, wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Harvard Milk Days
June 1-3, 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.
June 2-23, Sat. 7-9 p.m. Unwind with a guided tutorial painting class as the sun sets over the farmyard. Painting supplies, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages provided; ages 21 and up may bring their own wine. Reg. req. Primrose Farm, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, st-charlesparks.org.
Kane County Flea Market
June 2-3, Sat., noon-5 p.m., Sun, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. One of the longest-running antique and collectible flea markets anywhere. Hundreds of dealers inside and outside. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
Lake Geneva Restaurant Week
June 3-10. Twenty-five restaurants offer special prix-fixe meals for lunch ($10) and dinner ($25/$35). Many indoor and outdoor activities held throughout the week. Diners choose a charity to receive $5,000. Tickets/Info: (800) 345-1020, visitlakegeneva.com.
Arbor Evenings: Music & More
June 6-Aug. 29 (except July 4), Wed. 5:30-7:45 p.m. Enjoy live music, dancing, lawn games, beverages and tapas. Bring blanket or chair. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
41st Annual Kane County Railroad Collectibles & Model Train Show
June 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 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.
Thursday Family Night
June 14-Aug. 16, Thurs. 5-8 p.m. Bring the family for after-hours musical entertainment and kid-friendly fare. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Barrington Country Garden & Antique Faire
June 15-16, 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.
Fine Art Festival
June 17-18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Stroll the gardens, enjoy the art, kids’ activities, live music, food trucks and picnic grounds. Cantigny Park, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
June 19-24. Geneva’s Midsommar Festival includes a maypole, food, carnival rides, dancers and musical entertainment, Swedish gift items, Viking living historians. Downtown Geneva, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
June 19-Aug. 21, Tues. 7 p.m. Enjoy music all summer with groups such as American English, the Millenials and Johnny Russler & the Beach Bum Band. Deicke Park, 11419 S. Ill. Rt. 47 or Huntley Town Square, 11704 Coral St., Huntley, huntley.il.us.
Wauconda Civil War Days
June 30-July 1, 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 and re-enactors; historical figures; period music, food vendors, exhibits. Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Dr., Wauconda, lcfpd.org.
Kane County Flea Market
June 30-July 1, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. One of the longest-running antique and collectible flea markets anywhere. Hundreds of dealers inside and outside. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
July 4-7, Lots of family fun with rides, midway games, historical tours, food, entertainment and “Taste by the Lake.” Proceeds support arts programming. Lakeside Arts Park at the Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815)455-8000, lakesideartspark.org.