Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Barrington Farmers Market
Through Oct. 17, Thu. 3-7 p.m. Featuring fresh produce, meats, pastries and bread, flowers and other items from local farmers and producers. Food and beverage vendors. Park Avenue and Cook Street, downtown Barrington, barringtonfarmersmarket.com.
Woodstock Farmers Market
Through October, Tues. & Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Shop for fruit and vegetables, flowers, cheese, eggs, pet treats, bakery items, candles, olive oil, pottery and much more. Woodstock Square, Woodstock, (815) 338-5164, woodstockfarmersmarket.org.
Geneva French Market
Through Nov. 10, Sun. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Downtown Geneva’s market brings shoppers fresh produce,
flowers, baked goods, jewelry, handbags and fine French linens. Fourth and South Streets, downtown Geneva, (630) 232-7494, geneva.il.us.
Nature Art with Legos
Through Sept. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. See larger-than-life displays created from nearly half a million LEGO bricks, including an 8-foot dragonfly, a peacock, monarch butterfly and a pileated woodpecker with a bright crimson crest. Created by New York artist Sean Kenney. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
July 11-21, events daily. Eleven days of family fun including a parade, carnival, Music Fest, Arts & Crafts in the Park, sidewalk sales, Food Fest, a car show and lots of entertainment. Peterson Park,
4300 Peterson Park Road, McHenry, mchenryfiestadays.com.
Kane County Fair
July 17-21, Wed.-Thu. 3-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. noon-11 p.m., Sun. to 10 p.m. The 150th fair’s offerings include bull riders, barrel racing, a demolition derby, live entertainment, 4-H displays, car show, petting zoo, rides and racing pigs. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
Day Out with Thomas
July 20-21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy, meet Sir Topham Hatt, enjoy magic shows, storytelling, live music and a garden model railroad display. Illinois Railway Museum, 7000 Olson Road, Union, (815) 244-7245, irm.org.
Lake County Fair
July 24-28, Wed.-Thu. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. to midnight, Sun. to 7 p.m. Midway games and rides, blue ribbon competitions for quilts, cakes, pickles, flowers, fine arts, photography, textiles, crafts, ceramics, cattle and sheep. Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake, (847) 680-7200, lcfair.com.
Algonquin Founders’ Days
July 25-28, Thu. 4-10 p.m., Fri. to 11 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Live bands, cardboard boat regatta, crafters, car show, children’s games, parade, bags tournament and fireworks. Ted Spella Park, 2610 Harnish Dr., Algonquin, (847) 658-2700, algonquin.org.
Military Through the Ages
July 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Walk through time visiting military encampments ranging from ancient Rome through Operation Desert Storm; see how soldiers lived and fought, as well as the progression of clothing, weapons and technology. Cantigny, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Geneva Arts Fair
July 27-28, Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 140 artists offer work in a variety of media, including glass, textiles, painting and sculpture. Location: Downtown Geneva, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Cardboard Cup Regatta
July 27, 9 a.m. Life-size cardboard boats race along a 200-yard course for awards such as most creative, stars and stripes, and most spectacular sinking. Rain date July 29. Proceeds support more than 20 local charities. Crystal Lake Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr., Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5404, crystallakesparks.org.
Williams Bay Fine Art & Craft Fest
July 27-28, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. This juried show attracts fine artists and crafters from the Midwest and beyond; music and food. Edgewater Park, 15 E. Geneva St., Williams Bay, Wis., (262) 275-2750, travelwisconsin.com.
July 28, 1-4 p.m. Enjoy a day in the countryside and help make cucumber pickles. Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St Charles, (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org.
McHenry County Fair
July 30-Aug. 4, see website for times. Enjoy a day of family fun with a carnival, beer ground, and grandstand entertainment, draft horse pulls, bull riding rodeo, tractor and truck pulls, demolition derby, talent show, 4-H livestock shows and many vendors. McHenry County Fairgrounds, 11900 Country Club Road, Woodstock, (815) 338-5315, mchenrycountyfair.com.
Mane Event/Taste of Arlington Heights
Aug. 2-3, Fri. 5-11 p.m., Sat. noon-11 p.m. Stroll downtown, sample food from local vendors and listen to live music. Location: Vail Ave. and Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Info: Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce,(847) 253-1703, arlingtonhcc.com.
Art & Soul on the Fox
Aug. 3-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Juried art show, entertainment, children’s activities, vendors, food trucks, wine tent and more. Riverside Drive Promenade and Elgin Artspace Lofts Gallery, 51 S. Spring St., Elgin, elginartandsoul.com.
Kane County Flea Market
Aug. 3-4 & Aug. 31-Sept. 1, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 600 dealers offer refurbished furniture, vinyl records, sports collectibles, and lots of unexpected treasures. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Antique Tool Show & Sale
Aug. 4, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The Midwest Tool Collectors and the Early American Industries Associations display, trade and sell antique and collectible tools. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Vintage Transport Extravaganza
Aug. 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Display of some 500 antique cars, from Model T Fords to 1990s sports cars, trucks and electric trolley buses; historic electric trains from the North Shore Line and Chicago Transit Authority, streetcars and military vehicles. Illinois Railway Museum, Union, (815) 244-7245, irm.org.
Archaeology Field Session
Aug 6-10 & 12-17, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Volunteers participate in or observe archaeological investigations of the 1830s-1840s log house site. Call for reg. info. Garfield Farm Museum, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Aug. 9-11, Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. to 6 p.m. Ride behind some of the most powerful locomotives ever built and see recently restored locomotives from the Santa Fe and Rock Island lines. Illinois Railway Museum, Union, (815) 244-7245, irm.org.
DeKalb County Barn Tour
Aug. 10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A one-day self-guided driving tour of eight barns in Victor Township. Participants receive a map and guide book with the story of each barn’s history, style and use. See website for map: dekalbcountybarntour.com.
Aug. 10, 8 p.m. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about the haunted history of the theater and the secret places not open to the public. Bring a flashlight. Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., DeKalb, (815) 758-1215, egyptiantheatre.org.
French Picnic Under the Stars
Aug. 10, 6-10 p.m. Enjoy a French-themed picnic, live music from the Chicago Sinfonietta, a silhouette artist and stargazing. Order picnic online. Cantigny Park, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
French Connection Day
Aug. 11, 10 a.m-4 p.m. Lots of joie de vivre for visitors to this French open-air market, tasting wine, listening to music, and posing beside a 23-foot Eiffel Tower. Commemorating Cantigny’s benefactor,. Cantigny Park, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Life & Times of WWII
Aug. 11, noon-4 p.m. Visitors learn about the families who lived in the Greek Revival house from 1854 and hear stories from home front and the soldier’s perspective. Powers Walker House, Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Aug. 14-18, events daily. This weekend of family entertainment includes a craft fair, carnival, water
ski show, brat stands and a beer tent, capped off with a lighted boat parade and firework display
high above Lake Geneva. Entertainment nightly. Lake Geneva Jaycees, Seminary Park, 521 Baker St. & Flat Iron Park, 201 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva, Wis., venetianfest.com.
Blues, Brews & BBQs
Aug. 16-18, Fri. 5-11 p.m., Sat. 4-11 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. Family-friendly blues music fest on McCullom Lake tempts visitors with an array of barbecue foods, corn on the cob and desserts. BBQ Cook-Off competition. McHenry Rotary Club, Peterson Park, 4300 Peterson Park Road, McHenry, (770) 220-9300, mrbbb.com.
Aug. 16-18, Fri. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 1-11:30 p.m., Sun. to 9 p.m. Live entertainment, car and craft shows, model railroad layout, trolley and carnival rides, food, beverages and fireworks. Panton Mill Park, 10 N. Water St., South Elgin, (847) 774-1151, southelgin.com.
Great Outdoors Beer Trail
Aug. 17, 2-6 p.m. Sample regional brewers, stop for snacks at a food truck, play a game of bags, pickup basketball or sand volleyball; visit outdoor recreation vendors and enjoy live music. Fel-Pro Conservation Area, 1520 Crystal Lake Road, Cary, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
Long Grove Vintage Days
Aug. 17-18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The charming village of Long Grove is the site of this street market for all things vintage, antique, reclaimed and handmade. Take a tractor ride, sample local street food and enjoy music and a penny carnival. Historic Long Grove Village, Old McHenry Road, (847) 331-8596, longgrove.org.
Geneva Concours d’Elegance
Aug. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Participants from all over the county display their prized antique, classic
and modern automobiles. Benefitting the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. Third Street, downtown Geneva, (630) 584-3107, genevaconcours.net.
Summer Sunset Fest
Aug. 30-31 & Sept. 1, Fri. 3-10:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Wrap up summer with a weekend of fun, including a carnival, car show, fun zone, family bingo, wine tasting, beer tents and bands. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Sun. Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road, Lake in the Hills, (847) 960-7400, summersunsetfest.com.
Kane County Flea Market
Aug. 31-Sept. 1, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 600 dealers offer refurbished furniture, vinyl records, sports collectibles, and lots of unexpected treasures. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival
Sept. 1-2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Eight stage areas filled with national, regional and local music acts; enjoy a barn dance, hands-on workshops, dance, vocal and instrument classes, and children’s entertainment. Island Park, 2 E. State St., Geneva, (630) 897-0061, geneva.io.us.
Festival of the Vine
Sept. 6-8, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. to 5 p.m. Sample specialties from Geneva restaurants at the Flavor Fare, taste wines from around the world and listen to live music. Get a jump on fall decorations at the flower market; take a horse-drawn carriage ride and browse a fine arts and crafts show. Geneva Chamber of Commerce, downtown Geneva, (630) 232-6060, geneva.il.us.
Elgin Fringe Festival
Sept. 13-15, Thu. 1-10 p.m., Fri. 4:30-11 p.m., Sat. noon-11 p.m., Sun. to 6 p.m. Encouraging bold artistic experimentation and innovation in the performing arts, film, visual art and music; family fun with games and art projects. Downtown Elgin. elginfringefestival.com.
McHenry County Farm Stroll
Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A self-guided tour of the county’s family farms. Some will be selling their products and produce. Info/Map: McHenry County Farm Bureau, (815) 338-1520, mchenrycfb.org.
Interactive Mary Poppins Movie
Sept. 8, 1-3 p.m. Celebrate Grandparents’ Day by becoming part of this classic movie with props and a song list on the screen. Reg. online. South Elgin Branch, Gail Borden Library, 127 S. McLean Blvd., South Elgin, (847) 931-2090, gailborden.info.