Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Through Oct. 31, 7 a.m.-sunset. Admire creations from local scout troops and vote for your favorite scarecrow. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Ill. Rt. 53, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Oct. 4-19, Fri.-Sat. 6:30 & 7:30 p.m. Cruise around the fields at the height of the fall harvest; gather around a bonfire for a marshmallow roast, hot chocolate and cider. Reg. online. Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, st-charlesparks.org.
Run Wild 5K
Oct. 5, 7 a.m. Take in the colors of fall with wildflowers, grasses, and towering oak and hickory trees along the wooded trail. Glacial Park Conservation Area, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Prairie State Half Marathon, 10K & 3.5-mile
Oct. 5, 7 a.m. registration, 8:30 a.m. races start. The course takes runners past the famous covered bridge, through the historic downtown and neighborhoods of Long Grove. Proceeds go to WINGS. Starts at 343 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove, (224) 757-5425, longgrove.org.
Northwest Celtic Fest
Oct. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate all things Irish, Welsh and Scottish. Clan representation, craft beer tasting, live music, Irish dancers, Celtic food and marketplace, kids’ activities, birds of prey and Irish wolfhounds. Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffmann Estates, (888) 732-7784, searscentre.com.
Fall Color 5K Run & Walk
Oct. 6, 8 a.m. 5K, 9:30 a.m. Kids’ dash. Run or walk through a scenic, rolling course; post-race party with live music and beer. In support of the Arboretum’s work to plant and protect trees. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Twilight on the Farm
Oct. 9, 6-8 p.m. Enjoy the twilight ambience of the 1850s house by candlelight; see how early settlers tried to get their work done at the end of the day. Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Glass Pumpkin Patch
Oct. 9-13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Admire and shop an array of more than 6,000 handblown pumpkins, as well as autumnal and farmers market-themed glass art designs in all colors, shapes and sizes. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Oct. 10, 6-8 p.m. Sample seasonally selected beers. Tickets online. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.
Escape the Barn-Crime Scene Investigation
Oct. 11-12, 5:30, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m. Mysterious crimes are popping up on the farm. You and your teammates help find the culprit and escape before it’s too late. Reg. online. Primrose Farm, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, st-charlesparks.org.
Autumn on the Fox Art & Craft Show
Oct. 11-13, Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Over 150 artists and crafters display handmade items. Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles, (630) 387-1151, artoftheheartland.com.
St. Charles Scarecrow Fest
Oct. 11-13 events daily. More than 100 handcrafted scarecrows on display, in addition to carnival, food, live entertainment, free children’s activities, more. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 377-6161, stcalliance.org.
Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate harvest time with a craft show, live music, plant and pumpkin sales, hayrides, more. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Build a scarecrow with old clothing you bring; wood base, hay bale and building guidance provided. Scarecrows are displayed throughout the village. Historic Long Grove Village, Old McHenry Road, (847) 634-0888, longgroveonline.com.
Plein Air Event & Wine Walk
Oct. 12, 6-7:30 p.m. Stroll through downtown shops and watch as artists create paintings outdoors. Works for sale at the reception and awards ceremony. Rain date Oct. 13. Barrington’s White House, Barrington, (224) 512-4115, barringtonswhitehouse.com.
Foodie’s Guide to 1910
Oct. 12, 6-8:30 p.m. Step back in time to enjoy a three-course meal, based on early 1900s recipes. Historically costumed staff and period entertainment complete the evening. BYOB. Reg. online. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, Banta House, 510 Vail St., Arlington Heights, (847) 255-1225, ahmuseum.org.
Lake Geneva Oktoberfest
Oct. 12-13, Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tasty brats, potato pancakes, cider doughnuts, pretzels and beer, music, pony rides and a giant pumpkin weigh-in. Main and Broad streets, Lake Geneva, visitlakegeneva.com.
Oct. 18-20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fresh fall produce to purchase or pick, tractor rides, plant sales, pottery, folk art, antique dealers, barn sales, pumpkin and apple launchers, and much more, as you make your way down country roads on this self-guided tour. Starting point at 16105 Garden Valley Road, Woodstock, autumndrive.net.
Cider & Ale Festival
Oct. 19, 1-5 p.m. Savor hard cider and seasonal beers from local breweries and cideries. Bring a lawn chair and relax in the crisp autumn air among the trees. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
All Hallow’s Eve
Oct. 19, 4-7 p.m. Explore the Museum of Wonder and Awe, containing curiosities, oddities, artifacts and relics. Listen to a storyteller, make crafts, play games and share spooky stories around the campfire. Reg. online. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, 110 W. Freemont St., Arlington Heights, (847) 255-1225, ahmuseum.org.
Nightmare on Chicago Street
Oct. 19, 6-11 p.m. Party in the “safe zone” during a zombie invasion. Live entertainment, costumes, food and other vendors, live graffiti artists, hookah lounge and special guests. Downtown Elgin, between Douglas Avenue and Villa Court, nightmareonchicagostreet.com.
Fox Valley Antiques Show & Sale
Oct. 19-20, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. Some 55 dealers from 15 states display antiques and Americana items. Proceeds benefit local historical preservation and educational endeavors. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525, S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (815) 575-1272, CSADA.com.
11th Annual Run & Roll for the Dole Duathlon
Oct. 20, 8 a.m. start. Participate in a 2-mile run, 13-mile bike ride and another 2-mile run through Crystal Lake and Lakewood. Proceeds benefit the Lakeside Legacy Foundation. The Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesideartspark.org.
Sycamore Pumpkin Fest
Oct. 23-27, 4:30-6 p.m. Thousands of pumpkins decorate the courthouse lawn; food vendors offer pumpkin pie, caramel apples and other fall favorites; activities include arts and crafts shows, carnival ride and a parade on Sun. Info: sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.
Halloween Costume Kickoff
Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-noon. Enjoy a morning of games, activities, crafts and wagon rides. Reg. online. Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5873, crystallakeparks.org.
Craft Brew Crawl
Oct. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m. On this beer-tasting hike through Glacial Park, make several stops to taste microbrews from local producers. Reg. online. Glacial Park, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Oct. 26-27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Pick up your pumpkin by train and enjoy some family-themed Halloween fun. Kids encouraged to come in costume. Illinois Railway Museum, 7000 Olson Road, Union, (815) 923-4391, irm.org.
Nov. 2, 11 a.m. Teams race against one another to finish the same 500-piece puzzle. Prizes and an ice cream sundae bar. Reg. online. Crystal Lake Park District, The Racket Club, 9101 S. Ill. Rt. 31, Algonquin, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
Kane County Flea Market
Nov. 2-3, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Over 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.
Harvest Time in 1858
Nov. 3, noon-4 p.m. Harvest activities include baking bread in a wood-burning cookstove and grinding herbs for winter use. Tour the historic home and visit with a cavalry sergeant and his horse as they demonstrate the weapons used to protect frontier lands. Glacial Park, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
A Prairie Thanksgiving
Nov. 19, 6-7:30 p.m. Learn about life on the prairie and how the Native Americans would have helped out during the Thanksgiving meal in a log cabin; then make a craft. Reg. online. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, Arlington Heights, (847) 255-1225, ahmuseum.org.
Happy Holiday Railway
Nov. 23-Dec. 23, weekends, see website for times. Enjoy a 40-minute train ride and visit with Santa on the train; treats served on the trip. Tickets online. Illinois Railway Museum, Union, (815) 244-7245, irm.org.
Illumination at the Arboretum
Nov. 23-Jan 5. Walk a paved path through a grove of trees, as multicolored lights dance to music and respond to your voice and touch; warm up by a crackling fire with a warm drink or roasted marshmallows. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 29, 6-8:30 p.m. Come visit with Santa and enjoy caroling, entertainment and refreshments. Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, (847) 895-3600, prairiecenter.org.
Kane County Flea Market
Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Over 600 dealers offer lots of unexpected treasures. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
Lighting of the Square
Nov. 29, 5-9 p.m. With the flip of a switch, tens of thousands of twinkling lights illuminate a Victorian-era setting. Enjoy carolers, children’s activities and a stroll through the Gingerbread House Walk. Woodstock Square, Woodstock, (815) 338-4300, woodstockil.gov.
Festival of Lights Parade
Nov. 29, 7 p.m. Santa Claus comes to downtown Crystal Lake with lights, music, pageantry and lots of holiday magic. Downtown Crystal Lake, (815) 479-0835, downtowncl.org.
Nov. 29-30, see website for times. Enjoy seasonal music, sleigh rides, holiday movies and lighted parade floats. Main St. between 6th St. and 4th Ave., St. Charles, (630) 443-3967, stcalliance.org.
Geneva Christmas Walk
Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m. Festivities begin with the arrival of Santa Lucia, the lighting of the great tree, and a visit with Santa Claus. They continue with roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers and a live nativity; carriage rides available. Downtown Geneva, genevachamber.com.
Holiday House Tour
Dec. 6-7, Fri. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. to 5 p.m. The tour features five architecturally unique homes decked with boughs of holly and festive Christmas decor. Tickets include a traditional holiday tea at First Congregational Church, 327 Hamilton St. Tickets/Info: Geneva Chamber of Commerce, 8 S. 3rd St., (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Winter Fest at The Dole
Dec. 6-7, Fri. 5-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Children have their picture taken with Santa, enjoy holiday activities, cookie decorating, storytelling, performances, and a tree lighting ceremony. The Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesideartspark.org.