The Northern Fox River Valley has a wonderful variety of things to see and do. Here are some of our top picks for seasonal highlights in the area, including family events, and places to go with kids.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Fireworks Display, East & West Dundee. This family friendly celebration in March kicks off with a parade in the morning, and finishes with a firework display when it gets dark. Stiltwalkers, bagpipes, chalk art, bright green fireworks and more! Find out more on the Saint Patrick’s Day website.
Summer Concerts in the Park, Wing Park, Elgin. Tuesday nights in June/July are music night in Elgin with free live concerts in the park. Dance under the stars, and bring lawn chairs, blankets and a few dollars to purchase popcorn and a soda from local non-profits. Find out more in the City of Elgin website.
Movies in the Park, Festival Park, Elgin. Bring the whole family to sit under the stars in Elgin’s Festival Park! Family films for free all summer long.
Motor Mondays cruise nights, East Dundee. Once a month in the summer classic cars gather at dusk in East Dundee. Owners and car admirers stroll around enjoying the fine models on display, the car-themed music, raffles and Motor Monday food specials from local restaurants. For more information, visit the Community Calendar at www.eastdundee.net
Coon Creek Country Days, Hampshire. This annual four day mid-summer festival boasts a corn boil, a corn eating contest, carnival, fireworks, live music dance and craft. Find out more on the Coon Creek Country Days website.
Art & Soul on the Fox, Elgin. An annual fine art event held in August. Find out more on the Art & Soul on the Fox website.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch, Hampshire. Head along from mid-August to pick your own peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant and corn. Ride on the Goebbert’s Pumpkin Express, get lost in the corn stalk maze, enjoy pig races, or take a wagon ride into the field to pick your pumpkin off the vine at the Fall Festival. The Fall Harvest Market sells pumpkins, caramel apples, fresh apple cider donuts, homemade fudge and Michigan apples. Find out more at the Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch website.
Halloween in the Hollow, Sleepy Hollow. A ride by the Headless Horseman and a festive bonfirelare the highlights of this annual community tradition. Halloween fun for the whole family, with hay rides, a chili contest, pumpkin decorating and a costume parade. Find out more on the Sleepy Hollow Illinois website.
McHenry County Historical Museum Annual Cider Festival, Union. A long standing local tradition. Sample apple cider and kettle popcorn. Learn about local history, and watch harvest demonstrations, including broom making and old-fashioned cider making. Find out more on the Historical Society’s website.
The Pumpkin Trolley atthe Fox River Trolley Museum, South Elgin. Ride an old-time electric trolley car to the pumpkin patch and choose a pumpkin to take home. Find out more at the Trolley Museum website.
Nightmare on Chicago Street, Chicago Street (Douglas-Villa), Elgin. The Zombie Apocalypse comes to the Northern Fox River Valley in October, and your only hope of survival from the marauding zombie hordes is to be in the safe zone in Elgin. A ghoulishly themed street party, with live music, dancing, food stalls, and zombies. Find out more on the Nightmare on Chicago Street website.
Touching on Traditions, Elgin Public Museum. This annual festive exhibition features stories, crafts and foods from winter holiday traditions from all around the world. Find out more at the Museum website.
The Polar Express, the Fox River Trolley Museum, South Elgin. The Polar Express will transport you to the “North Pole” where Santa will be waiting. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train, greet each child and hand them their own small gift. There will be caroling, sing-alongs with professional musicians, cookies and hot chocolate. Find out more at the Trolley Museum website.
Holiday Tea with the Elgin Area Historical Society, Elgin. This annual Holiday Tea, featuring Elgin Opera singers is a lovely old fashioned holiday celebration. Refreshments are provided. Find out more at the Historical Society’s website.
Dickens in Dundee. A weekend holiday festival with tree lighting ceremonies, decorated windows, the Spirit of Christmas Parade, Gingerbread House Making, Festival of Trees, Santa’s Petting Zoo and a visit from Santa Claus. Find out more at the Dickens in Dundee website.
Happy Holiday Railway, the Illinois Railway Museum, Union. Take a magical train ride through the winter countryside to visit Santa Claus himself. Find out more at the Railway Museum website.
Downtown Window Wonderland, Elgin. Stroll around downtown Elgin and enjoy the decorated store front windows, roasting chestnuts, decorating cookies, holiday music, carriage rides, and Santa’s real live reindeer all leading up to the City of Elgin Tree Lighting Ceremony.Find out more at the Downtown Elgin website.