Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
All Canada Show
Jan. 9-12, Thu. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 3-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. to 4 p.m. More than 200 of Canada’s best fishing and hunting destinations represented. Seminars, Norm “The Great” McCreight. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (800) 325-6290, allcanadashow.com.
Owls of McHenry County
Jan. 10, 7-8:30 p.m. Meet live owls, share stories and folklore, hike in search of owls. Separate, simultaneous “Owl Prowl” for ages 6-13. Free. Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Jan. 10-11, 5:30-9 p.m., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 50 vendors at this showcase in a beautiful non-denominational chapel. Free. Century Memorial Chapel, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Wildlife Tracking for Families
Jan. 12, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Search for clues about what wildlife has been around and make your own animal track cast. Borland Cabin, Ryerson Woods, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Winter Bird Walk
Jan. 18, 9-11:30 a.m. Learn to identify birds that overwinter in Illinois, their behaviors and natural history. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Ill. Rt. 53, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Jan. 18, 3-4:30 p.m. Hike the woods in search of winter birds, learn identification tips and interesting facts. BYO binoculars; limited loaners available. Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, 2411 S. Ill. Rt. 23, Marengo, (847) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Hoot & Howl Hike
Jan. 25, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Search for and learn about active animals in the preserve. Outdoors on unplowed trails. Reg. req. Van Patten Woods, Ill. Rt. 173, Wadsworth, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Introduction to Snowshoeing
Jan. 25, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Instructors at the REI Outdoor School teach proper techniques and use of equipment, which is provided. Dress for weather. Min. 4 in. of snow. $25/$20 members. Brushwood, Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Frozen Zucchini Snowshoe Adventure
Jan. 26, 10 a.m.-noon. Fourth year for this winter event for all ages and experience. Snowshoe rental available but limited. Prizes, goodie bags, fun. Citizens Park, 511 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington Area, (847) 304-3400, smartfarms.org, barrington-il.gov.
Tea & Talk Servant Tour
Jan. 28, 7-8 p.m. Learn about the life of servants during the late Edwardian time period, when you “apply” for a position at the Martin Mitchell Mansion during this first-person tour. Tea and treats served. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition
Jan. 29-Feb. 8, events daily. This snow sculpting competition brings together the nation’s best snow artists. Also music, magic, refreshments. Riviera Park, Lake Geneva, Wis. (262) 248-4416.
Woodstock Groundhog Days
Jan. 30-Feb. 2, events daily. Festivities begin 6 p.m. Wed. and continue throughout the week, to commemorate the filming of the 1993 Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day. Historic Woodstock Square, woodstockgroundhog.org.
Military History Fest
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Fri. noon-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Military vehicles, full encampments from all eras, re-enacting supplies and authentic militaria, music, dancing, seminars, workshops. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342, pheasantrun.com.
Antique & Collectible Markets
Feb. 1-2, Sat.11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit 25,000 sq. ft. of quality antiques and collectibles. $6. DuPage Expo Center, 4050 E. Main St., St. Charles, (715) 526-9769, zurkopromotions.com.
4th Annual Super Shuffle 5K
Feb. 2, 8:45 a.m. check-in, 10 a.m. race. Awards to overall top female and male finishers. Register at signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/95666 or (630) 232-4542. Race: Geneva Middle School South, 1415 Viking Dr., Geneva.
Winter on the Frontier
Feb. 7, 7-9 p.m. Learn how early natives and pioneers survived Midwest winters and their survival techniques. Separate, simultaneous “Prairie Pioneers” program for ages 6-13. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
The Old House New House Home Show
Feb. 7-9, 10 a.m. The latest in kitchens, baths, building, remodeling and landscaping, and contractors and creative craftsmen. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (630) 515-1160, kennedyproductions.com.
Adlai Stevenson Historic Home Tours
Feb. 9, 11 a.m., 1 & 2:30 p.m. Tour the home of this influential American statesman, built in 1938 by Stevenson and now owned by the Lake County Forest Preserve. Registration req., (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org. Adlai Stevenson Historic Home, 25200 N. St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa.
Romantic Night Hike
Feb. 14, 7:30-9 p.m. Learn wildlife courtship behaviors in a guided hike or self-guided ski/hike, then warm up with hot chocolate and s’mores. 18-up. $6/$8 nonresident. Reg. req. Borland Cabin, Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321.
Valentine’s Day Celebration Under the Stars
Feb. 14, 6-9 p.m. A lovely evening for all ages, with activities, sweet treats, campfire. Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake, mccdistrict.org.
Winter Landscape Photography
Feb. 15, 10 a.m. One-hour workshop for those with basic camera knowledge. BYO camera, tripod, quick-dry towel, small portable seat, water bottle, hat, sunglasses. Must register. $25/$20 FRW. Led by REI Outdoor School. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321.
Tea & Talk Wrap Up
Feb. 22, 4-5:30 p.m. Tea and treats while playing trivia from the fourth season of “Downton Abbey.” Vintage costumes encouraged.. Naper Settlement, napersettlement.org.
23rd Annual BOPC Swap Meet
Feb. 26, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Cadillac vendors, parts, large car corral, food, more. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 865-4349, BOPCswap.com.
Birds of the Rock River Valley
March 1, 9 a.m.-noon. Explore a winter birding hot spot at Lowden-Miller State Forest in Oregon, Ill., along 3.5 miles of riverfront overlooking 120-foot bluffs. Dirt trails, steep hills. Dress for conditions. Limit 15. $33/$26 members. BYO binoculars, field guides, lunch & beverage. Directions mailed out. Good for certificate credits. Register: Morton Arboretum, mortonarb.org.
Ice Meltin’ Blues
March 1-2, daily. Jazz by talented musicians all over town. Historic shopping district, Long Grove, (847) 634-0888, longgroveonline.com.
March 8, 9 a.m.-noon. Learn how to find birds, track your observations, discuss equipment. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, mortonarb.org.
Kane County Flea Market
March 1-2, April 5-6, Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles & “Fancy Junque. Country breakfast Sundays. $5. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 377.2252, kanecountyfair.com
Maple Tapping Pancake Picnic
March 1-15, Sat. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Learn the history of maple tapping and see how it’s done; enjoy outdoor pancake picnic next to a fire. $25/$15 members; includes admission. Morton Arboretum, Lisle, mortonarb.org.
Maple Syrup Hikes
March 1-16, Sat.-Sun. 12:30-2:30 p.m. One-hour hikes begin every half-hour. Learn about the sweet sap of sugar maples. Dress for weather. $6. Reg. by Feb. 28. Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, lcfpd.org.
Maple Sugaring Days
March 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; March 9, 1-4 p.m. See how early settlers tapped trees and made maple syrup. Visit the historic buildings; try maple treats; take home maple syrup recipes. Naper Settlement, Naperville, (630) 420-6010.
Festival of the Sugar Maples
March 8-9, 15-16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Learn how maple syrup was made hundreds of years ago, how maple trees produce sap, how it’s collected and how maple syrup is made at the evaporator house. Coral Woods Conservation Area, 7400 Somerset, Marengo, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Festival of Arts and Crafts
March 8-9, Sat. 9 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m. Furniture, photography, stained glass, holiday and home decor, jewelry, doll clothes, much more, all handmade. DuPage Expo Center, 4050 E. Main St., St. Charles, (847) 301.8543, stepbysteppromotions.com.
Spring Fox Valley Antiques Show
March 10-11, 10 a.m. Chicago Suburban Antique Dealers Assoc. show with 55 dealers from 14 states offering authentic antiques. $8/benefits local historical and educational efforts. Free parking. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles. Info: (815) 838-0606, csada.com.
St. Charles St. Patrick’s Parade
March 15, 2 p.m. Dancers, marching bands, contests, music, more. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 443-3967, downtownstcharles.org/stpats.
St. Charles Home Shows
March 15-16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. All your home improvements under one roof. Refresh, remodel and renew your home. Save money and energy too. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (630) 385-4000, chicagohomeshow.net.
Weed Ladies Spring Floral Show and Sale
March 20-23, Thu.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. Features unique seasonal silk and dried floral arrangements and accessories. Daniels House, Naper Settlement, napersettlement.org.
Country Folk Art Festival
March 21-23, Fri. 5-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Unique handmade Easter and spring items. Historic and primitive crafts, traditional American and folk art, country furniture and authentic antiques browse and buy. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (815) 772-3279, artoftheheartland.inc.
Peck Farm Park Heritage Day
March 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Candle dipping, butter making, cow milking; crafts; lawn games; wool spinning & basket weaving demos; sheep herding; more. Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva, genevaparks.org.
Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Juke Box Show
April 4-6, 9:30 a.m. Antique show with over 300 booths in two exhibition halls featuring jukeboxes, pinball & slot machines, arcade games, neon signs, Coke machines and signs, circus and carnival items, gumball machines, much more. $7. Pheasant Run, St. Charles. Info: (815) 353-1593, chicagolandshow.com.
North American Vintage Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show
April 22-26, 10 a.m. Decoys and related folk art; free appraisals; carver demonstrations; trading rooms; seminars, auction; table show. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (312) 337-7957, midwestdecoy.org.
Wood Carvers Show
April 26-27, Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Unique artwork, special occasion gifts, one-of-a-kind collectibles, carving demonstrations. North Suburban Carvers. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Antique & Collectible Toy & Doll Show
April 27, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Antique/collectible toys, dolls, memorabilia, holiday items from 600 exhibitors. Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles, (847) 800-3009, chicagotoyshow.com.
Naper Wine & Dine
April 28, 5:30-10 p.m. Naperville Heritage Society annual wine dinner: a five-course meal, each course paired with hand-selected wine. Vegetarian menu available. Auction. Naper Settlement fundraiser. Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 244 S. Main St., Naperville. Tickets: napersettlement.org.