Mark your 2014 calendars for fun
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media January 26, 2014 9:32AM
Katie Bukovsky reaches for a rather large bubble during The World of Faeries Festival at Vasa Park in South Elgin. | File photo
Updated: February 25, 2014 6:09AM
If your New Year’s resolution was to try new things, here’s a whole list from which to choose.
From an ice fishing derby and a wine tasting event to plunging down the world’s fastest wooden coaster, there’s a lot to do in 2014.
So gird your loins, grab a pen and plan out your year.
Fish ‘N’ Freeze Ice Fishing Derby: 9 a.m. Feb. 1. Introduction to ice fishing. At Blackhawk Pond, 1479 Blackhawk Circle, South Elgin, Ill., (847) 622-0003, southelgin.com.
Groundhog Daze: Learn about groundhogs and make one to take home. At 11 a.m. Feb. 1-2 at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois 53, Lisle, Ill., (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
DuPage Engineers Week Expo: Celebrate the science of engineering with many events at 11 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Illinois Institute of Technology School, 201 E. Loop Road, Wheaton, Ill., (630) 682-3000, dupageeweek.iit.edu.
Celebrating Chocolate: Shop for distinctive chocolate treats and learn more about the delightful world of chocolate through presentations and demonstrations. At 11 a.m. Feb. 1-2 at the Morton Arboretum. Chocolate Truffle Making Party with three seatings on Feb. 8 and a Beer and Chocolate event at 6 p.m. Feb. 22. At 4100 Illinois 53, Lisle, Ill., (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.
Naperville Winter Ale Fest: The inaugural festival, set for Feb. 22, will feature more than 120 beers from around the United States. At Frontier Park, Illinois 59 and 95th Street, Naperville, Ill., $45, napervillewinteralefest.com.
Maple Sugaring: Join the Kane County Forest Preserve District for maple tapping fun March 1-2 at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve, 41W600 Hughes Road, Elburn, Ill., (847) 741-8350, kaneforest.com.
Maple Sugaring Days: See how Naperville’s early settlers tapped maple trees and then turned the sap into syrup, $8-$12. Set for March 8-9 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, Ill., (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.museum.
MapleFest: March 15 at Red Oak Nature Center, 2343 S. River St., Batavia, Ill., (630) 897-1808, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
West Suburban Irish Parade: 10 a.m. March 15 with floats, bands, dancers, bagpipes, drums and more in downtown Naperville, Ill., wsirish.org.
Sugar Bush Fair: Demonstrations of maple syrup production, pioneer sugar camp, children’s puppet show and hayride beginning at 9 a.m. March 15-16 at Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, Ill., (847) 985-2100, parkfun.com.
St. Charles St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Be a little Irish at 2 p.m. March 15 on Main Street from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue in St. Charles, Ill., (630) 443-3967, downtownstcharles.org/events/st-patricks-parade.
Kane County Cougars: The Cougars kick off their 24th season April 3 on the road before their home opener April 8 at Elfstrom Stadium, 34W002 Cherry Lane, Geneva, Ill., (630) 609-6238, kccougars.com.
Six Flags Great America: New this summer is Goliath, the world’s fastest wooden coaster with the tallest and steepest drop. Six Flags opens May 3. See website for hours and admission. 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, Ill., (847) 249-4636, sixflags.com.
Wine on the Fox: A chance to sample award-winning Illinois wines while enjoying live entertainment from May 3-4 in Hudson Crossing Park in Oswego, Ill., (630) 554-3618, wineonthefox.com.
Civil War Days: Naper Settlement becomes a Civil War encampment on May 17-18 at 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, Ill., (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.com.
Schaumburg Boomers: The Boomers open May 16 on the road. The first home game is May 23 at Schaumburg (Ill.) Baseball Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, (847) 461-3965, boomersbaseball.com.
Taste of Glen Ellyn: The weekend before Memorial Day in the Main Street parking lot between Hillside and Duane streets in Glen Ellyn, Ill., (630) 469-5510, glenellynchamber.com.
St. Charles Fine Arts Show: The work of 100 juried artists in mediums including watercolor, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics and glass is exhibited and available for sale May 24-25 along Riverside Avenue in St. Charles, Ill., (630) 513-5386, downtownstcharles.org.
Taste of Wheaton: The last weekend in May at Hale Street and Karlskoga Avenue in Wheaton, Ill., (630) 668-6464, www.wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Pride of the Fox RiverFest: Kick off summer in St. Charles June 6-8 with dragon boats, water ski shows, sand sculptures and live music along the Fox River from Pottawatomie Park to Lincoln Park in St. Charles, Ill., (630) 513-5386, prideofthefox.com.
Oswego PrairieFest: Celebrate Oswego June 12-15 at PrairieFest Park, 91 Plank Road, Oswego, Ill., (630) 554-1010, prairiefest.com.
Blues on the Fox: June 13-14 along the Fox River at New York and River streets in Aurora, Ill., (630) 896-6666, auroradowntown.org/downtown-alive.
Elgin Ribfest: Formerly Elgin Brewfest, this will be June 13-15 at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin, Ill., (877) 683-9753, elginribfest.com.
Aurora Paddlesports Festival and Art in the Park: A free canoe or kayak lesson, the latest paddle craft and competitions June 14-15 in Phillips Park on Mastodon Lake in Aurora, Ill. At Art in the Park Festival, there’s art for exhibit and sale, live music and a wine tasting. illinoispaddlesportsfestival.org.
Art in Bloom Fine Art Fest: More than 80 juried artists plus live music and children’s activities from June 14-15 at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, Ill., (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org. Cost is $5 per car.
Midsommar Festival Swedish Days: Enjoy a parade, food, carnival rides, live music, Sweden Vast and many children’s activities June 17-22 in downtown Geneva, Ill., (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Rotary GroveFest: June 19-22 at Fishel Park in Downers Grove, Ill., the event features a car show, craft show, carnival and live entertainment. (630) 729-0351, rotarygrovefest.com.
Scottish Festival and Highland Games: Experience the best of Scotland without leaving Chicago June 20-21. Hamilton Lakes, Interstate 290 and Thorndale Avenue, Itasca, Ill., (708) 447-5092, chicago-scots.org.
Big Rock Wine Tasting Under the Oaks: Third annual event takes place June 28 at Plowman’s Park, 48W508 Hinckley Road, Big Rock, Ill., bigrockplowingmatch.com.
Lisle Eyes to the Skies: The hot air balloon festival includes a carnival, two musical stages, bags tournament, children’s area, craft fair and parade with fireworks each night from July 2-6 at Short Street and Illinois 53, Lisle, Ill., (630) 541-6095, eyestotheskies.org.
Ribfest: Naperville’s annual celebration includes ribs, live music, a family area, fireworks and more July 3-6 at Knoch Park, 724 S. West St., Naperville, Ill., (630) 779-2702, ribfest.net.
Windmill City Festival: The second weekend in July at the Riverwalk in downtown Batavia, Ill., (630) 879-7134, windmillcityfest.org.
Ribs on the River and Illinois Whitewater Festival: Ribs, live music and whitewater sports on July 12 at Bicentennial Riverfront Park, 131 E. Hydraulic St., Yorkville, Ill., (630) 553-8574, yorkville.il.us.
Naperville Women’s Club Fine Art Fair: The 55th annual juried art show is from July 12-13 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, Ill., (630) 420-9680, napervillewomansclub.org.
Kane County Fair: July 16-20 at Illinois 38 and Randall Road, St. Charles, Ill., (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
Rockin’ For the Troops: The annual concert benefiting troops serving overseas will be July 19 at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, Ill., (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org. Cost is $25.
Sugar Grove Corn Boil: July 25-27 at Volunteer Park, 85 S. Main St., Sugar Grove, Ill., (630) 466-5166, sugargrovecornboil.org.
DuPage County Fair: July 23-27 at 2015 W. Manchester Road, Wheaton, Ill., (630) 668-6636, dupagecountyfair.org.
Woodstock Mozart Festival: A series of concerts from July 24-Aug. 10 at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, Ill., (815) 338-5300, mozartfest.org.
Geneva Arts Fair: July 26-27 at South Third Street in Geneva, Ill., (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Hampshire Coon Creek Country Days: July 31-Aug. 3 at Bruce Ream Park, 368 Terwilliger Ave., Hampshire, Ill., hampshirecooncreekcountrydays.com.
Warrenville Summer Daze: Warrenville, Ill.’s premier summer event will be Aug. 1-2 at the southwest corner of Illinois 56 and Batavia Road, Warrenville. The event offers children’s rides, a craft show and bazaar, a children’s garage sale, bands, unique cars, motorcycles and boats. (630) 393-9427, warrenville.il.us.
North Aurora Days: Aug. 1-3 at Oak Street and Randall Road in North Aurora, Ill., northauroradays.com.
Wheaton Brew Fest: Celebrate craft beers Aug. 2 at Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton, Ill., wheatonparkdistrict.com/brewfest.
World of Faeries Festival: The 10th annual fest celebrates fairies Aug. 2-3 at Vasa Park, 35W217 Route 31, South Elgin, Ill., (815) 788-1630, theworldoffaeries.com.
Montgomery Fest: The 30th annual festival will be Aug. 8-10 in downtown Montgomery, Ill., (630) 896-8080, ci.montgomery.il.us.
South Elgin RiverFest: The 18th annual event will be in August at Panton Mill Park, 9 N. Water St., South Elgin, Ill., (847) 774-1151, riverfestexpress.net.
Elburn Days: The 84th annual event is in August at Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn, Ill., (630) 365-6315, elburnlions.com.
Naperville Wine Festival: Celebrate wine, food and music Aug. 22-23 at CityGate Centre, Interstate 88 and Illinois 59, Naperville, Ill., (847) 382-1480, napervillewinefestival.com.
Yorkville Hometown Days: Aug. 28-31 at Beecher Community Park, 908 Game Farm Road, Yorkville, Ill., (630) 553-2582, yorkville.il.us.
Naperville Last Fling: Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, at Main Street and Jackson Avenue along the Riverwalk in Naperville, Ill., (630) 961-4143, lastfling.org.
Alley Art Festival: Aug. 30 at Water Street Mall between Downer Place and Galena Boulevard in downtown Aurora, Ill. Email to email@example.com or find Alley Art Festival on Facebook.
Elgin International Festival: Elgin, Ill., celebrates diversity with a parade and many other activities Aug. 30 in Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., (224) 725-3378, elginifest.com.
Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Fest: Labor Day weekend at Island Park in Geneva, Ill., (630) 897-3655, foxvalleyfolk.com.
Sandwich Fair: The 127th annual event from Sept. 4-8 at the fairgrounds, U.S. 30 and Pratt Road, Sandwich, Ill., (815) 786-2159, sandwichfair.com.
Festival of the Vine: Geneva marks the autumn harvest Sept. 5-7 in downtown Geneva, Ill., (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Downers Grove Art Festival: Sept. 6-7 in downtown Downers Grove, Ill., (847) 926-4300, amdurproductions.com.
Scandinavian Day Festival: Traditional food, crafts, gifts and entertainment representing five Nordic cultures on Sept. 7 at Vasa Park on Illinois 31 in South Elgin, Ill., (847) 695-6720, scandinaviandayil.com.
Cornfest Family Fun Day: The popular family picnic returns Sept. 8 at Graue Mill, 3800 S. York Road, Oak Brook, Ill., (630) 655-2090, grauemill.org.
Fiestas Patrias Aurora: The weekend music fest showcases international music acts, food and children’s activities in mid-September in downtown Aurora, Ill. ahcc-il.com/fiestas-patrias.
Big Rock Plowing Match: Sept. 19-21 at Plowman’s Park, 48W508 Hinckley Road, Big Rock, Ill., bigrockplowingmatch.com.
Harvest Pow-Wow: Native American dancing and drumming, cultural demonstrations and more Sept. 20-21 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, Ill., (773) 585-1744, midwestsoarring.org.
Art in Your Eye: In September at the Batavia (Ill.) Riverwalk, (630) 761-3528, artinyoureye.com.
Huntley Fall Festival: Sept. 26-28 at Deicke Park, 12015 Mill St., Huntley, Ill., (847) 669-3180, Ext. 394, huntleyfallfest.com.
Plano Oktoberfest: Authentic German bands, a beer wagon with real German beers and wine and authentic traditional German food from Sept. 26-28 on Main Street in downtown Plano, Ill., (630) 898-9242, planooktoberfest.com.
Oktoberfest: Celebrate with German music, food and beer Oct. 3-4 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, Ill., (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.com.
Scarecrow Festival: The heart of this festival is the 150-plus handmade scarecrows that adorn downtown St. Charles, Ill., from Oct. 10-12 in Lincoln Park, Main and Fourth streets, (630) 377-6161, scarecrowfest.com.
Cantigny Fall Festival: In October at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, Ill., (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
All Hallows Eve Village of Fear: Experience two of the darkest nights of the year with haunting creatures, eerie entertainment and must-see horrors Oct. 17-18 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, Ill., (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.museum.
Nightmare on Chicago Street: Elgin, Ill.’s Signature Halloween event featuring zombies will be Oct. 25 in downtown Elgin, (847) 488-1456, nightmareonchicagostreet.com.
BatFest: The family-friendly Halloween event will be Oct. 25 at Batavia Riverwalk, 327 W. Wilson St., Batavia, Ill., (630) 761-3528, downtownbatavia.com/batfest.
Bartlett Heritage Halloween Fun Fest: In October in downtown Bartlett, Ill., (630) 924-4263, bartlettheritagedays.com.
Hometown Holidays: In November in downtown Naperville, Ill., (630) 544-3372, downtownnaperville.com.
Holiday Under the Stars: Kick off the holiday season with a traditional tree lighting ceremony, food, holiday activities, Santa’s workshop and a holiday fireworks show on Nov. 22 in downtown Yorkville, Ill., Illinois 47 and Hydraulic Street, (630) 553-4357, yorkville.il.us.
Holiday Homecoming and Electric Christmas Parade: The parade usually takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving in downtown St. Charles, Ill., (630) 513-5386, downtownstcharles.org.
Celebration of Lights: Usually the day after Thanksgiving along the Riverwalk in Batavia, Ill., (630) 879-5235, bataviaparks.org.
Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic: See the zoo lit up with Christmas lights during December at Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield, Ill., (708) 688-8000, czs.org.
Holiday in the Grove: Usually in early December, this event includes a Breakfast with Santa, craft show and children’ activities at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St., Sugar Grove. Ill., (630) 466-7160, holidayinthegrove.com.
Lights of Lisle: On the first Saturday in December in downtown Lisle, Ill., the festivities include a Santa Parade and a Once Upon a Christmas event at the Museums of Station Park campus; features children’s crafts, brick oven baking, ice carving and blacksmithing. (630) 271-4100, villageoflisle.org.
Holly Days: Warrenville, Ill.’s annual holiday celebration marks Santa’s official entry into town on the first Friday night in December. Events take place on Warren Avenue and at the Warrenville Park District Recreation Center across the street from the Warrenville Police Department. (630) 393-9427, warrenville.il.us.
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: In the Civic Center Plaza, 150 Dexter Court, Elgin, Ill., (847) 931-6100, cityofelgin.org.
Christmas Walk and House Tour: Santa Lucia, Swedish symbol of Christmas, ushers in the season Dec. 5-6 in Geneva, Ill., (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.