Events in Illinois

Leigh Kunkel
| October 17, 2024 | 4 Minute Read

Check out our calendar of events to discover great ways to escape cabin fever in Illinois.

Spectators admire a house on a tour of holiday decorated homes Jason Schneider

Visitors to the tiny village of Elsah, Illinois—of approximately 100 people—can go on the annual Elsah’s Home for the Holidays House Tour put on by the Historic Elsah Foundation on Dec. 2. Explore the quaint homes and several public buildings and listen to musical performances at Elsah’s two churches. 

Or head to the Quad Cities, where you’ll find several historic holiday homes. Stop by the Hauberg Estate in Rock Island, Illinois, for its annual Winter in Bloom event on Dec. 3. The estate hosts an open house featuring carriage rides, hot chocolate, cookies, holiday crafts for the kids and even a visit from Santa! In nearby Moline, Illinois, you can visit the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House during its 19th Century Christmas event. These 19th-century homes go all out for the holidays, with decorations, musical performances and a visit from Santa on Dec. 3. 

Now–Dec. 31
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 

The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois, welcomes this Tony Award-winning musical based on the true story of singer/songwriter Carole King, featuring some of her best-known songs. 

Now–Jan. 7
Picasso: 50 Years Later 

The Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, Illinois, celebrates the legacy of Pablo Picasso 50 years after his death with an exhibition of works from Picasso, his contemporaries and currently practicing figurative artists. 

Nov. 18
An Almost Winter Day

Celebrate the imminent arrival of winter at this annual festival at SEBA Park in South Elgin, Illinois. There will be a bonfire, an ice sculptor, family-friendly activities and a visit from Santa.

Nov. 18
Notre Dame football weekend 

Catch the final home game for the 2023 football season against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Enjoy the game, tailgating, halftime show and more in Notre Dame, Indiana. 

Nov. 23
Chicago Thanksgiving Parade 

See marching bands, performers, giant floats and more make their way down Chicago’s famed State Street before you head home for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Nov. 24–26
Arts & Crafts Show 

Get your holiday shopping done at this exhibition at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, Illinois, featuring artisan products from a wide variety of vendors. 

Nov. 25–26
Christmas at the Canal Market 

Get in the holiday spirit at this Utica, Illinois, market with handmade and vintage items for sale in a cheery atmosphere. 

Nov. 25–26
Valparaiso Reptile & Animal Extravaganza 

Families and animal lovers should visit this expo at Valparaiso, Indiana’s U.S. Army National Guard Armory to see snakes, chameleons, sugar gliders, cockatoos and more. 

Dec. 2
Christmas at the Fort 

Travel back in time to the 1830s with this period-accurate Christmas celebration at the Apple River Fort in Elizabeth, Illinois. There will be historical toys, reenactments and a trading post where you can practice your bartering skills. 

Dec. 2–3
Edwardsville Illinois Kennel Club Dog Show

Whether you love the giant Great Danes, the tiny Chihuahuas or lovable basset hounds, this Belleville show celebrates dogs of all shapes and sizes at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center in Illinois. 

Dec. 3
Illinois Botanizer’s Best of Illinois Nature 2023 

Illinois botanist Chris Benda visits Giant City State Park in Makanda, Illinois, to present a series of photographs exploring the highlights of his adventures in nature. 

Dec. 9–10
Krampus Krawl 2023

Head to Elgin, Illinois, for the annual Krampus Krawl, where you’ll find a Dark Holiday Arts Show, spooky snacks and plenty of creepy costumes. 

Dec. 10
Thunder & Lightning Cloggers 

Don’t miss the last performance of the year at the Monroe County History Museum in Waterloo, Illinois, when they welcome this troupe of traditional clog dancers. 

Dec. 17
Horse Play at Shenandoah Riding Center 

Get to know the horses at this riding center in Galena, Illinois. Learn to groom, tack and lead the horses; tour the barn; and spend some time with these gentle giants. 

Jan. 5–7
Quad City Bald Eagle Days

Learn about the animals found in and around Rock Island, Illinois. You’ll meet bald eagles, hawks and owls and learn how you can keep their homes safe for decades to come. 

Jan. 13
The Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars 

Cheer on the hometown team when it takes to the ice in NHL hockey action against a division rival at Chicago’s United Center. 

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