Best time to visit Illinois

Illinois

8 THINGS TO DO IN ILLINOIS (SEPTEMBER 17 - SEPTEMBER 26)

Chicagohenge

Chicagohenge

March 20–March 23 | September 20–September 23 • nature

This remarkable urban scene happens twice a year!

Hummingbird Migration

Hummingbird Migration

May–September • nature

Entice these buzzy flying jewels into your yard

Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest

all year round (best time: March–May | September–November)  • nature

Let the unforgettable solo and family adventures happen in several jaw-dropping regions of the forest!

Starved Rock State Park

Starved Rock State Park

all year round • nature

Witness the fascinating rock formations brought to the surface after being deposited in a huge shallow inland sea around 425 million years ago

Riot Fest

Riot Fest

September 17–19, 2021 • event

A legendary rock music event held in Chicago

Morton Pumpkin Festival

Morton Pumpkin Festival

September 15–18, 2021 • event

The "Pumpkin capital of the world" celebrates the harvest season

Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill Crane Migration

mid-September–mid-November • nature

Sandhill cranes make a stop at northern Illinois marshes on their way to Florida

Anderson Japanese Gardens

Anderson Japanese Gardens

May–October (Tuesday Evening event is canceled for 2020) • nature

Take in the eastern culture while strolling through this award-winning landscape

37 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Chicago Air and Water Show

Chicago Air and Water Show

mid-August 2021 • event

The oldest and largest show of this kind in the United States

Windy City Smokeout

Windy City Smokeout

July 9–11, 2021 • event

Starting as a local barbecue get-together, the Smokeout has become one of the best festivals in town!

St. Paddy's Day (Green River)

St. Paddy's Day (Green River)

March 13, 2021 (virtual) • event

St. Patrick's Day in Chicago is definitely a party of a lifetime!

Chicago Pride Parade & Fest

Chicago Pride Parade & Fest

mid-June 2021 • event

A colorful celebration of freedom, diversity and culture

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

early September 2021 • event

A favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition with great music all over the city

BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 22, 2020 • event

The holiday spirit takes over the Michigan Avenue on that night

Spring Awakening Music Festival

Spring Awakening Music Festival

June 11–13, 2021 • event

A summer gathering of leading DJs from all over the world

Chicago Restaurant Week

Chicago Restaurant Week

March 19–April 4, 2021 • event

So many participating restaurants, so little time

Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse

April 8, 2024 • event

Some spots on Earth wait for the moment of solar totality for hundreds or even thousands of years. To capture a spectacle, you have to be truly lucky

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade

October 24, 2020 • event

The most fun fall event loved by kids and adults

East Peoria Festival of Lights

East Peoria Festival of Lights

November 26–December 31, 2020 • event

One of the biggest and brightest holiday events in Illinois

Illinois Fall Colors

Illinois Fall Colors

October • nature

Enjoy the best fall colors across the state

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival

early June 2021 • event

The largest free blues festival in the world and one of the greatest music festivals in Chicago

Winter WonderFest

Winter WonderFest

canceled in 2020 • event

Beloved Chicago indoor winter event perfect for frosty days

Illinois State Fair

Illinois State Fair

August 12–22, 2021 • event

Nothing can beat a good ol' fair in the Midwest

Ice Shards on the Great Lakes

Ice Shards on the Great Lakes

mid–February–late March • nature

The ice cover gets shattered to knife-sharp pieces as spring takes over winter

New Year's Eve in Chicago

New Year's Eve in Chicago

December 31 • event

Color blasts illuminate the iconic Chicago skyline

Richardson Adventure Farm Corn Maze

Richardson Adventure Farm Corn Maze

September 12–November 8, 2020 • activity

Come out and get lost in the world's largest corn labyrinth

DuQuoin State Fair

DuQuoin State Fair

August 27–September 6, 2021 • event

One of the nation's best agricultural events is full of fun experiences

Pierogi Fest

Pierogi Fest

July 23–25, 2021 • event

Great food and some wacky fun in just 30 minutes from Chicago

Centralia Balloon Fest

Centralia Balloon Fest

August 20–22, 2021 • event

Save a full weekend in late August to enjoy the unforgettable ballooning experience

Skiing and Snowboarding in Wisconsin

Skiing and Snowboarding in Wisconsin

December–March • activity

Discover some of the best ski areas of the Midwest

ZooLights

ZooLights

November 21, 2020–January 3, 2021 • activity

Linkoln Park Zoo is not only one of the biggest and oldest zoos in the USA, but it also boasts some perfect winter scenery

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2021 • event

Drink lots of margaritas and cerveza celebrating the Mexican national holiday

Great Galena Balloon Race

Great Galena Balloon Race

June 18–20, 2021 • event

Enjoy the full weekend of balloon rides, live music, and other entertainment

Arlington Million

Arlington Million

August 14, 2021 • event

A perfect opportunity to enjoy live racing, entertainment, and fancy group outings

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

late July–early August 2021 • event

One of the oldest and most famous alternative music festivals is a must-visit!

The Morton Arboretum Illumination

The Morton Arboretum Illumination

November 20, 2020–January 3, 2021 • event

An enchanted forest filled with dazzling projections and interactive trees that respond to touch and voice

Kitesurfing & Windsurfing

Kitesurfing & Windsurfing

June–August • activity

Find out if Windy Сity is made for wind sports

Lilacia Park

Lilacia Park

late April–early May (Lilac Time events have been canceled for 2020)  • nature

Discover a safe haven abundant with flowers just on the outskirts of the Windy City

Redhead Days Chicago

Redhead Days Chicago

October 26, 2019 • event

The largest redhead gathering in the US

Bud Billiken Parade

Bud Billiken Parade

August 14, 2021 • event

The largest African American parade in the United States

Naperville Ale Fest

Naperville Ale Fest

late February | mid-July 2021 • event

The only outdoor winter and summer beer festival of Midwest

Allstate Hot Chocolate Run

Allstate Hot Chocolate Run

November 08, 2020 (virtual event) • event

The sweetest run in the world takes over the United States from coast to coast

Balloons Over Vermilion

Balloons Over Vermilion

July 9–10, 2021 • event

A popular ballooning gathering in Illinois

Chicago Labor Day Weekend

Chicago Labor Day Weekend

September 3–6, 2021 • event

Wrap up the summer season with a bang

Illinois Craft Beer Week

Illinois Craft Beer Week

May 10–17, 2019 • event

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild organizes the massive 11 days long craft beer event

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