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Mark your 2014 calendars for fun

SCOTT M. BORT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Katie Bukovsky, 4, reaches for a rather large bubble during The World of Faeries Festival Saturday afternoon at Vasa Park in South Elgin. The bubbles by "Bubbleologist" Geoffrey "Merlin" Akins was one of the many performers that wandered making merriment for the children and adlts alike. The Faeries Festival runs today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SCOTT M. BORT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Katie Bukovsky, 4, reaches for a rather large bubble during The World of Faeries Festival Saturday afternoon at Vasa Park in South Elgin. The bubbles by "Bubbleologist" Geoffrey "Merlin" Akins was one of the many performers that wandered making merriment for the children and adlts alike. The Faeries Festival runs today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If your New Year’s resolution was to try new things, here’s a whole list to choose from.

From an ice fishing derby to 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.

FEBRUARY

Groundhog Daze: Learn about groundhogs and make one to take home. At 11 a.m. Feb. 1-2 at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074. Mortonarb.org.

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. Other events include a Chocolate Truffle Making Party with three seatings on Feb. 8 and a Beer and Chocolate event at 6 p.m. Feb. 22. See web site for fees. At 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074. Mortonarb.org.

Fish ‘N’ Freeze Ice Fishing Derby: 9 a.m. Feb. 1. Come spend a great day on the ice with your children or grandchildren and introduce them to the sport of ice fishing. Volunteers will be available on site to offer tips and help drill holes in the ice; bring your own poles and bait. At Blackhawk Pond, 1479 Blackhawk Circle, South Elgin. (847) 622-0003 Southelgin.com.

DuPage Engineers Week Expo: Celebrate the science of engineering with many events at the Illinois Institute of Technology School 11 a.m. Feb. 22. 201 E. Loop Road, Wheaton. (630) 682-3000. Dupageeweek.iit.edu.

Naperville Winter Ale Fest: The inaugural festival, held Feb. 22, will feature more than 120 beers from craft breweries around the country. At Frontier Park, Route 59 and 95th St., Naperville. $45. napervillewinteralefest.com.

MARCH

Maple Sugaring: Join the Kane County Forest Preserve District for maple tapping fun March 1 and 2 at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve, 41W600 Hughes Road, Elburn. (847) 741-8350. kaneforest.com.

Maple Sugaring Days: See how Naperville’s early settlers tapped maple trees and then turned the sap into syrup. Other activities will enhance the day. $8-$12. Held March 8-9 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010. Napersettlement.museum.

St. Charles St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Be a little Irish at 2 p.m. March 15. Main Street from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue in downtown St. Charles. (630) 443-3967. Downtownstcharles.org/events/st-patricks-parade.

MapleFest: March 15 at Red Oak Nature Center, 2343 S. River St., Batavia. (630) 897-1808. Foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.

West Suburban Irish Parade: The parade, held at 10 a.m. March 15, includes floats, bands, dancers, bagpipes, drums and more in downtown Naperville. wsirish.org.

Sugar Bush Fair: See authentic demonstrations of maple syrup production, a pioneer sugar camp, children’s puppet show and take a hayride beginning at 9 a.m. March 15-16 at Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg. (847) 985-2100. Parkfun.com.

APRIL

Kane County Cougars: The Cougars kick off their 24th season April 3 on the road, before their home opener April 8. Elfstrom Stadium, 34W002 Cherry Lane, Geneva. (630) 609-6238. Kccougars.com.

MAY

Wine on the Fox: Here’s your chance to sample award-winning Illinois wines while enjoying live entertainment May 3-4 in Hudson Crossing Park, Oswego. (630) 554-3618. Wineonthefox.com.

Six Flags Great America: New this summer is Goliath, the world’s fastest wooden coaster with the tallest and steepest drop, plunging riders down 180 feet and rocketing through twists and turns at 72 miles per hour. Six Flags opens May 3. See web site for hours and admission costs. 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. (847) 249-4636. Sixflags.com.

Civil War Days: Naper Settlement is transformed into a Civil War encampment on May 17 and 18 at the Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010. Napersettlement.com.

Taste of Glen Ellyn: Held the weekend before Memorial Day in the Main Street parking lot between Hillside and Duane streets, Glen Ellyn. (630) 469-5510. Glenellynchamber.com.

Schaumburg Boomers: The Boomers open May 16 on the road; the first home game is May 23 at Schaumburg Baseball Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. (847) 461-3965. Boomersbaseball.com.

St. Charles Fine Arts Show: The show features the work of 100 juried artists in various mediums including watercolor, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics and glass, which are exhibited and available for sale during the event. Held May 24-25 along Riverside Avenue, St. Charles. (630) 513-5386. Downtownstcharles.org.

Taste of Wheaton: Held the last weekend in May at Hale Street and Karlskoga Avenue in Wheaton. (630) 668-6464. Wheatonparkdistrict.com.

JUNE

Aurora Paddlesports Festival and Art in the Park: Take a free canoe or kayak lesson, try out the latest paddle craft from local retailers and check out the skills competitions June 14-15 in Phillips Park on Mastodon Lake, Aurora. At the Art in the Park Festival, there will be art for exhibit and sale, live music and a wine tasting event. Illinoispaddlesportsfestival.org.

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, St. Charles. (630) 513-5386. Prideofthefox.com.

Elgin Ribfest: Formerly Elgin Brewfest, this event will be June 13-15 at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin. (877) 683-9753. Elginribfest.com.

Scottish Festival and Highland Games: Experience the best of Scotland without leaving Chicago June 20-21. Highlights of the 28th annual Games include the Caber Toss, the Hammer Throw and a haggis eating contest. Hamilton Lakes, I-290 and Thorndale Ave., Itasca. (708) 447-5092. Chicago-scots.org.

Blues on the Fox: The first in the Downtown Alive concert series celebrates the blues June 13-14 along the Fox River at New York and River streets, Aurora. (630) 896-6666. Downtownaliveaurora.com.

Oswego PrairieFest: Celebrate Oswego June 12-15 at PrairieFest Park, 91 Plank Road, Oswego. (630) 554-1010. Prairiefest.com.

Art in Bloom Fine Art Fest: There will be more than 80 juried artists, plus live music and children’s activities, June 14-15 at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. $5 per car. (630) 668-5161. Cantigny.org.

Midsommar Festival Swedish Days: Enjoy a parade, food, carnival rides, live music, Sweden Väst and many children’s activities June 17-22 in downtown Geneva. (630) 232-6060. Genevachamber.com.

Big Rock Wine Tasting Under the Oaks: The third annual wine tasting event takes place June 28 at Plowman’s Park, 48W508 Hinckley Road, Big Rock. bigrockplowingmatch.com.

Rotary Grove Fest: Held June 19-22 at Fishel Park in Downers Grove, the event features a car show, craft show, carnival and live entertainment. (630) 729-0351. Rotarygrovefest.com.

JULY

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. July 2-6 at Short Street and Illinois 53, Lisle. (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. (630) 779-2702. Ribfest.net.

Naperville Women’s Club Fine Art Fair: The 55th annual juried art show is held July 12-13 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-9680. Napervillewomansclub.org.

Ribs on the River and Illinois Whitewater Festival: Enjoy ribs, live music and learn about whitewater sports July 12 at Bicentennial Riverfront Park, 131 E. Hydraulic St., Yorkville. (630) 553-8574. Yorkville.il.us.

Rockin’ For the Troops: The annual concert benefits troops serving overseas will be July 19 at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. $25. (630) 668-5161. Cantigny.org

Geneva Arts Fair: Held July 26-27 at South Third Street, Geneva. (630) 232-6060. Genevachamber.com.

Windmill City Festival: Held the second weekend in July at the Riverwalk in downtown Batavia. (630) 879-7134. Windmillcityfest.org.

Kane County Fair: Held July 16-20 at Route 38 and Randall Road, in St. Charles. (630) 584-6926. Kanecountyfair.com.

Sugar Grove Corn Boil: Held July 25-27 at Volunteer Park, behind the school at 85 S. Main St., Sugar Grove. (630) 466-5166. Sugargrovecornboil.org.

DuPage County Fair: Held July 23-27. 2015 W. Manchester Road, Wheaton. (630) 668-6636. Dupagecountyfair.org.

Woodstock Mozart Festival: A series of concerts held July 24-Aug. 10 at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock. (815) 338-5300. Mozartfest.org.

AUGUST

Hampshire Coon Creek Country Days: Held July 31-Aug. 3 at Bruce Ream Park, 368 Terwilliger Ave., Hampshire. hampshirecooncreekcountrydays.com.

Warrenville Summer Daze: Warrenville’s premier summer event will be Aug. 1-2 at the Southwest corner of Route 56 and Batavia Road, Warrenville. The event offers children’s rides a craft show and bazaar, a kids’ garage sale, bands, unique cars, motorcycles, and boats. (630) 393-9427. Warrenville.il.us.

North Aurora Days: Held Aug. 1-3 at Oak Street and Randall Road, North Aurora. Northauroradays.com.

World of Faeries Festival: The 10th annual festival celebrates the world of fairies Aug. 2-3 at Vasa Park, 35W217 Route 31, South Elgin. (815) 788-1630. Theworldoffaeries.com.

Wheaton Brew Fest: Celebrate craft beers Aug. 2 at Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton. wheatonparkdistrict.com/brewfest.

Montgomery Fest: The 30th annual festival will be held Aug. 8-10 in downtown Montgomery. (630) 896-8080. Ci.montgomery.il.us.

South Elgin RiverFest: The 18th annual event will be held in August at Panton Mill Park, 9 N. Water St., South Elgin. (847) 774-1151. Riverfestexpress.net.

Elburn Days: The 84th annual event is held in August at Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn. (630) 365-6315. Elburnlions.com.

Naperville Wine Festival: Celebrate wine, food and music Aug. 22-23 at the CityGate Centre, I-88 and Route 59, Naperville. (847) 382-1480. Napervillewinefestival.com.

Alley Art Festival: Aug. 30 at Water Street Mall between Downer and Galena in downtown Aurora. E-mail downtownauroran@gmail.com or find Alley Art Festival on Facebook.

Yorkville Hometown Days: Held Aug. 28-31 at Beecher Community Park, 908 Game Farm Road, Yorkville. (630) 553-2582. Yorkville.il.us.

Elgin International Fest: Elgin celebrates its diversity with a parade and many other activities Aug. 30 in Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin. (224) 725-3378. elginifest.com.

SEPTEMBER

Naperville Last Fling: Held over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, at Main Street and Jackson Avenue along the Riverwalk, Naperville. (630) 961-4143. Lastfling.org.

Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Fest: Held Labor Day weekend at Island Park in Geneva. (630) 897-3655. Foxvalleyfolk.com.

Sandwich Fair: The 127th annual Sandwich Fair (also known as the DeKalb County Fair) will be Sept. 4-8 at the fairgrounds, U.S. 30 and Pratt Road, Sandwich. (815) 786-2159. Sandwichfair.com.

Festival of the Vine: Geneva celebrates the autumn harvest Sept. 5-7 in downtown Geneva. (630) 232-6060. Genevachamber.com.

Downers Grove Art Festival: Held Sept. 6-7 in downtown Downers Grove. (847) 926-4300. Amdurproductions.com.

Scandinavian Day Fest: There will be traditional food, crafts, gifts and entertainment representing the five Nordic cultures Sept. 7 at Vasa Park, Route 31, South Elgin. (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. (630) 655-2090. Grauemill.org.

Fiestas Patrias Aurora: The weekend music festival will showcase a variety of international music acts, food vendor, and children’s activities in mid-September in downtown Aurora. Ahcc-il.com/fiestas-patrias.

Big Rock Plowing Match: Sept. 19-21 at Plowman’s Park, 48W508 Hinckley Road, Big Rock. Bigrockplowingmatch.com.

Harvest Pow-Wow: See Native American dancing and drumming, cultural demonstrations and more Sept. 20-21 at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (773) 585-1744. Midwestsoarring.org.

Art in Your Eye: Held in September at the Batavia Riverwalk, Batavia. (630) 761-3528. Artinyoureye.com.

Huntley Fall Festival: Sept. 26-28 at Deicke Park, 12015 Mill St., Huntley. (847) 669-3180 Ext. 394. Huntleyfallfest.com.

Plano Oktoberfest: Oktoberfest features authentic German bands, a beer wagon with real German beers and wine and authentic traditional German food.

OCTOBER

Oktoberfest: Celebrate with German music, food and beer Oct. 3-4. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010. Napersettlement.com.

Scarecrow Festival: The heart of this festival is the 150-plus handmade scarecrows that adorn downtown St. Charles. Held Oct. 10-12 in Lincoln Park, Main and Fourth streets, St. Charles. (630) 377-6161. Scarecrowfest.com.

Cantigny Fall Festival: Held in October at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. (630) 668-5161. Cantigny.org.

BatFest: The family-friendly Halloween event will be Oct. 25 at Batavia Riverwalk, 327 W. Wilson St., Batavia. (630) 761-3528. Downtownbatavia.com/batfest.

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. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010. Napersettlement.museum.

Nightmare on Chicago Street: Elgin’s Signature Halloween event featuring zombies will be Oct. 25 in downtown Elgin. (847) 488-1456. nightmareonchicagostreet.com.

Bartlett Heritage Halloween Fun Fest: Held in October in downtown Bartlett. (630) 924-4263. Bartlettheritagedays.com.

NOVEMBER

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, Route 47 and Hydraulic Street, Yorkville. (630) 553-4357. Yorkville.il.us.

Hometown Holidays: Held in November in downtown Naperville. (630) 544-3372. Downtownnaperville.com.

Holiday Homecoming and Electric Christmas Parade: The parade is usually held the Friday after Thanksgiving in downtown St. Charles. (630) 513-5386. Downtownstcharles.org.

Celebration of Lights: Usually held the day after Thanksgiving along the Riverwalk in Batavia. (630) 879-5235. Bataviaparks.org.

DECEMBER

Holiday in the Grove: Usually held 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. (630) 466-7160. Holidayinthegrove.com.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic: See the zoo lit up with Christmas light during the month of December. Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield. (708) 688-8000. Czs.org.

Lights of Lisle: Held the first Saturday in December in downtown Lisle, 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.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: Held in the Civic Center Plaza, 150 Dexter Court, Elgin. (847) 931-6100. Cityofelgin.org.

Christmas Walk and House Tour: Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of Christmas, ushers in the season Dec. 5-6 in downtown Geneva. (630) 232-6060. Genevachamber.com.

Holly Days: Warrenville’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 Police Department. (630) 393-9427. Warrenville.il.us.

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