Monarchs and Me Sep. 16, 10am-12pm. What insect migrates 2,000 miles each year, has a wing span under 4 inches and weighs less than a paper clip? Learn about this magnificent insect, the only butterfly known to migrate such distances annually. Ages 5 to 12. Registration required as class size is limited. Free. Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center, 2301 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-529-1111.
Boo Crew Haunted House Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 29 through Oct. 28. Travel the Trail of Lost Souls and the haunted house. Boo victims should be at least age 10, but matinee hours are available for youngsters. Concessions available. Box office opens at 6:30pm. Haunting begins around 7pm, rain or shine. $25-$40, matinee hours $15 and $7 for children. boocrew.com. 11083 Buckhart Road, Mechanicsburg.
Leaf identification hikes Sundays through Sept. 24, 1-3pm. Hikes designed for students working on leaf collection projects. During the hike, 25-plus types of leaves will be identified and collected. Naturalists available to answer individual questions. $5. Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 East Lake Shore Drive, 217-529-1111.
Golf For Kids Charity Outing Sep. 14, 8am-noon, 1-5pm. Annual golf tournament benefits the YMCA Strong Kids Fund which helps underserved and at-risk children. Entry fee includes golf, cart, lunch, dinner and awards. $125-$500. Piper Glen Golf Club, 7112 Piper Glen Dr., 217-280-5094.
Battle of the Paddle Sep. 14, 3-5pm. A pickleball fundraising event for players of all levels, and not a tournament. Features local celebrity players. Proceeds go to United Way of Central Illinois. Free, donations suggested. Iles Park, Sixth and Ash streets. 217-726-7000.
Fall Bird Hikes Sep. 14 through Oct. 19, 6-7am. Matt Hayes of the Illinois Audubon Society leads walks through Adams Wildlife Sanctuary in search of both resident and migratory birds. Sightings will be submitted to Cornell's eBird database. Hikes begin at parking lot. Free. Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, 2315 Clear Lake Ave. 217-544-2473.
Oktoberfest Sep. 16, 3pm to 1a.m. Sep. 17. Family-friendly event celebrates most well-known beer festival in the world. Features food, music by six bands, games for all and, of course, local craft brews. illinoistimestix.com. Buzz Bomb Brewing Co., 406 E. Adams St.
Oktoberfest Sep. 16, noon – 7pm. Traditional Wilkommen (welcome) ceremony and Tapping of the Kegs. Live German music, keg toss contest, stein endurance contest, dachshund races, pet parade and authentic German food, wine and beer. Admission $4 in advance from any Rotarian, $5 at the gate. Presented by the Jacksonville Rotary Club. Morgan County Fairgrounds, 110 N. Westgate, Jacksonville, 217-408-0055.
Edwards Place Fine Art Fair Sep. 16, 10am-5pm and Sun., Sep. 17, 10am-4pm. Shop over 70 different vendors, take tours of Edwards Place Historic Home and join in other fun family activities. This fair is popular with locals and is in its 35th year. Free. Edwards Place, Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 217-544-2787.
Car Show and Fall Cruise Night Sep. 16, 9am-10pm. One of the largest cruise events in Illinois. See the car show during the day and stay for the cruise that evening along Morton Avenue. This event brings in classic and antique autos for a day of fun for the whole family. Jacksonville Community Park, Jacksonville, 1201 S. Main St., 217-473-1122.
Fall Festival Sep. 16-17, 9am-4pm. A local favorite with music, food, crafts, children's activities and historic buildings to tour including the oldest brick building in Sangamon County. New this year is a Civil War Navy exhibit with life-size ship deck, masts and a cannon. Free. Clayville Historic Site, Pleasant Plains, Illinois 125, 217-481-4430.
Leaf identification hikes Sep. 16 and Sep. 23, 10am-12pm. Does your child have a leaf collection project for school this year? Get it put together in a fun, educational way with this hike. Over 50 leaves will be collected. Bring a spiral notebook and pencil, and dress for the outdoors. Pre-registration and adult companion required. $7-$10. Washington Park Botanical Garden, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-546-4116.
Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival Sep. 16-17, 10am-4pm. Working crafts, pioneer village, live music, food. Lots of kids' activities. Vendors' fair across the street at the VFW. National railsplitting competition on Sunday afternoon. Postville Courthouse Historic Site, Lincoln 914 Fifth St., 217-871-1008.
Steam Show and Fall Festival Sep. 22-24. Horse-powered equipment, antique tractors, gas and steam engines, bailing demonstrations, blacksmithing and more. Featuring Allis-Chalmers tractors and equipment. Admission $10 for all three days. Children 12 and younger free. Prairie Land Heritage Museum, Jacksonville, 1005 W. Michigan Ave., 217-243-7262.
22nd Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival Sep. 22, 6-10pm, Sep. 23, 9am-10pm and Sep. 24, 9am-2pm. Hundreds of street machines, muscle cars and hot rods will rumble into the heart of Springfield's historic downtown followed by thousands of spectators for a weekend of family fun, live music and entertainment. Cruise at 6pm Friday with car show Saturday and Sunday. Show features My Classic Car host Dennis Gage. Don't miss the burnout competition. Free for spectators. Downtown, 217-553-5271.
55th annual Apple 'N Pork Festival Sep. 23-24, 9am-5pm. Celebrating harvest, heritage, history and hospitality, plus all things apple n' pork such as homemade pies, pulled pork sandwiches and cider. Enjoy live music, craft vendors, mansion tours, an art show, pony rides and more. chmoorehomestead.org. C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum, 219 E. Woodlawn St., Clinton, 217-935-6066.
"Supper & a Song" Sep. 23, 5-11pm. Benefit concert by Austin-Texas-based band Uncle Lucius with opening band Wayward Motel from Springfield. Proceeds benefit The Greater Springfield Chamber Foundation Business Scholarship Fund. Ticket includes full farm-to-table dinner, two-drink tickets and show. $100. Knob Hill Landscape Co., 661 W. Camp Sangamo Road, 217-314-9435.
Chatham Jaycees Oktoberfest Sep. 30, 11am-9pm. Traditional(ish) Oktoberfest with food, fun and German and American music. Veterans Memorial Square, 101 N. Main St., Chatham.
Echoes of Yesteryear Oct. 1, 12-4pm. A walk through Oak Ridge Cemetery. Actors in period costumes will tell personal stories of seven people who made significant contributions to our community. Last tour begins at 3:15pm. Refreshments available for purchase. Free. Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Ave., 217-525-1961.
Terrain Biennial From Oct. 1 to Nov. 15. Private spaces repurposed into art venues. Pick up a map at the Springfield Art Association before taking a self-guided walking tour to the sites - yards and porches - in the neighborhood. Free. Exhibition begins with reception at SAA from 3 to 5pm Oct. 1. 217-544-2787.
Terror on the Square Oct. 6, 7pm-midnight. Every Friday and Saturday through October and also on Halloween. A terrifying haunted tour with mystifying illusions. Do you dare to step into the 1930s funeral home knowing that terror awaits? $23. Visit terroronthesquare.com for details and tickets. Terror on the Square, Petersburg, 119 S. Seventh St.
Candlelight Walk Oct. 6-7, 7pm. A wonderful opportunity to experience village life at night. Period-clothed interpreters will be inside many of the log homes and shops to talk about life in 19th century Illinois. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, 15588 History Lane, 217-632-4000.
Fall Harvest Festival Oct. 7, 9am-4pm, Oct. 8, 10am-4pm. Visit the garden for artisan demonstrations and exhibits, children's activities, fairy house building, tree troll program, photo contest, music and entertainment. Admission $8. Children age 10 and younger free. Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 E. Lake Shore Drive, 217-529-1111.
Whinnie's Apple Fest Oct. 7-9. Celebration of all things apple and fall in honor of Whinnie, the miniature horse. Get your photo taken with Whinnie and enjoy pumpkin painting and face painting. Free. Jefferies Orchard, 1016 Jefferies Road, 217-487-7582.
Oak Ridge Tree Tour Oct. 14, 1-4pm. Some of the trees in the cemetery can be traced back to before Lincoln's time, while others have been propagated from historic and rare trees from around the temperate world. Walk a designated route, stopping to speak with guides who will identify some trees and their stories. Suitable for all ages. Free. Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Ave., 217-789-2340.
Carve for the Carillon Oct. 14-15, 11am-4pm. Scooped pumpkins will be ready for your creative carving. Bring your carving tools, family and friends. The carved pumpkins will be displayed at the following week's Jack O'Lantern Spectacular. Rain or shine and while supplies last. carillon-rees.org. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-546-4116.
Boo Bark Party Oct. 14, 11am-2pm. Canine costume contest, pumpkin decorating and vendors. Check with the Animal Protective League for canine attendee guidelines. Donations accepted. Proceeds benefit the APL. Stuart Park, 1800 Winch Lane, 217-544-7387.
Senior Dogs Rock Oct. 15, 11:30am-6pm. Three bands take the stage in this benefit for The Helping Paw Project, which finds homes and medical care for older dogs. Event includes silent auction, 50-50 drawing and more. See project's Facebook page for more information. Weebles, 4136 N. Peoria Road, 352-228-0015.
Pumpkin Festival Oct. 21, 10am-2pm. Tons of family activities including petting zoo, smallest and biggest pumpkin contest, pumpkin games, pie-eating contest, pumpkin drop and much more. Central Park Plaza, 32 N. Central Park, downtown Jacksonville, 217-245-6884.
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Oct. 20-21, 6:30-9:30pm. Nothing quite compares to this Halloween tradition. Carillon music, lighting and sound effects and food vendors. And hundreds of carved pumpkins on display, too, of course. Adults $10, Children 4-11 $7, children 3 and younger free. carillon-rees.org. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-546-3853.
Monster Mash Halloween Dance Oct. 27, 7-9pm. Dress up in your Halloween costumes for this Springfield Park District event featuring thrills, refreshments, treat bags, face painting and a costume contest. And dancing, too. Erin's Pavilion, Southwind Park, 4965 S. Second St., 217-585-2941.
Zoolie Ghoulie Oct. 27, 1-8pm and Oct. 28, 11am-6pm. Grab your little ghouls and goblins and have a wild time wandering through the zoo's spectacularly spooky Halloween scenes for some safe trick or treating. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Drive, 217-585-1821.
Fall Festival Oct. 28, 10am-4pm. Smell the hardwood fires and listen to the 19th century sounds as interpreters in period-style clothing demonstrate daily tasks throughout the historic village such as candle dipping, soap making, blacksmithing, spinning wool, gardening and natural dyeing. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, 15588 History Lane, 217-632-4000.