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Hikes, concerts, museum tours and more things to do in the Southland

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Hit the Forest Preserve District of Will County's trails and walk, bike or run 95 miles through June 30 to mark the district’s 95th anniversary.

95 for 95

Celebrate the Forest Preserve District of Will County's 95th anniversary by taking the Spring Ninety-fiver Challenge. Walk, run or bike 95 miles through June 30. All 95 miles — in any combination of walking, biking and running — must be completed in the forest preserves. Use an app such as Runkeeper to record your miles and upload a screenshot off your mobile device of total miles once you have completed the challenge. Forms -- to be completed online or downloaded and submitted -- are available at ReconnectWithNature.org. All those who complete the quest will receive a small wallet with a zippered pouch with the new Forest Preserve District logo.

Meet the museum

Explore the campus at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. the fourth Saturday of the month through Dec. 24. Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the Forest Preserve District of Will County's 18th Century Traders Cabin or wanted to peek inside the Native American longhouse? This is your chance to explore all the buildings at 501 E. Romeo Road (135th St.) and learn about the French fur traders and Potawatomi who once called this area home. Drop in for this free, self-guided exploration open to all ages during normal operating hours. ReconnectWithNature.org. 

Market at the Park

Market at the Park returns to Crescent Park from 4-8 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 18. The event at Crescent Park, 9704 W. 142nd St., Orland Park, includes variety of food; more than 30 vendors selling gardening, artisanal and handmade arts and crafts; vintage and decor items as well as free weekly entertainment from classic rock to country to Big Bands. Visit www.orlandpark.org/government/search?q=market at the park.

Senior fitness

The New Lenox Safe Community Coalition and its Older Adults Falls Prevention Task Group will again host Fit and Strong! from 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday through July 29. The eight-week program that combines flexibility, strength training and aerobic walking with health education for older adults, will be held at Spencer Pointe/Crossing School, 1711 S. Spencer Road, New Lenox. Register for the free classes by contacting Daniel Martin, safe community coordinator for New Lenox, at dmartin@newlenox.net or 815-462-6493.

Exploring biodiversity

Explore "Diversity of Life" and take part in a Pollinator Party this summer at the Isle a la Cache In Romeoville, a hub for biodiversity and pollination efforts. The free exhibit, which runs through Oct. 2, will feature bilingual (English and Spanish) signs that invite visitors to actively use their observation skills as they learn about biodiversity. Visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

River critters

Discover River Critters from 1-3 p.m. June 29 at Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Participants will use nets to scoop for aquatic critters and then take a closer look at what lives in and around the Des Plaines River. Equipment will be provided. All animals will be released back into the river. No registration is required for this free, drop in program open to all ages. ReconnectWithNature.org

'Sing 2'

Mokena Community Park District is showing "Sing 2" at dusk (about 8:30 p.m.) June 29 as part of its Drive-In Movie series. The movie will be shown in the Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center parking lot, 10847 LaPorte Road, Mokena. Admission is $10 per car.  Register at secure.rec1.com/IL/mokena-community-park-district/catalog/index/a11488d10b8ce43a53522da929147c40?filter=c2VhcmNoPUdvb25pZXM=

Support for widowed

The Southwest Suburban Widows/Widowers Social Club meets from 6:30-9:30 p.m. the first Friday of each month. The next meeting is July 1. The club meets at the Harald Viking Lodge, 6730 175th St., Tinley Park. The club offers support to the widowed of all faiths and ages. Activities include restaurant outings, trips, discussions and meetings. For more information, call Elaine Buck at 708-429-9528 or Bill Dolehide at 708-342-6820.

Liberty run, walk

Orland Park kicks off its Independence Day celebration with the annual Veterans Liberty Run & Walk from 7-8 p.m. July 1 at Centennial Park, 15600 West Ave., Orland Park. Sprint, jog or walk the 1- or 2-mile course through the park. Participants receive a dry-fit race shirt, a U.S. hand flag, a pass for one free admission to the Centennial Park Aquatic Center, post-race refreshments and entry into a raffle. Awards will be given to the top overall male and female finisher and the top three male and female finishers in each group. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local veteran's organizations. Walk fees are $8 for residents and $14 for nonresidents. Run fees are $14 for residents and $20 for nonresidents. Visit www.orlandpark.org/departments/recreation-parks/special-events.

Kids’ dash

Children of all ages can participate in the Orland Park Kids’ 50-yard dash at 7:30 p.m. July 1 at the 153rd Street Metra station at the conclusion of Liberty Run. Registration is not required for the free event. Participants just have to be ready to run at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.orlandpark.org

Native plant gardening

Take Planting Natives 101 in a Zoom webinar from 11-11:45 a.m. July 3. The Forest Preserve District of Will County will discuss the benefits of planting native species and which plants work best for your garden. And then use that  knowledge at The Nature Foundation of Will County’s Summer Blooms Pop-Up Pollinator Plant Sale July 23- at Isle a la Cache in Romeoville. Register for the free program open to all those 16 and older at ReconnectWithNature.org.

5K on the Fourth

Kick off Independence Day with the Stars & Stripes 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. July 4 at McCarthy Park, 16801 S. 80th Ave., Tinley Park. Male and female runners finishing first to third in each age category will win awards in the chip-timed race as will the top overall male and female finishers. Fee is $16 without a T-shirt or $22 with a shirt through June 30. Race-day registration opens at 7 a.m. with the fee of $30 whether shirts are available or not. Register at tinleyparkdistrict.org or the Bettenhausen Recreation Center, 8125 W. 171st St, Tinley Park. Visit www.tinleyparkdistrict.org/calendar-of-events-at-tinley-park-park-district/?cid=mc-e2a2d4f8b0fd38fece7b28a1b0b5b849&mc_id=1598

Softball tournament

The Tinley Park-Park District is hosting its Co-Ed 14-inch Softball Tournament from noon-4 p.m. July 4 at Community Park, 8125 W. 171st St., Tinley Park.

A Tinley Fourth

Join the Tinley Park-Park District's annual celebration of Independence Day at 4 p.m. July 4 at McCarthy Park, 16801 S. 80th Ave., Tinley Park. The event opens with a color guard and the National Anthem and includes food trucks, entertainment headlined by John Mellencamp tribute artist Mellencougar, kids activities, free watermelon slices and a fireworks spectacular at 9:15 p.m. For details, visit, www.tinleyparkdistrict.org/calendar-of-events-at-tinley-park-park-district/?cid=mc-e2a2d4f8b0fd38fece7b28a1b0b5b849&mc_id=1682

New Lenox celebrates

Celebrate Independence Day from 6-8 p.m. in the Village Commons.  Whiskeyfist takes the stage from 6-8 p.m.  Following Whiskeyfist's performance, the Joliet American Legion Band will lead into the fireworks display with patriotic tunes. The fireworks display will take place at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.).

Frankfort fireworks

The Frankfort Park District hosts a Fourth of July celebration from 5-9 p.m. July 4 at Main Park, 200 S. Locust St., Frankfort. The party includes kids carnival games, inflatables, face painting, a clown and concessions. There will be a DJ dance Party from 5:15-7:15 p.m., and Sundance will perform from 7:30-9 p.m. Fireworks will be held at dusk. Visit www.frankfortparks.org/special-events.

Orland fireworks

Join Orland Park's Fourth of July celebration from 7:15-10 p.m. July 4 at Centennial Park, 15600 West Ave., Orland Park. Pack a blanket, lawn chairs and snacks for the evening that includes a concert featuring 4CAST and fireworks. Visit www.orlandpark.org/departments/recreation-parks/special-events.

Addiction support

The HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization) hosts its weekly open meetings for addiction support from 7-8:30 p.m. July 5 and every Tuesday at  Lincolnway Christian Church 690 E. Illinois Hwy., New Lenox. Call 708-557-8394.

Free Mokena concert

Fire Chicken will perform at the Mokena Park District's free concert at 7 p.m. July 6 at Yunker Park Bandshell, 10824 LaPorte Road, Mokena. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs to the terraced grass venue. Visit www.mokenapark.com/news-and-events/upcoming-events/#614

About the birds

Discover birds from 1-3 p.m. July 6 at Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Stop by to learn more about our feathered friends. The free drop-in program is open to all ages. ReconnectWithNature.org

WonderKids: Plants

The WonderKids program explores plants from 10-11:30 a.m. July 7 at Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Learn about plants and what they need to survive through singing, story time, table activities, crafts and an outside activity. Register for the free program open to those age 2-5 by July 5 at ReconnectWithNature.org or 815-886-1467.

Things to do snakes

Learn which types of snakes call our area home during a Snakes of Will County Zoom webinar at 6 p.m. July 7. 

Snakes of Will County

Learn about the snakes of Will County in a Zoom webinar from 6-6:30 p.m. July 7. Celebrate World Snake Day by learning the basic facts about this incredible reptile and find out which snakes call Will County home. Register for the free program open to all 10 and older at ReconnectWithNature.org.

Birding the preserves

Birding the Preserves is a Zoom webinar from 7-8 p.m. July 7. Get birding tips on this virtual hike through a selected Will County preserve. Register for the free program at ReconnectWithNature.org.

Volunteer cleanup

Get some fresh air and exercise while removing brush and invasive species at the Forest Preserve District of Will County volunteer morning 8-11 a.m. July 9 at Sugar Creek Preserve, Joliet. Complete and online waiver to participate or contact Emily Kenny, volunteer services supervisor, at 815-722-7364 or ekenny@fpdwc.org if you have a 2022 waiver on file. Visit ReconnectWithNature.org,

Chalk the Walk

Chalk the Walk from 10 a.m.-noon July 9 at Community Park, 8125 W. 171st St., Tinley Park. Fill the pathways around the park, White Water Canyon and The Band Shell with fun, positive messages and art. The Tinley Park-Park District supplies the chalk, and there will be games and refreshments for participants as part of Unplug Illinois Day, an Illinois Parks and Recreation Association initiative to encourage people to put down their electronics and visit the parks. Visit www.tinleyparkdistrict.org/calendar-of-events-at-tinley-park-park-district.

Unplug Day

Joing the Forest Preserve District of Will County July 9 for the fourth annual Unplug Illinois Day with these activities to get into nature:

  • Pop and Play: 10 a.m.-noon July 9 at Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access, Joliet. Fun stations with lawn games, sidewalk chalk and more will be set up at the picnic shelter.
  • Dip Netting: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 9 at Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Stop by the lagoon to pick up a net to scoop aquatic critters from the water. Nets and viewing containers will be provided.
  • Unplug With Monarchs: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 9 and noon to 4 p.m. July 10, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook. Drop in and learn why monarchs are so important and what you can do to help keep their numbers strong.

For more information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

Concert in the park

Orland Park's Concerts in the Park continue with The StingRays from 6-7:30 p.m. July 10 at Crescent Park,  9704 W. 142nd St., Orland Park. The free concert will feature music of the 1950s and '60s. Visit www.orlandpark.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/498/103?curm=7&cury=2022.

Addiction support

The HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization) hosts its weekly open meetings for addiction support from 7-8:30 p.m. July 12 and every Tuesday at  Lincolnway Christian Church 690 E. Illinois Hwy., New Lenox. Call 708-557-8394.

Wild Edibles

The Forest Preserve District of Will County will cost Discovery Isle – Wild Edibles from 1-3 p.m. July 13 at Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Eat a bug, munch on some greenery and investigate nature’s bounty. This drop-in program is free for all ages. Visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

'Grease'

Mokena Park District is showing "Elf" at dusk (about 8:30 p.m.) July 13 as part of its Drive-In Movie series. The movie will be shown in the Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center parking lot, 10847 LaPorte Road, Mokena. Admission is $10 per car.  Register at secure.rec1.com/IL/mokena-community-park-district/catalog/index/a11488d10b8ce43a53522da929147c40?filter=c2VhcmNoPUdvb25pZXM=

Fall prevention

Orland Township is hosting a Fall Prevention seminar at 10 a.m. July 18 at the township Activity Center, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. Fall prevention expert Gina Szwed-Cullen will discuss how to protect yourself and those around you from falls, the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Taking some simple steps to prevent falls can help you or those you love stay active and confident. A light breakfast and additional resources will be available Those interested in attending the program presented by Symphony of Palos Park should RSVP to Diane at 708-403-4222. For more information, visit orlandtownship.org.

Free Mokena concert

Flipside will perform at the Mokena Park District's free concert at 7 p.m. July 20 at Yunker Park Bandshell, 10824 LaPorte Road, Mokena. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs to the terraced grass venue. Visit www.mokenapark.com/news-and-events/upcoming-events/#614

'Elf'

Mokena Park District is showing "Elf" at dusk (about 8:30 p.m.) July 27 as part of its Drive-In Movie series. The movie will be shown in the Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center parking lot, 10847 LaPorte Road, Mokena. Admission is $10 per car. Register at secure.rec1.com/IL/mokena-community-park-district/catalog/index/a11488d10b8ce43a53522da929147c40?filter=c2VhcmNoPUdvb25pZXM=

Taste of Orland Park

The 19th annual Taste of Orland Park is set for Aug. 5-7 at the Village Center, 14700 Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. Sample the fare of several local restaurants while enjoying live entertainment on two stages. karaoke, a Kids Zone, car show and more. Hours are 5-11 p.m. Aug. 5, 1-11 p.m. Aug. 6 and 1-9 p.m. Aug. 7. Visit www.orlandpark.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event.

Support for widowed

The Southwest Suburban Widows/Widowers Social Club meets from 6:30-9:30 p.m. the first Friday of each month. The next meeting is Aug. 5. The club meets at the Harald Viking Lodge, 6730 175th St., Tinley Park. The club offers support to the widowed of all faiths and ages. Activities include restaurant outings, trips, discussions and meetings. For more information, call Elaine Buck at 708-429-9528 or Bill Dolehide at 708-342-6820.

Things to do golf

Try to outdrive Sister Maryann Dosen at the St. Coletta’s of Illinois Kennedy Golf Invitational Aug. 8 at Crystal Tree Golf & Country Club, Orland Park. 

Kennedy Golf Invitational

St. Coletta’s of Illinois is hosting its 33rd Annual Kennedy Golf Invitational Aug. 8 at Crystal Tree Golf & Country Club, 10700 W. !53rd St., Orland Park. The event, which benefits the Tinley Park social service agency that serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, drinks and snacks on the course and dinner with an open bar. Sister Maryann Dosen will be back for the “Beat the Nun” longest drive competition. Fess is $600 for a single golfer or $2,400 for a foursome. Register by July 25 at www.stcolettasofil.org.

Farm & Barn Fest

Mokena Park District hosts Farm & Barn Fest from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 13 at Yunker Park, 10824 La Porte Road, Mokena. The free event will include kids activities such as games, a petting zoo and splash pad from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. A flea market will be held from 9 a.m.-noon in the Yunker Park parking lot. Attendee parking is available at The Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center or Main Park. Country artists  MacKenzie O'Brien Band will perform at 6-7:30 p.m. ad the bandshell with Rockstar Rodeo from 8-10 p.m. Visit www.mokenapark.com/news-and-events/_-farmandbarn.aspx

Things to do Centennial Park West concert

The 2022 Centennial Park West Concert Series kicks off June 25 in Orland Park. 

Centennial Park West concert

The 2022 Centennial Park West Concert Series continues Aug. 20 with Elton Live! The Elton John Experience, Pearl Jam Tribute Chicago and Without U2 Tribute. The concert starts at 4 p.m. at Centennial West Park, 15609 Park Station Blvd, Orland Park. Tickets cost $35 per concert. First-responders, military personnel and veterans can buy tickets tor $30 at the Sportsplex, 11351 W. 159th St., Orland Park, or the Village Hall Cashier 14700 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park, with photo ID to prove status. Buy tickets at www.universe.com/events/centennial-park-west-concert-series-2022-tickets-2CK73J. Visit www.orlandpark.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event.

Centennial Park West concert

The 2022 Centennial Park West Concert Series concludes Sept. 3, with Hinder, Spin Doctors and Dishwalla. The concert starts at 4:30 p.m. at Centennial West Park, 15609 Park Station Blvd, Orland Park. Tickets cost $35 per concert. First-responders, military personnel and veterans can buy tickets tor $30 at the Sportsplex, 11351 W. 159th St., Orland Park, or the Village Hall Cashier 14700 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park, with photo ID to prove status. Buy tickets at www.universe.com/events/centennial-park-west-concert-series-2022-tickets-2CK73J. Visit www.orlandpark.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event.

Tinley band concert

The Tinley Park Community Band will play its next concert at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Vogt Visual Arts Center, 17420 67th Court, Tinley Park. The performance is free but donations are appreciated. Visit www.tinleyband.org or www.facebook.com/tinleyband.

Women who care

100+ Women Who Care of Will County, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money for Will County charities, will meet from 6-7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Prairie Bluff Golf Course, 19433 Renwick Road, Lockport. For more information, visit www.100wwc-will.org or Facebook.at www.facebook.com/100WomenWhoCareWillCounty.

Submit items at least two weeks prior to the event to southland@nwi.com.

 

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