Antique fire engine.
By Brian R. Brown
Get your dose of Christmas spirit with these photos from downtown Crystal Lake for the Festival of Lights Parade, tree lighting, arrival of Santa, and a stroll down Christmas Tree Lane.
Trick-or-treaters at Crystal Lake Plaza.
By Brian R. Brown
Crystal Lake Plaza was once again home to a party of zombies, princesses, fighter pilots, an array of video game characters, and much more on Saturday as their annual trick-or-treating event returned.
Kids checking out the big and small trucks from Sunset Logistics.
By Brian R. Brown
Amazing weather, two weekends in a row for events at Main Beach in October?! I don't know what the odds are for that, but I do know that it was great to enjoy another fall day where a coat was optional. And these trick-or-treaters definitely enjoyed showing off their costumes!
People viewing art at the Starline Factory 4th Fridays event.
By Brian R. Brown
Our trip to check out the Starline Factory 4th Friday event became as much an exploration of this historic structure that was transformed from former factory to a destination for art and events.
Spotted by a death eater.
By Brian R. Brown
Explore the magic as Witches & Wizards of Woodstock returns once again to serve up magic, fantasy, and fun for all.
Logrolling competition.
By Brian R. Brown
Crystal Lake Park District brought the Northwoods of Wisconsin to Main Beach for a day with lumberjacks, family fun, food trucks and a beer garden. Thanks to the unseasonably warm, weather, flannel shorts may have been preferred over flannel shirts. Needless to say, from the countless photos taken, no one
Brilliant orange and yellow leaves against green and blue.
By Brian R. Brown
While I hope you make it out to enjoy the colors and sights of the changing season, here are some photos from around our neighborhood to serve as encouragement or at least consolation.
Hocus Pocus truck.
By Brian R. Brown
Hop on and enjoy the view! Another Autumn Drive has come and gone and winter is already beating on the door. If you didn't make it out, you'll have to wait till next year, but here are some photos to tide you over until then.
Ford pickup.
By Brian R. Brown
What do you get when you combine vintage classic cars with trick-or-treaters? Perhaps the wildest car show or most unique trunk or treat you've ever seen.
Shoppers and vendors at the Algonquin Harvest Market.
By Brian R. Brown
The 5th Annual Algonquin Harvest Market was as much an extension of summer as it was a transition into fall. Either way, it was a glorious day to walk Main Street in Algonquin, perusing the various vendors, enjoying a beverage or two, some great food, all while enjoying some wonderful
Stilts juggler posing for photos.
By Brian R. Brown
Johnny Appleseed made his appearance again in downtown Crystal Lake for the Johnny Appleseed Festival, and brought some amazing weather with him. Until next year, here are some photos to tide you over!
Art on the Fox booths and shoppers.
By Brian R. Brown
Art on the Fox brought in artists and artisans from within McHenry County and beyond the state line. If you didn't make it, take a look at what you missed and you might even want to trakc down a few artists or artisans who catch your eye!
Cliff Hanger ride raised up in the air.
By Brian R. Brown
Closing out summer with a trip to the Lake in the Hills annual Summer Sunset Festival. We checked out the carnival on Sunday and fun times were had! If you didn't make it, check out our photos to see what you missed.
Wide trail through Sterne's Woods.
By Brian R. Brown
An amazing and immersive nature experience awaits you, and it may be closer than you think. Crystal Lake has a wonderful array of parks for recreation, but it's also home to Sterne's Woods & Fen, which is wonderful preservation area as well.
Parking slot payment wall at the Fox River Grove train station.
By Brian R. Brown
Hop on the train or in your car and head to the Fox River Grove Metra Station if for no other reason than to check out their cool parking slot-payment system. Is it new low-tech? No-tech? Vintage? Retro? I'm not sure, but it's pretty cool whatever it is.
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge tent.
By Brian R. Brown
Crystal Lake Main Beach provided the backdrop to this year's Monarchs and Music, a fun and unique collaborative educational monarch butterfly fair and community concert.
Farmers market vendors and patrons.
By Brian R. Brown
It takes more than a little rain to keep us away. But you can enjoy these photos from the Open Air Farmers Market+ At The Dole from the comfort of your own home, regardless of the weather.
Passengers getting off the train in Crystal Lake.
By Brian R. Brown
Got a train to catch? Head to Crystal Lake's downtown Metra station and you can catch more than just the train, with easy access to downtown Crystal Lake restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and more. Check out what makes the Metra "stations" unique in Crystal Lake.
The Zipper ride.
By Brian R. Brown
While you wait...take a walk around the Lakeside Festival. At least that's what I did ahead of Crystal Lake's annual Independence Day Parade, and here are some photos to prove it!
Tebala Shriners Air Squadron.
By Brian R. Brown
It was a near-perfect day for a parade. If you missed this year's Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade, then we've got over 100 photos that will show you some of what you missed, or relive what you experienced if you were there.
2022 Cary Summer Celebration fireworks.
By Brian R. Brown
Celebrate the 4th and the summer kick-off with the Cary Park District's annual Summer Celebration with some music, food, and fireworks! Come along and feast your eyes on some photos from the event.
Auto fans at the Cary Cruise Night.
By Brian R. Brown
Weekly car show fun without all of the hassle and expense! If you're itching for some candy apple red eye candy, then you'll want to check out this glimpse of what you might find at a Cary Cruise Night!
Two Huntley marching band trumpeters playing Taps.
By Brian R. Brown
Sit back and stay awhile as you flip through over 100 photos from Huntley's Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony.
Field of the Fallen display.
By Brian R. Brown
The Veterans Committee Network of Northern Illinois honors fallen Illinois service members each Memorial Day with their Field of the Fallen.
AMVETS Honor Guard salute in honor of the fallen.
By Brian R. Brown
Wonderful weather prevailed for the Fox River Grove Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony, and we've got the photos to prove it. So if you didn't make it out, sit back and enjoy our little recap.
Yellow daffodils and a view of the walking bridge over Crystal Creek and the gazebo and playground in Cornish Park.
By Brian R. Brown
Cornish Park in Algonquin stands out with its clocktower, view of the dam on the Fox River, and wonderful greenspace and playground for the kids. That alone would be great, but it also benefits from being in the heart of old Algonquin within walking distance of two other parks and
Benches and lampposts line the riverwalk.
By Brian R. Brown
Riverfront Park in Algonquin provides great views of the Fox River, as well as a well-landscaped green space for relaxing. While the trees were still a little bare in early spring, the flowers were happy to show their colors to make up for it.
Water churning over rocks under the bridge.
By Brian R. Brown
Come along as we check out this historic park right off the downtown Algonquin area, just blocks from the Fox River.
Easter Bunny with kids at playground.
By Brian R. Brown
What better way to spend a sunny, though windy and chilly, pre-Easter Saturday than with the hardest working bunny around! Enjoy some photos from the Village of Prairie Grove's annual Easter Egg Hunt.
McHenry Metra station.
By Brian R. Brown
If you like tacos and trains, have we got a train station for you! The McHenry Metra station can claim to have both, although, probably more tacos than trains.
Art on the walls to view and at the tables to create.
By Brian R. Brown
A wonderful return to art, The Dole, and life in general. Come along as we enjoy the return of art exhibits at The Dole with the "New Beginnings" show by Creative Arts Inc. students and instructors.
By Brian R. Brown
Grab your green and get your Irish on to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! And what better way to do it than by heading to the McHenry ShamRocks the Fox. If you didn't brave the cold, here are some photos of the parade and the river to tide you over till
By Brian R. Brown
Okay, campers, if you didn't make it out this morning to get first...paw prognostications from the great Woodstock Willie, then you're in luck, and a lot warmer! Sit back and enjoy...
Lighted and decorated gazebo.
By Brian R. Brown
Like a step back in time, enjoy the simple and classic holiday lighting of Veteran's Memorial Park. Just add snow!
Peppermint Park Christmas Trees for annual Christmas Tree Lane.
By Brian R. Brown
Get in the holiday spirit with a stroll through downtown Crystal Lake, with a walk down Christmas Tree Lane to Peppermint Park, get in some last minute shopping, and meet up with the jolly man in the red suit.
Luminarias leading past the last campfire.
By Brian R. Brown
The Crystal Lake Park District's Luminaria Walk is truly a wonderful way to experience Veteran Acres Park. It's also a great way to transition into the holiday season.
Santa talking with young parade-goer.
By Brian R. Brown
It was wet, but it was merry and very worth standing out in the cold. If you weren't able to make it out for the Merry Cary Holiday Parade & Festival, click along to see what you missed.
Lights and Christmas tree at the Historic Square in Woodstock, IL.
By Brian R. Brown
Be sure to save a little time in your hectic schedule for a stroll around the Woodstock Historic Square this holiday season to take in the festive light display.
Clouds reflected in the pond at Rush Creek Conservation Area.
By Brian R. Brown
Autumn seemed to rush by this year. While many leaves had turned and even started falling by early November, I was fortunate enough to capture some while I visited the Rush Creek Conservation Area. Come along for the ride!
Harvard Metra station with covered shelter and benches.
By Brian R. Brown
Take a trip to the end of the line...Metra UP-NW end that is. Here's a little peek at the Harvard Metra station and downtown Harvard, Illinois.
Halloween graveyard decorations.
By Brian R. Brown
We had fun checking out some of the Halloween decorations and some Trick-or-Treating in Marengo.
Hood and chrome bumper of Lamborghini.
By Brian R. Brown
Come along as we walk around a parking lot. While it was an ordinary parking lot, it was not an everyday experience. Take a peek at some cool and classic cars that recently met up in Crystal Lake.
ComEd skeleton crew.
By Brian R. Brown
Main Beach park was a buzz with all sorts of goblins, ghouls, and superheroes at this year's Crystal Lake Park District's Truck or Treat.
Vintage McCormick-Deering tractor at 5 Lazy K Ranch.
By Brian R. Brown
If you missed this year's Annual Autumn Drive, come along and enjoy a photo tour of just a little bit of what you missed.
One and only Steve McPhail, portraying Johnny Appleseed.
By Brian R. Brown
Downtown Crystal Lake always knows how to signal the return of fall with the annual Johnny Appleseed Festival; this year celebrating 28 years! If you missed it, we've got a taste for you here!
New Cary Metra Station, completed in 2019.
By Brian R. Brown
Hop a ride as we take a quick tour through the Cary Metra Station and the great facilities in downtown Cary.
A single cattail at Lake Atwood at The Hollows.
By Brian R. Brown
From a dairy farm to a gravel pit, The Hollows now lives on as a conservation area and recreation site. This amazing little gem may just be the quick getaway that you've been looking for.
Hiking trail at the Pleasant Valley Conservation Area.
By Brian R. Brown
Pleasant Valley Conservation Area is a truly amazing environmental experience. Over 2,000 acres of natural habitat, including rare plant and endangered animal species. Enjoy a true hidden getaway with hiking trails, various landscapes, cross country skiing, and more.
Woodstock Metra Station.
By Brian R. Brown
Woodstock Metra Station is just a few minutes walk from the Woodstock Historic Square District in downtown Woodstock and offers free parking. Planning a trip to or from Woodstock? Here's the lowdown.
Panoramic view of the mural.
By Brian R. Brown
Wonder down a little alleyway and you'll get a surprise. The Woodstock Mural and Sculpture Garden, featuring the Woodstock on Film and on the Stage Mural is a true work of art that highlights Woodstock's role in film and stage.
Tiny tomatoes.
By Brian R. Brown
What better way to spend a Tuesday morning, especially during National Farmers Market Week, than visiting with vendors at the Woodstock Summer Farmer's Market around the historic square!
Heisler's Bootery's $40 shoes rack.
By Brian R. Brown
Okay bargain hunters, don't miss the Downtown Crystal Lake Summer Sidewalk Sale!
More open space in the main area at the Crystal Lake Public Library.
By Brian R. Brown
The Crystal Lake Public Library is reopened after COVID restrictions are lowered and their repair project nears completion. Join me as a take stroll around, both inside and out, to checkout what's new!
People shopping at the Downtown Crystal Lake Farmers Market.
By Brian R. Brown
Take a walk with us as we tour the Downtown Crystal Lake Farmers Market for the first time this summer. And of course, this wouldn't be complete without a stroll down North Williams Street.
Wooden bridge over marsh at ponds edge at Veteran Acres Park.
By Brian R. Brown
Nothing could have prepared me for this trip to Veteran Acres Park and my journey around the pond. What was meant to be our first photolog ended up with about an equal amount of text as I share information on the tree removal around the pond at Veteran Acres Park.
Richardson Farm wagon ride
By Brian R. Brown
You'll be amazed at what Richardson Farm can do with a cornfield! Nothing like a day on the farm, picking out pumpkins, navigating a huge corn maze, ziplining across the farm, snacking on some apple cider donuts, and all kinds of fun activities for all ages! Take some time out
Entrance to CD One Price Cleaners, Crystal Lake, IL
By Brian R. Brown
Regardless of your fashion style or budget, the great equalizer is that sooner or later, most if not all of us will need to take something to the cleaners. Let me share my simple criteria for cleaners as well as my personal experiences with CD One Price Cleaners here in
Honeywell whole house humidifier installed
By Brian R. Brown
No matter the time of year, one thing is certain, we all want to be comfortable in our homes. That may mean being cooler in the summer and warmer in the fall, but also humidity and other factors.
Fishing at the McHenry Dam
By Jill Kocher Brown
McHenry Dam, nestled in the southwest corner of Moraine Hills State Park, is a large and peaceful destination in itself. With the quiet roar of the dam in the background and stand of large, dense trees, the dam offers a lovely place to relax for fishermen and picnickers alike. Moraine
Pingree Road Metra Station platform sign
By Jill Kocher Brown
Crystal Lake's Metra station catering to commuters, Pingree Road, has limited services onsite, but it gets the job done. On the upside, it has tons of parking, a long platform so that commuters don't have to crowd around just a few cars, and a friendly little cafe inside the waiting
Harms Farms pumpkin train at Johnny Appleseed Festival in Crystal Lake, IL
By Jill Kocher Brown
The Johnny Appleseed Festival celebrates the legacy of Johnny Appleseed, a famously kind and generous pioneer nurseryman who traveled the eastern Midwest in the early 1800s spreading apple trees and his religion along the way. We had our own visit from Johnny, a jolly man who talked to all the
Tomatoes at Crystal Lake Farmer's Market
By Jill Kocher Brown
Thanks to local farmers markets, a trip to the farm for fresh produce, meets, cheeses, and other goodies is often just a short drive away.