Cross country skier.
By Brian R. Brown
If you are itching to get out and enjoy nature and to experience McHenry County in the winter, then our Cross Country Ski Trails Guide will give you lots of opportunities to explore.
People ice skating outdoors.
By Brian R. Brown
If you've been itching to lace up those skates and get out on the ice, then you're in luck. Before you head out, be sure to check our guide for local McHenry County ice skating rinks.
Boy sledding down hill.
By Brian R. Brown
If the thought of packed snow and big hills brings out the kid in you, or makes you want to bring your kids outside, then you'll love our Sledding Hills Guide... as much as the thought of how tuckered out those kids will be after a few hours sledding!
Radishes from Cary Farmers Market.
By Brian R. Brown
Check out our complete 2022 McHenry County Winter Farmers Market Guide for information on local farmer markets. We provide dates, times, locations, as well as additional information and links for the individual farmer markets. We have event details for farmers markets for Cary, Crystal Lake, Huntley, and Woodstock.
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!
Food pantry.
By Brian R. Brown
We've compiled a guide for McHenry County food pantries, broken out by city. No one in our community should have to battle hunger. We hope this guide will prove helpful if you yourself or someone you know needs to utilize these services, or if you would like to help out
House with Christmas lights and outdoor decorations.
By Brian R. Brown
Are you looking for holiday and Christmas light displays? We've pulled together a list spanning McHenry County to help you get started on your journey! And we welcome any that you think should be on our list too!
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.
Chair with Santa hat next to fireplace.
By Brian R. Brown
He knows whether you've been naughty or nice, but here's a last chance to put in a good word! Grab the kids and check our guide for snapping some pictures with Santa.
Holiday lights hanging over the street.
By Brian R. Brown
Bundle up the little ones and head for your closest parade route to welcome in the Christmas season! Here's our guide to the local Christmas parades happening around McHenry County.
Christmas Tree Lighting
By Brian R. Brown
Looking for Christmas Tree Lighting near you? We've got you covered...at least if you're in McHenry County. Check out our guide to the Christmas tree lighting events around McHenry County.
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!
Christmas trees tagged at the farm.
By Brian R. Brown
Whether you've ever had a real Christmas tree or not, our guide is here to help you navigate the challenges of having real trees. Be sure to check out our list of local Christmas tree farms.
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.
McHenry Life logo Jack-o'-Lantern
By Brian R. Brown
Grab your costume and your treat bag! Before you head out though, be sure to check our annual McHenry County Trick-or-Treating hours list for your local treating times and events.
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.
Fireworks over Crystal Lake, July 4, 2012.
By Brian R. Brown
Get all your McHenry County July 4th fireworks show information in our newest guide. We've compiled the details on local firework displays, including dates, times, locations, maps, and links to the organizer sites so that you have all the up-to-date information at your fingertips. Plan your Independence Day festivities now!
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.