Looking for something to do this week? We have some suggestions, ranging from a variety of fall festivals including some with horses and other animals, to a play about an unusual romance, and a history program atmospherically set in a cemetery dating to the Civil War.
WHERE: Danada Equestrian Center, 3S507 Naperville Road, Wheaton
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
COST & INFO: Free admission, with small fee for some activities; 630-668-6012, dupageforest.org
Horses are the stars at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's “Danada Fall Festival.” The volunteer musical horseback drill team will perform, and resident and guest horses and riders will show various styles of riding and breeds. Also offered are an art show, hayrides, kids activities, Danada House tour and food. Children can decorate paper hobbyhorses, play in a straw pen, paint pumpkins, or stop by the face-painting booth. A farrier will make horseshoes, and tours will explore the barn that once housed Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair. The Friends of Danada Nature Art and Photo Show is a juried competition featuring local artists.
CANTIGNY FALL FESTIVAL
WHERE: 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12
COST & INFO: $5 parking fee, with small fee for some activities; www.cantigny.org
Cantigny Fall Festival celebrates with pony rides, a stiltwalker-juggler, petting zoo, candy dive, inflatables, arts and crafts show, hayrides, scarecrows, music and pumpkin decorating. Seasonal treats will be available at concession stands and inside the Visitors Center at Bertie’s Coffee Shop. Le Jardin restaurant will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Cantigny Shop will feature a new array of home décor, as well as honey and honey-based products, plus autumn plant arrangements from the park’s greenhouse. Shop hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
PLAY PACKS BITE?
WHERE: Bartlett Nature Center in James “Pate” Philip State Park, 2054 W. Stearns Road, Bartlett
WHEN: 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
COST & INFO: $7 in advance at 847-429-4670, or $10 at door; bartlettparks.org
Comedy infuses "Eating You," a world-premiere play written and directed by local talent Russ Devereaux, who tells an unconventional love story about a cannibal head over heels for his food. It's intended for ages 13 and older. The protagonist is Balto, a young Eastern European who meets a beautiful American girl, and finds himself at a crossroads. "Eating You" asks the question: What happens when you fall in love with your food, said Devereaux, adding that audience members will leave with butterflies in their stomach – or indigestion. The cast is comprised of Elaine Castro, Jim Leo, Corey Dillard, Millie Schwartz, Scott Surowiecki and Kali Harney.
ZOO'S PUMPKIN FEST
WHERE: Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton
WHEN: All October, plus Spooktacular on Friday evening, Oct. 25
COST & INFO: Fest included with zoo admission; 630-665-5534; cosleyzoo.org
Pumpkin Fest will entertain children with a corn stalk tunnel designed as a gentler alternative to a maze. The grounds will display pumpkins, gourds, straw bales, apples and fall produce, with sales supporting the zoo. Each Saturday offers a different special event. A Friday night, non-scary Spooktacular, on Oct. 25, requests registration by Oct. 21. Costumes are welcome, and the night offers crafts, a spooky pond path and straw maze, trick or treating, and pumpkin carving; the fee is $10 for ages 3 to 14, and $5 for ages 15 and older for the Spooktacular.
'TALES TOMBSTONES TELL'
WHERE: Oakwood Cemetery, York Street and Oakwood Avenue, West Chicago
WHEN: Tours start between 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11
COST & INFO: Donations requested; 630-231-3376, www.westchicago.org
Stroll through West Chicago’s oldest cemetery, with lanterns and candlelight illuminating the way, as costumed interpreters reveal the real life stories of former residents who lived during the Civil War era, and are buried there. The West Chicago City Museum notes that "Tales Tombstones Tell" is appropriate for families, is based on historical fact, and does not contain ghost stories. A related exhibit and refreshments are offered at nearby St. Mary Church. Tours last about 45 minutes and begin about every 10 minutes. No reservations are taken, and if weather is inclement, the program is cancelled.