Summer time is reserved for relaxing and having fun. And Central Illinois gives families plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Below is a list of activities right outside your back door or just a short distance away.
1: Volksfest; classic car and cycle cruise-in, craft vendors, German food and beverages; Hickory Grove Park, near Peoria.
3-4: Celebrate America; Holiday Spectacular-produced patriotic musical variety show; 6 p.m., Miller Park Bandstand, Bloomington.
3-4: Chenoa July 4th Celebration; street dance, July 4 parade, activities, fireworks at dusk; downtown Chenoa, City Park and Chenoa Football Field.
3-4: Hopedale Fourth of July Celebration; car show, flea market, carnival, live music, fireworks at dusk (July 4); downtown Hopedale and Hopedale Park.
3-4: Minonk Fourth of July Celebration; games, contests, chicken dinner, entertainment, fireworks; West Side Park, Minonk.
4: Champaign County Freedom Celebration; parade, evening entertainment and fireworks; Kirby Avenue, Champaign.
4: Clinton Fourth of July Celebration; entertainment, fireworks; downtown square in Clinton and near Clinton High School/Junior High School.
4: Decatur Fourth of July Celebration; day-long activities, concert, fireworks at dusk over Lake Decatur; Nelson Park, Decatur
4: Downs Independence Day Celebration; parade, fireworks and activities; Dooley Park, Downs.
4: Dwight July 4th Celebration; 6:30-10:30 p.m., Dwight Grade School grounds, Dwight.
4: Fairview Park Fourth of July Celebration; Family Aquatic Center activities/contests, live band and Sky Concert fireworks; Fairview Park, Normal.
4: Freedom Fest 2014; games and entertainment, fireworks at dusk; Lake of the Woods, Mahomet.
4: Heyworth Fourth of July Celebration; fishing derby, food vendors, live entertainment, fireworks at dusk; Centennial Park, Heyworth.
4: Lake Bloomington Fireworks; dusk; Lake Bloomington, northeast of Hudson.
4: Lincoln Fourth of July Celebration; kids' walking parade, water balloon fight, DJ, fireworks; Lincoln Park District.
4: Miller Park Fourth of July Celebration; fireworks Sky Concert; Miller Park, Bloomington.
4: Pontiac Fireworks; Pontiac Elks Lodge grounds.
4: Red, White and Boom!; riverfront Fourth of July festivities and fireworks; 5-10 p.m. downtown riverfront, Peoria.
4: Towanda Fourth of July Celebration; flea market, games, parade, fireworks; downtown Towanda and other locations.
6, 13, 20, 27: Pontiac Municipal Band Summer Concerts; outdoor pops concerts; 7 p.m. Fri., Humiston Riverside Park, Pontiac.
6-9: DeWitt County 4-H Fair; fairgrounds in Clinton.
7: Comlara Park Ice Cream Social; ice cream and entertainment; noon-4 p.m., Comlara Park, near Hudson.
7: Morton Downtown Super Cruise; more than 300 vehicles, food, street vendors, more; 5-10 p.m., downtown Morton.
7: PlutoFest: ALES Homebrew Club beer tasting event, with entertainment and activities; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Streator City Park, Streator.
8: Mahomet Auto Fest; juried auto fest, car cruise, more; downtown Mahomet.
8-14: Moultrie-Douglas County Fair; Jurgens Park, Arthur.
8-28: Illinois Chamber Music Festival; faculty and student concerts; various times, IWU Westbrook Auditorium, Bloomington.
10: Tuesday Music Under the Stars: Heartland Jazz Orchestra; big band; 7 p.m., Miller Park Bandstand, Bloomington.
10-14: Fisher Community Fair; Fisher fairgrounds.
11-15: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Vermillion Players production of musical; 7:30 p.m., Chautauqua Park Pavilion, Pontiac.
11-15: LaSalle County 4-H Show & Junior Fair; LaSalle County Fairgrounds, Ottawa.
11-15: Marshall-Putnam County Fair; County fairgrounds, Henry.
12, 19 and 26 : Franklin Park Concerts and Ice Cream Socials; ice cream socials at 6 p.m., free Community Concert Band concerts at 7 p.m.; Franklin Park, Bloomington.
12-15: Mike Dobbins Memorial New Plays From the Heartland; three new winning one-act plays; Heartland Theatre Company, Normal.
13-14: Amaranth Apple Festival; apple-based foods from 25 Springfield restaurants, live music with headliner Matthew Sweet, activities; Old State Capitol plaza, downtown Springfield.
13-15 and 18-22: Legally Blonde; musical comedy; 8:30 p.m., Muni Opera, Springfield.
14: Bloomington Criterium; bike racing event and related activities; 11 a.m.-5 p.m., downtown Bloomington.
14: Champaign StreetFest; live bands, food, drinks, more; 7 p.m.-midnight, Walnut and University streets, Champaign.
14: Twin City Cruisers: Red Night; car show, 5-8:30 p.m., Towanda Plaza Shopping Center parking lot, Bloomington.
14-15: Sugar Creek Arts Festival; juried art fair, entertainment stage, food, kids' art activities; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., uptown Normal.
15: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Art and Wine Festival; local and regional artists displaying/selling work, live music, wine tastings; noon-6 p.m., Mackinaw Valley Vineyard.
17: Tuesday Music Under the Stars: Turas; traditional Irish group; 7 p.m., Miller Park Bandstand, Bloomington.
17-21: Farmer City/DeWitt County Fair; DeWitt County Fairgrounds, Farmer City.
17-21: Heart of Illinois Fair; nightly concerts, carnival midway, activities; Exposition Gardens, Peoria.
17-21: Matton Bagelfest; Carnival, parade, kids’ events, parade, live entertainment and anything related to bagels; Peterson Park, Mattoon.
17-21: Tazewell County Fair; Mineral Springs Park, Pekin.
18-21: Livingston County 4-H Fair; Livingston County Fairgrounds, Pontiac.
18-23: Iroquois County Fair; Iroquois County Fairgrounds, Crescent City.
19-22 and 26-29: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; High School Summer Theatre production of musical; 7:30 p.m., Connie Link Amphitheatre, Normal.
20-22: Lincoln's Festival on Route 66: Trails, Rails & Roads; Civil War reenactors, walking tours, crafts, children's activities; downtown Bloomington, David Davis Mansion, Franklin Park, IWU quad, Burr House and McLean County Museum of History.
20-21: Lincoln's Festival on Route 66 Concerts; outdoor concerts with headliners The Neverly Brothers (Fri.) and Mojo & The Bayou Gypsies (Sat.); 6-10 p.m.; Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts lawn.
20-21: Central Illinois BBQ Throwdown; BBQ cooking contests, live music, crafters, kids' activities; Riverfront Festival Park, downtown Peoria.
20-28: Champaign County Fair; Champaign County Fairgrounds, Urbana.
20-22: Stanford Good Ole Days; arts and crafts, food, fireworks; downtown Stanford.
21: History of Bicycles Show; old and new bicycle displays, ice cream social, live music; David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Bloomington.
21: Jus’ Kids Expo; Exhibits, activities, demonstrations, education, exploring, entertainment; Decatur Civic Center.
21: Open Cockpit Day; tours of open cockpits of various aircraft; 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Prairie Aviation Museum, Bloomington.
21: Writers on the River; more than 90 romance authors, books sales, signings, more; 1-4 p.m., Par-A-Dice Casino Hotel, Peoria.
21: Inside Out Arts Fair; art displays and demonstrations, artisan demonstrations, live music; 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sugar Grove Nature Center, Funks Grove.
21: Medici Craft Beer & Jazz Street Fair; beer tastings and live bands; 4-10 p.m., in front of Medici in Normal, 120 North St.
21: Take a Kid Fishing Derby; Evergreen Lake at Comlara Park, Hudson.
21: Zookeeper Olympics; zookeeper-themed contests and competition; noon-3 p.m.; Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington.
22: Sunday Afternoon Lawn Concert; local performers; noon-2 p.m.; Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts lawn.
22: Bishop Hill Antique Car Show; antiques and classics; 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
23-28: Fulton County Fair; Fulton County Fairgrounds, Lewistown.
26-29: Oliver!; Miller Park Summer Theatre/BCPA production of musical; Miller Park Bandstand, Bloomington.
27-28: Downhome Music, Beer and Art Festival; bands, food vendors, 100 craft beers, kids' area, more; Seventh and Washington streets, downtown Springfield.
27-28: Effingham Jam; BBQ competition for amateurs and pros with family activities and live music; downtown Effingham.
27-28: Findlay Walleye Festival; family activities, live music, parade. downtown Findlay.
27-29: Great Balloon Race; 30 hot air balloons in various events; Lake Storey Park, Galesburg.
27-28: Pekin Main Street Super Cruise; 800 cars/trucks, live bands, food, drink; downtown Pekin.
28: Cultural Festival; cultural/ethnic food, entertainment, art, dance, more; ISU Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom, Normal.
28: Pontiac Party in the Park; Mighty Vermillion Duck Race and cardboat boat races on Vermilion River, entertainment, food, kids' games; Humiston-Riverside Park and Play Park, Pontiac.
28: Streator Ag Day; day-long agricultural celebration with flea and farmers markets, tractor show, live music, food, kids' activities, blacksmith showcase; Streator City Park.
29: Pioneer Days; demonstrations of mid-19th-century pioneer life, children's games, more; 1-4 p.m., W.H. Sommer Park, Peoria.
29-Aug. 5: Logan County Fair; Logan County Fairgrounds, Lincoln.
31: Tuesday Music Under the Stars: Biscuits-n-Gravy Band; '70s-'80s band; 7 p.m., Miller Park Bandstand, Bloomington.
1-5: McLean County Fair; Interstate Center grounds, Bloomington.
2-5: Decatur Celebration; street fair with eight entertainment stages, name acts, food, arts, carnival; downtown Decatur.
2-5: The Secret Garden; Prairie Fire Theatre production of musical; IWU Westbrook Auditorium, Bloomington.
3: Steam Threshing event; Threshing Machine demos with other activities; Illinois Amish Heritage Center, Arthur.
3-5 and 8-12: Annie; musical comedy; 8 p.m.; Muni Opera, Springfield.
3-4: Powerlight Abe Lincoln Car Show Spectacular and Super Cruise; downtown cruise, drive-in theater movie night, car show, hot air balloons, activities; Knight's Action Park, Springfield.
4: Antique Auto Exhibit; antique vehicle display; David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Bloomington.
4: Sugar Grove Nature Center Exploration Day; guided hikes, crafts, animal feedings, more; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sugar Grove Nature Center, Funks Grove.
4: Twin City Cruisers: White & Silver Night; 5-8:30 p.m., Towanda Plaza Shopping Center parking lot, Bloomington.
7: Jonny Lang; blues singer-guitarist; 7:30 p.m.; Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.
7: Lantern Parade and National Night Out; Picnic, Scovill Petting Zoo, games, inflatables and lantern parade around the park; Hess Park, Decatur
8: Tuesday Music Under the Stars: Brass Band of Central Illinois; traditional brass band; 7 p.m., Miller Park Bandstand, Bloomington.
8: Taste of Peoria; food from around 50 Peoria restaurants, live entertainment; 4-11 p.m., Riverfront Festival Park, downtown Peoria riverfront.
8-11: Cullom Celebration and Cullom Junior Fair; annual homecoming celebration and junior fair; downtown Cullom.
9-11: Fall Festival in Blue Mound; carnival, food, activities, parade; Blue Mound Park.
9-12: Shrek the Musical; Vermillion Players musical; 7:30 p.m., Chautauqua Park Pavilion, Pontiac.
9-19: Illinois State Fair; Illinois Fairgrounds, Springfield.
10: Irish Fest; Irish music festival featuring The Shanties and Tannahill Weavers; Allerton Park, Monticello.
10-12: River City Soul Fest; African-American heritage food and entertainment; Riverfront Festival Park, Peoria.
11: Champaign-Urbana Days; food, entertainment, kids' activities, sports tournaments, drive-in movie; 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Douglass Park, Champaign.
11: Hummingbird Festival; banding of birds, information, kids' activities, more; 9 a.m.-1 p.m., W.H. Sommer Park, Peoria.
11: Miller Park Zoo Ice Cream Social; noon-3 p.m., Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington.
11-12: Bishop Hill Festival of the Arts; arts and crafts fair, other related activities around village; 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Colony Park, Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
11-12: Grand National TT Weekend; motorcycle races, swap meet, parade, concerts, activities; downtown Peoria and Peoria Motorcycle Club at Bartonville.
12: Italian-American Summer Festa; Italian heritage festival, with music, food, games, dance; noon-7 p.m., Hickory Grove Park, near Peoria.
15-19: Fairbury Fair; Fairbury fairgrounds.
16-18: Windsor Harvest Picnic; food, 5K, entertainment, auction, family activities; 1100 Ohio St., Windsor.
17-18: Bruegala; live bands and annual B-N Jaycees beer festival; 6-11 p.m., The Corn Crib, Normal.
17-19: Danvers Days; carnival, live music, vendors market; Danvers Village Park.
17-19: Galesburg Heritage Days; pre-1840s rendezvous and Civil War reenactment; Lake Storey Park, Galesburg.
17-19: Mansfield Homecoming; parade, carnival, entertainment, activities; downtown Mansfield.
17-18: Taste of Champaign-Urbana; food fair, entertainment and juried art show; West Side Park, Champaign.
18: Downtown Pontiac Cruise Night; classic and antique car cruise-in, activities; 5-8 p.m., downtown Pontiac square.
18: Hummingbird Festival; banding, presentations and demonstrations by Sangamon River Audubon Society; 8 a.m.-noon, New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg.
18: Open Cockpit Day; tours of open cockpits of various aircraft; 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Prairie Aviation Museum, Bloomington.
18-19: Apple Dumpling Festival; vendors include food, crafts and activities; Main Street, Atwood.
18-19: Washington Fine Arts Festival; juried outdoor art fair, entertainment, food, activities; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Washington Park.
21-25: LeRoy Fall Festival; live music, carnival, ice cream social, games, kids' activities; downtown LeRoy.
24-26: Cowden Pioneer Day; inflatables, food, parade, activities, water park; Cowden Park.
24-26: Erin Feis; Irish heritage festival with food, music, art; Riverfront Festival Park, Peoria.
24-25: Mahomet Music Festival; carnival, music (Mark Chesnutt, Rodney Atkins, more), food, more; downtown Mahomet.
24-25: Urbana Sweetcorn Festival; fresh-cooked corn, entertainment; downtown Urbana.
24-9/3: DuQuoin State Fair; nightly grandstand shows, activities, food, games; DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin.
25: Bishop Hill Chautauqua; re-enactors playing historic figures, stories; 1-4 p.m., Bishop Hill State Historic Site Village Park.
25: Homer Soda Festival; Soda tasting, live music, food, carnival; downtown Homer.
25-26: Gems of the Prairie Quilt Show; more than 400 quilts and 20 vendors; Peoria Civic Center, Peoria.
25-26: Sweet Corn Blues Festival; fresh-cooked sweet corn and entertainment; 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., uptown Normal.
26: Pioneer Days; demonstrations of mid-19th-century pioneer life, children's games; 1-4 p.m., W.H. Sommer Park, near Peoria.
26: Shady Car Show; antique cars, trucks and cycles; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Lincoln Memorial Park, Lincoln.
28-30: Farm Progress Show; farming-related exhibits, demonstrations, food; Progress City USA, Decatur.
31-9/1: Peoria Blues & Heritage Festival; multi-stage blues and roots music fest with headliners; downtown Peoria riverfront.
30-9/3: Threshermen's Reunion; agricultural/harvest fest, with demonstrations, entertainment, food, parade; Threshermen's Park, near Pontiac.
1: Hummingbird Festival & Pollination Celebration; hummingbird banding, beehive tours, guided hikes; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sugar Grove Nature Center, Funks Grove.
1: Roamer Cruise Night & Car Show; 1917 Roamers display, food, music, activities; Miralla Park and downtown Streator.
1-3: Annual Amish Country Cheese Festival; food, crafts, parade and free cheese; downtown Arthur.
1-3: Delavan Fall Festival; parade, carnival, entertainment, activities; downtown Delavan.
2: Grape Stomp & Harvest Festival; “Lucy”-style grape stomp, wine tasting live music, food; noon-6 p.m., Mackinaw Valley Vineyard.
2: Streator Labor Day Parade; bands, floats; noon, downtown Streator.
3: Bloomington Labor Day Parade; bands, floats; 10 a.m., Front and Center streets to Miller Park.
3: Peoria Labor Day Parade; bands, floats; 10 a.m., downtown Peoria.