Winter in McHenry County might mean venturing outside for cross-county skiing or snowmobiling, then coming inside to warm up with an unforgettable meal or some live music or theater. The MCCD has 17 dedicated State Nature Preserves and 33 sites open to the public. Each has varied offerings, including trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, as well as sites designed for picnicking and camping. Numerous sites have waterways open to fishing, and all sites are excellent places to view wildlife.
Home to the Raue Center, downtown Crystal Lake is a hotbed of nightlife, with theater, live music, dining and more on tap! Lakeside Arts Park at The Dole is a 12-acre beautiful arts education center that features two award winning art galleries and "The Listening Room", an entertainment venue that offers year round performances. Families of train enthusiasts and history buffs alike will revel in the collections at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, part of the McHenry County Historical Society.
No matter which route you take, all roads lead to fun in Lake County, which is located halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Home to 170 lakes and rivers, 30,000 acres of lush forest preserves, miles of hiking and biking trails, Six Flags Great America, Naval Station Great Lakes, Ravinia Festival and sandy beaches along Lake Michigan's shoreline. Family adventure is around every turn and awaits you in Lake County. Spend a day at the Chicago Botanic Garden, taking in both indoor and outdoor exhibits that are both impressive and relaxing. Spend a day along the shore at Illinois Beach in Zion, a surprising sandy landscape that will have you stunned you are still in Illinois! And family fun indoors is not complete without a trip to Volo Auto Museum where visitors can take in classic muscle cars, gorgeous reproductions and famous speedsters from your favorite film.