5 things to do in McHenry County: Halloween approaches with hayrides, scary movies

1. The 33rd annual Autumn Drive will run this weekend around Marengo and Woodstock, featuring antiques, arts and crafts, food, entertainment, hayrides and pumpkins.

The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 15 to 17.

Among the participating farms and vendors are Cody’s Farm and Orchard, 19502 River Road, Marengo, with apple picking, a pumpkin patch, apple cider doughnuts, caramel apples, a corn maze, children’s activities and live entertainment, as well as Woodcliff Creations, 2913 Woodcliff Drive, Marengo, with handcrafted wood items, antiques and household items.

Around Woodstock is Grace Farms Studios, 2719 Franklinville Road, with raspberry baked goods plus raspberry jams and jellies; Chic and Unique Treasures of All Kinds, 1804 Hobe Road, with collectibles, antiques, lamps, trunks and jewelry; and Dented Gate Flower Farm, 16710 Kishwaukee Valley Road, with fresh, seasonal, field-grown flowers.

For information, a map and a list of participating locations, go to autumndrive.net.

2. Take a haunted hayride through Petersen Park in McHenry this weekend and next.

A fundraiser for the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team, the hayrides will run from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday of this week and next week at Petersen Park, 4300 Petersen Park Road in McHenry.

“Take a spooky ride with us through haunted Deadwood Forest,” the organizers said on their invitation.

Tickets and refreshments can be bought at the gate. The cost is $10 per person.

For information, go to wonderlakeskiteam.org.

3. The McHenry Outdoor Theater continues its lineup of horror films this weekend in the lead-up to Halloween.

A double feature of the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” followed by “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” will play Friday and Saturday at the drive-in at 1510 N. Chapel Hill Road.

The box office will open at about 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 per adult, and $6 for children age 11 and younger, seniors 60 and older, and current and former members of the U.S. military.

For information, go to goldenagecinemas.com.

4. After a year’s hiatus, the Woodstock Wine Walk is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday around the historic Woodstock Square.

The event, hosted by the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, features 32 wine-tasting samples at 16 locations on and around the Square.

General admission tickets include a souvenir Woodstock Wine Walk glass and lanyard, while VIP tickets also include appetizers, snacks and sweets at several locations around the Square, a Wine Walk swag bag with goodies, and a bottle of wine, and a raffle ticket for a chance to win a gift certificate worth $100 in Chamber Bucks.

General admission tickets can be bought online for $40 through Oct. 15 or for $50 the day of the event if still available. VIP tickets cost $60 through Oct 15, and $70 the day of the event.

Day-of registration and check-in location will be in the Woodstock Opera House community room, 121 W. Van Buren St. in Woodstock.

For information or to buy tickets, go to woodstockilchamber.wellattended.com.

5. Come plant an oak at the Marengo Ridge Conservation Area for the McHenry County Conservation District’s sixth annual OAKtober Planting Party.

Attendees will work with conservation district staff and volunteers to “reforest the heart of Marengo Ridge,” part of the district’s efforts to restore the “Big Woods” that once covered a third of McHenry County, according to the event listing.

The free event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Marengo Ridge Conservation Area, 2411 Route 23, north of Marengo, and registration is not required. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Attendees should plan to hike a short distance off trail to the planting site, and the conservation district recommends dressing with “getting grubby” in mind, and bringing work gloves if available.

Any weather-related or other cancellations will be posted on the McHenry County Conservation District’s website at www.mccdistrict.org.

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