Apple River Fort State Historic Site

Elizabeth, Illinois  USA

open hours & special Events


May to October

Wednesday through Sunday
9 am - 5 pm​

November to April

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

9 am to 4 pm

Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated.

2019 Events Calendar

April 21 - Easter Sunrise Service 

Celebrate Easter with a special service given during sunrise in the Apple River Fort! On the 1830's frontier, many settlers, regardless of denomination, relied on traveling circuit clergy for their religious and spiritual needs. The service will be presented by the United Methodist Church in Elizabeth, IL. All faiths are welcome and everyone is encouraged to dress warmly. In case of inclement weather, a change of venue or cancellation is possible. 

April 26-27 - US Grant Pilgrimage (Boy Scout Weekend)

The Fort will have camping facilities for Boy Scout troops this weekend. Space is limited. Please contact the site to reserve your troop's spot or for more information.

May 1 - Summer Hours Begin

Beginning on Wednesday, May 1st, the site will begin its summer hours. The site will be open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesdays, Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Summer hours will run through the end of October 2019.

May 3 - Education Day

In partnership with the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF), the Fort will host a day filled with programming designed for local fifth and sixth grade classes. At the Fort, students will experience 1830's chores, skills, and past times. The site is open to the public on this day, however programming is open only to students of participating schools. The public is encouraged to visit on the May 4th event.

May 4 - Opening of the Fort - 10 am to 3 pm

Join us for the opening of the Apple River Fort for the summer season! Living history interpreters will be on site spring cleaning the Fort, demonstrating period cooking, skills, and past times, and giving guided tours of the Fort.

June 1 - Elizabeth Spring Fling - 10 am to 3 pm

As part of the Spring Fling in Elizabeth, IL festivities, the Fort will have historic demonstrations and celebrations.

June 23 - 187th Anniversary of the Battle of the Apple River Fort - 10 am to 3 pm

June 24th marks the 187th anniversary of the Battle of the Apple River Fort, unfortunately the site will be closed on that day. Join us the Saturday before instead to mark this important anniversary of our site's history.

November 1 - Winter Hours Begin

Beginning on Friday, November 1st, the site will begin its winter hours. The site will be open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Winter hours will run through the end of April 2020.

December 7 - Christmas at the Fort - 10 am to 3 pm

Join us at the Fort for an 1832 style Christmas! Learn about the "strange" German Christmas tradition—a decorated fir tree inside the house. Enjoy historic toys, treats, and songs and try your hand at haggling at the local trading post. Also, be sure to stop by the interpretive center for Christmas crafts for kids and special holiday items in our gift shop.

*Check back regularly for updates about current and upcoming events!