2024 special Events

Admission to events are free unless otherwise noted. Donations are always appreciated!

March 31 - Easter Sunrise Service - 7 am

The United Methodist Church of Elizabeth, IL presents a special Easter service inside the Apple River Fort. All are welcome, regardless of faith or denomination! Attendees are encouraged to dress for the weather; for particularly inclement weather, the venue may be changed to the Methodist Church building nearby.

April 26th through 28th - US Grant Pilgrimage (Boy Scout Weekend)

The Fort will offer camping for Boy Scout troops attending the 2024 US Grant Pilgrimage in Galena, IL. Registration is required, click here for more information.

May 1 - Summer Hours Begin  

Beginning on Wednesday, May 1st, we will resume our full summer hours. The site will be open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesday through Sunday. 

May 3 - Education Day - 9 am to 2 pm

The Fort presents a day filled with programming for local 5th & 6th graders. Students will learn about Native American history and culture, the local landscape, and frontier life in the 1830s. While the site will still be open to the general public, Education Day programming and presenters are available only to students of the participating schools. The road to the Fort itself will also be closed to all vehicle traffic during event hours.

June 8 - To Have & To Hold - 11 am to 2 pm

You are cordially invited to attend the wedding of Thomas Jefferson Clark and Jane Josephine Murdock—a real couple who fell in loved and married in the original Fort at the end of the war. See a full frontier wedding ceremony, complete with dancing, games, and all sorts of romantic revelry!

June 29 & 30 - 192nd Anniversary of the Battle of the Apple River Fort - 10 am to 4 pm daily

Commemorate the 192nd anniversary of the Battle of the Apple River Fort. Living history interpreters will bring the Fort to life all weekend. Learn about the daily lives of the Fort inhabitants, including hearth cooking, musket firing demonstrations, and more.

July 4 - Fourth at the Fort - Noon to 2 pm

Looking for something to do before the fireworks begin? Why not celebrate the 4th the 1830's way? Pack a picnic lunch (or get takeout from your favorite Elizabeth, IL restaurant), sit back, and enjoy the show! Listen to a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, enlist in the Fort's militia (you might win a signing bonus!), cool off with a water race, and more!

September 7 - Cast Iron Chef - 10 am to 3 pm

Stoke the fire and get your cast iron ready! Join us for a day full of cooking demonstrations, including real 1830's recipes and historical kitchen tools, tips, and techniques. For health and safety, visitors will not be allowed to taste anything we make on site. However, copies of all recipes will be available for free. Allez cuisine!

October 19 - Fright at the Fort - 3 pm to 7 pm

Come to the Fort for an evening of spooky fun! Want to know how to keep a witch out of your house or how to cure a case of cholera? Sit in on a frontier funeral and learn the 19th century origins of many of our modern mourning customs. Meet the ghost of John Gray and hear from the ghost himself the story of his life—and death—during the Black Hawk War. Visitors of all ages can take part in our haunted history scavenger hunt and enjoy a historical selection of scary stories around the fire.

November 1 - Winter Hours Begin

Beginning on Wednesday, November 1st, the site will begin its reduced winter hours. The site will be open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

December 7 - Christmas at the Fort - 11 am to 3 pm

Celebrate Christmas the 1832 way! Step back in time to enjoy a typical German Christmas, complete with a decorated fir tree and hand molded marzipan. Kids and adults alike will enjoy playing with period toys and games, as well as bartering at our fur trading post for the best goods on this side of the Mississippi! And be sure to check out the Fort’s gift shop inside the Interpretive Center, just off Route 20, for unique items for everyone on your shopping list.