2023 special Events

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


April 9 - Easter Sunrise Service - 7 am

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 at the Fort will be presented by the United Methodist Church in Elizabeth, IL, and will be followed by a breakfast in the church basement. 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 28th through 30th - US Grant Pilgrimage (Boy Scout Weekend)

The Fort will offer camping for Boy Scout troops attending the 2023 US Grant Pilgrimage in Galena, IL. Registration is required, click here for more information.


May 3 - Summer Hours Begin  

Beginning on Wednesday, May 3rd, 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 5 - Education Day - 9 am to 3 pm

In partnership with the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF), the Fort presents a day filled with programming designed for local fifth and sixth grade classes. In the morning, students will learn about local flora and fauna, as well about Native American culture courtesy of JDCF. In the afternoon, students descend upon the Fort to experience 1830's skills and pastimes. 


The site will still be open to the public, however special programming is only open to students of participating schools. The road to the Fort will also be closed to all vehicle traffic.


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 Thursday through Saturday.


December 2 - Christmas at the Fort - 11 am to 3 pm

Celebrate Christmas—the 1830's way! Visit the Apple River Fort and take part in historical Christmas celebrations. Experience a typical frontier German Christmas, complete with a decorated fir tree. Meet Mrs. Juliette Kinzie, wife of Ho-Chunk Indian Agent John Kinzie of Portage, WI. Play with historical toys and hear how Christmas is the "Day the World Turned Upside-Down." Visit the trading post to barter for the best goods on this side of the Mississippi. Don't forget to check out the Fort's gift shop, where you'll find unique items for everyone on your shopping list.