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Attention hunters: Visit our FAQ page for information about the use of centerfire, single-shot rifles for deer hunting in Illinois. 

Park Programs and Events 

All state park events can be found on the IDNR homepage under Upcoming EventsAll IDNR programs, events, and guided hikes are FREE. 

  • A friendly reminder that pets are not allowed inside of buildings, at indoor programs, indoor events, or on guided hikes due to the comfort level of other participants, and due to the health and safety regulations (inside of buildings) unless they are a certified service animal.

2023 Calendar of Events

2024 Calendar of Events

Starved Rock State Park events, programs, and hikes listed on this website are operated through the state park staff (IDNR) on-site and begin at the Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center unless otherwise stated.

Starved Rock Sunday Programs - FREE

Starved Rock Foundation 

Sunday afternoon programs are made possible by funding through the park's not-for-profit friends group the Starved Rock Foundation and through donations from visitors and the local community. Sunday programs are free, but donations are welcome to help the Foundation pay for program presenters. Programs are first-come, first-seated, and our auditorium can handle up to 80 visitors at a time.

  • First Peoples of the Illinois River Valley, 12/3/23
    • 1 p.m. presentation by Dr. Brooke Morgan from the Illinois State Museum-Research and Collections Center on the archaeological knowledge of the earliest indigenous inhabitants of the Illinois Valley.
  • Annual Starved Rock Photography Show, 12/9-1/6/24
    • 9-4 Daily, Kaskaskia Room, Starved Rock Visitor Center
    • Entries are due by November 30     
  • Eagle Watch Weekend, 1/27 & 1/28/24
  • Starved Rock Art Show, 2/3/24-3/9/24
  • Lincoln and the I and M Canal, Living History, 2/4/24
    • 1 p.m. presentation by Glenn Braun who will play Abraham Lincoln as he discusses life and times during the construction and heyday of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. 
  • History and Ecology of the Greater Prairie Chicken, 3/3/24
    • 1 p.m. presentation by Bob Gillispie from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on the last remnant of greater prairie chickens and endangered species in Illinois. 
  • Mammals of Illinois' Ice Age, 4/7/24
    • 1 p.m. presentation by Dr. Melissa Pardi from the Illinois State Museum on the larger-than-life mammals that once roamed Illinois during the ice age.     
  • The Underground Railroad and Abolitionist Movement in LaSalle County, 6/2/24
    • 1 p.m. presentation 
  • Dave's World of Traveling Reptiles and Amphibians, 8/4/24 (seating capacity per showtime = 80.  Doors will close when the program reaches capacity). 
    • 11:30 a.m.  Live animal show. 
    • 1 p.m.  Live animal show. 
  • Incredible Bats and Other Amazing Animals from Around the World, 10/6/24 (seating capacity per showtime = 80.  Doors will close when the program reaches capacity).
    • 11:30 a.m. Live animal show. 
    • 1 p.m. Live animal show. 
  • Big Wolf Run Ranch Live Animal Show 12/1/24 (seating capacity per showtime = 80.  Doors will close when the program reaches capacity). 
    • 11:30 a.m. Live animal show
    • 1 p.m. Live animal show. 

Children's Programs - FREE

  • Starved Rock Saplings Storytime
    • Please register by emailing
      • Nature's Noel- 12/9/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Wetland Wonders-6/8/24 at 9:30 a.m. 
      • 1 Fish, 2 Fish, Fish in the Illinois River-7/13/24 at 9:30 a.m. 
      • Fantastical Forests-8/10/24 at 9:30 a.m. 
      • Endangered Species-9/14/24 at 9:30 a.m. 
      • Seeds, Seeds, Sow Many Seeds-10/12/24 at 9:30 a.m. 
      • Ice Age Mammals-11/9/24 at 9:30 a.m. 
  • Kid's Art in the Park Workshops
    • 5/5/24 at 1 p.m. 
    • 11/3/24 at 1 p.m. 
  • Junior Ranger Day, 6/29/24 - FREE
    • 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    • Family event with outdoor activity stations based on our popular Junior Ranger program and careers in the outdoors!

Art/Photo Shows and Workshops

  • Art in the Park Workshop - FREE

    • Acrylic or Watercolor Workshops for those 16 years and older.  
      • Registration
      • Cottontail Rabbit, watercolor, 4/14/24 at 1 p.m. 
        • Registration will open on 3/14/24 at 8 a.m. 
      • Hummingbird, acrylic, 7/14/24 at 1 p.m. 
        • Registration will open on 6/14/24 at 8 a.m. 
      • Canyon in Fall, watercolor, 9/8/24 at 1 p.m. 
        • Registration will open on 8/8/24 at 8 a.m.   
      • Winter Woodland Cardinal, acrylic, 12/8/24 at 1 p.m. 
        • Registration will open on 11/8/24 at 8 a.m.       
  • Kid's Art in the Park Workshops - FREE
    •  Nature Sketching, 5/5/24
      •  1 p.m. workshop on nature sketching, listening walks, and basic drawing skills with artist and art teacher Georgia Braun.  Suitable for children ages 9 through 17.          
      • Registration opens on 4/5/24 at 8 a.m. 
    • Make Ink from Nature, 11/3/24
      • 1 p.m. workshop where children will discover how to make earth-friendly ink from natural materials such as leaves, nut shells, and flower petals.  Once mixed students will paint with their homemade nature-friendly ink!    
      • Registration opens on 10/3/24 at 8 a.m. 
  • Starved Rock Art Show - FREE

    • Starved Rock Visitor Center, Kaskaskia Room
    • First weekend of February through the second weekend of March.
    • Open daily from 9-4 to the public for viewing.
    • Entries are due to the Starved Rock Visitor Center by 1/14/24 (or the Sunday prior to Martin Luther King Day)
    • Entry Form and Information 
  • Annual Starved Rock Photography Show 

    • Starved Rock Visitor Center, Kaskaskia Room
    • First weekend of December through the first Saturday of January.
    • Open daily from 9-4 to the public for viewing.  Closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
    • Entries are due to the Starved Rock Visitor Center up until the Sunday following Thanksgiving (closed on Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and the Friday following Thanksgiving).
    • Starved Rock Photo Show Entry Form 2024

Special Events - FREE

  • Eagle Watch Weekend, 2024
    • Saturday 1/27/24  
    • Saturday & Sunday
      • Guided Eagle Viewing Hikes to Starved Rock at 11 & 2
      • Register Here
      • Starved Rock Visitor Center to Starved Rock
    • Sunday 1/28/24
      • Build an Eagle, Children's Programming 
      • 10 a.m.
        • Starved Rock Visitor Center
        • Starved Rock Lodge
      • 3 p.m. 
        • Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
      • Nature Photography Workshops
        • 10 a.m. 
          • Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
        • 1 p.m. 
          • Starved Rock Visitor Center
        • 3 p.m. 
          • Starved Rock Lodge   
      •  Falconry
        • 1 p.m.
          • Illinois Waterway Visitor Center
      • Raptor Awareness 
        • 3 p.m. 
          • Starved Rock Lodge
      • Owls of Illinois Research Presentation
        • 3 p.m. 
          • Starved Rock Visitor Center 
      • Bird of Prey Meet and Greets with Illinois Raptor Center
  • Junior Ranger Day, 6/29/24
    • 10-Noon
  • Fall Colors Guided Hikes at Starved Rock State Park, 10/19/24
    • Hikes at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
    • Registration will open on 9/19/24 at 8 a.m. 
    • Registration
  • Ghosts of Starved Rock's Past, 10/26/24
    • Guided Hikes at 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, 6:45, & 7 p.m.
    • Registration opens on 9/26/24 at 8 a.m. 
    • Registration

Please note that each event or program requiring registration online does not open online until exactly 1 month before that program or event's date!!