Events at Starved Rock

Events 2022-23

All state park events can be found on the IDNR homepage under Upcoming 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.

All IDNR programs are FREE.

Starved Rock Sunday Programs

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.

  • Sled Dog Demonstrations, February 5, 2023
    • 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. outside sled dog demonstrations by Free Spirit Siberian Rescue.
  • A Visit with a Fur Trader, March 5, 2023
    • 1 p.m. living history presentation and storytelling on the fur trade in the 1700s by Kevin Stonerock.
  • Steamboat 'Coming', April 2, 2023
    • 1 p.m. is a medley of songs and stories by Mark Twain, other riverboat pilots, and roustabouts who made the river their home by living history storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis.
  • Capture the Moment, May 7, 2023
    • 1 p.m. smartphone photography class with Matthew Klein.
  • Goat Yoga! June 4, 2023
    • 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. fun with a certified yoga instructor and friendly "kid" goats from Blue Sky Farm.
    • Registration is required
  • Dave DiNaso's Traveling World of Reptiles, August 6, 2023
    • 1 p.m. live animal program featuring reptiles and amphibians from around the world.
  • Navigating America's Great Loop, September 3, 2023
    • 1 p.m. a 6,000 nautical mile adventure sailing rivers, gulfs, coastlines, and the Great Lakes with Jim Krancic.
  • Native American History at Starved Rock, October 8, 2023
    • 1 p.m. Native American history at Starved Rock as told by "White Winnebago," Gerald Savage, a member of the HoChunk Nation.
  • The Men of Fort St. Louis, November 5, 2023
    • 1 p.m. program presentation by volunteer park historian and author Mark Walczynski on his research into the men who lived and worked at Fort St. Louis at Starved Rock from 1683-1691.
  • First Peoples of the Illinois River Valley, December 3, 2023
    • 1 p.m. presentation by Brooke Morgan from the Illinois State Museum on the archaeological knowledge of the earliest indigenous inhabitants of the Illinois Valley.

Children's Programs

  • Starved Rock Saplings Storytime
    • Second Saturday of each month.
    • Please register by emailing lisa.sons@illinois.gov.
      • Amazing Eagles-the Bald Eagle, 1/28/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Fossil Frenzy, 2/11/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Nature's Yucky-Cool Fun Facts about Yuck Nature Stuff, 3/11/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Flower Power! 4/15/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Underground -What's Going on Down There? 5/13/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Pond Life-Life Under the Surface, 6/13/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • P is for Prairie-Food chains in the tallgrass, 7/8/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Animal Adaptations -How do they do that? 8/12/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Oh Deer-White-Tailed tell their Tales, 9/9/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Going Batty with Illinois' Bats! 10/21/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Squirrely for Squirrels, 11/11/23 at 9:30 a.m.
      • Nature's Noel-Let's Make Bird Feeders, 12/9/23 at 9:30 a.m.

  • Junior Ranger Day, July 29, 2023
    • 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

    • Second Sunday of April, July, September, and December at 1 p.m.
      • Registration is required
      • Fox in the Praire, acrylic on canvas, 4/16/23 at 1 p.m.
        • Registration will open on 3/16/23 at 8 a.m. 
      • Happy Little Sunflowers, acrylic on canvas, 7/9/23 at 1 p.m.
        • Registration will open on 6/9/23 at 8 a.m. 
      • Fall Leaves, watercolor on paper, 9/10/23 at 1 p.m.
        • Registration will open on 8/10/23 at 8 a.m. 
      • Winter Wonderland, watercolor on paper/Christmas card style, 12/10/23 at 1 p.m.
        • Registration will open on 11/10/23 at 8 a.m. 
  • Starved Rock Art Show

    • Starved Rock Visitor Center Auditorium
    • First weekend of February through the second weekend of March.
    • Open to the public for viewing.
    • Entries due to the Starved Rock Visitor Center by the last weekend of January (closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
    • Entry Form must be read carefully and completed for each art piece before submitting pieces for the show.
    • Pieces cannot be mailed in or returned to the artist by mail.
    • Those pieces that do not follow the guidelines set forth in the entry form will not be shown.
  • Annual Starved Rock Photography Show (ENTRY FORM REQUIRED)

    • Starved Rock Visitor Center Auditorium
    • First weekend of December through the second weekend of January.
    • Open to the public for viewing.
    • Entries due to the Starved Rock Visitor Center by the Sunday before Thanksgiving (closed on Election Day and Veterans Day)
    • Entry Form must be read carefully and completed for each photograph before submitting photos for the show.
    • Pieces cannot be mailed in or returned to the photographer by mail.
    • Photographs that do not follow the guidelines set forth in the entry form will not be shown.
    • Starved Rock Photo Show Entry Form 2023.pdf

Special Events

  • Eagle Watch Weekend 2023
    • 2023 Bald Eagle Watch Weekend Schedule.pdf
    • Eagles at the "Rock," January 28, 2023
    • Starved Rock Saplings Children's Program on Bald Eagles at 9:30 a.m.
    • Guided Eagle Viewing Hikes at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    • Birds of Prey-Live Show with a Bald Eagle at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
      • Seating will be limited to first come, first served.
  • Falltober Fest, October 21, 2023.
    • Starved Rock Saplings Children's Program on Bats at 9:30 a.m.
    • Guided hikes at 10 and 1 p.m.
    • Incredible Bats, Live Animals from Around the World Program, at 11 a.m.
      • Seating will be limited to first come, first served.
    • Native American Ghost Stories, Storytelling with Brian "Fox" Ellis at 2 p.m.
  • Ghosts of Starved Rock's Past, October 28, 2023.

Hikes and Tours

  • Owl Prowl, Ornithologist Presentation on Owl Species of Illinois, and Owl Calling Night Hike,          March 4, 2023


  • Life as a Bat Biologist, Bats of Illinois Program then a Bat Calling Night Hike, September 23, 2023

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!!

Register Here


 Event List Starved Rock State Park & Starved Rock Lodge