Special Events

You will always encounter volunteers on your visit to Lincoln Log Cabin to engage you in the historic experience, but a visit to the site during one of the events below will make your visit extra special. Come and experience 1840s rural life in Illinois!
All events are subject to cancellation and/or rescheduling; please check back often.


Saturday, February 10, 10:30 am: Visitor Center
Saturday Morning Story Series: Featuring Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner

Join us at 10:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center as we begin our Saturday Story Series. Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Friday, February 16, 6:00 pm: Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation Annual Dinner-
at Unique Suites in Charleston
Join us as we celebrate Illinois' Bicentennial at the Unique Suites in Charleston. We will be featuring:“Illinois Home: Conversations with President Lincoln.” As president, Abraham Lincoln never had the opportunity to return home to Illinois. A first-person portrayal of Lincoln by George Buss will feature President Lincoln reminiscing about what Illinois meant to his life and career. A silent auction will also be offered. Tickets are $60 per person, a table of eight may be purchased for $420.

Reservations can be made by clicking here for an online reservation form, which will offer a credit card payment option upon submitting. If you prefer to mail a check for your dinner reservation, skip the credit card page and please mail to: LLCF, 402 South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna, IL 62440

Saturday, February 17th, 2:00 pm: Visitor Center Auditorium
From the Circuit to the Presidency
Join us in the Visitor Center Auditorium at 2:00 pm for Guy Fraker's presentation on the 8th Judicial Circuit. Fraker, an author and lawyer, will present his research on Lincoln's time as a lawyer on the circuit, and how Lincoln built a network critical to his receiving the Republican nomination for president. This event is free and the Goosenest Prairie Gift Shop will have copies of Mr. Fraker's books for purchase for the author to sign.

Saturday Story Series, February 24, 10:30 am
"Henry's Freedom Box
Join us at 10:30 am in the Visitor Center Auditorium for our Satruday Story Series, this Saturday featuring "Henry's Freedom Box." Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared for children ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.


Saturday, March 3, 10:30 am: Visitor Center
"Sugar Snow" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
Join us at 10:30 a.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium for our Saturday Story Series, which features the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in our American history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, March 10, 1 pm
New Volunteer Orientation
Are you interested in volunteering at Lincoln Log Cabin, but don't know where to start? Here's your chance! There are so many ways to get involved at Lincoln Log Cabin. Whatever you're interested in, we can help customize a volunteer experience for you! This orientation is for adult volunteers only. Please contact us for youth volunteer opportunities. For more information email: lsff@lincolnlogcabin.org.

Saturday, March 17th, 
Volunteer Work Day
Join us for a volunteer work-day! We've got a number of projects to complete in order to get the site ready for the summer, and we'd like your help. Projects may include spring cleaning in the cabin and Sargent house, light carpentry work such as replacing the Lincoln's well cover, fixing doors, patching holes in roofs, etc. Feel free to wear period clothing if you've got them, but it's not required. Bring a friend, the more the merrier! Please RSVP by emailing: lsff@lincolnlogcabin.org.

Saturday, March 24, 1 to 4:00 pm
Easter Egg Hunt and Roll

Celebrate a presidential tradition at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site! The Lincolns and Sargents will be hosting a traditional Egg Roll and Easter Egg Hunt, along with other period games, a craft activity, and a story time for children. The Easter Egg Hunt begins at 1:30 p.m., and the Egg Roll begins at 2:30 p.m. Children (12 and under) will be divided into age groups, with each group having staggered start times.

Saturday, March 31, 2:00 pm
Roots of Rural Music with Special Guest Chris Vallillo

An Illinois Bicentennial Event, musician Chris Vallillo will present "Roots of Rural Music" in the Visitor Center Auditorium. Illinois is unique among states in that its access to the Mississippi, Ohio, and Illinois Rivers, as well as the Great Lakes, made it a virtual crossroads of people, cultures, and ideas. This mingling of people produced a rich body of roots music, which paints a colorful portrait of our heritage and gives detailed insight into the people and times that forged the state we have become.


Saturday, April 28, 10:00 am
Growing Culinary Herbs

Jump start your spring by getting your hands dirty and learning a new skill! This beginner’s class is a hands-on mix of theory and practical activities, giving you the confidence to try propagating, growing, and harvesting herbs of your own. While some herb species grow well from seed, propagation from cuttings is the best way to multiply species such as rosemary that do not always grow well from seed. A single healthy herb plant can magically generate a dozen or more new plants. We will practice this skill using plants from the farm’s Herb Garden collection and those brought in for the session. The cost for this workshop is $35/person and includes light refreshments featuring herbs from the garden, a study guide, seeds, and your own cuttings to take home and root. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Please register for the program here, the registration form will bring you back to our donation page to pay the registration fee.


Saturday, May 26, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Exploring Wool: What will "Ewe" Make Today?

Early pioneers raised sheep and used their wool as a raw material to make clothing, blankets, hats, stockings, and more. When sent to the local weaver, wool could also be made into Venetian, striped, and ingrain carpets for their floors. In a modern world where we try to make environmentally friendly choices, there's one fiber that's always been 'green'... WOOL!
Join us for a hands-on adventure in the many uses of wool. Interpreters will be on the farm to teach both children and adults the skills used to create wool items, from prepping the raw wool all the way to crafting items. In addition to learning to knit or crochet, visitors will have an opportunity to sit down at a loom and try weaving for themselves.


Saturday, June 9, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Hearth Cooking Demonstrations

Have you ever wondered what types of dishes were popular in 19th century American cooking? Did they have ‘comfort foods’ like macaroni and cheese? Stop by and visit out kitchens as we demonstrate 19th-century cooking. We’ll run the gamut from plain to fancy fare though baking, boiling, frying, roasting and toasting.  Lean about the seasonality of 19th-century ingredients and the equipment and methods for both cooking and preserving food. Period receipts (recipes) will be available for many of the foods we’ll be cooking, adapted for use in your own kitchen.

Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Both days
: Civil War Encampment
Learn about the men who answered President Lincoln's call for troops in 1861. Members of the 5th and 9th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiments will be encamped at Lincoln Log Cabin on Father's Day weekend. Visit with the soldiers in camp, watch mounted and dismounted drilling exercises, and learn about the lives of Civil War soldiers.
Sunday the 17th only: Visit with President Lincoln as he inspects the troops.
Saturday the 16th only - 2:00 pm in the Visitor Center Auditorium- "Three Illinois Women in the Civil War": Historical actor Betty Kay begins this presentation as Jenny Hodgers of Belvidere, Illinois, also known as Albert Cashier, a woman who passed as a man and fought in the Civil War for three years while hiding her true identity.  Albert continued living as a man for years after the war, even voting years before women were legally allowed to do so. Kay then portrays Mother Bickerdyke of Galesburg, Illinois, who established 300 field hospitals during the war and assisted wounded soldiers on nineteen battlefields.She concludes the performance as Julia Dent Grant, wife of the Commanding General of the Union Army, participating in the victory parade on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, in May 1865.

Saturday, June 30, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate an old-fashioned Independence Day at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Visitors to this year’s Independence Day event can join in a game of Town Ball with Lincoln Log Cabin’s interpreters.   In towns, cities and countrysides, wherever Americans have gathered for community events, there has always been a ball game of one sort or another. After the Civil War, the game of choice was most often Town Ball, which some historians believe was a precursor for the modern game of baseball.  The rules to the early game are similar to what we know as baseball, and will be explained before each game.  All visitors are welcome to participate.

Before the Town Ball game starts, enjoy the raising of the flag on the Lincoln Farm, and follow that up with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a patriotic tableau performance by the site’s summer youth program participants.  


Saturday, July 7, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
19th Century Pies

A staple dish of the 1800s that is so much more than dessert! Visit our historic interpreters to learn about the different fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in 19th-century gardens that would all be used in pies. Guests will receive a copy of 19th-century "receipts" (recipes) to try the pies at home.

Saturday, July 28, 10:00 am to noon
Preserving the Tastes of Summer
The fields and gardens at the Lincoln and Sargent farms are in full glory! Join us for a hands-on workshop covering the basics of harvesting, preparing, and preserving the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables produced on a 19th-century farm. Using historic recipes (slightly modified for modern convenience) and produce from the farm, you'll learn skills that are surprisingly relevant today!

Cost: $35/person. Includes light refreshments, a study guide, and some produce from the farm to try your new skills at home. Space is limited; pre-registration required. https://form.jotform.com/80686342572159


Saturday, August 11, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
New Volunteer Open House
Are you interested in volunteering at Lincoln Log Cabin, but don't know where to start? Here's your chance! There are so many ways to get involved at Lincoln Log Cabin. Whatever you're interested in, we can help customize a volunteer experience for you! Our volunteers usually work about one day per week, and our scheduling is very flexible. Regular volunteers can also earn discounts in our gift shop, and are invited to private events just for volunteers! Other benefits of volunteering include meeting and socializing with people who share your interests, learning new skills, giving a boost to your resume or college application, and making a difference in your community. Plus it's FUN! Please contact us for youth or group volunteer opportunities. For more information, please email us at lsff@lincolnlogcabin.org.

Sunday August 12, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Annual Bluegrass Jam
Anyone with a love of this traditional style of music is welcome; bring lawn chairs or a blanket. Those who play an instrument are encouraged to bring theirs along and join in a jam session with one of the many informal groups playing in the park. Volunteers will be selling concessions.

Saturday, August 25, 10:00 am That's to Dye For! - Adult Workshop Series
Join us for a unique guided workshop, no experience required! This hands-on workshop will walk participants through the process of dyeing fabric in the 1840s. Using natural materials available in the 19th century (flowers, bark, and more), participants will dye a garment or accessory of their own! Cost: $35/person. Includes light refreshments and all materials. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Please email lsff@lincolnlogcabin.org for more information. Sign up online at https://form.jotform.com/80686342572159

Saturday, August 25, 3:30 pm
“Illinois in Art and Literature, 1818 to 2017”
Art historian and educator Laura Mueller will offer a wide-ranging, slide-illustrated presentation surveying depictions of Illinois and its people in art and literature.  It will include examples representing many points in time between 1818 and the present, indicating the countless ways in which Illinois has been represented artistically throughout its history as a state.  The presentation will emphasize works of visual and literary art by Illinoisans but will also incorporate works by artists and authors from elsewhere that illuminate significant aspects of life in our state. Laura E. Mueller is a teacher and artist who completed a bachelor of fine arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but also pursued graduate study in comparative literature at the University of Chicago.  For 29 years, she worked as a lecturer and later as a drawing teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has also taught the humanities and English literature at various colleges.  She looks forward to giving her Road Scholars Speakers Bureau presentation, which integrates two disciplines that she loves.


September 22-23- 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Harvest Frolic Fall Celebration.
Come celebrate the arrival of autumn at the Harvest Frolic on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Don't miss experiencing 19th-century life on the farm! Activities will take place at both the Lincoln and Sargent farms and will include children's games, craft and doll making, and hearth cooking. Visitors are encouraged to take part in period games and activities. Volunteers will demonstrate apple cider pressing, and food preservation. A number of artisans will be on site demonstrating their crafts including, woodcarving,spinning, soap-making, embroidery, pottery, broommaking, blacksmithing, embroidery, and many other 19th-century crafts. Tthe Unreconstructed String Band will perform, storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis will be here, the Clockwork Clown will be returning, dulcimer playing, and be sure to catch the 19th-century magic show.
Don't miss the Frolic 5K! A 5k run and mile walk to kick off the festivities on September 22!
Register online here or download a form here.


Saturday, October 27th from 6-9 pm
Torchlight Halloween Hike, Pumpkin Carving Contest, and Wiener Roast
Join us for our Torchlight Halloween Hike and Wiener Roast where you. won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy Lincoln Log Cabin in the dark! We will start at the Visitor Center for a bonfire and wiener roast. Bring out your best carved pumpkin by 6:00 pm and visitors will judge the best carvings and prizes will be awarded. You will also want to hike the paths between our historic farms by torchlight and hear storytelling in the Lincoln Cabin. Enjoy live music as you sit around the fire.
To benefit the educational and interpretative programs of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Foundation will be selling hot dogs and s’mores for you to roast over an open fire, and hot cider for drinking.


Saturday, November 17 at 2:30 pm
“From Obscurity to Greatness: Illinois and Lincoln, 1830 to 1861”

Join us in the Visitor Center Auditorium for this presentation by Kevin Wood portraying President Lincoln. In 1830, the young State of Illinois – only 12 years old – was the fifth smallest in the nation in terms of population. It was a relatively unknown and mostly undeveloped land with an uncertain future and not necessarily destined for any measure of greatness. That same year, a young man arrived in Illinois with his family and the same could be said about him: unknown, undeveloped, an uncertain future and not apparently destined for much. The next 31 years would see the transformation of both the state and the man, of both Illinois and … Abraham Lincoln. By 1860, Illinois would grow more than tenfold to become the nation’s fourth largest state, full of energy and promise and a microcosm of the entire nation: a mix of northerners and southerners, native-born and immigrants, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, urban and rural. These groups clashed at times, but also learned how to live and work together to further the interests of all. And Abraham Lincoln would grow tremendously, too, to become known throughout the country as the President-elect of a nation in crisis, on the verge of disunion and perhaps even civil war, the leader who would need to try to keep a divided nation (and state) together, yet without abandoning his principles. It is the story of how Illinois, and Lincoln, grew from obscurity to greatness during Illinois’ early years. This program is appropriate for audiences of all ages, both adults and children. Mr. Lincoln is portrayed by Kevin Wood, a professional Lincoln presenter who bears a remarkable resemblance to “the Great Emancipator” and who is extremely knowledgeable about his life and times. Mr. Wood also writes a blog – “Loath to Close… Still!” – which encourages others to reflect upon and learn from President Lincoln’s life and legacy. For more information, visit www.mrlincoln.com.

We will also be commemorating Thanksgiving on the farm, so be sure to visit the Lincoln Cabin before the presentation.


Saturday, December 2 from noon to 3:00 pm
Old Fashioned Christmas on the Prairie
Get away from the bustle of holiday chores and come out to the farms to relax or take a brisk walk around the farms. Let the kids make some crafts, enjoy hot wassail and cookies in the Visitor Center, walk to the Lincoln Farm and smell gingerbread baking and enjoy caroling in the Visitor Center.. The Goosenest Prairie Gift Shop will also be open for you to pick up those unique gifts you've been looking for.