Gebhard Woods will come alive with music and family activities during the annual Dulcimer Festival, held June 13-14. With nonstop workshops, concerts and a children's area, the festival will appeal to even the youngest visitors.
"It's a complete weekend of immersion in music," says Neal Peck, festival coordinator. "We have a very specific program for children and it includes both music and crafts. They have fun; it's a wonderful environment."
Concerts are held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days and workshops, demonstrations and hands-on instruction on both the hammered and mountain dulcimer are also scheduled. The workshops are primarily for teaching and introducing people to the instrument, techniques for playing and caring for the instrument. Vendors at the festival also bring an array of instruments that visitors can try out and learn more about, Peck says.
Of particular interest to families is the kids' area, which operates from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. both days for children 5 and older. This supervised area lets kids learn more about the dulcimer and its music while enjoying kid-friendly activities such as face painting.
The fest is held rain or shine. The wooded setting is navigable by stroller and wheelchair, and there are walking trails nearby for those who want to take a hike.
"It's a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day, and there are picnic tables if you bring your own picnic. There's music nonstop and it's really oriented towards families," Peck says. "Musicians come from across the country and this year's lineup is as good as we've ever had."
Because the festival is held at a state park, admission is not charged but there is a recommended donation of $30 per family for a single day, $45 for both days.
Gebhard Woods Dulcimer
401 Ottawa St.
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.