It’s Fall Kickoff Weekend 2016 and Lake County has a bunch of different festivals, farms, thrills, chills and variety of other fall things to do beginning this weekend. It doesn’t feel like summer is over, but autumn is here for the win.
This Thursday, September 22 marks the first day of autumn. We hope you’re ready for it, because Fall Kickoff Weekend 2016 is now in session.
Fall Kickoff Weekend 2016
Six Flags Great America Fright Fest Begins this Weekend: The thrills and chills are at Six Flags Great America as the legendary Fright Fest makes its return to the Gurnee Amusement Park. Fright Fest presented by Snickers, is when the park is totally transformed for six weeks in ghoulish fashion featuring live shows, street entertainment, haunted houses and of course riding the all of the 14 roller coasters and thrill rides at night. As Halloween approaches, the kids can embark on a special trick-or-treat trail. Fright Fest is open on weekends until October 31.
Saturday-Sunday September 24-25; Sat 11 a.m.-Midnight, Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Six Flags Great America, I-94 and Rt. 132, Gurnee.
Didier Farm Pumpkin Fest: The kids will be pleased to know that Didier Farms Pumpkinfest begins on Saturday. This event includes hayrides, pony rides, camel rides, kiddie rides, exotic petting zoo, parakeet exhibit, corn maze and pig races (only on the weekend). A new addition to this event now features Buffalo Creek Mining Co. The Lincolnshire farm’s doors are open till Halloween night. Don’t forget to visit Grandma D’s Bake Shop for scrumptious pies, cookies, fudge, homemade apple cider, kettle corn and pumpkin donuts.
Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Didier Farms, 16678 W. Aptakisic Rd., Lincolnshire.
Long Grove Apple Fest: At this time of year, no one can resist the succulent apples from Long Grove. The entire weekend you and the family will enjoy Long Grove’s Fall Annual Apple Festival for live entertainment, music, shopping, fine dining and so much more. For the youngsters, the Long Grove fest offers pony rides, kiddie rides and face painting. Scour the charming and historic village and stock up on apple-inspired treats. Live performances include Sixteen Candles, Hello Weekend, ARRA, Bella Cain and Heartache Tonight (Tribute to the Eagles).
Friday-Sunday, September 23-25; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission $5 for everyone except kids 12 and under who receive free admission. Long Grove Historic Village, 308 Old McHenry Rd.,
Vernon Hills Oktoberfest: In their 11th year since its inception, Vernon Hills
Oktoberfest has returned. Join Vernon Hills as the festival features family fun for all. Attendees will enjoy arts & crafts, pumpkin painting, live entertainment, a petting zoo, raffles, inflatable activities and so much more, while adults can enjoy the seductive suds and gourmet food vendors. All can enjoy the delicious dining of brats, burgers, hot dogs, taffy apples and more sold by local not-for-profit organizations.
Saturday, September 24; 3-10 p.m. Vernon Hills Metra Station, 75 Route 45, Vernon Hills.
Deerfield’s Harvest Festival & Touch a Truck: Start your day out at the
Farmers Market in Deerfield for an abundance of locally-grown organic fruits and veggies and bring the kids. The kids will welcome autumn the proper way with the Harvest Festival. This event features plenty of kid activities like face painting, pumpkin seed guessing contest, pong darts, gourd bowling, apple bobbing, jack-o-lantern bean bag toss, pumpkin ring toss and more. The live entertainment includes a roster of fine musicians and the R.C. Juggle Balloon Creations. To top everything off, the kids get to touch a truck: fire trucks, military vehicles, snow plows and more.
Saturday, September 24; 8 a.m.-Noon. Downtown Deerfield, Corner of Robert York and Deerfield Roads, Deerfield.
Antioch’s Fall Wine Walk: Stroll the quaint streets of downtown Antioch, stopping at unique boutiques and stores along the way to taste samples from 45 different wines and delicious food at each venue. Bring a part of the day home with a commemorative wine glass and a complimentary bottle of wine. Local merchants will supply goods for an event raffle.
Saturday, September 24; Noon-4:30 p.m. Admission: $40. Downtown Antioch, Main Street.
Farm Heritage Festival-A Celebration of Lake County’s Rural Roots: The Lake County Discovery Museum is proud to present the 24th annual Farm Heritage Festival at Lakewood Forest Preserve on September 24 and 25, 2016. Co-sponsored by the Lake County Farm Heritage Association, the Farm Heritage Festival features hundreds of tractors, cars, engines and other farm machinery. Daily highlights include a tractor parade, sheep herding and threshing demonstrations, live music, wagon and barrel train rides, traditional crafts, rope making, a petting zoo, and much more. Demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages.
Lambs Farm’s Theater Presents The Lion King: ‘Nants ingonyama bagithi baba’ means ‘There comes the lion.’ Those are the first lines in Zulu to the Lion King movie and musical in the song ‘The Circle of Life.’ Lambs Farm participants will be serving as actors, designers, decorators, choir members and other roles for this Disney favorite that is influenced by Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’ Follow the life and times of Simba – a young lion who will one day follow in his father’s (Mufasa) footsteps.
Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25; Sat 7 p.m., Sun 2 p.m. Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for kids 2-12 years old. Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest.
Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Friday Extends Lunch Dates: This was supposed to be the final date of Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Fridays, but the Village of Lincolnshire has extended its lunch dates to October 21. Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Fridays is located in the Corporate Center Parking Lot and offers a variety of choices in the gourmet eats department. The foodie frenzy includes trucks such as Ana’s Eats & Treats, Best Truckin’ BBQ, Chicago Cupcake, Happy Lobster, Grill Chasers, Louie B. Fresh, Mario’s Cart, Swirl Café, Toasty Cheese and Yum Dum. Take in the aromas that waft through the air, while a delectable dish is prepared right in front of your eyes.
Friday, September 23; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Lincolnshire Corporate Center Parking Lot, 300 Knightsbridge Pkwy., Lincolnshire.
For everything Fall Kickoff Weekend 2016 and more continue here. Autumn’s here FTW!