Spring brings things like warmer weather, melted snow and a slew of Lake County activities to take part in. Don’t even think about leaving Lake County for Spring Break, because once March arrives the fun begins.
A few notable activities that happens in the springtime is the opening of Six Flags Great America on May 2, the excitement of the Ravinia summer season with the announcement of their schedule and many more things to do every single weekend. Besides the thrills of Six Flags and the music acts around the city, Lake County residents with a taste for nautical journeys get to dust off their vessels and start boating on one of our 70 lakes!
Not to mention the start of multiple town festivals rapidly approaching, this is a very fun time of year! Check out what the 411 is in the 2015 edition of the Spring Guide in Lake County.
April 4 and May 16 and then June 13 the summer music season kicks off
The oldest music festival in the country located in Highland Park released their schedule for Ravinia last week. The festival, created in 1904 will feature notable performances from Aretha Franklin on Saturday July 11, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on Friday and Saturday June 26-27, Steely Dan on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25, Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, August 22-23, Santana on Saturday and Sunday August 29-30 and much much more. Head on over to Ravinia fest and don’t forget your picnic baskets and blankets to set the mood with beautiful musical (and/or artistic) ambiance.
Saturday, March 28 @ 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Can you believe, the ice is subsiding and the lakes are clear for take-off! Wauconda Park District is providing all boaters in Lake County an About Boating Safety Course (at $31.00). Featured in the class, you will obtain a boating license or safety certification. You will learn about boating laws, safety equipment, navigation, boating problems and much more. Continue here for more laws taking effect in 2015.
Lake Forest Symphony’s The Dawn of Impressionism
Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22; Saturday @ 8 p.m. and Sunday @ 2 p.m.; Ticket Prices: Adults $35-$59, Students $18-$59 and seniors $30-$59
Impressionism was an art movement that came to the forefront at the end of the 19th century. The Lake Forest Symphony’s The Dawn of Impression will be featured through a musical journey in three pieces at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. Chaeyoung Park, a 16-year old piano protégé from South Korea and Lawrence, KS will join the symphony in this don’t miss performance. Jim Kendros, a composer who wears many hats as a performer, and musician historian will provide a pre-concert lecture.
Libertyville 6th Annual Fine Arts Month
Sunday through Wednesday, March 25;
Speaking of Impressionism, Libertyville for a bulk of March will be holding their Sixth Annual Fine Arts Month. The exhibits aren’t just in one venue, various venues around downtown Libertyville like the David Adler Music and Arts Center, Civic Center, Studio West Store window and other establishments will feature youth art events, musical performances, workshops, talent forums and more.
Spring Break Fun
Monday- Saturday, March 23 – 27; 12-2 p.m.
Worried about what your kids are going to do during Spring Break while you’re at work? Make a stop over to the Lake County Discovery museum for afternoon fun. There is plenty of intriguing and interesting goodies for the kids. The Wauconda museum will also provide special activities and crafts while exploring some of the exhibits and artifact. The Spring Break extravaganza is free with museum admission.
Before I Do
Fridays and Saturdays, march 13-28 @ 8 p.m.; Adult Admission $20/ Seniors and children admission $15
Whether it is through Facebook or other social media, it is evident by the amount of photos that show hands sporting diamonds, means wedding season is upon us again! Congratulations if you are taking that trek down the aisle. Three Brother’s Theatre in Waukegan presents Before… I Do. This funny and wild tells a story of Dick and Jane’s union. The bridesmaids are ready to leave and a groomsman has been struck by Cupid because of the sister of the bride. I don’t want to provide a spoiler, so head on over to Three Brother’s Theatre before you jump the broom!
Saturday, March 28; @ 7:30 p.m.; Regular $30/25/20 Senior/Staff/Alumni $29/24/19 CLC Student/Teen $15 Children $7
“Hey Jude!” Would you “Say you want a revolution?” You can’t do it without American English at the James Lumber Center in Grayslake. This Beatles Tribute Band wants “To Hold Your Hand,” Throughout their whole performance as they cover the classics from 1963-1970. This meticulous cover band takes all the fab four’s details into consideration like costume changes, vintage instruments and special effects.
Vernon Hill’s Hoppin Holiday Hunt & Magic Show
Saturday, March 28 9 – 11 a.m.
Children ages 8 and under get to take a picture with the Bunny and hunt for treats and prizes. The Vernon Hills Park District supplies the baskets for the hunt at Sullivan Community Center. A continental breakfast is provided throughout the morning and a magic show is performed. Fee for adults is $7 for residents and $9 for non-residents, $5 for children residents and $6 for children non-residents.
Spring Break Camp
Monday – Friday, March 30-April 3 @ 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Are you and your family having a staycation? Your kids are gluttons for learning new things in a fun environment. That’s why Spring Break Camp at the Chicago Botanic Garden is the perfect environment for your kids during their week off. The activities that the Botanic Garden offer from their highly experienced teachers will provide are art, cuisine and conservation. Your children have the chance to dissect and plant seeds, explore fragrant herbs and flowers, search for rids and early spring plants on nature hikes, take a trolley ride around the area and so much more. Register in advance!
REO Speedwagon @ the Genesee Theatre
Thursday, April 2 @ 7:30 p.m.; $45.50 – $78
There are no April fools here. You read it correctly; REO Speedwagon is hitting Waukegan’s Genesee Theatre. Head to the legendary Waukegan Theatre to watch over three decades of top 40 hits (This band originally from Champaign, IL tallied 13 of those). They will perform fan favorites like “Keep on Loving You,” and “Can’t Fight this Feeling.”
Zion’s 60th Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4 @ 9 – 10 a.m.; Free admission
Zion has celebrated 60 years of their Annual Easter Egg Hunt, so you should join in the festivities! Peter Cottontail has a busy day as he hides as much as 10,000 eggs for your children to go seek at Shiloh Park. The eggs will carry fun toys as well as candy inside of them. If your children can locate four golden eggs, be prepared to take him new bicycles!
Lake Forest’s Smelt-O-Rama
Saturday, April 25 from Sundown – 10 p.m.
Was ice fishing not your cup of tea this season? Maybe your calling is in smelting. Lake Forest is hosting the Smelt-O-Rama at the Boating Pavilion at Forest Park Beach. Angler aficionados will be in attendance to reveal to types of smelting: dip netting and done-gill line. Some nets will be provided for those who don’t have their own by the recreation department. This event is perfect for all of the family.
Take a step for kids 5k run walk and team event
Saturday, April 25 @ 9 a.m. Preregistration is now till April 23 for $30. Registration is scheduled on the day of between 8 a.m.-845 for $35.
Independence Grove in Libertyville is kicking off their Take a Step for Kids 5K Run, Walk and Team Event. Enjoy the natural elements of this 5K as you can run or walk, but if you would rather have your entourage during the gallop, create a team. There are awards given to each of the strongest women and men drivers, but the winner of each age group will also receive an award.
Hawthorn Woods Bark in the Park
Of course there are dog parks scattered around Lake County, but don’t you want a festival for your best friend so they can see what it’s like to run free in the while? Hawthorn Woods’ is holding the Bark in the Park event where vendors will be at hand to hand out treats, pampering and other fun activities. This free even will also feature micro-chipping, dog demonstrations, raffles games and a visit from one of the most notable dogs: Scruff McGruff, the crime dog.
Fear No Art Festival
Friday-Sunday April 24-26 @ 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday
This College of Lake County festival has astonishing performance held at the Main Stage of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. The 17th Annual Fear No Art Festival is unique displaying a slew of performing arts like music, dance, painting photography and sculptures by CLC students and community represents.
Gurnee Family Theatre – Enchanted Sleeping Beauty
Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26; Saturday 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
“If you dream a thing more than once, it’s sure to come true.” With the popularity of Maleficent the Movie featuring Angelina Jolie, Gurnee Family Theatre grants your wish to come true as they present Enchanted Sleeping Beauty. The show will run four times in two days at the Viking Park Dance Hall. Tickets go on sale starting Saturday April 6th at the Hunt Club Community Center.
Loop the Lakes 5K
Sunday, April 26 @ 9 a.m.; $25 admission
As the weather warms up, so do the races. Century Park in Vernon Hills developed the Loop the Lakes 5K to showcase one of the premier parks in Lake County. The route takes you around Big Bear and Little Bear Lakes filled with hills and inclines. However if you’re in no hurry to finish the race – a good ole fashioned 5 K walk is accepted. Throughout the event water will be provided as well as snacks. There will be two crowned champions for the women and the men divisions and then a first and second place winner for each age group. Sign up today!
Friday, April 10 @ 8 p.m.,
We can’t always get out to Chicago to see the trending shows and notable performances. In this occasion, they come to us as renowned Second City travels to the James Lumber Center for an evening to tickle your funny bone. Second City has been a springboard improv troupe that has launched the careers of famous actors and actresses like Joan Rivers, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Dan Aykroyd, Keegan Michael Key and many more.
Camping World RV Show/Super Sale
Thursday-Monday, April 16-20; Thursday & Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-Monday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Who doesn’t love to journey to Illinois Beach State Park, Chain O’ Lakes State Park and other camping sites for some R&R are to just explore what Lake County has to offer in the nature department? A good way to get a head start on your future spring, summer and fall camping events is to head over to Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake to the Camping World RV Show & Super Sale. Camping World, America’s Largest RV Dealership will display new and used RVs, travel Trailers, motorhomes and fifth wheels.
Growing up in Lake County: Exploring History through the Stories of Children Exhibit
It is always intriguing to explore the history of your home town. That’s exactly what the Lake County Discovery Museum does as they open their Exploring history through the Stories of Children Exhibit. You will receive a glimpse of pioneer living, the life of a Civil War drummer boy from Lake County, the first African American Family and so much more historical nuggets from over 100 years ago.
Now through Thursday December 31; Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sun 1 – 4:30 p.m. Lake County Discovery Museum27277 N. Forest Preserve Road Wauconda, IL 60084
Great America Opens
We know the kids are excited and you should be too! The moment you see giant drop from I-94, butterflies start fluttering in your stomach for the thrills you crave! Great America attains 14 exciting roller coasters and with Hurricane Harbor there are 30 waterslides to host your favorite weekend of the year. Don’t forget to jump on the twisty, turny, topsy, turvy tallest roller coaster Goliath – that drops 180 feet! Don’t forget your Coke cans!
Saturday, May 9 @ 9 a.m.
Searching for a 5k to participate in? The Foodie 5K in Libertyville, you will have a memorable fun run with your friends, family and neighbors as you will assist the lives of the hungry. Following the solo or team run at Adler Park, there will be a festival full of entertainment, food trucks and activities for the kids.
Mother’s day Brunch @ Lambs Farm
Sunday, May 10 @ 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Admission for adults is $24.95 and child admission is 10.95.
What better way to celebrate the woman who brought you into this world than a Mother’s Day Brunch at Lambs Farm in Libertyville. You will find excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner options at the Libertyville farm’s Magnolia Café & Bakery
Lake Forest Showcase & Garden Show
April 25 – May 17; M-F 9 a.m.-2p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Admission is $40 at the door and $35
At the iconic home of the late director of such movies like all brat pack movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day off, and the Home Alone franchise, John W. Hughes, will be the host venue for the Lake Forest Showcase & Garden Show. Enjoy the beautiful flowers and the mouth dropping seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, library, dining room, swimming pool, media room and many other fantastic features.
Thursday: 6pm-10pm, Friday: 6pm-11pm, Saturday: 1pm-11pm, Sunday: 1pm
Head to Antioch and enjoy the 885 Civic Club’s Annual Spring Carnival will be held May 14th-17th in Downtown Antioch. This is an old-fashioned carnival where all of the staple foods and rides are available. Unlimited ride wristbands are available for purchase for $25 each day and can only be used during designated times. The Carnival will be held just off of Toft Street in the large municipal lot. It’s definitely something that includes the entire family for fun.
Long Grove Chocolate Fest
Friday-Sunday, May 15 – May 17 @ “10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Is your mind in the land of chocolate? Journey to Long Grove Confectionery where you could reside in chocolate heaven during the city’s Chocolate Festival. Festivities will include live entertainment heard throughout the community for three days, foods, specialty vendors and scrumptious Long Grove dining options.
Thrift Shop Community Tent Sale
Friday – Sunday, May 15-17; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The week after Mother’s Day at Lambs Farm, bring her and your friends right back to the Libertyville Farm. The bazaar of a lifetime is at Lambs Farm called the Thrift Shop Community Tent Sales. If you’re looking for a bargain, this is your sale. There will be tons of deals at the Cedar Chest Thrift Dozens of tents including other Lake County businesses. Get ready for the largest makeshift garage sale in Libertyville!
58th Annual Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon
For over half a century, the Des Plaines River Canoe and kayak Marathon has been a hit. The 18.5 mile marathon in the historic Des Plaines River begins in Libertyville at the Oak Spring s Road Canoe Launch. If you are with the family, there is a brand new 5.25 mile minithon available starting in Potawatomie Woods in Wheeling. There are races for each age level to accommodate all. Registration ends on May 9. Be sure to look port and starboard when you cross the stream!
Grayslake 3th Annual Craft Beer Festival
What ales ya? Are you thirsty and can’t wait a little bit lager? Hop on over to Grayslake’s Third Annual craft Beer Festival. There will be over 40 microbreweries along with food, live music and much more. Tickets can be bought in advance through the website for $35 or at the door for $45. There will also be a limited number of VIP tickets available for $65. There won’t be 99 bottles of beer on the wall, but it sure will be close!
Deerfield’s Annual Fine Arts Festival
Searching for art that doesn’t just come from Illinois? Deerfield’s Annual Fine Arts Festival hosts artists exhibiting their work from 20 states. You and the family will enjoy the art mediums form photography, jewelry, fiber, sculpture, mixed media and ceramics. There will also be music, catered festival food, kid’s art activities and much more!
Sunday, May 31 @ 7:30 p.m.
The very funny Craig Ferguson has gained much fame from the Drew Carey Show and his late (late) night talk show that ran for 10 years on CBS. Ferguson brings his talents to Waukegan as he will perform his stand-up comedy at Genesee Theatre! Tickets for Ferguson’s Hot & Grumpy Tour: Walking the Earth is between $35-$55.
Antioch’s Summer Wine Walk
Saturday, June 6 @ 1-5 p.m.
Don’t waste a moment when April 23 comes around because Antioch’s Summer Wine Walk tickets go on sale…and they go fast. Take a walk down beautiful downtown Antioch sampling different wines and paying a visit to the stores and restaurants. The $40 admission includes a commemorative wine glass, event menu, food, bottle of wine and free drawing prices.
Mundelein Craft Beer Fest
Saturday, June 6
What’s better than h having a taste of Lake County made suds on a warm sunny day outside? Mundelein Community Connections and Tighthead Brewing Company in Mundelein will be hosting the Fourth Annual Mundelein Craft Beer Festival in their shared parking lot with the Metra Train Station.. Admission will include a souvenir tasting glass, samples from local breweries and live music. Tickets are $40 on the day of the event, but admission is $35 if purchased $35
April 8 – June 7; Sunday-Saturday
The Marriot Theatre in Lincolnshire is going to get a kick out of you for seeing their revival of Anything Goes. This 1934 musical originally created by American Theater Hall of Famer Cole Porter, is about an array of multiple characters aboard the S.S. American. You will enjoy this legendary performance coming back to one of Lake County’s most prestigious stages,.
45th Annual Grayslake Chamber Golf Outing
Continue to practice keeping your arm straight on your backswing and work on that short game, because the 45th Annual Grayslake Chamber Golf Outing is returning to the Stonewall Orchard Country Club. For $150 golfers will receive a lunch, golf cart, two beverage cart tickets, golf mixer, dinner, silent auction and networking. You may gather as much as a four in your team.
Sunday, June 14 @ 1 p.m.
See a combination of majesty and strength as of equestrian performance with Tempel Lipizzan displays their matinee performance set to classical music. This eye-opening performance exhibits the development and training of these beautiful horses. Tempel Lipizzan in Wadsworth opens their doors for luncheon at noon. Bring the family for carriage driving and training flying horse movements and four-horse ballet and following the performance you may visit the stables where the magic begins.
Wednesday-Sunday June 17-21; Thursday 5-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday 1-6 p.m.
Nobody misses out on the fantastic memories achieved from the 2015 Libertyville Days Festival. Bring the family, friends, significant other or just come by yourself to this Downtown Libertyville staple where encompassing a taste of Libertyville, beer tent, arts and craft, carnival rides, live entertainment, and so much more. The kids will also be wildly entertained with the children’s party, tween and teen dance, baggo tournament a corvette and Chevy street rod show just to skim off the top. The Libertyville Days Festival begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Libertyville festivities cannot be missed!
City of Angels
June 10-August 9; Sunday-Saturday
If you are excited about Anything Goes in April-June, you should punch your ticket for City of Angels. In the same era, the 1930s and 1940s, you receive a glimpse of how a New York writer moves to Los Angeles to attempt to make his best-selling crime novel into a movie. Enjoy a blast from the past as you watch this two-part plot thicken!
June 6 – September 26 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Do you know where to find the make-up of a French market in Lake County? Je ne sais pas? Every Saturday between June 6 and September 26, you will be able to experience the French Market of Vernon Hills. Explore a market that includes Lake County and regional farmers that will be offering cheeses, breads and olive oils. Besides the great eats this Vernon Hills event will be providing, there will also be pottery, wood carvings and crafts – not to mention live entertainment sure to excite goers.
Sox vs Cubs
Thomas or Dawson? Sandberg or Fisk? Banks or Minoso? Sale or Lester? These are some of the burning questions Lake County residents have once March approaches when we’re talking about the White Sox vs. Cubs Crosstown Rivalry. The Grayslake Heritage Center will feature the players, sports journalist, broadcasters and of course the people who make the rivalry live : the fans in the Sox vs. Cubs: The Chicago Civil Wars exhibit. Between the Billy goat, the Black Sox, Harry Carey, Disco, Bartman and both franchises struggling for nearly a century to win a World Series (obviously the Cubs World Series drought still active) you will receive an interactive experience on the Chicago Baseball Civil War.