“But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.” – said author Robert Finch.
Fall doesn’t technically start until September 22, but Lake County is the place to be when the season begins. There’s never really a top 10 things to do in September because there are hundreds of happenings around Lake County in autumn.
The conclusion of Labor Day weekend is viewed as the unofficial end to summer. Take advantage and celebrate as much as you can in this transition period where the weather is virtually perfect in Lake County (with the exception of people with heavy allergies that include yours truly).
Take a dip in the drink, recline, relax and experience all the thrills at Hurricane Harbor for one last time. Labor Day is the final day to splash in the Gurnee waterpark. The H2O haven is equipped with numerous waterslides, the main swimming area called Monsoon Lagoon, a kid zone play area that utterly soaks attendees, an interactive surf area and so much more. Have a splashing good time once more this year.
The Prairie State is turning the ripe old age of 200. To celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial, visit the Lincoln Funeral Train is a historically accurate full-sized re-creation of the locomotive and rail car that carried the body of President Abraham Lincoln from Washington, DC, to Springfield, IL, in 1865. The Lincoln Funeral Train debuted in May 2015 as a highlight of Springfield’s sesquicentennial funeral events and toured the Midwest throughout 2015 as part of the nation’s 150th commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. This replica artifact will be on display in Antioch until September 9. The event will also have Civil War re-enactors, 1860s music and more on Labor Day weekend. Also on Labor Day weekend, head down the street to PM&L Theatre as Fritz Klein, the state’s foremost Lincoln impersonators, performs “Abraham Lincoln in the Last Full Measure.”
Richardson’s Adventure Farm & Corn Maze is known for having the world’s largest corn maze. The Spring Grove area spans 33 acres of land and is equipped with 11 miles of trails. Besides the renowned maze, the Adventure Farm features another five mazes, a zip line, a pumpkin patch, ORBiting rides (a ride inside a giant 11-foot ball), live pig races, a wooded picnic area, free campfires, pedal carts, pedal trikes, a goat farm, a corn cabin and wagon rides. Richardson Farm is open through Sunday, October 29.
4. Ravinia Festival
Ravinia Festival waves goodbye to another phenomenal year of top-notch performances. But before the 100+year-old Highland Park venue goes on hiatus until 2019, there is a slew of performances left through September 16. Here’s what’s going on for the final month of Ravinia:
- Culture Club, the B-52s and the Thompson Twins (Sept. 1)
- Lucy Schaufer and Huw Watkins: The Class of 1938 (Sept. 1)
- O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson (Sept. 2)
- Jethro Tull’s 50-year Anniversary Tour (Sept. 3)
- Federico Colli (Sept. 4)
- Sir James Galway (Sept. 4)
- Peter Serkin plays Mozart and Schumann (Sept. 5)
- 50 Cent (Sept. 6)
- Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman (Sept. 7)
- Melissa Errico (Sept. 8)
- Tony Bennett (Sept. 8)
- Drew Petersen (Sept. 11)
- Lara Downs and Theo Bleckmann play the music of Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington (Sept. 11)
- Lara Downs “For Lenny” (Sept. 12)
- “Considering Matthew Shepard” (Chicago premiere of the film) (Sept. 12)
- Lagrime di San Pietro and the Los Angeles Master Chorale (Sept. 13)
- Gipsy Kings and Park88 (Sept. 14)
- The Performer’s School presents “Annie Jr.” (Sept. 15-16)
- Johnny Rivers and Jimmy Webb (Sept. 15)
- Los Tigres del Norte, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, comedian Joe Villagomez and Galli Lucha Libre (Sept. 16)
5. September Fests (All September)
A little bit of summer fun and a little bit of autumn chill. There’s a fantastic collection of festivals going on in this September.$
- Long Grove Irish Days (Sept. 1-3)
- Jubilee Days Festival in Zion (Sept. 1-3)
- First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Sept. 7)
- Rock the Block in Lake Zurich (Sept. 8)
- Waukegan MainStreet Wine & Art Stroll (Sept. 8)
- Mundelein Fine Arts Festival (Sept. 8-9)
- ArtWauk in Waukegan (Sept. 15)
- Legions of Craft Beer Fest at Gurnee Mills (Sept. 15)
- Gorton Community Center’s Annual Block Party (Sept. 15)
- Heller Nature Center’s Autumn Fest in Highland Park (Sept. 21)
- Long Grove’s Apple Fest (Sept. 21-22)
- Harvest Fest Presents: Farm Heritage Days & Oktoberfest at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Grayslake (Sept. 22-23)
- Didier Farms Pumpkinfest (Sept. 22-Oct. 31)
‘Hey big spender, spend a little time’ at the Lincolnshire theater for ‘fun, fun, laughs, laughs, and a good time, good time.’ Based on the screenplay for Nights of Cabiria, the tale takes the peanut gallery through the romantic trials and tribulations of an optimistic dance hall hostess. On it’s Broadway premiere in 1966, the New York-set musical earned nine Tony Awards.
The Chain O’Lakes is far from placid on Thursday nights during the summer. Thunder on the Chain features the unique world of drag boat racing from June-September hosted by Blarney Island on Grass Lake. If you have the need for speed on a ‘school night,’ witness these fearless racers competing in nine different classes from the Northern Illinois Drag Boat Association as they sprint for the gold. Thunder on the Chain fields races through September.
Viewers will witness an unbelievable flight performance by the world-renowned aerobatic pilots at the Waukegan Regional Airport. The Northern Illinois Airshow – Wings Over Waukegan features vintage military crafts like the F-86 Sabre, delicious eats, mouthwatering drinks, photo-ops with the brave pilots and more. Don’t forget your camera so you can capture the best snapshots. As pthese captains of flight have said in the past and what pilots will exclaim in the future, “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.”
Genesee Theatre #FTW in September. Big names are coming to everyone’s favorite Waukegan theatre near you. The downtown marquee will surely be displaying a name that you know and love.
- Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: The Scared Scriptless Tour (Sept. 13)
- Tracy Morgan (Sept. 14)
- Paul Rodriguez (Sept. 15)
- Wayne Brady (Sept. 16)
- I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience (Sept. 21)
- Modest Mouse (Sept. 22)
- Clint Black (Sept. 23)
- Bee Gees Gold: The Tribute (Sept. 28)
- UB40 (Sept. 29)
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 15 roller coasters and thrill rides at night. As Halloween approaches, the kids can embark on a unique trick-or-treat trail. Fright Fest is open on weekends until October 31.
For more information on Lake County’s top 10 things to do in September, continue here.