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Six Must-Dos of Summer in Lake County!

Next weekend, Let’s Go and plan for fun with these six must-dos of summer in Lake County! For many kids, school has been over for a while.

Lake County knows how to make the most of our winters. We also know how to take advantage of the warm summers.

Now that the weather is FINALLY warming up, explore next weekend what Lake County has to offer, and obviously LET’S GO! From festivals to thrills at Six Flags Great America, from the music you can dance to and the classy music wafting through your ears at Ravinia. To the relaxing experience, you obtain from boating, fishing or playing in the waters Lake Michigan, Chain O’Lakes and 170 + lakes in our fair Lake County. To the fantastic memories made on  30,000 acres in Lake County’s forests. To the annual Lake County Fair, Lake County has all you need to make an unbelievable experience in the summertime.


Need some inspiration before you travel to Lake County. Here’s the rundown of everything about the area in our Visitors GuideContinue here to have one ordered.

For everything about festivals during the Vernal Equinox season, check out our guide to the summer parties.

Here are the Six “Must-Do’s” of Summer in Lake County!

Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor


=”https://www.visitlakecounty.org/your-guide-to-six-flags-great-america”>Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor just opened their newest ride in 2018 called the Mardi Gras Hangover. The Fat Tuesday-themed ride is the park’s 16th coaster. The hangover thrill is the world’s largest loop coaster.

The Gurnee amusement park features 16 roller coasters, amazing live shows, fireworks, delicious dining options, 11-themed areas with other fantastic rides and tons more of excitement. Hurricane Harbor is highlighted by 25-water slides, a 500,000-gallon wave pool, Skull Island: the world’s largest interactive water playground and so much more.

Also prior to 2015 opening for the season, the Guinness Book of World Records officially named Goliath as the world’s steepest, fastest and tallest wooden roller coaster. Since then, it still stands as the steepest and tallest wooden coaster. Continue here to watch Anthony and Kim conquer the ride! Not only is this GIANT a world-record setting beast, but it also goes upside down… twice!

Check out our Six Flags Guide and our Kids Guide to Six Flags for insider info and tips on how to plan your trip. Experience the ride for yourself!

Ravinia Festival

Opening weekend got us like 🍾 !!! 📸 by @moniqueviau

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When the summer breezes roll in, there’s no better way to spend a night than under the stars, on a blanket, listening to live music at Ravinia Festival: The oldest outdoor concert series in the world. This Highland Park fest is a pure celebration of summer in Lake County. Easily accessible by the Metra Train Union Pacific North Line, it’s just a few stops north of Chicago. While music is what brings everyone together at Ravinia, the real magic is in the unique ambiance. Don’t hesitate to turn a little spot of lawn into your own outdoor living room! Bring your own wine, cover a little table with a decorative scarf, unpack the imported cheese platter from your picnic basket and settle in for one of the most picturesque and beautiful ways to enjoy a night of music that you’ll ever find.

Ravinia loves to blend music into cultural events too!  Like their Chicago Symphony Orchestra nights when they play music from Broadway classics and scores heard while watching big screens. Don’t forget to bring the candelabrum (and maybe some citronella candles) to enjoy every second of this one of a kind experience! Lean back into that lawn chair while savoring wine, the music, and the moment.  Some of these year’s headliners include Whoopi Goldberg, Evanescence, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Beach Boys, 50 Cent, OAR, Jethro Tull, Tony Bennett, Mary J. Blige and more.

BoatingLakeCounty.com

Lake County has the name for a reason! We have 170+ bodies of water including the Chain O’Lakes and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. “The Chain” includes 15 lakes, 45 Miles of the Fox River and is the most popular recreational waterway per acre in the country and it’s right here in Lake County! Enjoy the scenery without having to plan a single thing with Chain O’Lakes Charters. They worry about the details so all you have to do is show up and have fun! Challenge your water skiing skills or take a tubing ride during a four or eight-hour sports cruise, and then relax during and indulge yourself with a shore barbecue lunch. Take an informative tour on a historical cruise and learn some of the real-life stories behind the historic spots on the chain.

Choose from a variety of other charter options including a two-hour real estate cruise, a four-hour sunset cruise, full and half day fishing charters and even more! Rent a pontoon boat, speed boat or rowboat and enjoy a day or weekend trip.  Stop for some lakeside dining along the way and savor a peaceful sunset as you reflect on all of the day’s adventures. Looking for boating and water activities?

BoatingLakeCounty.com has info on everything from fishing charters to slip fees and safety videos! Be prepared for the season as a few new boating laws have been implemented. Find a beach to enjoy on our beach blog!

Lake County Forest Preserves

Lake County is all about the great outdoors.  With more than 30,000 acres of forest preserves to explore, it can be pretty hard to do it on foot. Biking in Lake County is a great way to explore more of our nature and with so many miles of trails, you can forget that you’re just north of Chicago. The Des Plaines River Trail runs north and south while passing through several Lake County Forest Preserves like Van Patton Woods, Wadsworth Savanna, Sedge Meadow, Lake Carina, Independence Grove and Wilmot Woods. Don’t want to bring a bike with you? That’s fine! Rent one at Independence Grove and enjoy a leisurely cruise around their 1,135-acre preserve. Heat got you beat? Take a swim at their sandy beach or try to stand up paddle boarding! Also, explore the trails that run through beautiful Ryerson Woods.

  • Bird Watching: Did you know that Lake County is home to over 300 species of bird including the migrating Sandhill Crane? Explore a variety of natural landscapes in Lake County from open prairies and savannas to marshlands and Lake Michigan bluffs. See the top 10 bird watching locations in Lake County!
  • Dog Parks: Buy a permit for a day, or for the year and enjoy state of the art dog parks with your four-legged-best-friends! Choose from 4 beautiful dog parks with a combined open space of 160 acres of open space. Let your furry friends off their leash and watch as they run through meadows, splash in natural waters, and enjoy meeting other

The 90th Annual Lake County Fair

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Are you going to the annual Lake County Fair this year?  If you did, check that one off your summer bucket list! We’re talking cowboy boots and all of the favorites like the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, dairy cattle and swine judging,  goat milking, Miss Lake County Fair Pageants, the Grandstand Beer Garden and so much more. One of the best things about the fair is all of the interesting barnyard animals that let you get up close and personal!  How can you not say a long drawn out, ‘awww,’ when seeing the cute baby animals at the petting zoo Hold onto your saddles! The Pro Rodeo Stampede is one of the must-sees of the fair (as demonstrated from past years)!

For nearly a century, the Lake County Fair has provided a great family experience for members young and old spanning generations. The annual six-day event in Grayslake turns 90 years old this year. This Lake County staple will include entertainment, food vendors, live farm animals, carnival rides, games, motor crossing, a demolition derby, a flower show, the Miss Lake County Pageant and so much more. Learn more about the fair at lcfair.com. Find your favorite singer in Lake County Idol or root for your favorite group of musicians in the battle of the bands.

Great Wolf Lodge Illinois 

big bucket!

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The Great Wolf Lodge Illinois is an enormous 80,000-square-foot indoor water park with a plethora of thrilling waterslides, a giant tipping bucket, a wave pool, a kiddie area, a lazy river and a zero-depth enter play area. The Gurnee resort has a full restaurant and bar as well as ‘cabin suites’ for children to feel like they are camping in the comfort of a hotel room. Once you leave the water park, family-size bowling lanes, an indoor miniature golf course, story time and other fun activities with woodland critters, jungle gym climbing area and an enormous arcade await you.

So Next Weekend, Let’s Go! Explore the countless memories you can create in Lake County! For other fun things to do in Lake County besides the six must-dos of summer in Lake County, continue here.

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