Spring Festivals Guide in Lake County 2020

Please note, all efforts have been made to verify information prior to publishing, however, changes do occur. Please contact event producers directly to verify such things as times, location, admission price and cancellations.

Spring festivals in Lake County “Hath put a spirit of youth in everything” (Billy Shakes – or William Shakespeare as we like to call him).

Spring festivals in Lake County feature the most delectable eats, eclectic live music,  radiant works of art and of course, libations.


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Ravinia summer is here! Check out the full season line up! 😎☀️ • • • • #ravinia #Raviniafestival #summer #2020

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Also, the Ravinia schedule was released today. We will provide a list shortly.

Whether or not we base our meteorology off of a ground-dwelling mammal that can locate his or her shadow and predict the weather is moot now.

Experience the fanfare of our warming season as we provide you with the guide to spring festivals in Lake County.

Fox Lake Pelican Palooza (March 27-April 10)

The inaugural Fox Lake event celebrates the Lake County village’s local businesses, art and the American white pelican, which migrates to the area from mid-March through early April. Pick up your Pelican Passport and visit participating local businesses for a prize. There will be an abundance of deals from nearly 20 establishments.

First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (April 3, May 1 and June 5)

MainStreet Libertyville invites one and all to their monthly celebration of First Fridays on MainStreet. A variety of fantastic drinks, mouth-watering eats and live entertainment surrounds the event as you peruse the Lake County local mom and pop stores offering promotional sales. Be there or be square! The Friday celebration is a free admission event.

Shop ‘n’ Swirl Wine Walk in Grayslake (April 4)

Grayslake is in the process of celebrating 125 years in existence. The century-plus old community kicks off their commemoration period with the Shop ‘N Swirl Wine Walk. The event features over 30 vino makers, a roaring 20s themed photo op, a commemorative wine glass, raffles and downtown perusing at the mom and pop shops in Grayslake. Proceeds from the event support the Grayslake Heritage Center.

Beer, Bacon and Bourbon Tasting in Libertyville  (April 18)

The Beer, Bacon and Bourbon tasting in Libertyville is a can’t-miss spring fest. The event will feature over 76 beers and bourbons and a slew of different bacon. The $25 ticket includes a tasting glass and unlimited samples. Tickets sold out early last year, and they are limited to the first 150 people.

Unearth Science Festival at Chicago Botanic Garden (April 18-19)

Spring into the season with Chicago Botanic Garden at the Unearth Science Festival for the 50th anniversary of Earth Week. The Glencoe event features science activities from soil science to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Attendees can also participate in drop-in programs, themed demonstrations, free programs and special events throughout the three-day extravaganza. Registration is required for various events.

ArtWauk (April 18 and June 20)

Fill your artistic void with the ever-extravagant monthly ArtWauk in Downtown Waukegan. Experience a plethora of talented individuals showcasing their work in many different art mediums. In addition to the portraits, sculptures and other artistic vibes, munch on some delicious dining options downtown or feel the flow of the tunes from the live entertainment at this free event occurring every third Saturday of the month.

Fear No Art Festival at College of Lake County (April 24-25)

Every year the James Lumber Center gives us a slew of eye-opening performances from the Fear No Art Festival. This year is no different as the Grayslake Art Festival reaches has featured unbelievable talent for over two decades at the College of Lake County. This lively festival features a variety of artists performing music, dance and poetry. Also, there will be a stunning display of other art mediums including paintings, photography and sculptures by CLC students and community artists.

2020 Gaming Hoopla at DoubleTree by Hilton Libertyville-Mundelein (April 24-26)

What’s your game of choice? Is it Fortnite? Checkers? Texas Hold’em? The Gaming Hoopla in Mundelein features an array of games including board gaming, tournaments, miniatures and so much more. The event also features a raffle and the proceeds raise money for Aurora Cancer Care.

Long Grove Craft Beer Festival (April 25)

Our hop and barley-loving friends over the age of 21 will not want to miss yet another craft festival, this time at the Long Grove Craft Beer Festival. (We’re pretty spoiled here, you know.) This sudsy event’s ticket includes a commemorative glass and unlimited three-ounce samples. Lake County Libation Trail participants for the fest include Buffalo Creek Brewing and others will be on hand for the event. The beer sipping affair also features live tunes.  Don’t forget to peruse the niche stores of beautiful Historic Downtown Long Grove.

Fort Sheridan 133rd Birthday Party in Highland Park (April 23)

The area owned by the Lake County Forest Preserves District is turning the ripe old age of 133. Since 1887, the Highland Park and Highwood structure has been erected.

May Fest 2020 at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum (May 2)

As Grayslake turns 125 years old, Lake County celebrates the arts and culture of the century and a quarter old area. May Fest Fine Arts Show and Sale is in its fourth installment. The event features new artwork, live tunes, refreshment and more. The Grayslake Farmers Market will be running alongside of the event and there is an abundance of eats to dine on in the downtown area.

Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival at Chicago Botanic Garden (May 2-3)


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Siberian Apricot in full bloom today! #malottjapanesegarden #flowers #trees

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Celebrate spring in the Chicago Botanic Garden by writing a seasonal haiku and making a cherry blossom hanging scroll, plus try other hands-on activities like a suminagashi paper marbling demonstration. Experience traditional storytelling and a koto harp and Skahuachi flute music performance, and take a walk in the Japanese Garden.

Wine, Women & Shoes at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort (May 8)

Fashion, wine, and shoes come together for an interactive, fun evening that will tickle your taste buds and satisfy your shopping urges. The Lincolnshire Marriott’s proceeds raise proceeds for survivors and children of domestic violence.

Lake County Culinary Festival at College of Lake County (May 8)

Students in CLCs hospitality and culinary management program will serve delightful eats from their final class projects. The Prairie Restaurant is open three days a week in the CLC’s Grayslake campus and visitors get to test out the hidden talent before these restaurateurs become big-time chefs.

Lake County Food Truck Frenzy at College of Lake County (May 9)

Fare aficionados will go on a Food Truck Frenzy at the College of Lake County. Whether you are considering hiring a food truck for your wedding, office, party at home or you just want to make your taste buds dance; this Grayslake family-friendly event is for you. The food fight features over 25 food trucks from Chicago to Milwaukee.

Zurko Antique and Flea Market at Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (April 11 and May 9)

For nearly half a century, Zurko Promotions has provided quality antique shows and flea markets to the Midwest. This weekend’s show and market at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Grayslake features an array of vendors offering a variety of antiques and collectibles including furniture, estate jewelry, vinyl records, dated instruments, postcards, glass and porcelains, vintage advertising items, home décor, coins, old-fashioned toys and much more. Visit the Grayslake market this weekend, because each item “has a story to tell.”

Salad in the Park in Gurnee (May 12)

Park on Cruise Night (Wednesdays starting May 13, June 10,)

*CANCELED* Long Grove Chocolate Fest (May 15-16)


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Fest season is the best season! 🍩🍫 . . . #chocolate #longgrove #longgrovechocolatefest #chocolatefestival

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Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate. The annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival kicks off this weekend as we celebrate the slow change to spring. Be in a chocolate lover’s paradise as Long Grove Confectionery will be in attendance as well as a plethora of other vendors, live entertainment and of course your chocolatey vices. Fan-favorite bands include Sixteen Candles, 7th Heaven, Karma Committee, Midnight Rider and more.

StarWauk in Waukegan (May 16)

The City of Waukegan is altering the ArtWauk; pray they don’t alter it any further. It’s not a trap because this edition of the Waukegan artsy celebration is transforming to StarWauk. This inaugural festival of the Star Wars saga and science-fiction genre during the monthly ArtWauk features free live entertainment, art exhibits, unique shops, costume contests, delicious eats and more. Have fun, you will.

Blarney Island Opening Weekend (May 16-17)

Don’t have the time to make it out to the Sunshine State this year? No worries. Blarney Island is bringing Key West to the Midwest for an entire weekend of festivities. Enjoy a weekend of good times, drinks, eats and a live DJ.

Thunder on the Chain at Blarney Island (Thursdays, May 21-September 3)


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Vroom vroom #DragBoat #BlarneyIsland #ThunderOnTheChain #NIDBA

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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 3.

County Pop Culture Con at Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (May 23)

Like the Avengers, Zurko Promotions and Pop-Con join forces for the Grayslake Late Night Flea Market/County Pop Culture Con at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center. Shoppers can peruse everything to antiques, collectibles, jewelry and porcelains to comics, action figures, video games, memorabilia, pop culture wares and so much more. Excelsior!

Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Friday’s (May 29-August 21)

“Food, glorious food! what is there more handsome!” Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Fridays are located in the Corporate Center Parking Lot and offer a variety of choices in the gourmet eats department. The foodie frenzy includes local trucks providing barbecue, innovative sandwiches, seafood options, international eats and so much more. Take in the aromas that waft through the air, while a delectable dish is prepared right in front of your eyes. There will also be kiddie entertainment and live music. The event runs every other Friday through August 21.

Grayslake Craft Beer Festival (May 30)

Thirsty for an ice cold brew? Downtown Grayslake hosts the village’s seventh annual Craft Beer Festival featuring over 60 brewers handing out cold ones, eats, live music and more. Don’t miss this wide variety of tasty suds Saturday afternoon.

Ravinia Festival (May 30-September 15)

Summer’s marquee event is Ravinia in Highland Park. This festival is the oldest outdoor music event in North America. The Highland Park event has hosted everyone from Tony Bennett to Luciano to Miles Davis to B.B. King to Lauryn Hill to Dolly Parton to Bob Dylan and a host of other unbelievable acts. Upon your visit, don’t forget your wine, picnic basket, blankets and lawn chairs so you can thoroughly enjoy a warm summer night in the Lake County City. Here’s who has been announced to perform in June. The event runs through early September.

Lambs Farm Champion Car Show in Libertyville

Put your weekend into gear at the Lambs Farm Champion Car Show this Sunday. Peruse dozens of classic automobiles at the free Libertyville event and enjoy a variety of music and raffles from various establishments. Once you’ve procured your appetite, head to the beer and food tent to tame your hunger and quench your thirst.

Ravinia District’s Food Truck Thursdays in Highland Park (Thursdays, June 4-September 3)

This event delights the famished of Lake and Cook County at this scrumptious spectacle. Journey to Highland Park’s Food Truck Thursday for fun in the sun with inspired dishes. Ravinia Brewing Co. and Abigails American Bistro will provide the libations for the event. Visitors can also enjoy live music, family arts & crafts, bags and more. The event will occur every Thursday through September 3 except on the Fourth of July.

Bitter Jester Music Festival (Fridays June 5-26 and July 4)

The Bitter Jester Music Festival (BJMF) is the Midwest’s largest professional music competition for rising-star musicians (bands and solo artists alike). BJMF supports and promotes young and emerging talent from across Northern Illinois & Indiana, all across Wisconsin, and into Southern Michigan. The competition gives participating young adults an opportunity to receive professional feedback from working musicians and, most importantly, meet and connect with dozens of other musicians their own age.  The winner moves on to perform at the Navy Pier and the Taste of Highland Park. The fest runs on Fridays through early July.

Mundelein Craft Beer Festival (June 13)


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Suns out, beers out 🍻

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Mundelein Community Connections and Tighthead Brewing Company join forces to host the Mundelein Craft Beer Festival. Admission for this event includes a souvenir tasting glass and brew samples from over 40 local breweries. The Mundelein brew fest also features live music and food trucks with serving fare for purchase. Designated driver tickets are available.

Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Art and Music Festival in Waukegan (June 13)

For over two decades, Waukegan has celebrated a festival named for the
mastermind behind Fahrenheit 451 and Martian Chronicles. The 16th annual Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival features art, music, dance and the Drum Circle, “As Waukegan Grows.” Experience this Bowen Park Festival sponsored by the city of Waukegan and the Waukegan Park District.

Nostalgia Days Car Show and Festival in Zion (June 14-15)

Are you craving some memories? Watch your past come back to life as Zion hosts Nostalgia Days at Shiloh Park. Enjoy live music, Lake County’s largest longest-running car, truck & motorcycle show, outdoor movies, a carnival, laser tag, scrumptious eats and so much more.

Libertyville Days Festival 2020 “Roaring Into the 20s (June 18-21)


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Suns out, beers out 🍻

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It’s the party of the year in Libertyville! For four memorable days, beautiful downtown Libertyville provides a weekend full of activities including a parade, pageant, carnival rides, Church Street eats, beer garden, an arts and craft fair, eating competitions, car show, live entertainment and so much more. The theme of the village’s event is celebrating the Roaring 20s.

Smith Nature Symposium at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods

Save the date for the 2020 Smith Nature Symposium, honoring Global Environmentalists and Writers, Sue Halpern and Bill McKibben! Friday is the dinner and award presentation. View Sue Halpern and Bill McKibben, the 2020 Environmental Leadership Award Recipients, as we honor their extraordinary environmental writing, activism, and leadership on behalf of nature. Don’t miss their onstage conversation with Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra, Masters of Ceremonies, and the presentation of our 2020 Youth Environmental Leadership Scholarship. Saturday programming includes nature walks for all ages, music, art, and solution spotlight presentations with the region’s top scientists, doctors, artists, and business leaders. The Symposium will also feature a stunning exhibition of paintings made with foraged plastic by artist and environmental activist, Arica Hilton.

Antioch Wizards Weekend (June 20)

Is wizard chess your game or is it Quidditch? This magical weekend running alongside with Antioch’s Summer Arts & Craft Faire provides a slew of enchanting activities including costume contests, games, a scavenger hunt and other Harry Potter-themed happenings. Wizards and muggles of all ages will enjoy this free admission event! The Antioch Chamber urges attendees to dress as the character that most closely relates to you. Some of the events hosted in the downtown Antioch festival require advance registration. Register at The Arts and Crafts Faire is highlighted by over 65 vendors of hand-crafted goods makers. The children’s portion of the Arts and Crafts Faire includes face painting, balloon art and of course Wizard’s Weekend.

For other spring festivals in Lake County, click here.




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