Let’s go Lake County and peruse the top 10 things to do in May.
In May, we celebrate the full swing of spring, since April showers bring May flowers (no, not the boat).
Month number five also hosts National Tourism Week. Stay tuned to our website from May 5-11 (pretty much year-round, too). Ravinia tickets go on sale in the second week of May as well. Continue here to see a full list of who’s performing at the Highland Park fest. Make sure you peruse all of our shopping options as Mother’s Day is also in May. Check back as we’ll have a Mother’s Day blog up shortly.
Lake County’s farmers markets are starting to open. Click here to learn more about the freshest and locally-grown ripe fruits and veggies of the season.
It’s time to toss your galoshes and winter coats, and celebrate the finest box socials, performances, exhibits and scenic views Illinois has to offer. Here are your top 10 things to do in May.
Lake County is known for its theatre and live shows. Performers continuously break legs as these May shows and concerts feature incredible voices, thrilling dances, great storytelling, knee-slapping jokes and more. Here are your top shows and concerts for May.
- “Footloose” at Marriott Theatre (through June 2)
- The Citadel Theatre presents “Sentimental Journey” (through May 26)
- Pianist Einav Yarden plays Beethoven at Bennett Gordon Hall (BGH) at Ravinia Festival (May 4)
- Jack Wright’s Songs and Stories of Neil Diamond at James Lumber Center (May 4)
- Pianist Bryan Wallick at BGH (May 4-5)
- College of Lake County (CLC) Wind Ensemble Finale Concert at James Lumber (May 5)
- Penn & Teller at Genesee Theatre **SOLD OUT*** (May 10)
- Thorwald Jørgensen plays Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff at BGH (May 11)
- CLC Spring Choral Concert at James Lumber (May 11)
- Alliance Brass Quintet at Waukegan H.S. (May 11)
- CLC Concert Band at James Lumber (May 15)
- Burton Cummings at Genesee Theatre (May 16)
- Patton Oswalt at Genesee Theatre (May 17)
- The Buddy Holly Story at Genesee Theatre (May 18)
- Freddy Jones Band at Blarney Island (May 24)
- RamseyFest at Ravinia Festival (May 31)
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at PM&L Theatre (May 31-June 16)
Whether or not we base our meteorology off of a ground-dwelling mammal that can locate his/her shadow and predict the weather is moot now. Spring is here. Here is your guide to Spring Festivals in Lake County.
- First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (May 3)
- Cinco de Mayo at Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center (May 3-5)
- Celebrate Seniors Festival in Grayslake (May 5)
- Lake Zurich Craft Beer Fest (May 10-11)
- Food Truck Frenzy at College of Lake County (May 11)
- Long Grove Chocolate Fest (May 17)
- StarWauk in Waukegan (May 18)
- Bitter Jester Music Festival in Highland Park (Begins May 31)
- Ravinia Festival in Highland Park (Begins May 31)
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 23.
Time to live on island time and head to the ‘Key West of the Midwest’ as Blarney Island in Antioch opens its doors for the season. This two-day unofficial start to summer features drink and food specials (with an updated menu) and live music from C-Factor, Moon Money and Vibration Foundation. 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 August 29. The Antioch island has a kickoff Thunder on the Chain event on May 24.
The United State’s Navy fleet is no joke. Nor was it back in the early 1860s. The heralded 16th President of the United States utilized these sea gents as an essential strategy to win the war between the states. George Buss, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator will inform audiences of the Navy’s participation in the ANaconda plan, army-navy operations and the modernization of ironclad ships. Scott’s Great Snake plan by General Winfield Scott is one of valiance, strategy and innovation.
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 Springs Road Canoe Launch. This is the United States’ second oldest canoe race. If you are with the family, there is a brand new 5.25-mile mini-thon available starting in Potawatomi Woods in Wheeling. There are races for each age group to accommodate all. Be sure to look port and starboard when you cross the stream!
Witness the majesty and beauty of the Swallowtail, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Skipperling and as many as 500 other colorful butterflies and blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden. The Butterflies & Blooms exhibition highlights species that are native to Africa, Asia, North America and South America. The butterflies are housed in a 2,800-square-foot mesh enclosure on the Regenstein Learning Campus. Visitors can observe the butterflies hatching through a window located inside the pupa emergence room. This exhibit runs through September 3.
The wheels on the bus still go round and round. To celebrate our favorite mouse, Mickey, Volo Auto Museum is offering tours of the facility utilizing the 1920s double-decker bus from Disney World’s Epcot Center. The narrated tour of the Volo grounds will provide visitors with knowledge on the museum’s history, stories behind the exhibits and an experience of a 99-year-old autobus that runs on propane. The bus is one of six of the vehicles built for the Disney parks.
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“There is a-splishin’ and a-splashin,’ reelin’ with the feelin,’ movin’ and a-groovin,’ rockin’ and a-rollin’” at Hurricane Harbor water park at Six Flags Great America. This Gurnee water park offers 17 refreshing attractions to help you beat the summer heat. Take a dip in the drink, recline, relax and experience all the thrills of your adventure at Hurricane Harbor. Hurricane Harbor is open through September 2.
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. This year kicks off with RamseyFest featuring highly decorated musician Ramsey Lewis. The three-time Grammy-winning jazzman provided hits like Hang on Sloopy, Wade in the Water and so many other tunes. Lewis is joined by Philip Bailey from Earth Wind & Fire, the John Pizzarelli Trio and Ann Hampton Callaway. The season runs through September 15.
For other things besides the top 10 things to do in May in Lake County, click here!