Top 10 Things To Do in October 2019

So long summer. As much as we love the summer, Lake County lives and breathes the fall. When October shows up, the spooks and spirits take over in Lake County. Continue here to learn more.

“Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.” – The Waukegan-bred, famed author Ray Bradbury.

From pumpkin patches to family-friendly festivals, to Chicago Bears Football to Fright Fest, to Halloween and haunted houses to spooky-good adult beverages, Lake County has what you’re looking for in October.

Here are your top 10 things to do in October.

1. Spooks & Spirits Lake County Autumn Celebration

The Spooks & Spirits Autumn Celebration has something for everyone: fall festivals, costume parades, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, haunted attractions, spooky good libations and more. Enjoy a “Boo”tiful experience and have a scary good time in Lake County this Halloween season!

2. Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest presented by SNICKERS® (now-October 31)


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Conquer the Frights of the night.🖤🎢

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Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest presented by SNICKERS® has returned. Crypts, ghouls, zombies and everything else Halloween takes over the Gurnee amusement park on select days from now through October 31. The transformation of Six Flags Great America features plenty of exciting thrills and chills including scare zones, live entertainment, haunted attractions, and of course the coasters and rides that we love the all-year-round.

3. Haunted Attractions in Lake County


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There is an abundance of courageous souls out there that want to brave the storm of a professional scarer. That said, Lake County holds a Master’s Degree in terrifying individuals. Here are a few of the spooks in Lake County.

4. Farm Fun in Lake County

Old Lake County had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. And on these farms he had, scenic shots, pumpkins patches, hayrides, zip lines, corn mazes, apple picking, petting zoos and a ton of other family fun events…E-I-E-I-O. Visit one of these farms before the season is over.

5. Lake County Libation Trail Fests

Brew, wine and cocktail aficionados, must get their spooks & spirits on this fall. Post spook session, grab a drink to calm your nerves. Plenty is going on with our Lake County Libation Trail friends in October. Here are some of the festivities this month. Don’t forget to enroll in the Lake County Libation Trail Check-in Challenge. Continue here to learn more.

6. CROCtoberfest at the Wildlife Discovery Center (October 6, 20 and 27)

CROCtoberfest has extended to a full month of lizardry in this year’s installment of the event. For three Sundays, the Lake Forest croc haven will explore the lifestyle, temperament and science behind these scaley creatures up-close and personal in a safe environment. On October 6, the Wildlife Discovery Center will breakdown the American alligator, while October 27 is Morelet’s and the Philippine crocodile. On October 27, visitors will meet the Orinoco crocodile. Registration is not required, but a $10 donation is encouraged.

7. The Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest (October 11-13)

This festival has pumpkins stacked to the sky. Get into the spirit with your friend Jack while holding a lantern and journey to Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Festival. Once again, the festival will be jam-packed with daily events, a variety of food and drink vendors, a carnival, live tunes, hayrides, pony rides, pumpkin carving, massive pumpkin displays, nightly pumpkin lightings, a parade, Superhero 5K/10K and other festivities. The live entertainment includes Unity the Band, Clayton Mann Band, Catfight, Cirrus Falcon and more.

8. ZombieWauk in Waukegan (October 19)


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#ZombieWauk #Waukegan

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Every third Saturday of the year, you get a touch of culture with the different mediums you see from ArtWauk. However, downtown Waukegan is transformed into Halloween town as ArtWauk runs alongside its Annual ZombieWauk. The event will feature live entertainment, suds and eats vendors, face painters and flesh-eating abominations clutter the streets as they attempt to hunt you down. Beware of the walking dead.

9. Lincolnshire Boo Bash (October 25)


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We had a great time at the Lincolnshire Boo Bash with Mayor Liz Brandt. Happy Halloween #IL10 🎃🍁👻

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Families will flock to Lincolnshire’s North Park for the village’s beloved Boo Bash. The Halloween-themed event will feature a haunted trail/house, pumpkin decorating, games, a live DJ, a bounce house, a gigantic slide, food trucks, laser tag, a photo booth and more. The community festival is suitable for all ages and is free to attend.

10. Svengoolie at Volo Auto Museum (October 26)

Before you and the kids terrorize the streets for some Halloween trick-or-treating, the man from Berrrrrrwyyyyyn will be at Voooolooo Auto Museum. Dodge rubber chickens as you participate in a meet and greet with Svengoolie. Take a photo, get an autograph and gaze upon all of the fantastic cars featured in movies, TV and more. Also, take a free trip on the haunted train ride.

Honorable Mention

Fox Lake Pumpkin Jubilee (October 12)


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200 pumpkins carved! Thanks to all who came to Pumpkin Jubilee! #foxlakeil #pumpkins #pumpkinjubilee

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How many jumbo orange fruits can everyone carve in one sitting? You’ll find out in mid-October, two weeks before National Pumpkin Day. When artists are finished designing, the jack-o-lanterns will be displayed on the pumpkin wall. The event also features various artisan food vendors.

Night of 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns at Chicago Botanic Garden (Oct. 16-19, 23-27)

Ready for an evening of headless horseman staring at you with multiple different expressions? Chicago Botanic Garden is hosting Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns the weekend before Halloween. These hand-carved pumpkins will light up the Glencoe Garden with LED lights along the paved pathway starting at the Esplanade. Along the way, encounter entertaining characters, view the ghostly trains in the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America, and indulge in seasonal eats and drinks like apple doughnuts, cider and ale. You can’t buy these pumpkins, but you sure can get a few grammable snaps from this display.

For more things to do in October, continue here. To learn more about the Spooks & Spirits Autumn Celebration, click here.

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