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.
From Labor Day weekend to Ravinia, from fall fests to fly boys (and fly females), from the world’s largest corn maze to pumpkin fests, from the PGA Tour to Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest by Snickers, your weekend digest is here in Lake County.
Get your calendars ready, here are the top 10 things to do in September in Lake County.
“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. Following Labor Day weekend, Hurricane Harbor closes for the season. 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. After you’ve drenched yourself, dry off on 14 thrilling coasters in Six Flags Great America.
September 1-4. Ticket prices vary. Hurricane Harbor, 542 N. Route 21, Gurnee.
Ravinia is a staple of Lake County. Since 1905, the Highland Park fest has featured the top musicians in a variety of genres, making it the oldest outdoor festival in U.S. history. In Ravinia Festival’s final month of the season, here are some of the acts that will grace the stage. Don’t forget your picnic eats and vino.
- Gladys Knight & Michael Bolton (September 1)
- Pacifica Quartet: Complete Beethoven String Quartets, parts 1-5 (September 1-3)
- UB40 (September 2)
- Aretha Franklin (September 3)
- Laurie Berkner (September 4)
- Bryan Wallick plays Brahms & Liszt (September 5)
- Concert Dance Inc. (September 7-8)
- Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (September 8)
- Stevie Nicks (September 9-10)
- Smokey Robinson (September 15)
- The Performers School presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (September 16-17; five shows total)
- Love the 90’s the Party Continues featuring TLC, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, Snap!, Biz Markie, All 4 One and O-Town (September 16)
- Los Tigres Del Norte and Natalia Jimenez – Fiesta Ravinia. Day-long celebration of Mexican art and culture (September 17)
September 1-17. Start times vary. Prices vary. Ravinia Festival, 200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park.
It’s #traveltuesday and we are taking you to the Model Railroad Garden where 18 g-scale trains travel more than 22,000 miles each season. #modelrailroad #chicagobotanicgarden #traingarden #railroadgarden #gardenrailway #tuesdaythoughts #trains #gardensofinstagram #miniature #appliedimagination #naturalmaterials
Lake County has a rich past and splendid collection of unique museums and historical locations. Expand your horizon with one of Lake County’s exhibitions in September.
- Irish & American Minstrel Music of the 1840s at Barrington History Museum (September 23)
- Summer’s End Exhibit at Brushwood Center (through September 24)
- Here Comes the Brides: Vintage Wedding Dress Exhibit at Barrington History Museum (through November 4)
- Jewel Tea Exhibit at Barrington History Museum (through November 4)
- A Good Time Was Had By All Exhibit at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum (through October 28)
- History of Entertainment in Grayslake Exhibit at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum (through October 28)
- The Lure of Gray’s Lake Exhibit at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum (through November 3)
- Model Railroad Garden ‘Landmarks of America’ at Chicago Botanic Garden (through October 29)
- 33+ exhibits at Volo Auto Museum (year-round)
- Pieces of the Past at Waukegan History Museum (through October 15)
- Sweetheart Mine: WWI Love Letters Exhibit (through November 11)
- When Baseball Went to War Exhibit at the National Museum of the American Sailor (through December 31)
From the beautiful foliage on the trees in Lake County Forest Preserves, to the spooks and spirits to Oktoberfests to pumpkin patches, to Halloween and watching football at the sports bars, Lake County is the place to be during fall. Here are your fall festivals for September.
- First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (September 1)
- Bristol Renaissance Faire (September 2-4)
- Annual Jubilee Days Festival in Zion (September 2-4)
- Long Grove Irish Days (September 2-4)
- Rock the Block Party in Lake Zurich (September 9)
- Mundelein Arts Festival (September 9-10)
- ArtWauk in Waukegan (September 16)
- Legions of Craft Beer Fest in Gurnee (September 16)
- Long Grove’s Apple Fest (September 22-24)
- Farm Heritage Days & Harvest Festival at the Lake County Fairgrounds (September 23-24)
- Vernon Hills Annual Oktoberfest Celebration
- Antioch’s Fall Wine Walk (September 30)
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 these captains of flight have said in the past and what pilots will exclaim in the future, “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.”
Saturday, September 9; noon-4 p.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Admission $15 (cash only). Military personnel and children under 12 receive free admission entry. Waukegan Regional Airport, 2882, W. Plane Rest Dr., Waukegan.
Many farmers markets are closing for the season in September. Shopping for produce at a farmers market is not only a great way to support Lake County, but it’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy the beautiful summer weather with the family. Lake County farmers markets offer locally-grown produce, prepared bites, spices, meats, pastries, bread and so much more. Here are some farmers markets closing their doors the year in September.
- Antioch’s Farmers Market (closing September 28)
- Grayslake’s Summer Farmers Market (closing September 20)
- Lake Zurich Farmers Market (closing September 8)
- Vernon Hills French Market (closing September 16)
- Village of Wadsworth Farmers Market (closing September 29)
- Zion’s Farmers Market (closing September 28)
We are so excited to check out the #WorldsLargestCornMaze @richardsonadventurefarm ! 🌽 ⚾️ 🔜Opening day is Saturday, September 2nd. • • • Take the short drive to get lost in the corn maze, zoom down the zip line, take a wagon ride, pick your pumpkins and more. • • #hellofall #worldslargestcornmaze #cornmaze #gocubs #myBAB #myBABaroundtown #thatscub
7. Richardson Adventure Farm & Corn Maze (September 2-October 29) & Didier Farm Pumpkinfest (September 23-October 31)
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. Richardson Farm celebrates what most of the Chicagoland area has been waiting for for over a century: A Chicago Cubs World Series. Visitors will walk through a Cubbies-themed maze in 2017 featuring the Chicago skyline, the Wrigley Field marquee, the outfield wall ivy and the legendary play-by-play sportscaster Harry Caray. 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.
Friday-Sunday, September 2-4; Fri 3-11 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun Noon-10 p.m. Admission: $13-$16. Richardson Adventure Farm & Corn Maze, 9407 Richardson Rd., Spring Grove.
You haven’t lived unless you’ve been to Didier Farms Pumpkin Fest. The farm favorite features hayrides, pony rides, camel rides, kiddie rides, an exotic petting zoo, a parakeet exhibit, a corn maze and pig races (only on the weekend). A new addition to this event now features Buffalo Creek Mining Co. The Lincolnshire farm’s doors are open till Halloween night. Don’t forget to visit Grandma D’s Bake Shop for scrumptious pies, cookies, fudge, homemade apple cider, kettle corn and pumpkin donuts.
September 23-October 31; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Didier Farms, Aptakisic Rd., Prairie View.
For the third time in five years, the BMW Championship returns to Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest. The tour’s top 70 golfers compete for a share of the $8.75 million purse. The winner of this prestigious tournament earns $1.53 million and the J.K. Wadley Trophy. Catch big-time PGA Tour athletes like Dustin Johnson (the reigning 2016 BMW Champ), Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy – who are currently ranked as the top 4 golfers in the world.
September 12-17. Tickets vary. Conway Farms Golf Club, 425 S. Conway Farms Dr., Lake Forest.
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.
Weekends from September 16-Halloween. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy, Gurnee.
The legendary Dungeon of Doom Haunted House in Zion will be sure to scare the daylights out of you. Dungeon of Doom has earned its legendary reputation as the most bone-chilling, best-haunted house in Chicago and Milwaukee. The award-winning facility of scares is open on weekends through November 4.
September 23, 29 & 30. Dungeon of Doom, 600 29th St., Zion.
For more information about the top 10 things to do in September 2017, Continue Here.