Fall Festival Guide in Lake County 2019

One of the best things about the summer farewell is fall festivals in Lake County. Pumpkin spice anyone?

Embark on the exceptional vibrancy of autumn’s glows first hand while heading to an Oktoberfest, getting the living daylights scared out of you, picking out enormous orange fruits or just getting lost in a maze of maize.

Taste the harvest goodness, embrace sweater weather, breathe in the autumn feels and get to a fall festival in Lake County!

Richardson Adventure Farm World’s Largest Corn Maze (now-Nov. 3)

You’ll be amazed by their maize mazes. Richardson’s Adventure Farm & Corn Maze is known for having the world’s most massive corn maze. The Spring Grove area spans 33 acres of land and is equipped with 11 miles of trails. Richardson Farm celebrates the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and NASA landing on the moon in 1969. 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-football), live pig races, a wooded picnic area, free campfires, pedal carts, pedal trikes, a goat farm, a corn cabin and wagon rides. Other activities have separate admissions. Richardson Farm is open through Sunday, November 3.

Fright Fest presented by Snickers (now-Nov.3)

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 eight weekends in ghoulish fashion, and features 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 November 3.

Long Grove Apple Fest (Sept. 20-22)


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Brutal bubble attack. Hundreds of eyes mildly irritated

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Ready to compare apples to apples. These succulent red and green treats are celebrated and placed in our pies, salads and doused in caramel (our personal favorites). The Long Grove Apple Fest also features other apple-inspired treats, live entertainment and family fun at beautiful, quaint Historic Downtown Long Grove. The annual fest was ranked no. 18 on Thrillist’s Illinois Cities Food & Drink list. The manzana party live entertainment includes Petty Kings, Sixteen Candles, ARRA, 7th Heaven, MellenCougar and so much more.

Fox Lake Fish Fest: Mayor’s Fish Fry & Fox Lake Fish Fest: Youth Fishing Derby (Sept. 20-21)

You have the OP-PERCH-TUNA-ty to ex-SALMON and experience all of the aquatic bites you’ve been HERRING about with Fox Lake’s Fish Fest. On Friday, visitors can enjoy a fish fry with the village mayor Donny Schmit. The meal includes all you can eat fish, two sides and a nonalcoholic drink, however, you can still purchase some adult beverages. Saturday morning, youngsters can grab their tackle box and fishing line to compete for the biggest fish in derby. The Lakefront Park event features the contest, eats, drinks, raffles and so much more. Kids angling under 16 don’t need a fishing license.

Barnfest 2019 at the Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center (Sept. 21)


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“Dixie cups and paper plates fiddle tunes and tunes in ‘Amazing Grace.’ Hallelujah, gonna raise the barn tonight!” Square dance, toe tap and kick up your heals to “Cotton-eyed Joe” as the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center hosts Barnfest 2019. The Grayslake social is highlighted by a barbecue dinner, live music, raffles, auctions and more.

2019 Trail Hoppin’ Brewery Tour P/B Crank Revolution Hosted by Half Day Brewing Co. (Sept. 21)

Feel the cool breeze as you take a ride on the 2019 Trail Hoppin’ Brewery Tour P/B Crank Revolution. The event is hosted by Lake County Libation Trail participant, Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire. In the second installment of this event, suds aficionados will take to the Des Plaines River Trail and the North Shore Bike Path touring (presently) nine brew houses. The event offers a short and a long version of the course. Other Lake County Libation Trail participants include the aforementioned Lincolnshire brewhouse, Bosacki’s Brewery and Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein, Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee and Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville. Online registration ($30 for both routes) ends September 14. Click here for online registry.

Oktoberfest in Highland Park (Sept. 21)

The city on the southeastern tip of Lake County is throwing their first Oktoberfest during the 150-year celebration. The German-themed event is highlighted by Rhineland cuisine, live tunes including a talent showcase and of course steins upon steins of ice-cold brew. The Highland Park Oktoberfest runs on Second Street from Beelow’s Steakhouse to Central Street. The fest’s headliner is Daniel Cronson, a musician that blends blues, soul and R&B stylings.

ArtWauk in Waukegan (Sept. 21, Nov. 15)

The city’s famed ArtWauk “paints” the town with sculptures, film, theatre, comedy, music, performance art, food and more. The free admission Saturday art event opens the doors to all art galleries throughout Waukegan. Fill your artistic void with the ever-extravagant monthly ArtWauk in Downtown Waukegan. In addition to the portraits, sculptures and other creative vibes, munch on some delicious dining options downtown or feel the flow of the tunes from the live entertainment

Fall on the Farm at Lambs Farm (Sept. 21-22)

Lambs Farm Fall on the Farm is an excellent adventure for the entire family. The event features fall-themed crafts and activities, a pumpkin paint, sand art, face painting, cookie decorating, a bounce house and more. To complement the event the Lake County Farm Heritage Association will be hosting barrel train rides and touch-a-tractor at the Libertyville farm.

Didier Farms Pumpkinfest (Sept. 21-Oct. 31)


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Got a solid fix of fall while back home in Chicago this past weekend. Now hurry down to Houston, fall! 🍂

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You haven’t lived unless you’ve been to Didier Farms Pumpkinfest. Everyone loves all the extravagant memories from the Lincolnshire/Prairie View Farm. The farm favorite features hayrides, pony rides, camel rides, kiddie rides, an exotic petting zoo, a parakeet exhibit, a corn maze and pig races (the sprinting porkies only gallop on the weekends). A new addition to this event is Buffalo Creek Mining Co, an area where kiddies can sift through the water to find gems. Don’t forget to visit Grandma D’s Bake Shop for scrumptious pies, cookies, fudge, homemade apple cider, kettle corn and pumpkin donuts. The farm’s doors are open through Wednesday, October 31. The farm, originally purchased by John Link who is the father of Mary Sue Didier, has been owned by a Didier descendant since 1912.

Antioch Fall Wine Walk (Sept. 28)

Stroll the quaint streets of downtown Antioch, stopping at unique boutiques and stores. Along the way, you can taste samples from 45 different wines and delicious dining options at each venue at the Antioch Fall Wine Walk. Bring a memento home with you as the Downtown Antioch event provides visitors with a commemorative wine glass and a complimentary bottle of wine. Purchase your tickets soon; the event sells out fast.

Vernon Hills Fall Fest (Sept. 28-29)

Visit Vernon Hills as the festival features family fun for all. Attendees will enjoy arts & crafts, pumpkin painting, live entertainment, a petting zoo, raffles, inflatable activities and so much more, while adults can enjoy the seductive suds and gourmet food from a variety of vendors. Brats, burgers, hot dogs, taffy apples and delectable bites are available for purchase from a local not-for-profit organization. On Sunday, the fest features a tailgate party for the Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings game.  Live bands performing at the Vernon Hills fest include Dizzy Edge Band, Five Guys Named Moe Band and A to Z.

Deerfield’s Harvest Fest (Sept. 28-29)

Deerfield’s Harvest Festival is a splendid autumn party for the entire family. The event features a farmers market, kids activities like touch-a-truck, a henna artist, the annual bags tournament (online preregistration required. Click here to register), live tunes and delectable eats from City Barbeque, Naf Naf Grill, Taco Vida, Nothing Bundt Cakes and The Wild Rooster. The stage features live performances by The Wayouts and Modern Day Romeos. Brew, wine, hard seltzer and water are available for purchase. The fest runs from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and restarts from 5:30-9 p.m.

Lake County Farm Heritage & Harvest Festival at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (Sept. 28-29)

This event features a tractor display, a parade, live tunes, rides on the barrel train, sawmill demonstrations, scarecrow making, farm animals, a threshing demonstration and more.

Hoptoberfest and Annual Blues and Brews at Tighthead Brewing Co. (Sept. 29)

If you thought it should be Oktoberfest at Tighthead, you’ve been mistaken. With their lineup of hoppy ales and 2 fools distributing their cider, this is a can’t miss event. The event features your favorite suds from the Mundelein brewhouse, a souvenir giveaway, games and live tunes by the Tap Room All-Stars, Bellwether Blues and Gina Gonzalez and the Wingmen. You thought that’s all they were offering? The next day, Tighthead throws a Blues and Brews Food Drive. Not to mention the brewmasters will be holding a homebrew session for anyone who wants to create their suds. The goal is to fill a truck with food, goods and donations. The event will feature live blues music.

First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Oct. 4 and Nov. 1)


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#firstfridayslibertyville #eclectic #firkin #newkicks #onemoreweektillhesone #hiseyes #thatblink #thethreeamigos

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MainStreet Libertyville invites one and all to their monthly celebration of First Fridays on Milwaukee Avenue. A variety of phenomenal libations, 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. MainStreet Libertyville recently celebrated its 30th Birthday.

Wilmot Mountain Fall Fest & 5K (Oct. 5)

It’s almost time to hit the slopes again. Before we do, Wilmot Mountain hosts their fall fest and 5K Run. The event features the 5K run, hayrides, live music on the patio, ski vendors, pumpkin painting, a scavenger hunt, bounce houses, face painting, a wine tasting and so much more.

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 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.

Long Grove’s Scarecrow Day (Oct. 12)


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Have you voted for your favorite scarecrow? Make sure to beep when driving by (they love the attention)

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Hay, Hay! It’s a great weekend to visit Historic Downtown Long Grove for their annual DIY Scarecrow Day. Attendees at the beloved autumnal event will build a custom scarecrow that will be displayed throughout the historic village’s main street throughout October. The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business District will provide each participant with the basic structure for the scarecrows, bales of straw and building guidance. Attendees are encouraged to bring old clothing and accessories to decorate their creation.

Fox Lake Pumpkin Jubilee (Oct. 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 finished designing, the jack-o-lanterns will be displayed on the pumpkin wall. The event also features various artisan food vendors.

Halloween Town in Long Grove (Oct. 13-28)

Long Grove is the spookiest place to be during Halloween. The town turns downright ghoulish, and the Lake County village wants ghastly goblins to intend this event. Feel free to bring the gremlins. Here’s a list of the Halloween Town festivities.

Antioch Harvest Fest (Oct. 19)

This autumn bash in Antioch features their annual treat the streets where the little ghouls well trick and/or treat for something good to eat. The fall festival also features hayrides, a pumpkin roll, far and non-alcoholic beverages, a costume contest, the weiner dog races and more.

ZombieWauk in Waukegan (Oct. 19)

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 their 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.

Lincolnshire’s Annual Boo Bash (Oct. 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.

Annual Celebration Dia de Muertos/Day of the Dead at the Jack Benny Center of the Arts (Nov. 2)


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#love #arte #mexico #lasvegas #ferminlacalaca #diademuertos

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In Mexico, people visit their loved ones in the cemetery and decorate gravesites with Cempaxúchitl or Marigold flowers, candles, toys, bottles of favorite drinks and food as offerings. The Waukegan center keeps the tradition alive on Lake County soil with their own Dia de Muertos celebration. This family-friendly cultural fest features Mariachi, altar exhibits, dancing, face painting, decorating sugar skulls and so much more.

Annual Legions of Craft Beer Fest at SFGAM (Nov. 9)


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What a way to spend a beautiful September Saturday! Many thanks to the organizers and everyone who came out to the #LegionsOfCraftBeerFest in support of the Gurnee Legion and #veterans charities 🇺🇸. It was our first time to the festival and we had a fantastic time meeting all the Lake County craft beer fans as well as our fellow brewers. Special shout-outs go to Kyle from @harborbrewingco, Brian from @beerpathbrewing, and Josh and Matt from @blacklungbrewing for taking part in the first recorded shotgunning of an #asiancraftbeer, our #AntagonistAsianGold #Kolsch. We were honored and even more thrilled you enjoyed our beer!🍺Finally in another first, we premiered our #PyrusAsianPear kolsch to festival goers and were overwhelmed by the positive response to our new brew. This dragon definitely has wings🐲. All said, it was a fabulous day and we can’t wait to be back next year!🍻⛩️ #asian #craftbeer #beerfest #supportourveterans #gurneemills #newbeer #asianpearbeer #foodpairing

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Speaking of libations, this year marks the fifth installment of the Legions of Craft Beer Fest in Gurnee. The 2019 edition of the suds soirée is now being hosted at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on Saturday, November 9 from noon-4 p.m. Confirmed Lake County Libation Trail participants include Only Child Brewing in Gurnee, Onion Pub & Brewery in Barrington, Zümbier Brewery in Waukegan, Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor and more than 40 other brewpubs and wineries. Libationers will enjoy an all-access pass to the park while sampling the finest adult beverages this side of the Mississippi. Tickets range between $25-$55. The prior four years of the brew and wine social was featured at Gurnee Mills in mid-to-late September.

Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden (Nov. 22-Dec. 31)

“Turn up the lights in here baby, extra bright, I want y’all to see this…cop lights, flash lights, spot lights, strobe lights street lights…all of the lights!” Meander in the illuminated world of wonder and light at Chicago Bo’s Lightscape. As you enter you walk through a cathedral-esque threshold, you enter a world of the Glencoe sanctuary that’s as luminous as it’s ever been. This is a must-experience event for your eyes and your feels.

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great America (Nov. 23-Dec. 31)


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🍫🌲GIVEAWAY! Last week I woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to eat s’mores and ride the new Peppermint Swirl ride for the press Holiday in the Park event at Six Flags Great America. It was so worth it because not only did I have a great time but I am partnering with @sfgreat_america and giving away two pairs of tickets for your own Holiday in the Park visit! Here’s how to enter: 1️⃣ You must be following me 2️⃣ Like this photo 3️⃣ Read my Six Flags blog post (link in bio) and comment below with what you are most excited about for Holiday in the Park 4️⃣ Tag a friend who would love going to Six Flags this December 5️⃣ Extra entries: a blog comment or Insta story shoutout That’s it! Super easy! This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram or Facebook. Only the original, authorized certificate will be valid for redemption. Not redeemable for cash. GOOD LUCK! Winner will be chosen Thurs Dec 6! . . . . #lifestyleblogger #styleblogger #chicagogrammers #chicagoblogger #chicagoblog #giveaway #sixflagsgreatamerica #sfgreatamerica #sixflagsholidayinthepark #holidayinthepark

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Six Flags Great America kicks off their second Holiday in the Park event this year. This festival runs from November 23-December 31 on select days. The new holiday party will transform the park into a winter wonderland featuring millions of dazzling lights, a beautiful Christmas tree (5 p.m. lighting every night), meet and greets with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, festive entertainment and of course, rides on a world-class roller coaster.

Other Fall Festivals in Lake County

For other fall festivals in Lake County, continue here.

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