84 Lake County Events That Will Make Your 2018 Awesome

Looking for ways to get through these the cold weather blues in Lake County? We look forward to the year, for example, these 84 Lake County events that will make your 2018 awesome.

There’s plenty of big things happening in Lake County. Great Wolf Lodge is moving to Gurnee this summer. Six Flags Great America is opening a brand spanking new rollercoaster during the transition between spring and summer.

Lake County Restaurant Week: 10 Days to Savor is returning for its third installment to spoil your taste buds. Many Birthdays this year: The David Adler Center in Libertyville is turning 100, the Lake County Fair is the ripe age of 90 while Wilmot Mountain 80 years young. The KPMG Women’s PGA Tour is also going to be hosted in Lake County.

With an array of exceptional eats, splendid shows, stupendous shopping options, the Lake County Libation Trail and an abundance of other things to do, 2018 in Lake County is going to knock your socks off.

Shake off that holiday hangover and get to the planning. Here are 84 Lake County events that will make your 2018 awesome.

Ongoing Events

  • Gaze upon an array of art mediums at ArtWauk every third Saturday while walking down historic Genesee Street in Waukegan. INFO >>
  • At the start of the weekend every month from March-December, explore the tastes, shopping and live tunes of First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville. INFO >>
  • Find the freshest locally-grown and deliciously ripe fruits and veggies in Antioch, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Deerfield, Didier Farm, Grayslake, Zion, Lake Zurich, MainStreet Libertyville, Mundelein,  Vernon Hills and other Lake County community farmers markets (May-December). INFO >>
  • View extremely talented individuals put on the show of a lifetime as Marriott Lincolnshire stages the most entertaining Broadway shows.
    INFO >>
  • Take a day trip to Libertyville and experience the wonders of Lambs Farm from April-October. INFO >>
  • Taste multiple different flavors each season in downtown Antioch during their seasonal Wine Walks. INFO >>
  • Check out an array of brews, vinos and spirits Lake County offers on the Libation Trail. INFO >>
  • Capture a taste of Egypt in Lake County as you take a guided Sunday tour of the Gold Pyramid House from April-November. INFO>>
  • View majestic stallions, march, jump and boogie at Tempel Lipizzans in Old Mill Creek. INFO >>

Continue to scroll through these Lake County events that will make your 2018 awesome.


  • Gurnee Frosty Fest features ice sculpting, sledding, dog-sled demonstrations and much more. INFO >>
  • Bundle up and enjoy an afternoon of dog sled demos, cookie decorating, snow painting, ice sculpting and more at the Vernon Hills Winter Fest. INFO >>
  • Illinois’ only quaking bog natural area, Volo Bog, features a Winter Fest highlighted by snow sculpting, a bog tour via cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and live entertainment. INFO >>
  • Visit with over 60 vendors offering everything you need to make your wedding day special at the Lake County Bridal Show hosted by DoubleTree by Hilton Mundelein. INFO >>
  • Follow three different groups in the early 20th century in New York as the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire presents “Ragtime: The Musical.” INFO >>
  • “See How They Run” opens at PM&L Theatre in Antioch. INFO >>


  • Catch a fish by the cat whiskers and participate in some good ole fashioned family fun at the Chain O’ Lakes Ice Derby and Winter Festival. INFO >>
  • Get tropical with Carmel Catholic High School’s Street Scenes in Mundelein. This event has more than 50 live bands, a huge casino, comedy clubs, the famous student show and more. INFO >>
  • Watch Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung ‘rock the paradise’ at Genesee Theatre. INFO >>
  • Complain and whine about winter while sipping vino at MainStreet Libertyville’s Let’s Wine About Winter. INFO >>
  • Suds aficionados will be in their own utopian sanctuary as they can taste over 25 samples at the Lake County Craft Beer Fest at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake. INFO >>
  • “Sex With Strangers” opens at Citadel Theatre. INFO >>
  • Bring home a bouquet of beautiful blooms from the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show. INFO >>


  • Take 10 Days to Savor at Lake County’s third installment of Restaurant Week. INFO >>
  • Witness the best vessels at the Lake County Fairgrounds as they host the Northern Illinois Boat Show. INFO >>
  • Welcome to beer heaven as more than 15 Lake County breweries are in attendance handing out libations at the Vernon Hills Craft Beer Festival. INFO >>
  • Meet and greet a slew of cold-blooded creatures at Wildlife Discovery Center’s Reptile Rampage. Celebrity gator, ‘Bubba’ will be in attendance at the reptile parade. INFO >>
  • “Company” opens at PM&L Theatre in Antioch. INFO >>
  • Celebrate a plethora of Irish events as Lake County goes Erin Go Braugh for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • “Don’t wait till the water runs dry!” Head to Genesee Theatre and see the legendary Boyz II Men. INFO >>
  • Bess Bower Dunn Museum, the Lake County Forest Preserve’s new museum is set to open their doors on March 24. INFO >>


Raging Bull = 😍 #SixFlags

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  • Play a trick on your little tike while hunting for Easter eggs as the Sunday holiday falls on April Fool’s Day in Zion. INFO >>
  • The ‘Queen of Mean,’ Lisa Lampanelli graces the stage at historical Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. INFO >>
  • “The Explorers Club” opens at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest. INFO >>
  • View the talent from the young adults at College of Lake County as they stage their highly creative and entertaining annual Play On! Showcase at the James Lumber Center in Grayslake. INFO >>
  • Fall in love again with your favorite characters again: Curly McLain and Laurey Williams in a tale of the American frontier, “Oklahoma,” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. INFO >>
  • Six Flags Great America in Gurnee opens for the season. INFO >>


  • “Bad Seed” opens at PM&L Theatre in Antioch. INFO >>
  • Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great America opens for the season. INFO >>
  • Compete in the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon. The 18.5-mile marathon in the historic Des Plaines River begins in Libertyville at the Oak Springs Road Canoe Launch. It’s the United States’ second oldest canoe race. INFO >>
  • Welcome the spring season with an overabundance of chocolate treats at the Long Grove Chocolate Fest. INFO >>
  • 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. INFO >>
  • Sip on seductive suds at Lake Zurich’s Craft Beer Fest as 40 vendors invade Paulus Park. INFO>>



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  • “The Secret Garden” opens at PM&L Theatre in Antioch. INFO >>
  • The world’s oldest outdoor music festival, Ravinia in Highland Park, opens for the season. INFO >>
  • Experience Thursday night mayhem as the Chain O’ Lakes and Blarney Island features Thunder on the Chain: a unique world of drag boat racing from June-September on Grass Lake. INFO >>
  • Follow some of the world’s best golfers compete at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship makes its first appearance in Illinois. INFO >>
  • Head to Mundelein for their Community Days that features eats, drinks, a parade, a carnival, a car show, live entertainment, a fireworks show and so much more. INFO >>
  • All summer enjoy the delicious food fight hosted by Lincolnshire as your lunch now belongs to Food Truck Fridays. INFO >>
  • Long Grove Strawberry Fest is a ‘berry’ wonderful celebration that offers everything from chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry martinis and …well, more strawberry-fused foods. INFO  >>


  • The perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder is scheduled for Marriott Theatre as the hilarious two-man show “Murder for Two,” graces the stage. INFO >>
  • There’s no better party on Independence Day than Naval Station Great Lakes Fourth of July Celebration; voted by the Internationa Festivals and Events Association in 2011 as one of the top three fests in the world.
    INFO >>
  • Head to the 16th-century Elizabethan era located just over the Wisconsin border as Bristol Renaissance Faire opens their doors and celebrates 30 years in business. INFO >>
  • Visit the Lake County Fair as the county staple features live entertainment, food vendors, live farm animals, carnival rides, games, motocrossing, two demolition derbies, a flower show, the Miss Lake County Pageant and so much more. INFO >>
  • This hot rod holiday is a must-see event as Scoop Waukegan closes the downtown area for an experience the whole family can enjoy.
    INFO >>
  • Lake Zurich Alpine Fest is nostalgic bliss wrapped in a neat little package. The fest features a parade, carnival rides, games, delectable eats, live entertainment and so much more. INFO >>


Action shot of me at #mayetta #potawatomipowwow #2015

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  • Watch illuminated balloons full of hot air cascaded across the sky in Grayslake at the Color Aloft Fest. INFO >>
  • Learn the lifestyle and culture of the Potawatomi Native Americans as the City of Zion throws their 25th installment of the Pow Wow. INFO >>
  • Who’s created the fastest vessel on in Lake County … made of cardboard? Find out at Mundelein’s Cardboard Regatta on Diamond Lake. INFO >>
  • Sugarland takes the stage at Ravinia Fest. INFO >>
  • Summertime and ribs have an excellent relationship. Taste what’s cooking at the Little Bear Rib Fest held at Vernon Hill’s Century Park. INFO >>
  • The David Adler Festival of the Arts in Libertyville has showcased some of the finest work from artists across the country. As many as 70 talented individuals will have their work on display throughout the weekend.
    INFO >>
  • Grayslake Summer Days is one of the last festivals of the season in Lake County. This family-fun festival features live entertainment, carnival games, bingo, beer tents, arts & crafts, a parade and more. INFO >>


  • Enjoy a slew of festivities on Labor Day weekend in Zion as they throw their 70th Annual Jubilee Days Festival. INFO >>
  • Richardson Farm, home of the world’s largest corn maze that spans 33 acres of land and is equipped with 11 miles of trails, opens for the season.
    INFO >>
  • Head to the farm favorite Didier Farms Pumpkinfest to pick up your oversized fruit for the fall season. INFO >>
  • Bob for apples as the Long Grove Apple Fest features delectable apple-inspired treats, live entertainment and family fun in beautiful, quaint Historic Downtown Long Grove. INFO >>
  • Fright Fest presented by Snickers at Six Flags Great America 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. INFO >>
  • 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. “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.” INFO >>
  • ‘Hey big spender, spend a little time’ at the Marriott Theatre and see “Sweet Charity.” INFO >>
  • Gather with fellow lovers of specialty craft brews for Gurnee’s Legions of Craft Beer Fest where 50 breweries will be in attendance pouring unique suds and ciders. INFO >>


  • Visit Highwood to see our favorite orange fruit stacked to the sky at the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival.
  • All of the favorites, Shrek the Ogre, Fiona, Donkey and a host of other storybook characters grace the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre’s stage for the children’s show “Shrek.” INFO >>
  • Lake County’s scariest facilities like Dungeon of Doom in Zion and Realm of Terror open their haunted houses for the season. INFO >>
  • CROCtoberfest at the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest is a fun-filled event for all ages in a safe environment to meet crocodiles.
  • Meet the ghoul from Berrrwyyyyn as Svengoolie greets spooky visitors at the Volo Auto Museum. INFO >>


  • Witness the holiday staple that is “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” throughout the holiday season at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. INFO >>
  • Your natural kaleidoscope of fall foliage is in Lake County as you hike and bike Lake County Forest Preserves. INFO >>
  • Historic Downtown Antioch is the place to be during the holiday season as Charles Dickens characters invade the streets telling 27 different storylines. Also alongside the celebration, Kringle Christmas Village Tour is a display of oversized shadowboxes showcasing quaint holiday scenes. INFO >>
  • All Aboard the Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden. Check out a humongous model train set inside the Regenstein Center equipped with splendid scenes of Chicago and everyone’s favorite locomotive Thomas the Tank Engine. INFO >>
  • Chop down a timber (or take home an artificial arbor) at one of many different Lake County locations Lake County Christmas Tree areas.
    INFO >>


  • The Canadian Pacific Train choo-choos its way into Gurnee dressed in holiday garb. See the decorated locomotive and enjoy a slew of live performances you don’t want to miss. INFO >>
  • View of the mesmerizing light display that Lake County offers for the holiday season. INFO >>
  • Head to Deerfield for their Annual Winter Celebration featuring horse-drawn sleigh rides, carolers, live animals, Santa Claus and a slew of everything else that screams holiday season. INFO >>
  • Slip and slide down one of these top Lake County hills. INFO >>


For more Lake County events that will make your 2018 awesome, click here.

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