Labor Day Weekend in Lake County 2020

Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of the summertime in the land of lakes.

There’s no time to weep because autumn is one of joy in the county when the leaves turn brown and orange, our Lake County Libation Trail participants make dynamite beverages, mazes to get lost in, pumpkins to be picked and so much more. Until the fall libations come out, continue here to view the summer sips.


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Friday off! @anabattaiola

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With the public health crisis, Labor Day weekend is going to look a tad bit different, but the extended time off is still going to be just as sweet. Everyone’s favorite Monday is National “Take it Easy Day.”

We’re in this rat race spinning and spinning, trying to grab that chunk of cheese. Let’s all kick back and relax on this extended time off and see what’s going on for Labor Day weekend in Lake County.

Thunder on the Chain at Blarney Island in Antioch

The Chain O’Lakes is far from placid on Thursday nights during the summer. Take the boat out or take the ferry from Port of BLarney to Blarney Island. 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 September 3. Blarney Island throws a party all weekend, starting with the boat races.

First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville

MainStreet Libertyville invites one and all to their monthly celebration of First Fridays on MainStreet. A variety of fantastic drinks, 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. Be sure to visit participating MainStreet Libertyville restaurants like Café Pomigliano, Mickey Finn’s Brewery, Main Street Social, O’Toole’s Libertyville, Shakou Libertyville, Chrissoulas Restaurant, Casa Bonita Mexican Restaurant, My Flavor It! Place, The Picnic Basket, Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant and other Libertyville eateries. Be sure to stop by the Improv Playhouse with some knee-slapping humor as they host.

Bird Walk at Volo Bog State Natural Area

Take a flight to Ingleside for Volo Bog’s celebrated Bird Walk on Labor Day Weekend. The beautifully preserved bog has documented over 190 species of birds on its site. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own set of binoculars as well as a writing utensil and a journal to view and record their sightings. Social Distancing is encouraged. The three-mile walk may last three hours, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee

Take a dip in the drink, recline, relax and experience all the thrills at Hurricane Harbor. The Gurnee waterpark opened for the general public at the start of August. The H2O haven is equipped with numerous waterslides, the main swimming area called Monsoon Lagoon, a kid zone play area that utterly soaks attendees, an interactive surf area and so much more. Have a splashing good time this year. To enter Hurricane Harbor, you must make a reservation and ticket purchases before arriving due to the public health crisis. Hurricane Harbor Chicago is open through Labor Day.

Beaches in Lake County

The land of lakes is home to over 200 lakes and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, which means the beaches are in abundance. Searching for an adventure in one of the Great Lakes? Illinois Beach State Park in Zion is your destination? Taking your little guppies for a more youngster-friendly environment? Lake Zurich’s Paulus Park Beach has lifeguards and a water playground. Take a dip and cool yourself off this summer along one of Lake County’s relaxing shores. So kick back and relax, and remember, life’s a social distancing beach!

Labor Day at Lynfred Winery


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Pinot Grigio, please!🥂 . . . #wine #winery #cheeseandwine #lynfredwinerywheeling #lynfredwinery #outing #momdaughter #sundayfunday

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Cheers in Wheeling. Lynfred Winery may not be open right now for tastings because of the pandemic. However, they will be open on Labor Day this year. Pick up a riveting red or an excellent white bottle of flavorful goodness.

Butterflies & Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden

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 view the cocooned caterpillars make their transformation into butterflies through a window located inside the pupa emergence room. The exhibit is open daily through September 20 (weather permitting). Face coverings are required for anyone ages two years and older, and six-foot social distancing is encouraged.

Par-King Skill Golf in Lincolnshire

It’s all in the hips. It’s all in the hips.” Par-King Skill Golf in Lincolnshire has reopened FORE the season.  The innovative course with imaginative design opened its doors in 1977. Since then, the size has doubled donning two 18-hole courses, 19 moving obstacles and seven waterholes that linksters will find enjoyable and challenging. The course is open through the fall. Admission is cash only. The Lincolnshire course was voted in the Travel Channel’s “Top Ten in America.”

Extreme Flight Simulation in Gurnee


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Good morning Y’all!! 🤠 Miss Megan👩‍✈️ here succumbed to her calling to the world of aviation🛩 and took a break from the world of medicine. . Today’s adventure included a 90min flight to magnificent ancient landmarks of☎️ London and the vibrant city, Sydney.🌜 Megan will continue to pursue medicine,🩺🥼 but after today, she will take on aviation as her hobby and wishes to get her PPL quickly. . You don’t have to only fly for professional reasons. Let us introduce you to the world of aviation, and maybe you may find your passion for flying as well. Book your flight right now‼‼🛬🛫✈

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Every time a bell rings, a prospective pilot gets their wings. Extreme Flight Simulations (figuratively) provides individuals with frequent flyer miles in the Gurnee facility’s airplane simulator. Take off, coast and land as this soaring simulator accurately reproduces the flight deck of the 737 NG. The aerodynamic attraction is open to the public, and no flight experience is needed. 

Take a Hike or Bike Ride in Lake County


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Just Another Reason To Get Up Early

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No matter the season, we enjoy the fruits of what Mother Nature gave us in Lake County: The tall trees, the winding trails, the serene bodies of waters, the creatures and critters and the picturesque plant life. Lake County provides outdoor escapes from the shelter in place with an up close and personal live-action Claude Monet portraits. Hey Lake County, take a hike (or bike).

Lambs Farm in Libertyville

Lambs Farm opened their doors for the season on July 7. The Libertyville farmyard features a petting area with sheep, goats, and a variety of attractions like miniature golf, an old-world carousel and more. Also, visit the Dogwood Pet Shop, Magnolia Café & Bakery and the Sugar Maple Country Store for delectable treats, unique items and adorable puppies and kittens. All the businesses at Lambs Farm benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities. The Libertyville grounds require guests to stay a minimum of six feet from customers at staff at all times, wear a facemask, use hand sanitizer and wash your hands. Visitors are required to make reservations before entering the grounds at, while you may also call 847-367-7606 for the Dogwood Garden & Pet Center. The Cedar Chest Thrift Shop reopens July 14. The Magnolia Café & Bakery is still open for curbside pickup and indoor dining on Friday and Saturday. Donations are accepted. Lambs Farm is open through October 25.

WhirlyBall in Vernon Hills

Bump, collide and compete against your friends in the unique bumper car sport WhirlyBall. Everyone’s favorite lacrosse/basketball/bumper car fusion game returns as the Vernon Hills facility opens its doors on Wednesday, July 15. The play place also has a little something for adults. Besides delectable eats, WhirlyBall has a vast selection of brews while the youngsters duke it out (or you join in on the fun).

Golfing in Lake County

n our area, Lake County has 46 scenic courses with pristine wall-to-wall fairways. With the beauty, complexity and elaborate terrain, Golf Courses in Lake County have hosted some of the most extraordinary talents in the PGA and LPGA. Get out there and hit the links before the weather starts going south.

Model Railroad Garden “Landmarks of America” at Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden just opened its 7,500-foot “Landmarks of America” Model Railroad Garden. The Glencoe choo-choo world features rains running on 1,600 feet of track. The garden-scale trains are 1/29th the size of life-size trains. Train and garden enthusiasts, young and old, return year after year for the delightful sights and sounds of the miniature trains traversing high and low through tunnels, across bridges, and around buildings. All are intricately handcrafted with natural materials, including twigs, bark, leaves, acorns, and pebbles. More than 5,000 tiny trees, shrubs, ground covers, and flowering plants of close to 300 varieties re-create America’s topographical landscape. Vignettes of small people and animals give the exhibit a storybook feel, while sound effects and a working geyser capture visitors’ imaginations. The train garden is open through October 11. Face coverings are required for anyone ages two years and older, and six-foot social distancing is encouraged.

Shop the Downtowns of Lake County

The land of lakes has one of the best mom-and-pop shopping scenes. These quintessential boutiques and supply shops give Lake County its personality and character. Continue here to view black-owned businesses in Lake County. From downtown areas to mini-malls, from niche stores to shopping centers, independent retail shops keep Lake County extravagant. So peruse, why don’t you? Plus, many stores have Labor Day Sales. It is especially important to support all that we can as we feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fishing in Lake County

Cast your hook, line and sinker as you try to nab a fresh fish. You have the OP-PERCH-TUNA-ty to exSALMON the waters and reel in the catch of the day. Lake County is named that for a reason, and the lakes are full of black crappie, bluegill, catfish, muskellunge, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye and other species.

The Lake County Libation Trail

Let’s toast to the Lake County Libation Trail! “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” as suds aficionados, vino connoisseurs and spirit enthusiasts will be elated to experience what Lake County has to offer. The trail is highlighted by 21 participants creating adult beverages from locally sourced ingredients. Lake County is home to North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks, which is the first distillery in the Land of Lincoln. Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville is the first established brewery in the land of lakes. The Lake County Libation Trail also features Bosacki’s Brewery and Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein, Zümbier, Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Breweries and Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan, Light the Lamp Brewery and Glunz Family Winery in Grayslake, Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. and Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove, Half Day Brewing Co. and Wright’s Brew & Bistro in Lincolnshire, Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor, Lynfred Winery in Wheeling, Onion Pub & Brewery in Lake Barrington, Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee, Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park, Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda, 28 Mile Vodka & Distillery in Highwood and Vigneto del Bino in Antioch.

Miniature Golf at Kristof’s Entertainment Center


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Miniature Golf ⛳️

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FORE! It’s that time of the season to work on the short game. Challenge your friends to mini scramble or a heads up game on the Round Lake Beach mini-golf course. The scenic course is challenging, highlighted by several waterfalls and unique putting greens. Make sure you have the break right so you can skink the perfect putt. Linksters must make online reservations before entering the course at Kristof’s Entertainment Center. No walk-ins are permitted at this time. Bowling is also now available at the Round Lake Beach facility.

Overnight Stay at Great Wolf Lodge


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That shirt says it all. @aly.andco surprised her girls with a trip to Great Wolf Lodge and they had an absolute blast! #FamilyFriday

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Ahhhwooooo! The wolf has risen. After being closed to the public for much of the pandemic, Great Wolf Lodge in Illinois opens up for slip n sliders. Whatever the temperature may be outside, it’s always a comfortable 84 degrees in the Gurnee resort. Your woodsy adventure starts and ends with the 80,000 square foot facility with water slides, a river to be lazy on, a wave pool, a kiddie area and so much more. Great Wolf Lodge is also highlighted by mini-golf, an arcade, a bowling alley, fun and games with Wolf characters and so much more. Escape Labor Day weekend and on at the waterpark-resort.

Visit a Museum in Lake County

Many of our museums have been closed throughout the pandemic. However, as the summer has moved on, more have reopened their doors. From nuggets about the Greentown griot, learn the history of Grayslake, to the men and women who sing anchors aweigh and more. Here are the museums that are open in the land of lakes.

  • Waukegan History Museum INFO»
  • Ray Bradbury Experience Museum in Waukegan (Open Periodically. Call for hours). INFO»
  • Grayslake Heritage Museum & Center INFO»
  • National Museum of the American Sailor at Naval Station Great Lakes (Slated to open Sept. 8) INFO»

Twilight Shuffle 5K in Libertyville

Usually, the race runs through the historic neighborhoods of the east side of Libertyville. In its 13th installment (that is virtual), the theme is the “Twilight Zone.” Competitors are encouraged to run, jog, walk, bike, swim or wheelchair and complete the 3.12 mile. With a $25 registration, this includes a T-shirt, a map, a printable bib, a medal and a virtual goodie bob.

Other Labor Day Weekend Events in Lake County

  • 90s Dance Party at Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville  (9/4) INFO»
  • Concert on the Green at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort (9/4) INFO»
  • Marvel’s “Black Panther” Movie Showing at Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda (9/4) INFO»
  • Walk with SOUL Harbour Ranch: Mini Therapy Horses and Therapy Dogs at the Deer Park Town Center (9/6) INFO»
  • RaviniaTV Episode 10 “Crying Joy” Virtual Show in Highland Park (9/4) INFO»
  • Virtual Ray Bradbury Read-a-long at RBEM in Waukegan (9/4-5) INFO»
  • Live Music at Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich (9/4-5) INFO»
  • Yoga and Beer at Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. in Long Grove (9/5) INFO»
  • Kombucha Cocktail Dinner at Zin GastroPub in Lake Zurich (9/6) INFO»
  • Labor Day Savings at Gurnee Mills (9/4-7) INFO»

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