Lake County’s Top 10 Things To Do in July 2020

Before you create your seventh-month schedule, scour the top 10 things to do in July.

July is the summer’s warmest month. Rockets will burst in the air, folks will be sprawled in the sand, schooners will speed through lakes and foodies will rally behind restaurateurs in July 2020. That just scratches the surface.


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Hot days of Summer. . . . #myhappyplace #homesweethome #photography #foto #nature #landscape #artist #image #beach #zen #peace

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While many of our staple summer shenanigans in Lake County are canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are a plethora of things to do throughout the summer as we head into Restore Illinois Phase 4.

Without further adieu, continue to scroll as we reveal to you the top 10 things to do in July 2020.

1. Lake Farmers Markets (All Summer and Part of Fall)

Lake County’s Farmers Markets are more than just places to find the freshest, locally grown, and deliciously ripe fruits and vegetables of the season. They’re also a place where neighbors, friends and family shop for unique handmade goods and explore the never-ending variety of exciting items from welcoming vendors.

2. Thunder on the Chain in Antioch (Thursdays through September 3)


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#BlarneyIsland #BoatRaces #Summer #ChainofLakes #Midwest #Boating #RiverRacer #Drone #DJI #Phantom4Pro #P4P

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The Chain O’Lakes is far from placid on Thursday nights during the summer. 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.

3. Lake County Museums Reopen (Year-round)

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines to allow for the safe reopening in Restore Illinois | Phase 4: Revitalization began on June 26. Phase 4 permits museums to open at 25 percent capacity! While many of the museums haven’t reopened quite yet, there are a few that will enable you to step into history from prehistoric times to the present, while some are providing virtual walks. Explore local history, military events, the American story archives and so much more in Lake County museums. Here is a list of those historical venues that have reopened in Phase 4.

  • Chicago Botanic Garden reopened INFO»
  • Kohl Children’s Museum Pop-Up at RLBCCC (through July 24) INFO»
  • Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods Virtual Exhibits INFO»
  • Waukegan History Museum Virtual Exhibits INFO»
  • Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County Virtual Exhibits INFO»
  • Grayslake Heritage Museum (reopens July 1) INFO»
  • The National Museum of the American Sailor (slated to open August 1) INFO»

4. Relax on the Lake County Beaches (All Summer)


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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!

  • Illinois Beach State Park in Zion INFO»
  • Rosewood Beach in Highland Park INFO»
  • Waukegan Municipal Beach INFO»
  • Diamond Lake Beach in Mundelein INFO»
  • Paulus Park Beach in Lake Zurich INFO»
  • North Point Marina Beach in Winthrop Harbor INFO»
  • Turtle Beach in Antioch INFO»

5. Fourth of July Events in Lake County (July 4)


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Join us for 4th of July fireworks! 🇺🇸 You can find us at 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove IL 60081. . . This is hosted in partnership with Richmond-Spring Grove Area Rotary Club. The farm opens for parking at 6:00pm. We have parking for thousands of cars with excellent sight lines to the fireworks show! . . $20/car and phase 4 social distancing will be in place. This is a CASH ONLY EVENT! People will be encouraged to stay in their car or set up your chairs in front of their car. We will have 3 food trucks there to provide food to take back to your car. Golf carts will drive through the parking areas selling beer, kettle corn, and fresh donuts! 🌽 . . -No Grills -No Fireworks -You are welcome to bring coolers with drinks and food. . . We will be taking additional donations to help cover the cost of the fireworks at the event. . . ** The Village of Spring Grove is only allowing parking on our property – any vehicles parked on any streets may be ticketed.

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“Hurrah for the flag of the free. May it wave as our standard forever” (cue the wicked piccolo solo). You’ll be humming everyone’s favorite Sousa “smash single” (Stars & Stripes Forever). We all live for that moment when we look to the sky and anxiously await our favorite brand of boom and color spatter from a Lake County fireworks show. Then viewers their starry-eyed “ooh’s and ahh’s” (some of us get 3D glasses to see if they work, but they never do) as we hope our favorite kind of firework will be the next one to light up the smiling faces around us. From neighborhood parties and races to backyard cookouts (of 50 or less practice social distancing), honor Independence Day by donning your red, white and blue garb in Lake County. Here’s a list of those Fourth of July events in Lake County.

  • Virtual Freedom Classic 5K in Mundelein (July 1-5) INFO»
  • Cornhole Tournament at Buffalo Creek Brewing (July 3-4) INFO»
  • Virtual Waukegan American Independence Parade: Shoebox Edition (July 4) INFO»
  • Fourth of July Fireworks at Richardson Farm (July 4) INFO»
  • July 4th Virtual Kids, Bike & Pet Parade in Highland Park (July 4) INFO»

6. Tempel Lipizzans Happenings in Old Mill Creek July 11 and July 15-18)

View one of Lake County’s most precious treasures will warm your soul. Trade neighs during a meet-and-greet inside the dancing stallions’ humble abode. On this behind-the-scenes tour, attendees will learn about the Lipizzan history, view the methods of classical riding and receive a full tour of the farm. The journey will end in the Old Mill Creek farm’s arena with a daily training session and a Q&A with the trainers. Tickets can only be purchased before the event. No tickets will be sold at the door. Also, you can get a first look at the new baby Lipizzan on July 11!

7.Lambs Farm in Libertyville Reopens (July 7-October 25)

After reschedule in April due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis, Lambs Farm opens their doors for the season on July 7. The Libertyville farmyard features a petting area with sheep and goats and a variety of attractions like miniature golf, a mini-train ride, cow bounce house and an Old World carousel. Also visit the Dogwood Pet Shop, Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, the Cedar Chest Thrift Shop and the Sugar Maple Country Store. All the businesses at Lambs Farm benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities. The farmyards are open through October 25.

8. Lake County Fair Virtual Competition in Grayslake (through July 30)


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“oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink” 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

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Due to the health concerns revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lake County Fair has canceled their season. However, the Lake County Fair will host a 2020 Lake County Fair Competition. The competition will range from awards for “Best Garden,” “Best Flower & Arrangements,” “Best Visual Arts,” “Best Crafts,” Best Photography,” “Best Textile,” “Best Culinary,” “Best Youth Collection” and other subcategories.
A virtual public vote will determine the winner of each category – and the winners will walk away with four general admission tickets to the 2021 Lake County Fair. The winning entry photos will also be displayed at the 2021 Lake County Fair.

9. Family Portraits at the Bettendorf Castle (July 25)

“Thank you, Mario! But our princess is in another castle!” This Fox River Grove unique facility was built by a Luxembourgian immigrant Ted Bettendorf starting in 1931. It took three and a half-decades for Bettendorf to build the structure, but and it did not disappoint when completed. Unfortunately, Bettendorf didn’t live to see his finished creation as he passed away during the 1960s right before it was completed. The gothic-style castle is a 1.75-acre property inviting groups to tour the grounds as well as host wedding ceremonies, photo sessions, princess parties and much more. Bettendorf Castle will reopen the castle for these types of events after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted by the government. Post quarantine pics will be a holiday card hit as the Fox River Grove castle teamed up with Studio One Photography to provide families snaps in from of the structure. Book it now before it’s too late! The Bettendorf Castle will also host a Princess Portraits event on August 8 so you’re little queens can snap memories with Belle from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and/or Elsa from the Pixar film “Frozen.”

10. Lake County Restaurant Rally in the Land of Lakes (July 31-August 9)

Visit Lake County is launching The Lake County Restaurant Rally running from July 31-August 9. This inaugural campaign is to support Lake County’s local cuisine makers and help offset the impact of the coronavirus on businesses in Lake County. The Lake County Restaurant Rally is highlighted by over 80 restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries and wineries. When fare connoisseurs arrive at a participating location, they check-in using their mobile pass to show they’re in attendance. Foodies checked in at a participating location through August 9 are entered into a sweepstakes to win a gift card to the participating eatery.

For more than what we listed in the top 10 things to do in July 2020, click here. To learn about what you can do in the comfort of your home in the land of lakes, continue here.

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