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Spring Festivals in Lake County 2022

Spring festivals in Lake County “Hath put a spirit of youth in everything” (Billy Shakes – or William Shakespeare as we like to call him)

Spring festivals in Lake County feature the most delectable eats, eclectic live music,  radiant works of art and of course, libations.


Also, the Ravinia schedule will be released on March 24. We will provide a list shortly.

Whether or not we base our meteorology off of a ground-dwelling mammal that can locate his or her shadow and predict the weather is moot now.

Experience the fanfare of our warming season as we provide you with the guide to spring festivals in Lake County.

RV Outlet Show at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (March 25-27)

 

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Yearning for the road trip vacation? Visit the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center for the RV Outlet Show this weekend. New models including class A-C gas motorhomes, diesel pusher motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, fold downs, hybrids and more will line the floors of the massive 65,000 square foot facility in Grayslake.

Pelican Palooza in Fox Lake (March 25-April 9)

The Fox Lake event celebrates the Lake County village’s local businesses, art and the American white pelican, which migrates to the area from mid-March through early April. Pick up your Pelican Passport and visit participating local businesses for a prize. There will be an abundance of deals from nearly 18 establishments.

Art Exhibition Series at the Adler Arts Center (through March 31)

The Libertyville 100-year-old staple hosts over 30 different artisans in its Artist Member Exhibition ranging in myriad mediums like landscape, impressionism, sculpture and more. The gallery is closed March 21-26 for spring break.

First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (April 1, May 6)


Invest your fest feels on a festive festival-infested Friday through Sunday in Libertyville. The weekend kicks off with its normal First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville highlighted by various delectable drinks, mouth-watering eats, live entertainment and more as visitors peruse through local mom and pop shops offering promotional sales.

Step by Step Productions Festival of the Arts at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (April 1-3)

The Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Centers is throwing its bi-annual Step by Step Arts and Craft show. The Grayslake exposé features over 300 booths to peruse through for handmade crafts, floral arrangements, plush items, unique antiques, fine art and so much more.

Lake County Restaurant Week: Ten Days to Savor (April 1-10)


Unhitch that belt buckle one less notch, because it’s that time of year to treat your taste buds to a flavor utopia. Lake County Restaurant Week: Ten Days To Savor runs April 1-10. The 10-day foodie frenzy is a multi-platform campaign that will highlight Lake County restaurants with their special prix-fixe menus, food and drink pairings, chef demonstrations, live entertainment and other lucrative promotions to attract new guests. During the “Ten Days to Savor,” diners will be encouraged to visit three or more participating restaurants and “Check-in” via the mobile platform to be eligible to win an overnight stay at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort and dinner/theatre package, a cooking class at The Joyful Gourmet in downtown Libertyville or gift cards one from one of over 50 participating restaurants. Also, patrons can submit their foodie imagery for a chance to win a $50 gift card in #LakeCountyRW’s inaugural photo contest.

Play On! A College of Lake County Theatre Student Showcase (April 8-16)

With theatre, you have to be ready for anything,” said actor Willem Dafoe. Celebrate the creativity of CLC students in their performance entitled ‘Play On!’ at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts. College of Lake County students showcases their abilities and talents as actors, directors, stage managers, designers and technicians. The center stage acts are a variety of omedy, parody, drama and other genres The Grayslake center features this event through April 16.

Lake County Makers Faire at College of Lake County (April 9) 

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects at College of Lake County. The Grayslake campus calls it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Glimpse the future and get inspired!

Shop ‘N’ Swirl Wine Walk in Grayslake (April 9)

Sip, shop, swirl and repeat. The downtown Grayslake event features over 30 vino makers, a commemorative wine glass, raffles and downtown perusing at the mom and pop shops in Grayslake. Proceeds from the event support the Grayslake Heritage Center. The Shop n Swirl participants include Somethings Brewing, The Vine Wine & Martini Bar, Lake County Libation Trail wineries Glunz Family Winery & Cellars and Light the Lamp Brewery and more.


Chicagoland Antique Advertising & Slot Machine and Jukebox Show (April 9-10)

Antique aficionados and retro-machine lovers should head to Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center for a can’t-miss show. The Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine and Jukebox Show feature unique items like penny arcade machines, music boxes, popcorn machines, carnival games, gas pumps, phone booths, neon signs, pedal cars, vinyl records and more.

Beauty and Boutique in Historic Downtown Long Grove (April 14)

Beauty’s only skin deep. But if you want a little primping and sprucing up of your style and threads, Historic Downtown Long Grove visitors can peruse everything from clothes to beauty products to wines and more. The event is highlighted by specials, discounts and giveaways. Attendees could have a chance to win $50 gift certificates.

ArtWauk in Waukegan (April 16, May 21)

 

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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. So 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. The City of Waukegan is altering the ArtWauk in May; pray they don’t alter it any further. It’s not a trap because this edition of the Waukegan artsy celebration is transforming to StarWauk. This festival of the Star Wars saga and science-fiction genre during the monthly ArtWauk features free live entertainment, art exhibits, unique shops, costume contests, delicious eats and more. Have fun, you will.

Fear No Art Festival at College of Lake County (April 22-23)

Every year the James Lumber Center gives us a slew of eye-opening performances from the Fear No Art Festival. This year is no different as the Grayslake Art Festival reaches has featured unbelievable talent for over two decades at the College of Lake County. This lively festival features a variety of artists performing music, dance and poetry. Also, there will be a stunning display of other art mediums including paintings, photography and sculptures by CLC students and community artists.

Home & Garden Expo at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (April 23-24)

The Grayslake fairgrounds hosts an event for visitors purchase products and services from businesses like yours for their upcoming home remodeling, repair, furnishing, decor and other improvement projects.

Let’s Vino in the Ville! in Libertyville

The adult beverage, berry drink is always the perfect libation to have a celebration for. The event was rebranded, as the usual Let’s Wine About Winter event was moved to April. Stroll through downtown Libertyville as MainStreet merchants open their doors to warm visitors from head to toe with tasty wines at each stop along the way. Non-alcoholic refreshments will also be provided. A limited number of glasses will be sold. Each $30 ticket includes a tasting glass, unlimited tastings and a $10 merchant coupon redeemable at participating stores.

Model Train Day at Lambs Farm (April 30)

 

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A train’s horn can be heard from the distance. That noise isn’t the approaching Metra; it’s the engine from Train Day at Lambs Farm. Kids of all ages can make their best Casey Jones impression wearing the conductor hat while operating the digital command control system of the model trains. All aboard, as the Valley Model Railroad Club hosts this family-fun, free-admission event at the Libertyville farm.

Long Grove Craft Beer Festival (April 30)

Our hop and barley-loving friends over the age of 21 will not want to miss yet another craft festival, this time at the Long Grove Craft Beer Festival. (We’re pretty spoiled here, you know.) This sudsy event’s ticket includes a commemorative glass and unlimited three-ounce samples. Lake County Libation Trail participants for the fest include Buffalo Creek Brewing and others will be on hand for the event. The beer sipping affair also features live tunes.  Don’t forget to peruse the niche stores of beautiful Historic Downtown Long Grove.

Food Truck Frenzy at College of Lake County (May 10)

Fare fanatics will go on a Food Truck Frenzy at the College of Lake County. Whether you are considering hiring a food truck for your wedding, office, party at home or you just want to make your taste buds dance; this Grayslake family-friendly event is for you. The foodie festival features food trucks serving, wood-fire pizza, seafood, sliders, confections and more.

Fox Lake Police Bike Rodeo (May 14)

“I want to ride my bicycle rodeos are coming your way.” The Fox Lake Police Bike Rodeo features exercise, education of new skills and the opportunity to meet and do a popper wheelie with local officers.

CarFun on 21 in Libertyville (May 18-September 21)

“Get your kicks on Route 21.” While many will be hitting the roads to travel, people may be singing “Car Fun on 21, where are you?” (in the stylings of the 1961 theme song of Car 54, where are you? – that reference is much too old for this blogger, but, here we are). Much like its Park on Park Cruise Night neighbor to the west, Car Fun in MainStreet Libertyville is for the vintage car aficionado and those looking for a fun weeknight out. The classic whip showcase is highlighted by cars, trucks and motorcycles aged 23 years or older.

Bitter Jester Music Festival (May 20-June 23)

The Bitter Jester Music Festival is highlighted by some of the most talented, rising-star, high school and college-aged musicians from across Illinois & Wisconsin. The Bitter Jester Foundation celebrates its 16th anniversary in this year’s edition. This ongoing concert series, will entertain crowds at Port Clinton Square. Local Lake County Libation Trail™ favorite, Ravinia Brewing Company, will provide suds for purchase. The festival’s grand finale features the winner of the “battle of the bands”-esque competition and performs at Highland Park’s Fourth of July celebration at Wolters Field. Interested musicians must apply by April 1.

Long Grove Chocolate Fest (May 20-22) 

Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate. The annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival kicks off this weekend as we celebrate the change of seasons with our sweet tooth. Be in a chocolate lover’s paradise as Long Grove Confectionery will be in attendance as well as a plethora of other vendors, live entertainment and of course your chocolatey vices.

Blarney Island Reopens for the Season (May 21)

 

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Don’t have the time to make it out to the Sunshine State this year? Florida can wait, because the Chain O’Lakes is home to a marquee spring break area. Blarney Island is bringing Key West to the Midwest for an entire weekend of festivities. Enjoy a weekend of good times, drinks, eats and a live DJ.

Vernon Hills Craft Beer Festival (May 21)

Ninety-nine bottles of suds on the wall. Beer connoisseurs will rejoice. The Sullivan Community Center returns after a pandemic hiatus ore than 15 area breweries will be pouring samples of their frothy creations. With admission, attendees receive a free tasting glass. Divine eats are available for purchase. The brew party will also provide live music. Attendees must be 21 to enter.

Thunder on the Chain Drag Boat Races in Antioch (Thursdays May 26-September 1)

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

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park (Starting in June)


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. Let’s not forget that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is the resident band and has a couple tricks up their sleeves every year. Stay tuned for Ravinia Festival’s announcement on March 24, and our subsequent story. Here’s a list of who’s been announced for the 2022 season.

  • Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown ft. Tank and the Bangas, Big Freedia and more (6/26) INFO»
  • The Black Crowes (7/12) INFO»
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Ravinia Residency (7/15-31) INFO»
  • Bonnie Raitt (7/27) INFO»
  • Breaking Barriers: Women on the Podium featuring CSO and Marin Alsop (7/29-31) INFO»
  • Esperanza Salding (7/31) INFO»
  • O.A.R., Dispatch and G.Love (8/13) INFO»

Lincolnshire Arts Festival (June 4) 

The festival hosts 100 juried artists from around the U.S. in Lincolnshire’s Village Green. This outdoor gallery offers extraordinary examples of fine art and craft in a variety of mediums and price points. The festival is the perfect family experience highlighted by live tunes, mouth-watering bites, fun activities for the kids and so much more. Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see the masters at work with interactive demos and have the chance to take part in a booth chat to discover their inspiration. Festival-goers of all ages have an opportunity to get into the “art-filled” action by contributing to an on-site mural at the festival.

10th Annual Lambs Farm Car Show Benefit (June 5)

Put your weekend into gear at the Lambs Farm Champion Car Show this Sunday. Peruse dozens of classic automobiles at the free Libertyville event and enjoy a variety of music and raffles from various establishments. Once you’ve procured your appetite, head to the beer and food tent to tame your hunger and quench your thirst.

9th Annual Mundelein Craft Beer Festival (June 11)

 

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Mundelein Community Connections and Tighthead Brewing Company join forces to host the Mundelein Craft Beer Festival. Admission for this event includes a souvenir tasting glass and brew samples from over 40 local breweries. The Mundelein brew fest also features live music and food trucks with serving fare for purchase. Designated driver tickets are available.

Nostalgia Days in Zion (June 18)

Are you craving some memories? Watch your past come back to life as Zion hosts Nostalgia Days at Shiloh Park. Experience live music, Lake County’s largest longest-running car, truck & motorcycle show, outdoor movies, a carnival, scrumptious eats and so much more.

Grayslake Arts Festival and Wine Tasting (June 18)

Fine wine and fine arts are just what the doctor ordered. The Grayslake Arts Festival and Wine Tasting features the work of over 60 juried artists and divine libations. Admission to the event includes a keepsake glass and five tasting tickets. Fare vendors will also be in attendance.


For more spring festivals in lake county, continue here. To view 101 things to do under $10, click here.

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