Spring Festivals in Lake County, IL

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 was released today. 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.

You’re My Superhero at the VH Park District (March 22)

“There goes my hero. Watch him (her) as he (she) goes,” (the Foo Fighters). The Vernon Hills Park District launches their new You’re My Superhero event bonding the young gentleman with his favorite female role model. Whether it be mom, grandma, auntie, cousin or someone else with the double X chromosome, it is guaranteed to be a super event. The caped crusading event also features music, dancing, games and ice cream.

Friday, March 22; 6:30-8:30 p.m. Admission $20-$25. Sullivan Community Center, 635 N. Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills.

Extreme Block Party Family Expo & Taste (March 23)


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Take the family out for a day of fun as DoubleTree Mundelein hosts their annual Multi-Chamber Extreme Block Party Family Expo & Taste. This event will feature 100-plus local vendors, live entertainment, 50+ raffle prizes, a live reptile show featuring Dave DiNaso, face painting, food samples, product demonstrations from local eateries and so much more. This festive event is for all ages and free of admission.

Saturday, March 23; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission. DoubleTree Mundelein, 510 E. Route 83, Mundelein.

Bourbon & Bonfires at Three Embers Restaurant (April 3)

Visit the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort and take a sabbatical with some scotch on the rocks around an open fire. The Three Embers Restaurant tasting series happens three times a year (June 19 and Oct. 23). This specific event has a four-course meal included and the featured libations are from Jack Daniel’s and Old Forester. Get your tix now because space is limited.

Wednesday, April 3; 6:30-8 p.m. Tickets: $45 per person. Three Embers, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire.

First Fridays in MainStreet Libertyville (April 5, May 3, June 7)

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.

First Friday of the month; 6-9 p.m. Downtown Libertyville, Milwaukee Avenue.

Island Fever Beach Party at Club Tiki (April 6)

It’s a party at Club Tiki and everyone’s invited (well if you’re 21 and older). The Waukegan Lake County Libation Trail participant is throwing a tropical box social reminding us that summer is not far away at all. Spinning the wheels of steel is DJ SP SOUNDTRAXX. This St. Dismas Parish Fundraiser also features island-themed eats, lots of dancing and of course the Gold Pyramid House Vodka. One ticket includes admission, dinner and one drink. Call St. Dismas Parish at 847-623-5050 for tickets.

Saturday, April 6; 5-11 p.m. Tickets: $50. Club Tiki, 3500 Sunset Ave., Waukegan.

Fly Fishing Film Tour at the Gorton Center (April 7)

There’s no hook, line or sinker to experience the prominent Fly Fishing Film Tour at the Gorton Community Center’s John & Nancy Hughes Theater this Sunday. Fishing fanatics gather each year to soak up films from around the world and dream about casts yet unmade. The tour stopping at the Lake Forest facility is dedicated to supporting the sport’s educational and environmental efforts. There will be a fly fishing expo from 2-4 p.m.

Sunday, April 7; 1 and 4 p.m. Admission: $15. Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest.

Unearth Science Festival (April 13-14)

Spring into the season with Chicago Botanic Garden at the Unearth Science Festival for Earth Week. The Glencoe event features science activities from soil science to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Attendees can also participate in drop-in programs, themed demonstrations, free programs and special events throughout the three-day extravaganza. WGN-TV Meteorologist Tom Skilling will be in attendance with a climate change update. Registration is required for various events.

Saturday-Sunday, April 13-14; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe.

Fear No Art Fest at the James Lumber Center (April 26-27)

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 its 21st year 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.

Friday-Saturday April 26-27; Fri: 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 and 7:30 p.m. James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake.

Gold Eagle Beer, Bacon and Bourbon Tasting in Libertyville (April 27)

The Beer, Bacon and Bourbon tasting in libertyville is a can’t-miss spring fest. The event will feature over 76 beers and bourbons and a slew of different bacon. The $25 ticket includes a tasting glass and unlimited samples. Tickets sold out early last year, and they are limited to the first 150 people.

Saturday, April 27; 2-5 p.m. Tickets: $25. Gold Eagle Liquors, 255 Peterson Rd., Libertyville.

A Celebration of Illinois Craft Beer at Mickey Finn’s Brewery (April 27)

Two weeks prior to this sudsy event, we celebrate National Beer Day. A great way to celebrate it is by making a stop on the Lake County Libation Trail at Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville. Other Lake County Libation participants besides the Libertyville brewhouse include Harbor Brewing Co. of Winthrop Harbor, Light the Lamp Brewery of Grayslake, Roaring Table Brewing of Lake Zurich, Half Day Brewing Co. of Lincolnshire, Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein and Only Child Brewing of Gurnee. The tickets include a tasting glass and a $10 Mickey Finn’s gift card.

Saturday, April 27; 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tickets: $50-$75. Mickey Finn’s Brewery, 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville.

Arbor Day Celebration in Highland Park(April 27)


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*30 degrees out* Dexter: Can we get in the water?

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“You can’t see the wood for the trees?” Highland Park celebrates the tree holiday as dozens of local business plant trees, shrubs and flowers around the city. The event features a live raptor talk (Falcons) and a touch-a-truck exhibit for the kiddies. While supplies are available, the city will give away 500 free oak tree seedlings.

Saturday, April 27; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jens Jensen Park, 486 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park.

Long Grove Craft Beer Fest (April 27)


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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 from Anderlik & Otto from noon-2 p.m. and Charlie Foxtrot 2:30-5 p.m.  Don’t forget to peruse the niche stores of beautiful Historic Downtown Long Grove.

Saturday, April 27; noon-5 p.m. Tickets: $40-$50. Historic Downtown Long Grove, 360 Historical Ln., Long Grove.

Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival (April 27-April 28)

Celebrate spring in the Chicago Botanic Garden by writing a seasonal haiku and making a cherry blossom hanging scroll, plus try other hands-on activities like a suminagashi paper marbling demonstration. Experience traditional storytelling and a koto harp and Skahuachi flute music performance, and take a walk in the Japanese Garden.

Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe.

Cinco de Mayo in Lake County (May 3-5)

Lake County has adopted the tradition of Cinco de Mayo. The fiesta hosted by the Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center features more than 25 live bands including mariachis, folkloric dancers, rides, games, delicious traditional cuisine and libations.

Friday-Sunday, May 3-5; Fri & Sat: Noon-midnight, Sun: Noon-11 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake.

Celebrate Seniors Festival in Grayslake (May 5)

“Celebrate Seniors” is a festival with entertainment, refreshments and over 25 exhibitors. This year they are also planning a talent show. The fest is a free event that all ages are invited to. Say three cheers to the older adults and have a great time while picking up some important information from ElderCARE Lake County.

Sunday, May 5; 2-5 p.m. Free admission. University Center of Lake County, 1200 University Center Dr., Grayslake.

Lake Zurich Craft Beer Fest (May 10-11)

Cheers to the two-day brew third annual Lake Zurich Craft Beer Fest in Paulus Park. Attendees will be able to sample more than 100-craft beers by prestigious local and regional breweries. The fest also features live music and plenty of eats for purchase. The band line up includes Louder Now and Nerdvana on Friday and Fletcher Rockwell and Lava Rock on Saturday. All attendees will receive a souvenir three-ounce tasting glass. This is a 21 and older event.

Friday-Saturday, May 10-11; 5-10 p.m. Admission: $39-$50. Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich.

Food Truck Frenzy at College of Lake County (May 11)

Fare aficionados will go on a Food Truck Frenzy at the Lake County Fairgrounds. 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 food fight features food trucks including Your Sister’s Tomato Wood Fired Pizza, Happy Lobster and more. The proceedings of this event will go towards the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Saturday, May 11; noon-5 p.m. Admission: $30. College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake.

Long Grove Chocolate Fest (May 17)


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View from the office Saturday night

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Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate. The annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival kicks off this weekend as we celebrate the slow change to spring. 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. Fan favorite bands include Sixteen Candles, 7th Heaven, Karma Committee, Midnight Rider and more.

Friday-Sunday, May 17-19; Fri: noon-11 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: $5-$15. Historic Downtown Long Grove, 360 Historical Ln., Long Grove.

Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Fridays (beginning May 17)

“Food, glorious food! what is there more handsome!” Lincolnshire’s Food Truck Fridays are located in the Corporate Center Parking Lot and offer a variety of choices in the gourmet eats department. The foodie frenzy includes local trucks providing barbecue, innovative sandwiches, seafood options, international eats and so much more. Take in the aromas that waft through the air, while a delectable dish is prepared right in front of your eyes. There will also be kiddie entertainment and live music. The event runs every other Friday through August 23.

May 17-August 23; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission. Lincolnshire Corporate Center Parking Lot, 300 Knightsbridge Pkwy., Lincolnshire.

Blarney Island Opening Weekend (May 18)

Don’t have the time to make it out to the Sunshine State this year? No worries. 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.

Saturday-Sunday, May 18-19. Blarney Island, 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.

StarWauk (May 18)


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Thank you to everyone who came out last night and made @dinosaurstudiotattoo 1st annual StarWauk event a success!! Can’t wait for #Starwauk2018!! @davidmotley @waukeganartsdis @waukjam @waukeganmainstreet @waukeganparkdistrict @greaterwaukegan @explorewaukegan @drewsomeart @snafufig @siftedswts @billzilla_rex @duh47ronin @hiwaukegan @waukeganharbor @lmgx525 @sweettreasuresresale @lularoegypsydowns @swerving4irving @explorewaukegan @s0kay @edpincombe @nancytonkin7 @artwauk #imperial #rebel #rebelscum #TheLastJedi #newhope #returnofthejedi #tattooist #tattooing #tattooed #tattoos #tattoo #art #artists #artgallery #custom #fineart #fineartist #starwauk #calltoartists #edpincombedesigns #tarahnicolehoff #waukeganartsdistrict #waukegan #chicago #waukarts #weirdwaukegan #annualevent #1stannual #artwauk

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The City of Waukegan is altering the ArtWauk; 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 inaugural 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.

Friday, May 19; 5-10 p.m. Downtown Waukegan, Genesee Street.

Thunder on the Chain at Blarney Island (May 30-August 29)


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Vroom vroom #DragBoat #BlarneyIsland #ThunderOnTheChain #NIDBA

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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 August 29.

Thursdays, May-August. Blarney Island, 27843 W. Grass Rd., Antioch.

Bitter Jester Music Festival in Highland Park (beginning May 31)

The Bitter Jester Music Festival (BJMF) is the Midwest’s largest professional music competition for rising-star musicians (bands and solo artists alike). BJMF supports and promotes young and emerging talent from across Northern Illinois & Indiana, all across Wisconsin, and into Southern Michigan. The competition gives participating young adults an opportunity to receive professional feedback from working musicians and, most importantly, meet and connect with dozens of other musicians their own age.  The winner moves on to perform at the Navy Pier and the Taste of Highland Park. The fest runs on Fridays through early July.

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park (June 1-30)

Summer’s marquee event is Ravinia in Highland Park. This festival is the oldest outdoor music event in North America. The Highland Park event has hosted everyone from Tony Bennett to Luciano to Miles Davis to B.B. King to Lauryn Hill to Dolly Parton to Bob Dylan and a host of other unbelievable acts. Upon your visit, don’t forget your wine, picnic basket, blankets and lawn chairs so you can thoroughly enjoy a warm summer night in the Lake County City. Here’s who has been announced to perform in June. The event runs through early September.

  • Tash Sultana with the Pierce Brothers (June 1)
  • Concert Dance Inc. (June 1-2)
  • Rob Thomas (June 6)
  • Bridges Composition Competition (June 7)
  • Josh Groban: Bridges Tour (June 7)
  • VY Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir (Kids Concert) (June 8)
  • John Patitucchi (June 8)
  • Harlem Quartet (June 8)
  • John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness World Tour at Ravinia Festival (June 8)
  • Bobby McFerrin (June 9)
  • Billy Childs Jazz Ensemble (June 9)
  • Lionel Richie (June 11-12)
  • Lake Street Dive and the Woods Brothers (June 13)
  • Ravinia Stearns Music Institute (RSMI) Jazz Grandstand (June 14)
  • Buddy Guy, Blues Traveler and Shemekia Copeland (June 14)
  • Lincoln Trio (June 15)
  • Ko-Thi Dance Company (June 16)
  • Stile Antico (June 18)
  • Julliard String Quartet (June 19)
  • Bernstein’s Songfest (June 20)
  • Tony Bennett (June 21)
  • Catskill Puppet Theater: The Villain’s Mustache (Kid’s Concert – three showings) (June 22)
  • The Stars of the Peking Acrobat (Kids Concert) (June 27)
  • Miriam Fried and the RSMI Luminaries perform Beethoven and Brahms (June 27)
  • Little Big Town (June 28)
  • Atlanta Drum Academy (Kids Concert (June 29)
  • Counting Crows (June 29)
  • Sugarland (June 30)

Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Fest (June 1)


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Come buy some art to decorate your dorm room! We’re here till 6!

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For nearly two decades, Waukegan has celebrated a festival named for the
mastermind behind Fahrenheit 451 and Martian Chronicles. The 16th annual Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival features art, music, dance and the Drum Circle, “As Waukegan Grows.” Come enjoy this Bowen Park Festival sponsored by the city of Waukegan and the Waukegan Park District.

Saturday, June 1; 11a.m.-6 p.m.

Grayslake Craft Beer Festival (June 1)


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I drank like 17 different pilsners today 🍺🍻🍺

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Thirsty for an ice cold brew? Downtown Grayslake hosts the village’s seventh annual Craft Beer Festival featuring over 60 brewers handing out cold ones, eats, live music and more. Don’t miss this wide variety of tasty suds Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, June 1; 1-5 p.m. Admission: $35-$65. Downtown Grayslake, 61 S. Whitney St.

Lambs Farm Champion Car Show (June 2)

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 Lovin’ Oven, Rollands’ Jewelers, Shakou Cares and more. Once you’ve procured your appetite, head to the beer and food tent to tame your hunger and quench your thirst.

Sunday, June 2; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Rd., Libertyville.

Mundelein Craft Beer Festival (June 8)


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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.

Saturday, June 8; 1-5 p.m. Tickets: $15-$45. Mundelein Village Hall, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein.

Libertyville Days Festival (July 13-16)


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Libertyville Days Parade 🇺🇸

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It’s the party of the year in Libertyville! For four memorable days, beautiful downtown Libertyville provides a weekend full of activities including a parade, pageant, carnival rides, Church Street eats, beer garden, an arts and craft fair, eating competitions, car show, live entertainment and so much more. The theme of the village’s event is celebrating the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon. The live entertainment includes Six Speed Tranny, Foolhouse, Ivy Ford, Sneezy, Mellencourgar, the Modern Day Romeos and more.

Thursday-Sunday, June 13-16. Thurs: 5-11 p.m., Fri & Sat: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 1-6 p.m. Various Times. Downtown Libertyville.

Zion Nostalgia Days (June 14-15)


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

Friday-Saturday, June 14-15. Downtown Zion, Sheridan Road.

ArtWauk (June 15)

Fill your artistic void with the ever-extravagant monthly ArtWauk in Downtown Waukegan. Enjoy a plethora of talented individuals showcasing their work in many different art mediums. In addition to the portraits, sculptures and other artistic vibes, munch on some delicious dining options downtown or feel the flow of the tunes from the live entertainment at this free event occurring every third Saturday of the month.

Saturday, June 15; 5-10 p.m. Downtown Waukegan.

Highland Park’s Food Truck Thursdays (June 6-September 14)


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A perfect night for food, friends and summer fun at #foodtruckthursday in Ravinia. @hpilgov

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This event delights the famished of Lake and Cook County at this scrumptious spectacle. Journey to Highland Park’s Food Truck Thursday for fun in the sun with inspired dishes. Ravinia Brewing Co. and Abigails American Bistro will provide the libations for the event. Visitors can also enjoy live music, family arts & crafts, bags and more. The event will occur every Thursday through September 12 except on the Fourth of July.

Thursdays, June-September. Ravinia District, between Dean, Roger Williams and St. Johns Avenues, Highland Park.

Antioch’s Summer Arts & Crafts Faire and Antioch’s Wizards Weekend (June 15)

This newly designed Antioch Summer Arts and Crafts Faire will feature artisans from around the country. Over 140 brilliant maestros will display their unique works of art. There will also be plenty of children’s activities including face painting, balloon art and more! Is wizard chess your game or is it Quidditch? This magical weekend running alongside with Antioch’s Summer Arts & Craft Faire provides a slew of enchanting activities including costume contests, games, a scavenger hunt and other Harry Potter-themed happenings. Wizards and muggles of all ages will enjoy this free admission event! The Antioch Chamber urges attendees to dress as the character that most closely relates to you. Some of the events hosted in the downtown Antioch festival require advance registration.

Saturday, June 15; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Downtown Antioch.

Key West Fest at Blarney Island (June 20-23)


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Don’t have the time to make it out to the Sunshine State this year? No worries. 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 performance lineup that includes John Solinski, Pirates over 40 and Tropixplosion.

Thursday-Sunday, June 20-23. Blarney Island, 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.

For more information on spring festivals in Lake County, continue here.


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