Things To Do This Weekend December 31, 2021-January 2, 2022

Lake County has many things happening to start out 2022. Let’s take a look at the top five things to do this weekend December 31-January 2.

All throughout the month of January, there are plenty of things going on in Lake County. Look at the top things to do in the first month of 2022 by clicking here.

Plunge into 2022 and raise money for a good cause in Waukegan. It’s your last chance to head to Zion to see their light display. Celebrate the New Year early in Deerfield. Wear your jammies to brunch in Wauconda. Stay at a cozy winter wonderland in Gurnee. Let’s look at the top five things to do this weekend December 31-January 2.

1. 23rd Annual Waukegan Polar Bear Plunge in Waukegan


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Kickoff the new year by taking a dip in the icy waters of Lake Michigan all while raising funds for a great cause. The Waukegan Park District and the City of Waukegan present the 23rd Annual Waukegan Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day at the Waukegan Municipal Beach. All proceeds from the event will benefit Special Recreation Services of North Lake County- Waukegan which helps individuals with disabilities participate in camps, athletics, health and fitness programs and much more. On-site registration is $25 per plunger and will be available from 9-10:45 a.m. the day of the event. Plungers will receive a commemorative event shirt. After the event concludes, explore the Lake County Libation Trail as Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium hosts their post-Polar Bear Plunge Party, Wauk It Off! The party is a full-on beach blanket luau with Hawaiian food from Da Local Boy and Hawaiian music provided by Komohana Kona.

Saturday, January 1; 10-11 a.m. Registration is $25. Waukegan Municipal Beach, 201 Sea Horse Drive, Waukegan.

2. Home for the Holidays: Lighted Christmas Trail in Zion


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Zion Park District shows off their “Home for the Holidays: Lighted Christmas Trail” at the city’s Shiloh Park. The drive-thru trail showcases over 50 Christmas displays featuring 100,000 lights. While visiting the trail be sure to spread cheer with a Positivi-Tree. Visitors are encouraged to share good thoughts during the holiday season by decorating the Positivi-Trees with messages of hope, celebrations and achievements. Write a message on one of your ornaments from home and hang it on one of the trees. The free Lighted Christmas Trail drive-thru event remains open from 5-7 p.m. daily through January 2.

Friday-Sunday, December 31-January 2; 5-10 p.m. Admission is free. Port Shiloh Pool Parking Lot, 1501 Shiloh Blvd., Zion.

3. Noon Year’s Eve Celebration at Deerfield Park District in Deerfield

On New Year’s Eve, ring in 2022 just a bit early with Deerfield Park District’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration. You don’t have to wait until midnight to have fun as the countdown starts at Sachs Recreation Center in Deerfield at 10:45 a.m. Enjoy a DJ dance party, games and balloon drop at noon. The $7 fee is per child but a parent is required to attend. For more details call 847-572-2600 or visit

Friday, December 31; 10:45 a.m.-noon. Fee is $7 per child and a parent is required to attend. Sachs Recreation Center, 455 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield.

4. NYD Pajama Brunch at Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda


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On New Year’s Day, roll out of bed and head over to Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda for their NYD Pajama Brunch. The Side Lot Brewery Brunch Menu will be available which includes made to order omelet wraps, brunch sandwiches and sharable brunch boards along with bottomless mimosas and blood marys. You can reserve a spot in the taproom or Side Lot Brewery also has Winter Domes that can fit six people and come with a small propane heater so that you can enjoy your brunch and drinks in a snow globe. Dome reservations are $20 and are non-refundable.

Saturday, January 1; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Dome reservations are $20. Side Lot Brewery, 110 Slocum Lake Rd., Wauconda.

5. Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee


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As the temperatures drop, families can find refuge in an escape to the warmth of Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois in Gurnee. Snow and classic holiday family fun will be plentiful in the cozy lodge. During this getaway, you can enjoy the comfortable 84-degree water park along with featured events such as Snowflake Story Time, Family Dance Party, Visits with Santa Claus, Snowfall Celebration, Snowland Yoga Trails, Arts & Crafts and of course, a splashmas miracle inside the 80,000 square-foot indoor waterpark. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois offers several different packages starting at $459.99 over New Year’s weekend. Snowland runs through Sunday, January 5.

Friday-Sunday, December 31-January 2; Water Park: Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. One-night stays start at $459.99. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, 1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee.

If you are looking for more things to do over winter break click here. For a list of the top things to do in January click here.

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