Things To Do This Weekend May 18-20

Look no further than Lake County this weekend because we’re bursting at the seams with activities and events to take part in! Clear your schedule, call your friends and plan accordingly; the top things to do this weekend May 18-20 are a-MAY-zing.

We hope all moms out there had a spectacular Mother’s Day. Looking forward to the next major holiday, find a Memorial Day celebration or parade near you with this guide as we commemorate all of the brave men and women who have fallen in battle to make this country so great.

For a full list of events and happenings, continue here.

Without any further adieu, here are our picks for the top things to do this weekend.


1. Long Grove Chocolate Fest & Lake County Ghost Adventure

Chocoholics rejoice; the Long Grove Chocolate Fest returns to the historic village this weekend. Chocolate-infused creations will line the cobblestone streets of Long Grove during this three day event. Everything from chocolate pudding pie pops to burgers topped with cocoa sauce will be available for purchase. Bring the children to the family zone for lawn games, pie eating competitions and more. The Long Grove festival features live entertainment on the music stages including 7th Heaven, 16 Candles, Mellencougar and more.

There’s no need to wait for Halloween for an afternoon of spooks (even though candy is going to be in abundance), because the Lake County Ghost Adventure starting in Long Grove will scare the living daylights out of you. The Saturday event is a seven-hour paranormal bus tour exploring the many haunted locations in Lake County.

Long Grove Chocolate Fest: Friday-Sunday, May 18-20; Fri.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sat.: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission: $5-$10. Historic Downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove.Lake County Ghost Adventure: Saturday, May 19; 10 a.m. Admission: $80. Chatterbox of Long Grove, 330 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove.


2. StarWauk, Smash Mouth with the Spin Doctors & Rick Springfield at the Genesee Theatre

May the force be with you this weekend at Waukegan’s annual StarWauk festival. This particular edition of ArtWauk has been transformed to honor all things “Star Wars.” StarWauk features a plethora of art shows, cosplay, unique shops, face painting, sculptures, film, dance, theatre, comedy, music and more. Don’t forget to wear a costume!

Rebel and imperial fans alike can visit the Genesee Theatre on Friday to revel in ‘90s nostalgia as Smash Mouth and the Spin Doctors take the historic theatre’s stage on Friday night. Transport back one more decade on Sunday evening as Rick Springfield, known for writing “Jessie’s Girl,” graces the theatre’s stage.

StarWauk: Saturday, May 19; 5 – 10 p.m. Free admission. Various locations throughout downtown Waukegan. Smash Mouth and the Spin Doctors: Friday, May 18; 7:30 p.m. Admission: $37.50-$85.Rick Springfield: Sunday, May 20; 7 p.m. Admission $39.50-$110. Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan.


3. Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon

Paddle, splash and race through the winding water at the 61st annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon. Traverse through 18.5 miles of the Des Plaines River beginning at the Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch in Libertyville. The party continues after the race with food, music, awards and more. Register online at or sign up on race day.

Sunday, May 20; 8 a.m. Various admission. Oak Springs Road Canoe Launch, 15562 Oak Springs Rd., Libertyville.


4. Fly Fishing Film Tour

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.

Sunday, May 20; Showings at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Admission: $8-$15. John & Nancy Hughes Theater, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest.


New venue for me 😎#SevenSoul @sevensoulrocks

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5. Blarney Island Opening Weekend & “Bad Seed” Curtain Call

Drop anchor and enjoy the sounds of live music and more at Blarney Island’s opening weekend festivities. Enjoy the entire weekend at the Antioch island bar as they throw a Blarney “New Year” celebration on Friday to kick off the festivities. If you don’t have a boat, $8 roundtrip shuttles to the island depart Port O’ Blarney every half hour. Once all of the relaxing procures your hunger, conquer your appetite with a variety of food and drink specials. Check out the live tunes from Kyle Young Band, Tricky Mission, EZFM and DJs all weekend long.

Visit the PM&L Theatre for the curtain call of “Bad Seed.” The protagonist, Rhoda, is used to getting anything she wants. When a classmate of hers receives an award that she wanted, the classmate is found mysteriously murdered shortly after. Rhoda’s mother becomes suspicious and comes to believe that Rhoda was behind other sudden deaths surrounding the family.

Friday-Sunday, May 18-20; Fri.: 7 p.m., Sat.: 2 p.m., Sun.: 2 p.m. Free admission. Blarney Island, 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.

Honorable Mentions:

1. Extreme Block Party Family Expo & Taste of the Towns

Meander through 100+ vendors serving food, home improvemnt advice & goods, health & wellness, financial & insurance, gift items, jewelry, fitness and many more.

Saturday, May 19; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission. DoubleTree by Hilton Mundelein-Libertyville, 510 E. Rt. 83, Mundelein.

Keep the vibes high.

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2. ColorVibe 5K Run – Lake Zurich

The special 5K run tags runners with colored powder during the race for an unforgettable experience. Bring your friends and family so an afternoon of laughter and fun. Pro tip: wear white to the colors really show!

Sunday, May 20; 8 a.m. Admission: $34.99-$65. Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich.

3. Deerfield Area Historical Society Jubilee

Take a tour of the historic village, have your antique appraised for free, see and play historic games and join in the other various activities. Hungry? Find one of the many food vendors to conquer your appetite. All funds will go towards repairs and improvements to historic Deerfield structures.

Sunday, May 20; 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission. Deerfield Area Historical Society, 517 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield.

For other top things to do this weekend May 18-20, continue here.

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