Top 10 Holiday Things To Do in Lake County 2021

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

Visit Lake County wishes a happy holiday to everyone, and we hope to provide you with a jolly top 10 holiday things to do in Lake County to unScrooge yourself this festive season.

Let’s face it, there are a collection of bah hum-buggers out in the world.

“Holiday Your Way” in villages like Antioch, Gurnee, Libertyville, Vernon Hills and all across the land of lakes.

As we continue recover from the public health crisis, we encourage visitors and residents to holiday your way as you feel comfortable.

Lake County is your season’s greetings destination. “Holiday Your Way” in Lake County, Illinois, as the land of lakes spreads joy this most unique season. Here are the top 10 holiday things to do in Lake County 2021

1. Holiday Your Way in Lake County

Through the end of the year, “Holiday Your Way” to Lake County, Illinois, for festive family fun and activities. Discover, explore and “Run, Run Rudolph” to the county as you “Jingle Bell Rock” while “Walking in a Winter Wonder-” land of lakes. Lake County is home to various Christmas traditions, holiday festivities, meet and greets with jolly old St. Nick, shopping sprees, delectable eats and other activities perfect for the whole family. Indulge in the season’s traditions in Vernon Hills, Libertyville, Gurnee, Antioch and all across Lake County.

2. Lake County Illuminates the Night Through the Holiday Season

“Turn up the lights in here, baby. Extra bright, I want y’all to see this. Turn up the lights in here, baby. You know what I need, want you to see everything want you to see all of the lights.” – Rihanna. There is no way around it, Lake County is lit. From public light displays to motion twinkling shows to village and city Christmas tree and menorah lightings, Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season. Meander through a shiny land of lakes world and don’t forget to snap a memory.

3. Top 10 Places to Get a Christmas Tree in Lake County

“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches.” Christmas trees have a sort of je ne sais quoi. Every family needs something out of their respective tree, whether it is the tree’s fullness, the pine cone smell, your Christmas critters that are ecstatic for presents (and the time off of school) or perhaps just to instill or boost the holiday spirit in some of those mean green Mr. Grinch naysayers in your family unit. Click the button below to see 10+ land of lakes places that provide your holiday arbor.

4. Visit Santa in Lake County

“You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout; I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town.” Jolly old Saint Nick will be present at a slew of locations, whether it is a mall, an outdoor park, during dinner or other Lake County venues. Before the children have nestled all snug in their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, make sure to visit the man in the red suit. Kringle will be masked, and these locations with Mr. Claus are taking the proper health COVID-19 guidelines. Visit with a mask.

5. Holiday Festivals in Lake County


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Just because it may be a tad brisk, doesn’t mean the party ends. Lake County celebrates winter with its outdoor festivals, whether it’s a tree lighting or a frosty experience in the snow.

  • Holiday Lights in Gurnee (Dec. 2) INFO»
  • Lincolnshire Lights (Dec. 3) INFO»
  • Mundelein Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony (Dec. 3) INFO»
  • First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Dec. 3) INFO»
  • Elf Invasion Pub Crawl in Highwood (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Ralph’s Fourth Annual Stuff the Jeep Party at Port of Blarney (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Jewett Jingle Jam in Deerfield (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony in Waukegan (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Tree Lighting Event at Mellody Farm (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Dickens of a Holiday in Libertyville (Dec. 4 & 11) INFO»
  • Fox Lake Children’s Holiday Party (Dec. 12) INFO»
  • 55+ Monthly Mixer – Holiday Celebration in Gurnee (Dec. 14) INFO»
  • Waukegan Chamber Holiday Party at the Genesee Theatre  (Dec. 16) INFO»
  • HolidayWauk in Waukegan (Dec. 18) INFO»
  • Fa-La-La-La Film Fest at Gorton Community Center (Dec. 19 & 23) INFO»
  • GLMV WOW! MOB Holiday Party (Dec. 21) INFO»
  • Geez I Hope This Hangover Goes Away Before Christmas at Mickey Finn’s (Dec. 23) INFO»
  • Grandpa Ho Ho’s Holiday Hideaway at Lindy’s Landing (through Dec. 31) INFO»
  • Noon Year’s Eve in Deerfield (Dec. 31) INFO»
  • Alpine Biergarten at Buffalo Creek Brewing (Through March) INFO»

6. Holiday Performances in Lake County

“Giddy-yup, giddy-yup, giddy-yup, Let’s Go to the show,” Lake County! There’s no better way to soak up Lake County than witnessing a delightful holiday concert or show. Holiday your way with that Festivious spirit by attending one of these stupendous hot ticket items. “O Come All Ye Faithful” Lake Countians and visitors.

  • “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at the Citadel Theatre (Select Days through Dec. 23) INFO»
  • Kenny G at Genesee Theatre (Dec. 2) INFO»
  • Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular at Genesee Theatre (Dec. 3) INFO»
  • Holiday Concert and VIP Art Market Preview at the Brushwood Center (Dec. 3) INFO»
  • “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” at Three Brothers Theatre (Select Days Dec. 3-18) INFO»
  • “A Christmas Carol” at PM&L Theatre (Select Days Dec. 3-19) INFO»
  • Holiday Highlight Performance at The Tempel Lipizzans (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Christmas Concert & Special Tour Ft. Organist Dave Wickerham at the Sanfilippo Estate (Dec. 4) INFO»
  • Wayne Messmer and Friends at Orlin Auditorium in Waukegan (Dec. 5) INFO»
  • Holiday Concert with the Illinois Brass Band in Round Lake Beach (Dec. 5) INFO»
  • The 12 Dames of Christmas Starring Angela Ingersoll at the Marriott Theatre (Dec. 6-7) INFO»
  • Peanuts Jazz with the Chris White Trio at Gorton Community Center (Dec. 9) INFO»
  • Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus Performance of the Do it Yourself Messiah at St. Anastasia Church in Waukegan (Dec. 10) INFO»
  • “It’s a Wonderful  Life: A Radio Play” Presented by Improv Playhouse (Select Days Dec. 10-19) INFO»
  • Chris Issac Holiday Tour at Genesee Theatre (Dec. 11) INFO»
  • Holiday Highlight Performance at the Tempel Lipizzans (Dec. 11) INFO»
  • “Carols Near and Far: A Global Holiday Celebration” with Bella Voce Camerata at Barrington’s White House (Dec. 12) INFO»
  • PTC “Winter Winds” Band Concert at Patty Turner in Deerfield (Dec. 12) INFO»
  • “Merry Christmas Darling” Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter at Marriott Theatre (Dec. 13-14) INFO»
  • Three Dog Night at Genesee Theatre (Dec. 17) INFO»
  • Illinois Youth Dance Theatre Presents “The Nutcracker” at the Gorton Center (Dec. 17-18) INFO»
  • “How a Lipizzan Stallion Learns to Dance” Holiday Presentation at the Tempel Lipizzans (Dec. 18) INFO»
  • A Live Holiday Performance with Disney Fine Artist Trevor Carlotn at Hawthorn Mall (Dec. 18) INFO»
  • Ruth Page’s “The Nutcracker” at James Lumber Center for Performing Arts (Dec. 18) INFO»
  • Holly Jolly Concert at Gorton Community Center with Lake Forest Civic Orchestra (Dec. 19) INFO»
  • Dancenter North Presents “The Magic of the Nutcracker” (Dec. 21) INFO»
  • The Four C Notes at the Marriott Theatre (Dec. 31) INFO»
  • “Kiss Me Kate at Marriott Theatre (now-Jan. 16) INFO»

7. Lake County Shopping Sprees


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It’s an all-out shopping spree, and of course, everyone in Lake County is invited! Black Friday sales may be over, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find stupendous deals throughout the holiday season. From malls to mom-and-pop shops, Lake County’s shopping options are abundant. Here are a few spots to explore your gift-giving generosity.

Mom & Pop Shopping Destinations

Malls in Lake County

8. Holiday in the Park Lights! and at Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America kicks off their third installment of the Holiday in the Park Lights! event this year. This festival runs from November 26-December 30 on select days. The new holiday party will transform the park into a winter wonderland featuring millions of dazzling lights, a beautiful Christmas tree (5 p.m. lighting every night), a meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, festive entertainment and of course, rides on a world-class roller coaster. When it gets a tad nippier outside, Six Flags Great America will run the Holiday in the Park Lights! Drive-Thru Experience through January. See the same flashing lights, except in your whip with the heat on high.

9. Dickens Holiday and Kringle Christmas Village


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“I said, ooh, I’m blinded by the lights. No, I can’t sleep until I feel your touch.” – The Weeknd. Throughout December, Antioch intention is to make the season bright. From the shadowboxes at Kringle’s Christmas Village, to the wax statues of Dickens Holiday Village and now the Christ Musical Light Shows at the Antioch Bandshell. This drive-up light show located on Skidmore Drive will have signage as the shining bulbs will be keyed up to tunes that highlight the holiday season.

10. Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge 


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“Let it snow” in Lake County for all we care because inside Great Wolf Lodge Illinois; the temperature is a toasty 84 degrees. The event is full of holiday season activities like visit’s with Saint Nick, shimmering décor, Snow ‘N’ Glow Dance parties, the North Pole University where your kids can achieve their official “Snowploma” this snow-mester, a life-sized gingerbread house that your family can devour a delectable meal and of course an 80,000 square-foot indoor water park for a splashing good time. The event runs through January 5.

For more things to do during the holiday season, continue here. To see a list of all of the land of lakes events, click here.

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