Top 10 Things To Do in January 2020

The holiday season is all about over, but the top 10 things to do in January will keep you energized this winter in Lake County.

January features Lake County’s Libation Trail month, a plethora of fantastic winter fests, a few shows for brides-to-be, trusty steeds as you haven’t seen them before, a Broadway show, a few sporting events and much more.

The Lake County Libation Trail Check-in Challenge also runs throughout January. Lucky winners who “check-in” to five of our 23 Lake County Libation Trail participants breweries, distilleries and wineries can earn tickets to the Lake County Craft Beer Fest on February 22 at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Grayslake.

Without further adieu, here are your top 10 things to do in January throughout Lake County.

1. Windy City Wedding Show at Doubletree by Hilton Libertyville-Mundelein

Wedding ceremonies are a beautiful sight because they celebrate life and possibility. Wedding planning is hectic. In just a couple months, you will be dressed to kill walking down the aisle and looking deeply into the eyes of your significant other. Holiday Inn Gurnee Convention Center has got you covered as they host the most extensive wedding expo in the Chicago suburbs and southern Wisconsin: the Windy City Wedding Show. Equipped with a full day of wedding planning with a one-stop-shop for everything you need, the event features over 40 wedding professionals to address your big day’s needs, bridal salons, honeymoon travel specialists, a fashion show and more. Ticket sales for the event end the day before the event (January 4). Lovebirds can head to to enter for the chance to win a $300 Visa Card.

2. Lake County Libation Month (throughout January)

Let’s toast to the Lake County Libation Trail! “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” as suds aficionados, vino connoisseurs and spirit enthusiasts will be elated with these glasses of “liquid courage.” The Lake County Libation Trail is highlighted by 23 of the most delectable flavors from locally-sourced ingredients. Whether your adult beverage is an ice-cold frothy lager, a dry red merlot or an old-fashioned on the rocks, Lake County has precisely what you need to make your taste buds dance. We make our own in Lake County, IL. Check-in while visiting one of these 23 adult beverage makers and have a chance to win free tickets to the Lake County Craft Beer Fest at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center on February 22. Cheers, Salud, Prost and Kan-pie!

3. Behind the Scenes Tour with Tempel Lipizzans (January 11)

It may be a tiny bit breezy, but the view of Lake County’s most precious treasures will warm your soul. Trade neighs during a meet-and-greet inside the dancing stallions’ humble abode. On this behind-the-scenes tour, attendees will learn about the Lipizzan history, view the methods of classical riding and receive a full tour of the farm. The journey will end in the Old Mill Creek farm’s arena with a daily training session and a Q&A with the trainers. Tickets can only be purchased before the event. No tickets will be sold at the door.

4. Winter Festivals in Lake County (January 11-12 and 17)

Winter lovers come out and play! Just because it’s a tiny bit frigid outside, it can’t keep visitors from partying hearty. There is a slew of winter festivities for you, cold-blooded creatures in January. Here is a list of fests in Lake County celebrating one of our chilliest months.

  • Winter Fest in Highland Park (1/11) INFO»
  • Vernon Hills Winter Fest (1/11) INFO»
  • Gurnee’s Frosty Fest (1/11) INFO»
  • Lincolnshire Skate Night (1/11) INFO»
  • Winterfest at Volo Bog State Natural Area (1/12) INFO»
  • ArtWauk (1/18) INFO»

5. Genesee Theatre Productions (January 11-31)

The Waukegan theatre is providing visitors with glorious nostalgia as they feature legendary comedians, renowned musician’s tribute and a classy dance party. Here’s the scoop for January at Genesee Theatre.

  • Hermans Hermits (1/11) INFO»
  • Jackson Galaxy (1/17) INFO»
  • The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa’s Romeo and Juliet (1/18) INFO»
  • Terry Fator (1/24) INFO»
  • Loverboy (1/25) INFO»
  • Buckcherry (1/31) INFO»

6. Vipers Pro Basketball (January 12, 26)

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships,” said GOAT player and former Lake County resident Michael Jordan. The Vipers Pro Basketball team is well into their inaugural season, calling Gurnee home. The Vipers are a semi-pro ABA hoops team consisting of former D-I athletes, international players and local ballers with hopes of moving to the NBA hardwood. Catch these players on their new homecourt at Warren High School and view their talent as they move their way up the ranks. In January, the Vipers play on their home hardwood twice. These two games are their final two home games of the year.

  • Vs. Indiana Lyons (1/12) INFO»
  • Vs. Wisconsin Blaze (1/26) INFO»

7. “Grease” at Marriott Theatre (Opening January 15)

“Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop. That’s the way it should be.” Nobody knows what that means, but the songs from “Grease” are sung by heart and adored by many. The musical originally made famous by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta kicks off the 2020 season for the Marriott Theatre. The romantic comedy follows a story about two high school love birds from opposite worlds. And let us tell you; opposites definitely attract. Enjoy a “Grease Lightning” production during the dog days of winter and dream of the ensuing “Summer Nights.” Be sure to tell us more, tell us more.

8. Northern Illinois Sports Show (January 16)

Angling and hunting is an all-year sport. Explore the great outdoors at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center’s Northern Illinois Fishing and Hunting Spectacular. The show is highlighted by the country’s top fishing and hunting vendors, a slew of seminars, family-friendly attractions, outdoors outfitters and so much more. Join thousands of outdoor enthusiasts at the largest sportsman expo in the Chicagoland area.

9. Totally Tubular 80’s Party at Wilmot Mountain (January 25)


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The only winter activity I crush 🤣

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Just over the border into Wisconsin, Wilmot Mountain added a tubing hill to their repertoire. This tubing area extends to as long as 1,000 feet with a conveyor lift that takes you back to the top. In the daytime, you could reach speeds of 38 mph while at night, your tube can hit over 50 mph. Take your tube to a radical time and “Safety Dance” your way to the totally tubular ’80s. The event highlights the 1980s tunes, a photo booth, party favors and more. You may be “Livin’ on a prayer” when you hit the slopes and you may bite the dust. Wake us up before you go-go!

10. LVVA Fishing Derby (January 25)

Get your ice fishing on Lake County.  Pack up your lines, hooks and spears, and go for the gold trying to nab some fresh pike, crappie, perch and bluegill that Bangs  Lakes have to offer. Cash and prizes will be rewarded to anglers in big and small fish catches, an auction, raffles and more. Cast your hook, line and sinker for derby day.

For more information about everything going on in January, continue here. To learn more about Lake County Libation Trail month, click here.

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