Top 10 Things To Do in October 2021

So long summer. As much as we love the summer, Lake County lives and breathes the fall. When October shows up, the spooks and spirits take over in Lake County. Continue here to learn more.

“Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen, windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.” – The Waukegan-bred, famed author Ray Bradbury.

From pumpkin patches to family-friendly festivals, to farm fun and Fright Fest, to Halloween and haunted houses to spooky-good adult beverages and the cool #LetsSnapLakeCounty shots, the land of lakes what you’re looking for in October.

Here are your top 10 things to do in October.

1. Spooks & Spirits Lake County Autumn Celebration (through October 31)

Visit Lake County recently launched its all-things autumn and Halloween initiative called the Spooks & Spirits Lake County, Illinois Autumn Celebration. The celebration comprises of a variety of spooky and not-so-spooky Halloween activities, craft breweries, distilleries and wineries from the Lake County Libation Trail, corn mazes, haunted houses and supernatural attractions, fall festivals, costume parades, trick or treating, pumpkin patches and slew of other “BOO”tiful things during the fall season in the land of lakes.

2. #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest (through October 31)


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Alright, Mr. or Mrs. Shutterbug, the land of lakes is ready for its close-up. Visit Lake County invites you to submit your phenomenal pictures in the #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest. There is an abundance of beautiful, scenic, historical, adventurous, heritage, character and just downright “#InstaGood” shots of Lake County. Visit Lake County would like to showcase where you live, work, eat, play or shop by sharing your best pictures of the county. VLC will accept submissions for five categories: Outdoors, Family/People, Events, Dining/Libations and Other Travel Culture. There will be a grand prize winner, as well as five other category winners. Individuals may submit up to five photos. The #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest winners will win an exclusive prize and photo credit in future tourism marketing materials. The contest will reveal winners in multiple categories. Participants can submit entries through October 31 at

3. Fright Fest Presented by SNICKERS at Six Flags Great America (select days through October 31)

“Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y’alls neighborhood.”Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest presented by SNICKERS® has returned. Crypts, ghouls, zombies and everything else Halloween takes over the Gurnee amusement park on select days through October 31. Check the thrills by days and frights by nights as the Gurnee amusement park features coasters, haunted houses, live performances, scare zones and a ton of other things that make Halloween so sweet.

4. Haunted Attractions of Lake County (select days through November 6)


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Every October, there is a “Monster Mash,” and the haunted attractions in Lake County never fail to scare. There is an abundance of courageous souls out there that want to brave the storm of a professional scarer. That said, Lake County holds a Master’s Degree in terrifying individuals. So for the next month get your fill of spooks, because Lake County has your haunted attraction of choice. Take note that most of these frightening facilities and spirit havens aren’t for youngsters.

  • Dungeon of Doom in Zion (through Nov. 6) INFO»
  • Realm of Terror in Round Lake Beach (through Oct. 31) INFO»
  • Fright Fest presented by Gurnee (through Oct. 31) INFO»
  • Ghost Wauk Tours at Genesee Theatre (Oct. 1-2) INFO»
  • Jack-o-Lantern World in Lake Zurich (Oct. 1-31) INFO»
  • Halloween Hoopla: Haunted Hustle and Monster Dash in Deerfield (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • ZombieWauk in Waukegan (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • Halloween Hikes at Ryerson Woods (Oct. 22-23) INFO»
  • Long Grove Historical Society Ghost Walk (Oct. 27) INFO»
  • Haunted Waukegan Guided Walking Tour (Oct. 28) INFO»

5. October Festivals in Lake County (All October long)

“Trees bright and green turn yellow-brown. Autumn caught ’em, see all them leaves must fall down.” – André 3000 of Outkast. One of the best things about the summer farewell is the fall festivals in Lake County. Pumpkin spice, anyone? Taste the harvest goodness, embrace sweater weather, breathe in the autumn feels and get to a fall festival in Lake County!

  • SeptOberFest at the Beer Garden at Independence Grove (Thursdays through Oct. 28) INFO»
  • First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Oct. 1) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest at Timothy O’Toole’s in Gurnee, Lake Villa and Libertyville (through Oct. 3)
  • Lindy’s Rocktoberfest in Wauconda (through Oct. 3) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest at Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. (Oct. 1-3) INFO»
  • Round Lake Beach Octoberfest (Oct. 1-3) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest Pig Roast with the Usual Suspects at Harbor Brewing Co. Lakefront Biergarten (Oct. 2) INFO»
  • Harvest Celebration Crush at Vigneto del Bino (Oct. 2) INFO»
  • Bushel of Apples Fall Fest in Lake Zurich (Oct. 2-3) INFO»
  • Halloween Hoopla in Deerfield (select Saturdays Oct. 2-23) INFO»
  • Fox Lake Fall Festival (Oct. 3) INFO»
  • Witches Night Out in Antioch (Oct. 7) INFO»
  • The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 8-10) INFO»
  • DIY Scarecrow Day in Long Grove (Oct. 9) INFO»
  • Fox Lake Pumpkin Jubilee (Oct. 9) INFO»
  • Wizard’s Weekend in Antioch (Oct. 9) INFO»
  • Halloween Town in Long Grove (Oct. 9-29) INFO»
  • Park on Park Cruise Night in Mundelein (Oct. 13) INFO»
  • Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns at Chicago Botanic Garden (Oct. 13-24) INFO»
  • Witch’s Night Out in Long Grove (Oct. 14) INFO»
  • Breakfast and Beer Walk in Antioch (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • ZombieWauk in Waukegan (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest at Green Town on the Rocks (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • Wauke-Con at Ray Bradbury Experience Museum (Oct. 16-17) INFO»
  • Cars and Coffee at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills (Oct. 17) INFO»
  • CrocToberfest at Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest (Oct. 17) INFO»
  • Ninth Annual Celebration Dia de Muertos at the Jack Benny Center (Oct. 23) INFO»
  • Mundelein Boo Bash Trunk or Treat (Oct. 23) INFO»
  • Fox Lake Halloween Howl (Oct. 25) INFO»
  • Lincolnshire’s Boo Bash (Oct. 29) INFO»
  • Vernon Hills Fall Fest (Oct. 29) INFO»

6. Farm Fun in Lake County (All October long)

So why does Fall Farm Fun in Lake County seem so inviting? Well, maybe it’s because it’s the mellow time of year, and nature is exploding with colors perfect for scenic shots and pumpkins! Where can you find fall farm fun in Lake County? Continue scrolling to find more info.

  • Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove INFO»
  • Didier Farms in Lincolnshire INFO»
  • Lambs Farm in Libertyville/Green Oaks area INFO»
  • Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm in Waukegan INFO»
  • Country Bumpkin Pumpkinfest in Mundelein INFO»

7. The World Goes Round at Marriott Theatre (select days November 7)


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Kander and Ebb are the music genius tandem wrote an array of show tunes for “Cabaret,” “Funny Lady,” “New York, New York,” “Chicago” and many more, including, of course, “And the World Goes ‘Round.’” The two gentlemen have shelved numerous Tony Awards. This production showcases a revue of the two taking the musical’s title from a song they wrote for Liza Minnelli in “New York, New York.”

8. Genesee Theatre Performances (select days through October 1-30)


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The Waukegan theatre is providing visitors with glorious nostalgia as they feature legendary comedians, renowned musician’s tributes, kiddie shows live in person and more. Here’s the scoop for October at Genesee Theatre.

  • Ghost Wauk Tours (Oct. 1-2) INFO»
  • Melissa Etheridge (Oct. 3) INFO»
  • Gary Allan Live (Oct. 7) INFO»
  • Jeff Foxworthy (Oct. 8) INFO»
  • Bee Gees Gold The Tribute (Oct. 10) INFO»
  • Christopher Cross 40th Anniversary Tour (Oct. 14) INFO»
  • The Fray (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • Home Free (Oct. 17) INFO»
  • Million Dollar Quartet (Oct. 21) INFO»
  • Brian Wilson (Oct. 23) INFO»
  • I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience (Oct. 24) INFO»
  • Pop 2000 Tour Hosted by Lance Bass Featuring Mark McGrath, Ryan Cabrera, LFO and O Town (Oct. 25) INFO»
  • Black Violin (Oct. 29) INFO»
  • Dokken plus George Lynch with Special Guest Lita Ford (Oct. 30) INFO»

9. Lake County Libation Trail (all October long)

Besides the spooky haunts around the land of lakes, the spirits are just absolutely delectable during the Lake County Autumn Celebration. Ditch the pumpkin spice, and sip some of the best fall libations the autumn season has to offer. Why not? Take a trip down the Lake County Libation Trail and take your taste buds on a journey to flavor country. Lake County is home to delicious suds, vino and spirits with the autumn theme we all know and love. Every season these masons of brew, spirits and wines continuously blow our minds with the options they offer at their speakeasies.

10. Golfing in Lake County (throughout October)


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In our area, Lake County has 46 scenic courses with pristine wall-to-wall fairways. With the beauty, complexity and elaborate terrain, Golf Courses in Lake County have hosted some of the most extraordinary talents in the PGA and LPGA. Get out there and hit the links before the weather starts going south.

For more things to do in October, continue here. To learn more about the Spooks & Spirits campaign, click here.  


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