Top 10 Things To Do in September in Lake County 2019

“But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.” – said author Robert Finch.

Fall doesn’t technically start until September 22, but Lake County is the place to be when the season begins. There’s never really a top 10 things to do in September in Lake County 2019 because there are hundreds of happenings the land of lakes during the autumn season.

The conclusion of Labor Day weekend is viewed as the unofficial end to summer. Take advantage and celebrate as much as you can in this transition period where the weather is virtually perfect in Lake County (with the exception of people with heavy allergies that include yours truly).

From Labor Day weekend to Ravinia, from fall fests to flyboys (and fly girls) from the world’s largest corn maze to pumpkin fests, from cinema watching to Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest by Snickers, your weekend digest is here in Lake County, IL.

Here are your top 10 things to do in September in Lake County 2019.

1. Something Rotten at Lincolnshire Marriott Theatre (August 28-October 20)

Fifteen ninety-five. London, England. “Welcome to the Renaissance” where the writers write, and the brothers hate Shakespeare with so much spite. Nick and Nigel Bottom are brothers attempting to write the play of the ages, but their style is old news compared that of “The Bard.” A fortune teller foresees the centerstage future and predicts the Bottom duo will create something for centerstage unheard of at this point; a production that includes song, dance and acting done simultaneously. The Bottoms get their eureka moment and set out to write the first musical in the history of the world.  Fame isn’t as fantastic as it looks as the Bottoms create a musical about our favorite brunch treat: omelets. Nominated for nine Tony Awards when on Broadway (winning one award), this musical comedy is sure to take the egg. The show runs through October 20.

2. SeptemberFests in Lake County (All September)

A little bit of summer fun and a little bit of autumn chill. There’s a fantastic collection of festivals going on this September. Stay tuned to the Fall Festivals Guide coming soon.

  • Ravinia Festival (Aug. 30-Sept. 16) INFO»
  • Bristol Renaissance Faire (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) INFO»
  • Jubilee Days in Zion (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) INFO»
  • Long Grove Irish Days (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) INFO»
  • Highland Park’s Ravinia District Food Truck Thursdays (Sept. 5 & 12) INFO»
  • First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Sept. 6) INFO»
  • Lake Zurich’s Rock the Block (Sept. 7) INFO»
  • The Annual Bourbon & Beer Fest at the Vine Martini and Wine Bar in Grayslake (Sept. 7) INFO»
  • Mundelein Arts Festival (Sept. 7-8) INFO»
  • Deer Park Art Show (Sept. 7-8) INFO»
  • Deerfield Historical Society’s 40th Fall Festival (Sept. 8) INFO»
  • Fiestas Patrias Parade and Festival in Waukegan (Sept. 15) TBA
  • Stupey Cabin Harvest Fest in Highland Park (Sept. 15) INFO»
  • Gorton Center’s Summer Block Party in Lake Forest (Sept. 14) INFO»
  • Fox Lake Fish Fest: Mayor’s Fish Fry and Fox Lake Fish Fest Youth Fishing Derby (Sept. 20-21) INFO»
  • Long Grove Apple Fest (Sept. 20-22) INFO»
  • ArtWauk (Sept. 21) INFO»
  • Barnfest 2019 at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (Sept. 21) INFO»
  • Antioch Fall Wine Walk (Sept. 28) INFO»
  • Lake County Farm Heritage & Harvest Festival (Sept. 28-29) INFO»
  • Deerfield Harvest Festival (Sept. 28-29) INFO»

3. Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee (August 30-September 2)

Take a dip in the drink, recline, relax and experience all the thrills at Hurricane Harbor for one last time. Labor Day is the final day to splash in the Gurnee waterpark. The H2O haven is equipped with numerous waterslides, the main swimming area called Monsoon Lagoon, a kid zone play area that utterly soaks attendees, an interactive surf area and so much more. Have a splashing good time once more this year.

4. Ravinia Festival in Highland Park Final Performances (August 30-September 15)

Summer’s marquee event is nearing its end. North America’s longest-running outdoor festival is featuring a plethora of humongous acts. Pack some snacks and sun hats and head out to Ravinia Festival.

  • Jory Vinikour plays Bach on harpsichord (Aug. 30) INFO»
  • The Mighty O.A.R and American Authors (Aug. 30) INFO»
  • Dan Tepfer and Miguel Zenón (Aug. 31) INFO»
  • Queen Latifah and Common (Aug. 31) INFO»
  • Steely Dan (Sept. 1-2) INFO»
  • Mames Babegenush – two shoes (Sept. 2) INFO»
  • Lenny Kravitz (Sept. 7) INFO»
  • Yevgeny Kutik (Sept. 7) INFO»
  • Alon Goldstein (Sept. 8) INFO»
  • Kesha (Sept. 8) INFO»
  • Francesca Dego’s Red Violin Caprices (Sept. 10) INFO»
  • Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway (Sept. 10) INFO»
  • Considering Matthew Shepard: Command Encore! (Sept. 12) INFO»
  • Mary J. Blige (Sept. 13) INFO»
  • Morrissey and Interpol (Sept. 14) INFO»
  • The Performer’s School (Sept. 14-15) INFO»
  • Disney Pixar’s “Coco” Concert Live to Film with Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Sept. 15) INFO»

5. The Lake County Film Festival in Grayslake, Waukegan and Lake Forest (September 5-10)

The Lake County Film Festival makes its triumphant return this September at three locations: College of Lake County Grayslake campus and Waukegan campus as well as Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest. The three-satellite location cinema fest features over 60 showings of documentaries, shorts, music videos, narratives, international presentations and a slew of other flicks. Some of the feature films include “QWERTY,” “5-25-77,” “Rendezvous in Chicago,” “Pizza: A Love Story,” “While I Breathe” and more. This is a can’t-miss event! For more information about the festivities, visit

7. Wings Over Waukegan (September 7)

Viewers will witness an unbelievable flight performance by the world-renowned aerobatic pilots at the Waukegan Regional Airport. The Northern Illinois Airshow – Wings Over Waukegan features vintage military crafts like the F-86 Sabre, delicious eats, mouthwatering drinks, photo-ops with the brave pilots and more. Don’t forget your camera so you can capture the best snapshots. As these captains of flight have said in the past and what pilots will exclaim in the future, “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.”

7. Richardson Adventure Farm & Corn Maze in Spring Grove (September 7-November 3)

You’ll be amazed by their maize mazes. Richardson’s Adventure Farm & Corn Maze is known for having the world’s most massive corn maze. The Spring Grove area spans 33 acres of land and is equipped with 11 miles of trails. Richardson Farm celebrates the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and NASA landing on the moon in 1969. Besides the renowned maze, the Adventure Farm features another five mazes, a zip line, a pumpkin patch, ORBiting rides (a ride inside a giant 11-football), live pig races,  a wooded picnic area, free campfires, pedal carts, pedal trikes, a goat farm, a corn cabin and wagon rides. Richardson Farm is open through Sunday, November 3.

8. Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest presented by Snickers in Gurnee (September 14-November 3)


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TGIFright Fest! 😝🎃

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The thrills and chills are at Six Flags Great America as the legendary Fright Fest makes its return to the Gurnee Amusement Park. Fright Fest presented by Snickers is when the park is totally transformed for eight weekends in ghoulish fashion, and features live shows, street entertainment, haunted houses and of course riding the all of the 15 roller coasters and thrill rides at night. As Halloween approaches, the kids can embark on a unique trick-or-treat trail. Fright Fest is open on weekends until November 3.

9. 2019 Trail Hoppin’ Brewery Tour P/B Crank Revolution beginning in Lincolnshire (September 21)

Feel the cool breeze as you take a ride on the 2019 Trail HOppin’ Brewery Tour P/B Crank Revolution. The event is hosted by Lake County Libation Trail participant, Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire. In the second installment of this event, suds aficionados will take to the Des Plaines River Trail and the North Shore Bike Path touring (presently) nine brew houses. The event offers a short and a long version of the course. Other Lake County Libation Trail participants include the aforementioned Lincolnshire brewhouse, Bosacki’s Brewery and Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein, Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee and Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville. Online registration ($30 for both routes) ends September 14. Click here for online registry.

10. Didier Farms Pumpkinfest in Prairie View Opens (September 21-October 31) 


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Making taffy apples for Pumpkinfest!

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You haven’t lived unless you’ve been to Didier Farms Pumpkinfest. Everyone loves all the extravagant memories from the Lincolnshire/Prairie View Farm. The farm favorite features hayrides, pony rides, camel rides, kiddie rides, an exotic petting zoo, a parakeet exhibit, a corn maze and pig races (the sprinting porkies only gallop on the weekends). A new addition to this event is Buffalo Creek Mining Co, an area where kiddies can sift through the water to find gems. Don’t forget to visit Grandma D’s Bake Shop for scrumptious pies, cookies, fudge, homemade apple cider, kettle corn and pumpkin donuts. The farm’s doors are open through Wednesday, October 31. The farm, originally purchased by John Link who is the father of Mary Sue Didier, has been owned by a Didier descendant since 1912.

Honorable Mention

  • Fall on the Farm at Lambs Farm in Libertyville (Sept. 21-22) INFO»
  • Petpalooza at at Lehmann Mansion (Sept. 22) INFO»
  • Lake County Great Inflatable Race at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (Sept. 21) INFO»
  • Realm of Terror Haunted House in Round Lake Beach (TBA)

For other events and festivities not listed in the top 10 things to do in September in Lake County 2019, continue here.

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