Top 10 Things To Do October 2020 in Lake County

So long summer. As much as we love the summer, Lake County lives and breathes the autumn season when October 2020 arrives.

“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 shutter bugging to Halloween and haunted houses to spooky-good adult beverages, Lake County has what you’re looking for in October 2020.

1. Lake County Libation Trail


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It’s not Wauconda without Vibranium. Our Black IPA is back on draft and in 4 Packs to Go

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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.

2. #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest


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The phrase, “take a picture it’ll last longer,” takes new meaning as you take your impressive imagery of Lake County. The land of lakes invites you to submit your phenomenal pictures in the #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest. 📸🤳🖼 Enjoy Illinois Tourism Currents U.S. Travel Association. A Grand Prize and five category winners will be selected. The Contest runs through October 31. Click the link in the bio to learn more. . . #LetsGoLakeCounty #enjoyillinois #illinois #chicago #doitforthegram #instagood #photocontest #crowdriff #lakecountyil #imagery #photography #shutterbug #lcfpd #antiochil #gurnee #foxlakeil #highlandparkil #deerfieldil #lincolnshireil #grayslake #libertyville #mainstreetlibertyville #zion #waukegan #mundelein #lakezurich #longgrove #vernonhills

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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, Masked, 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. Winners of the #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest 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. 5Ks in Lake County

The weather is excellent, and it’s the perfect time to get in shape for pumpkin spice season. Lake County is home to an array of 5Ks, 10Ks, and more that are USATF-certified courses that allow runners to run in much larger marathons. Be like Forrest Gump and say, “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was goin’ somewhere, I was runnin’!” Here’s a list of the October 2020 runs.

  • Long Grove’s Prairie State Half Marathon 10K or 5K (Oct. 3) INFO»
  • World’s Largest Corn Maze Run at Richardson’s Adventure Farm (Oct. 11) INFO»
  • Mama’s 5K Run in Zion (Oct. 24 – rescheduled from Mother’s Day) INFO»

4. Festivals in Lake County

The pandemic has canceled many events in Lake County for the autumn season, but that doesn’t deter us from achieving fall feels. There is still an abundance of box socials where individuals can taste the harvest goodness, embrace sweater weather, breathe in the autumn vibes and get to ta fall festival in the land of lakes. Here are the parties on the docket for October 2020:

  • Festival of the Arts 40th Anniversary Virtual Exhibit at Adler Center in Libertyville (Ongoing) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest at Ravinia Brewing Co. (through Oct. 11) INFO»
  • Didier Farms Pumpkinfest in Lincolnshire (Now-Oct. 31) INFO»
  • First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Oct. 2) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest Celebration at Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove (Oct. 2-4) INFO»
  • Oktoberfest at ZümBier in Waukegan (Oct. 3) INFO»
  • CROCtoberfest at Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest (Oct. 4 & 18) INFO»
  • Fall Bulb Festival at Chicago Botanic Garden (Oct.9-11)
  • Long Grove’s DIY Scarecrow Day (Oct. 10) INFO»
  • Antioch’s Breakfast & Craft Beer Walk (Oct. 17) INFO»
  • ZombieWauk in Waukegan (Oct. 17) INFO»
  • Virtual Wauke-Con Comic Book Convention (Oct. 17) INFO»

5. Farm Fun in Lake County

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 fun in Lake County? There are many different farms in the area that have brain-teasing corn mazes, petting zoos, homemade cider, pumpkins, gourds, squash, hayrides, zip lines and the list goes on and on. So visit a farm for fall fun in Lake County to discover, meditate, learn and play! Here are a few of the land of lakes spots you can sing E-I-E-I-O at.

  • Richardson Adventure Farm and Corn Maze in Spring Grove (open through 10/31) INFO»
  • Didier Farms in Lincolnshire (Open Through 10/31) INFO»
  • Lambs Farm in Libertyville (Open Through 10/25) INFO»

6. Haunted Attractions in Lake County

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. This October 2020, 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. Let’s take a look at the haunted attractions in Lake County and give you “proof that there had been a nightmare, on my street!”

  • Dungeon of Doom in Zion (through Oct. 31) INFO»
  • Ghost Wauk Tours at Genesee Theater in Waukegan (Oct. 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24) INFO»
  • Scare-Vision Drive-in Movie in Zion (through Oct. 31) INFO»
  • Highland Park Hauntings Drive-Thru (Oct. 23) INFO»

7. Night of 1,000 Jack-O-Lanterns at Chicago Botanic Garden

Don’t just sit around waiting for the “Great Pumpkin” to rise. Head over to Glencoe and witness a fantastic display of pumpkins lighting up the night sky. This weekend the Chicago Botanic Garden kicks off its Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns event. These hand-carved pumpkins light up the garden with LED lights along the paved pathway starting at the Esplanade. Encounter entertaining characters, view the ghostly trains in the Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America exhibit and indulge in seasonal treats like apple doughnuts, cider and ale.

8. Golfing in Lake County

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.

9. Halloween Events in Lake County

If you’re into sweets and cosplay, then you clearly are a big fan of Halloween. October 31 is that magical time of year where you can be anyone you want to be. Trick or treat, smell their feet, give them something good to eat. While the public health crisis as altered many aspects of the holiday, it’s that time to get “Thriller” queued up on your playlist.

  • Didier Pumpkinfest in Lincolnshire (through Oct. 31) INFO»
  • Virtual Halloween Costume Contest in Highland Park (Oct. 1-28) INFO»
  • Doggy Trick or Treat at Barefoot Bay in Mundelein (Oct. 10) INFO»
  • Halloween Character Drive-Thru in Grayslake (Oct. 15) INFO»
  • Fall Activity Treat Bag in Waukegan (Oct. 16) INFO»
  • Halloween Mini Golf in Highland Park (Oct. 22-25) INFO»
  • Highland Park Hauntings Drive-Thru (Oct. 23) INFO»
  • Trucks, Trunks and Treats in Lindenhurst (Oct. 24) INFO»
  • Glow in the Park Halloween Celebration at Boundless Adventures (Oct. 24) INFO»
  • Boo Bash Trunk or Treat at Barefoot Bay in Mundelein (Oct. 24) INFO»
  • Halloween Howl in Fox Lake (Oct. 26) INFO»
  • Trail of Treats in Zion (Oct. 30) INFO»
  • Trick or Treat on MainStreet Libertyville (Oct. 30) INFO»

10. Waukegan Harbor Closes at the End of the Month

“Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship. On your way to a world that others might have missed.” The city’s harbor closes for the season on November 1 and remains late fall. This boater’s haven offers an expansive season for nautical know-hows to choose Lake Michigan as your next boating destination. The harbor features the finest in boating with a marina of over 1,000 slips, perfect for the freedom to meander Lake Michigan. The land of lakes is called Lake County for a reason.

For more things to do besides the top 10 things to do in October 2020, continue here. To learn more about the #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest, click here.

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