Top Things To Do in August 2021

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” – Billy Shakes (or William Shakespeare if you’re looking for a government name source).

Are we past the summer’s midway point? Not entirely, but August is jam-packed full of splendid warm-season events for you and the family to put on the docket.

The festivals reign supreme in Lake County. To find a full schedule of the summer party sessions, continue here.

What’s better than sipping on an adult drink while basking in the Lake County sun with your closest pals? So stroll down the Lake County Libation Trail and indulge in the locally crafted beverages the area has to offer. Click here to learn more.

Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor Chicago is always a jam. Take a look at how you can experience Lake County thrills.

Are you ready for some football? Visit Lake County is the official partner of the Dr Pepper Zero Sugar Chicago Bears Training Camp. Two lucky individuals have a chance to win two free tickets to the Halas Hall camp in Lake Forest for Saturday, August 7. The ticket giveaway runs through Wednesday, August 4. Continue here to learn more and enter your information for a chance to win two tickets.

Without further adieu, here are your top 10 things to do in August 2021.

1. 92nd Annual Lake County Micro Fair (July 30-August 1)

The smell of funnel cakes in the air can only mean one thing: the 92nd annual Lake County Micro Fair is just around the corner! “Summer’s Best Fest” has returned for its ninth decade (plus two) of family fun at the Grayslake facility. The fair is a tiny bit scaled back this year due to precautions with COVID-19 infection rates. Still, the livestock barns, competitive exhibits, demo derbies, Lake County local talent, fabulous fare and Midway rides you love will be a fixture in this year’s edition. FYI, in the Expo Hall, the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center offers a vaccination clinic daily from noon-6 p.m. Take a look at some of those can’t-miss activities.

2. Food Truck Events in Lake County

If you’ve been under a rock in the last decade, mobile eateries are sweeping the nation. However, believe it or not, the Chicagoland area was one of the late adopters. Not that there weren’t food trucks available out here, but these cuisine-making vehicles were forced to prepare their eats at a commercial kitchen. Since 2012, these mobile chefs received the right to cook onboard a truck in 2012, according to the Chicago Tribune. As a result, Lake County hosts four exceptional eating events throughout the summer:

  • Lake Zurich Food Truck Social (8/4, 11, 18, 25)  INFO»
  • Lucky Burger and Grill Truck at Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein (8/5) INFO»
  • Deer Park Food Truck (8/21) INFO»
  • Fire & Smoke Food Truck at Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein (8/26) INFO»

3. Ravinia Festival in August


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Ravinia is a staple of Lake County. Since 1905, the Highland Park fest has featured the top musicians in various genres, making it the oldest outdoor festival in U.S. history. As the COVID-19 crisis halted the land of lakes’ summer marquee music festival last year, the Highland Park mainstay makes its triumphant return in 2021. Here are a few of the August performers. Click the button below to learn about the full August schedule and beyond.

  • Willie Nelson & Family (8/14) INFO»
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Tchaikovsky Spectacular INFO»
  • Gladys Knight (8/18) INFO»
  • Counting Crows (8/19) INFO»
  • The Beach Boys (8/21-22) INFO»
  • Lake Street Dive (8/26) INFO»
  • Train (8/27-28) INFO»

4. Beaches in Lake County


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The land of lakes is home to over 200 lakes and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, which means the beaches are abundant. Searching for an adventure in one of the Great Lakes? Illinois Beach State Park in Zion or Waukegan Municipal Beach is your destination. Taking your little guppies for a more youngster-friendly environment? Lake Zurich’s Paulus Park Beach has lifeguards and a water playground. So take a dip and cool yourself off this summer along one of Lake County’s relaxing shorelines. So kick back and relax, and remember, life’s a beach!

5. Movies and Concerts in the Park (Select Day, August 5-27)


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What’s more relaxing than listening to your favorite tunes on the lawn or watching an award-winning flick outside during a land of lakes summer? Lake County hosts a plethora of these seasonably warm events for you to have a family fun adventure. Let’s see what movies and concerts in the park are on the docket for August:

  • ArborTheater Concerts in Vernon Hills (Thursdays) INFO»
  • Concert in the Park in Zion (Thursdays) INFO»
  • It’s Thursday Concert Series in Antioch (Thursdays) INFO»
  • Movies in the Park in Waukegan (Mulan) (8/6) INFO»
  • Outdoor Movie Night in Long Grove (Sandlot) (8/6) INFO»
  • Deerfield Park District Summer Sampler (8/8 and 22) INFO»
  • Sounds of Summer in Gurnee’s Viking Park (8/19) INFO»
  • Summer on the Shire in Lincolnshire (8/26) INFO»
  • Movie in the Park in Vernon Hills (The Croods) (8/27) INFO»

6. Genesee Theatre Reopens (Select Days August 5-21)


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After a year of COVID-19 hiatus, the Waukegan staple reopens its doors. Genesee Theatre provides visitors with glorious nostalgia as they feature legendary comedians, renowned musicians and a classy dance party. Here’s the scoop for August at the City of Progress’s downtown mainstage.

  • Brit Floyd: The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show (8/5) INFO»
  • Bumping Mics with Jeff Ross and Dave Attell (8/6) INFO»
  • Happy Together Tour Featuring The Cowsills, The Vogues, The Buckinghams, The Classics IV, The Association, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night and The Turtles (8/7) INFO»
  • Little River Band (8/21) INFO»

7. August Festivals in Lake County

Pardon our French, but the summer festival season in Lake County is lit AF (of course, we’re talking about atrial fibrillation) because these box socials can make your heart get jumpy. The sun is out; the streets are vibrant with live Spotify sounds; the foodies explore their palates with enchanting eats and drinks. The thrill-seekers are craving carnival rides and so much more. So let’s take a look at the July Festivals.

  • 92nd Annual Lake County Micro Fair in Grayslake (7/30-8/1) INFO»
  • First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (8/6) INFO»
  • Bitter Jester Music Festival in Highland Park (8/6 & 13) INFO»
  • Harbor Days Festival & Venetian Night (8/7) INFO»
  • MainSweet Libertyville Dessert Walk (8/7) INFO»
  • Gurnee Days (8/7-8) INFO»
  • Adler Arts Center’s 40th Annual Festival of the Arts at Cook Park (8/7-8) INFO»
  • Long Grove’s Vintage Days (8/7-8) INFO»
  • Libertyville Days Festival “Let’s Give it a Shot!” (8/12-15) INFO»
  • Grayslake Summer Days (8/20-21) INFO»
  • Little Bear Ribfest in Vernon Hills (8/20-21) INFO»
  • ArtWauk in Waukegan (8/21) INFO»
  • Grayslake Color Aloft Fest (8/28) INFO»
  • Potawatomi Trails Pow Wow in Zion (8/28-29) INFO»

8. Fox Lake Cardboard Regatta Races

Who has created the fastest vessel in Lake County … made of cardboard? So grab your friends and set out to construct the speediest watercraft this side of the Mississippi. Don’t get stingy with the paper and glue, and remember creativity is a plus (even if it instantly sinks). “Shove right off” to Lakefront Park, but first, you have to register at Fox Lake Village Hall. The registration includes a boat-building kit.

9. Running Events in Lake County


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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. So 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 August 2021 runs.

  • Night Kids Triathlon in Vernon Hills (8/8) INFO»
  • Muddy Princess Race at Richardson Adventure Farm (8/22) INFO»
  • Fort2Base Race in Lake County (8/22) INFO»

10. Atomic Circus Vintage at Volo Auto Museum


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“(S)He’d, (they’d) fly through the air with the greatest of ease. A daring young (wo)man on the flying trapeze.” Check out all of these talented individuals from the Atomic Circus Vintage who perform spectacular flips, turns, jugglers, acrobats, contortionists and more at the recently renovated Volo Museum. This weekend, the museum of all trades will be opening its Carousel and Music Hall.

For more top 10 things to do in August 2021, continue here.

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