Labor Day Weekend in Lake County 2023

By: Jonathan Jones 08/16/2023

Hooray for Labor Day weekend in Lake County: everyone’s favorite Monday of the year! Here’s a little bit of history behind the national “take it easy” day. 

The inception of the Labor Day idea was in 1885. The first state to introduce the bill was New York, but Oregon passed it first on February 21, 1887. The emphasis of this holiday was strongly insisted on by labor unions. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Co-founder Peter J. McGuire is the father of the effort.

 

 

 

 

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To end the Pullman Strike in 1894 (which was a nationwide strike against the Pullman Palace railroad car manufacturers and a turning point in labor law that initially started in Chicago), President Grover Cleveland made it official and made designated Labor Day as everyone’s favorite Monday off of the year.

For providing us with a break, say cheers to Mr. McGuire by taking a walk down Lake County’s Libation Trail.

We’re in this rat race spinning and spinning, trying to grab that hunk of cheese. Let’s all kick back and relax on this extended time off and see what’s going on for Labor Day weekend in Lake County.

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 as spring is finally here! Let's take a look at some of our links partners.

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park

 

 

 

 

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Live entertainment always gets your juices flowing when you’re looking for a new tune to hum. Not to mention, it's 20 gazillion times better if the concert is outdoors. Here are some must-see concerts in the land of lakes. 

Annual Bourbon and Beer Festival

Labor Day weekend has never been this delicious as The Vine in Grayslake hosts its 14th annual Bourbon and Beer Festival. The imbibe party features over 30 breweries and 80 different types of whiskeys, live music, fare vendors and cigar rollers. The 21 and older event returns after a three year hiatus due to the public health crisis. The live music bill features bands like The Complex, Lake Effect WI and Timeless Ideals. Tickets run between $45-$50 and designated driver tickets are available for $10.

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!

Susanna Farms in Lake Villa 

The Lake Villa  offers a variety of therapeutic services for a range of purposes that including yoga, meditation and horseback riding. They specialize in entry-level skill-building for those dealing with anxiety, autism, and other physical and emotional issues. Susanna Farms also provides equine-assisted activities, camps for public and private events as well as corporate outings and birthday parties.

Lake County Road Trips

 

 

 

 

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"Oh, the places you'll go" and explore, and those sites, sounds and feels will leave you and the family with memory makers. Lake County Road Trips showcases five different experiences via car, bike or hoofing to create an adventure on the land of lakes' arterial highways: Illinois Route 21, U.S. Route 45, Illinois Route 83, Illinois Route 41 and U.S. Route 12. So this summer, don't just take a road trip. Explore, explore, explore!

Twilight Shuffle in Libertyville

Now in its 15th year, the MainStreet Libertyville Twilight Shuffle is an annual 5K run for runners ages nine and older. Runners compete in a 3.12-mile run through one of the most scenic (yet hilly) neighborhoods in downtown Libertyville as local residents cheer them on. The race will be professionally timed via chip. Participants will receive a 2022 Twilight Shuffle technical fabric T-shirt, bib, entrance to the pre-race sponsor expo and post-race festivities.

 

Extreme Fun Experience by Nitro Extreme in Gurnee Mills

 

 

 

 

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Ready to get your kids adrenaline pumping after the start of school. Visit the Extreme FUN Experience at Gurnee Mills that is highlighted by unique experiences like a motor stunt show, zipline adventure, bounce houses and inflatable obstacles, a dino treasure hunt, a monster truck ride, face painting and more. Your kids will not be disappointed by this exciting excursion. 

Bristol Renaissance Faire just north of Lake County

Turn back time and travel just north of Lake County to the 16th-century at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. The festival’s opening weekend is highlighted by delectable food, a marketplace with unique handcrafted wares, an interactive theatrical gaming experience and slew of other 1500s festivities. There is plenty of excitement for youngsters as the Bristol Renaissance Faire has been voted as the top 10 family-friendly festivals for nearly a decade. However, adult shenanigans can commence if you’re visiting without kiddies as adults 21 and older can take a tour on the Kenosha, WI facility that hosts their legendary pub crawl. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Renaissance-era attire while enjoying the sights and sounds of Medieval Europe. The Olde English fest will run on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend. 

Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee

 

 

 

 

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Take a dip in the drink, recline, relax and experience all the thrills at Hurricane Harbor Chicago. The Gurnee water park opens for the general public this weekend. 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, the world's tallest water coaster: Tsunami Surge, and so much more. So have a splashing good time this Memorial Day weekend. If you want to splash and ride, take a trip next door to Six Flags Great America and experience the 17-coaster thrill zone. Hurricane Harbor Chicago is open select days through Labor Day. For tickets, visit SixFlags.com/HurricaneHarborChicago. 

Beach Volleyball in Lake County

Get your game on in the land of lakes, where the sand is soft and the competition is fierce. Let the waves crashing on the shore be your soundtrack as you play beach volleyball (or in some cases, in the backyard of a bar). Here are a few spaces where you can bump, set and spike. 

Camping in Lake County

 

 

 

 

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"My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature" - Claude Monet. Camping season is officially in session. Lake County may have few spots to camp, but boy, are they mighty. Visit these three locations in the land of lakes where the deer and the antelope play. The three campsites remain open through October.

Lake County Libation Trail

In the summertime where the Lake County weather's fine, you can experience myriad potions when browsing ninety-nine bottles of libations on the wall. The Lake County Libation Trail options for our marquee season are sure to pique your interest. We make our own here in Lake County. So take your taste buds out for a treat as we recline, relax and loosen up with summer libations in Lake County. Cheers Lake County. You've earned the time to let your hair down as you take back a few Lake County summer libations. 

Hike Lake County 

 

 

 

 

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No matter the season, we enjoy the fruits of what Mother Nature gave us in Lake County: The tall trees, the winding trails, the serene bodies of waters, the creatures and critters and the picturesque plant life. Lake County provides outdoor escapes from the shelter in place with an up close and personal live-action Claude Monet portraits. LCFPD’s (Lake County Forest Preserve District) Hike Lake County Challenge (on foot only) runs through November 30, and you can earn some hiking swag as well as explore upcoming kaleidoscopic fall colors. The stars on a clear night are spectacular. 

Sunset Pavilion in Lake Zurich 

Overlooking pristine Lake Zurich (also located in Lake Zurich), Sunset Pavilion at Breezewald Park, is a new addition to the visual statement venue. The Lake Zurich entity serves wines by the glass, craft brew and other libations, flatbreads, sandwiches and desserts. You can’t help but be mesmerized by where the sun sets at this beautiful location while sipping down your favorite adult beverage of choice.

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Lambs Farm in Green Oaks/Libertyville Area

 

 

 

 

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Old Lake County had a farm E-I-E-I-O. The six-decade-old Libertyville/Green Oaks farmyard is highlighted by a petting area with sheep, goats and a plethora of other livestock creatures to meet and greet, various attractions like miniature golf, an old-world carousel and more. Visit the homestead’s Dogwood Pet Shop, Magnolia Café & Bakery and the Sugar Maple Country Store for delectable treats, unique treasures, adorable puppies and kittens. The Libertyville grounds’ businesses benefit programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. The farmyard is open through October.

Fishing in Lake County 

Hooked on Fishing? Let Lake County’s 75 inland lakes, charter fishing on Lake Michigan and the Chain O’Lakes reel you in. The Chain O’Lakes is a connective waterway that links the Fox River to 5 lakes through a series of canals and smaller waterways. And under these waters, the fishing tale of a lifetime is just waiting to get hooked. The Chain O'Lakes include a variety of species including: black crappie, bluegill, bullhead, catfish, carp, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, white bass, yellow bass and yellow perch.

Aquatic Centers and Pools in Lake County 

 

 

 

 

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Splashing in the water when the temperature is hot and taking advantage of the short period we spend in the pool before fall hits is a Midwestern pastime. We've put together a list of aquatic centers and pools here in Lake County.

Irish Days in Long Grove

Ready to celebrate Long Grove’s Irish Days, American-style? Join Long Grove as they celebrate heritage by featuring authentic Irish cuisine, traditional Irish brews, live entertainment that features musicians and dancers, the men’s kilt contest, bagpipers, a best-dressed dog competition, kiddie festivities and more. Of course, everyone’s a little bit Irish in September, too. The Historic Downtown Long Grove event is free of admission.

Butterflies & Blooms Exhibit at Chicago Botanic Garden

 

 

 

 

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Witness the majesty and beauty of the Swallowtail, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Skipperling, and as many as 500 other colorful butterflies and blooms at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Butterflies & Blooms exhibition highlights species native to Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. The butterflies are housed in a 2,800-square-foot mesh enclosure on the Regenstein Learning Campus. Visitors can see the cocooned caterpillars transform into butterflies through a window in the pupa emergence room. The exhibition is open daily through September 4 (weather permitting).

Jubilee Days in Zion (TBA)

On Labor Day weekend, the City of Zion rejoices in unison as they host the Annual Jubilee Days Festival. The festivities kick off with the annual 5K run Saturday morning and the fun continues until Monday night. This event also includes a Miss Zion pageant, ice cream social, arts & crafts festival, live music, delectable eats, the Mayors Breakfast, the largest Labor Day parade in Lake County: the Jubilee Parade and fireworks.

First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville

 

 

 

 

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Invest your fest feels in a festival-infested Libertyville. First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville, highlighted by various delectable drinks, mouth-watering eats, live entertainment, and more as visitors peruse through local mom-and-pop shops offering promotional sales. Improv Playhouse features its First Friday Funnies as renowned comedians grace the stage for a knee-slapping BYOB event. The Joyful Gourmet provides countless deals, a wine bar and a live performance by Jazz Soup.

Paddling in Lake County 

What ever your vessel fancy is, the land of lakes is home to a ton of small boat launches. Whether your into boating, canoeing and/or kayaking there are various locations along the Des Plaines River, Sterling Lake at Van Patten Woods, Long Lake in Grant Woods or even Fish Lake Beach. Get your PWC on in :Lake County. 

Beer Garden at Independence Grove

 

 

 

 

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Lake County summers have a unique taste, as do the local suds at the Beer Garden at Independence Grove Forest Preserve. Experience this Lake County Forest Preserve District's beer flights for sippers ages 21 and older while viewing the area's natural beauty. The beer garden highlights Lake County Libation Trail partners Mickey Finn's Brewery of Libertyville, Phase Three Brewing of Lake Zurich, Liquid Love Brewing of Buffalo Grove, Half Day Brewing Co. of Lincolnshire, Tighthead Brewing Co. of Mundelein, Buffalo Creek Brewing of Long Grove, Ravinia Brewing Co. of Highland Park, and Harbor Brewing Co. and 9th Hour Brewing of Lake Villa. The Libertyville Sanctuary also offers packaged snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and lakeside seating. The Beer Garden at Independence Grove Forest Preserve runs on select days through the fall. Visit LCFPD.org for more details.

Farmers Markets in Lake County 

Lake County’s farmers markets are more than just places to find the freshest, locally grown, and deliciously ripe fruits and vegetables of the season. The markets are also where neighbors, friends and family shop for unique handmade goods and explore the never-ending variety of local items from welcoming vendors.

Architectural Gems in Lake County 

 

 

 

 

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Lake County is home to some of the quintessential facilities that are must-view buildings. Some are ageless wonders, some are beautiful and gaudy to look at and some are eccentric out-of-place structures that define Lake County. We may not understand the science behind building a structure, but we can point out cool Lake County architectural gems.

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, according to the Chicago Tribune. As a result, Lake County hosts four exceptional eating events throughout the summer:

Summer Spotlight Matinee Performance with the Tempel Lipizzans

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"Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, let's go." Let's go to The Tempel Lipizzans Summer Spotlight Performance. These gifted stallions will perform in a four-segment exhibition of classical riding at the Old Mill Creek farm. The program includes a tribute to the Olympic sport of showcasing equestrian dressage and a performance of the maneuvers of Middle Ages battle techniques utilized in the Middle Ages soldiers. The steeds will run through its five-segment routine that includes the Quadrille. As mentioned earlier, the movement demonstrates the classical dressage technique and the distinguished level of communication between trainer and horse. In addition to the stallion ballet, equestrian enthusiasts can explore the bond between mares and their babies as the Lake County farm hosts their Foals Presentation. The Tempel Lipizzans celebrates 65 years: Dancing through the Decades with new music. Visitors can purchase tickets at TempelFarms.com.

Mini Golf in Lake County 

Hit the links in Lake County…on a far smaller course. It’s all in the hips. Make your tee times for some of the most unusual, scenic, difficult and competitive outings at two of Lake County’s best miniature golf courses. Before you hit the big boy golf courses, work on the short game at these two locations:


For more things to do this Labor Day weekend, continue here. To learn more about things going on in August, click here. Stay tuned, as the #LetsSnapLakeCounty Photo Contest has moved to the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

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