Spring Festivals in Lake County, IL 2024

By: Stephanie Wylie 03/22/2024

As the chill of winter fades and nature awakens with vibrant hues, Lake County prepares to welcome the season of renewal with open arms. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the enchanting festivities that await during this lively and spirited time of year. From blooming flora to cultural celebrations, there's something magical in store for everyone as we embrace the essence of spring in Lake County.

 

 

 

 

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The debate over whether a certain burrowing creature can predict weather patterns based on its shadow is now irrelevant. Instead, immerse yourself in the excitement of the burgeoning season as we present a comprehensive guide to the spring festivals awaiting you in Lake County.

Note stay tuned for our Ravinia Festival 2024 schedule blog!

First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville (Apr.5, May 3, Jun. 7)

 

 

 

 

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Dive into the festival fervor in Libertyville, where weekends come alive with a plethora of events. Kickstarting the excitement is the much-awaited First Fridays on MainStreet Libertyville, offering a delightful array of beverages, culinary delights, live performances, and exclusive deals at local businesses. At Improv Playhouse, laughter reigns supreme with their First Friday Funnies, featuring top-notch comedians in a side-splitting BYOB affair. Indulge in gourmet treats and live jazz at The Joyful Gourmet, while Lake County Libation Trail partners tantalize taste buds with craft brews and live DJ sets. By day, O'Toole's Libertyville serves up beloved eats, transforming into a pulsating Weekend Vibes Dance Party haven come nightfall. For more details, visit MainStreetLibertyville.org and join the festivities!

Shop 'N' Swirl Wine Walk in Grayslake (April 13) 

Enjoy the delights of downtown Grayslake! Join us for an exclusive event where you can indulge in one-ounce wine pours while browsing the charming mom-and-pop shops that dot the area. Your ticket includes a special commemorative wine glass and entry into raffles. Best of all, proceeds from the event go towards supporting the Grayslake Heritage Center. Participating venues in this Shop n Swirl extravaganza include beloved spots like Somethings Brewing, The Vine Wine & Martini Bar, as well as esteemed members of the Lake County Libation Trail such as Glunz Family Winery & Cellars and Light the Lamp Brewery, among others.

Tulip Festival at Richardson Adventure Farm (Late April - May 6)

 

 

 

 

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Embark on a journey through vast fields adorned with over 300,000 blooming bulbs, showcasing 30 distinct species under the radiant sunshine. Wander through five acres of picturesque landscapes, including a mesmerizing 230,000 tulip block featuring a central design perfect for your Instagram snapshots. Meander along a scenic walking trail by the tranquil lake, immersing yourself in nature's beauty. Indulge in delicious fare from food trucks and savor wine tastings at the private lakefront location of Spring Grove Farm. Unwind amidst the bloom-filled ambiance with a friendly game of human-sized checkers or chess, or join in the Midwest's renowned "cornhole" contest. Enjoy live musical performances as you bask in the festivities. Bring along your furry companions as visitors are welcome to bring their canines, and receive a complimentary tulip with each ticket purchased for just an additional $1. Capture lasting memories with professional photographers on-site to document your visit!

Lake County Farmers Markets (April 13-Fall)

Perusing fresh produce at a farmers market isn't just a means of backing Lake County; it's a splendid chance to relish the balmy summer days with loved ones. Lake County's farmers markets showcase an abundance of locally sourced fruits and vegetables, alongside delectable prepared foods, aromatic spices, succulent meats, artisanal pastries, and freshly baked bread. Click the info button for a comprehensive list of Lake County's Farmers Markets. Below are the festival-like farmers markets commencing in the spring:

Lake County Maker Faire at CLC (April 15) 

Maker Faire brings together an eclectic mix of inquisitive individuals, all eager to both learn and share their passions. Whether they're engineers, artists, scientists or craftsmen, Maker Faire provides a platform for these innovators to exhibit their hobbies, experiments, and projects at the College of Lake County. Referred to as the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth by the Grayslake campus, this family-friendly event celebrates invention, creativity, and ingenuity. Come witness a glimpse of the future and leave inspired!

ArtWauk in Downtown Waukegan (April 20) 

Experience the vibrant tapestry of Waukegan's renowned ArtWauk, where creativity flourishes in every corner with sculptures, film screenings, theater performances, comedy shows, live music, and captivating performance art. This Saturday art extravaganza offers free admission, inviting all to explore the myriad art galleries scattered throughout Waukegan's downtown area. Immerse yourself in the artistic ambiance of Downtown Waukegan as ArtWauk fills your senses with inspiration and wonder. Amidst the plethora of portraits, sculptures, and creative energy, tantalize your taste buds with mouthwatering dining options or groove to the rhythm of live musical performances. Indulge in exquisite brews and spirits from Lake County Libation Trail partner Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing, nestled within the dynamic downtown landscape of the City of Progress.

Main Street Mini Golf Crawl in Wauconda (April 20) 

The 5th Annual Main Street Mini Golf Crawl returns to Lindy's Landing Restaurant & Marina on April 20. Teams of four will compete in a friendly competition, putting their way through participating businesses along Main Street in Wauconda. This unique event blends sport with community spirit, offering a day of laughter and camaraderie. Gather your team, sign up, and prepare for a hole-in-one experience that showcases the best of local businesses and friendly competition. Don't miss out on this chance to putt your way through town and enjoy a day of fun in Wauconda.

Fear No Art Festival at College of Lake County (Apr. 19-20)

 

 

 

 

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Annually, the James Lumber Center treats audiences to an array of thought-provoking performances through the Fear No Art Festival. This year maintains the tradition, with the Grayslake Art Festival showcasing extraordinary talent for over twenty years at the esteemed College of Lake County. This dynamic event presents an eclectic mix of musicians, dancers, and poets, captivating audiences with their creativity. Additionally, attendees can immerse themselves in a breathtaking showcase of various art forms, including paintings, photography, and sculptures crafted by both CLC students and community artists.

The Grayslake Carnival (April 25-28) 

Get ready for the Grayslake Carnival from April 25 to April 28, behind the Village Hall. Presented by Alpine Amusement Co., the carnival offers rides, games and delicious food for all ages to enjoy. Wristbands for unlimited rides are available for $25 on Thursday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. Rest assured, all rides are inspected by the State of Illinois for safety. Don't miss out on this weekend of fun, food and thrills in Grayslake!

Long Grove Craft Beer Festival (April 27)

 

 

 

 

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For our beer aficionados aged 21 and above, mark your calendars for the upcoming Long Grove Craft Beer Festival, yet another gem in our craft festival lineup. This frothy extravaganza promises a memorable experience with each ticket granting a commemorative glass and unlimited three-ounce samples. Participating breweries from the Lake County Libation Trail include Liquid Love Brewing of Buffalo Grove, Half Day Brewing Co. of Lincolnshire, Tighthead Brewing Co. of Mundelein, hometown favorite Buffalo Creek Brewing, and many more. Elevating the atmosphere, live music sets the scene for an unforgettable beer-sipping affair. And while you're there, don't miss the opportunity to explore the unique shops of the charming Historic Downtown Long Grove.

Día de el Niño Día del Mini Locutor with TUDN 1220 AM (April 27) 

TUDN 1220 AM is hosting a special celebration for 'Día del Niño' (Children's Day) with 'Día del Mini Locutor' (Mini Broadcaster Day) on April 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. Families are invited to join the festivities at Gurnee Mills mall, featuring music, entertainment, prizes and fun activities for all ages. Kids will have the opportunity to become mini broadcasters for a day, experiencing the world of radio broadcasting firsthand. This event is a wonderful opportunity for families to come together and celebrate the important role of children in our community. Don't miss out on this memorable celebration of 'Día del Niño' at Gurnee Mills mall.

Earth Day at The Adler Center (April 27) 

Join the Adler Arts Center in Libertyville on April 27 for their Annual Earth Day event. This family-friendly celebration offers activities focused on environmental awareness and education, including wood restoration, litter cleanup and recycled art creation. One highlight of the event is the opportunity to create recycled art using plastic bottles—a creative way to repurpose materials and raise awareness about recycling and waste reduction. Pre-registration is suggested but not required—just bring your enthusiasm for a greener planet!

Ladies Night and Mother's Day Event at Reclaimed Artisans in Libertyville (May 3) 

Celebrate Mother's Day in style at Reclaimed Artisans on Friday, May 3. This special Ladies Night and Mother's Day event invites guests to enjoy an evening of shopping, wine and appetizers. Reclaimed Artisans offers a unique shopping experience featuring handcrafted treasures and vintage finds. Treat yourself or find the perfect gift for Mom while enjoying a relaxing evening out. Don't miss this opportunity to celebrate Mother's Day in a memorable way at Reclaimed Artisans.

Dance Fest at Six Flags Great America (May-June) 

Six Flags Great America is hosting Dance Fest from May 5 to June 2, offering a stage for dancers of all ages and styles. This non-competitive event welcomes performers in ballet, tap, jazz and step, emphasizing celebration over competition. With three performance dates, participants are encouraged to secure their spots early. Dance enthusiasts can expect a diverse showcase of talent, from graceful ballet routines to energetic tap numbers. Whether you're a dancer or a spectator, Dance Fest promises an entertaining celebration of movement and expression.

 

 

 

 

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Illinois Craft Beer Week (May 3-10) 

Get ready to raise a glass during Illinois Craft Beer Week from May 3-10! As part of the festivities, beer enthusiasts can join the #DrinkIllinois Summer Passport initiative. Simply obtain a Passport Frame from a participating brewery or download one at IllinoisBeer.org, then share your beer experiences on social media with #ILPassportPlus for a chance to win a $50 brewery gift card in weekly drawings. Keep an eye out for additional details as the summer passport program extends beyond Illinois Craft Beer Week.

Maifest at Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. (May 10-11) 

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. is set to host the 2nd annual Maifest on May 10-11, at their 2-acre biergarten in Long Grove. This spring celebration will feature traditional maypole dancing and live German folk music by Alpine Thunder. Guests can enjoy charity raffles, games and delicious food from Kevin's Creative Catering and food trucks. Proceeds will benefit Misericordia, a non-profit supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Join in the festivities for a taste of Germany and a good cause at Maifest.

CarFun on 21 in MainStreet Libertyville (May-Sept.) 

Check out some of the best classic cars in the area this spring! Similar to its counterpart Park on Park Cruise Night nearby, CarFun in MainStreet Libertyville caters to vintage car enthusiasts and anyone seeking a lively weeknight experience. This showcase of classic rides features cars, trucks and motorcycles aged 23 years or older, promising a nostalgic journey through automotive history.

Lake Zurich Water Lantern Festival at Paulus Park (May 18) 

Experience the magic of the Lake Zurich Water Lantern Festival on May 18 at Paulus Park. This family-friendly event invites attendees to enjoy food trucks, music and fun activities. Design your own lantern before joining the lantern launch. It's a night of hope, community, and cherished memories you won't want to miss. The Lake Zurich Water Lantern Festival offers a unique and uplifting experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who attend.

Lake County Food Truck Festival (May 24-26) 

Food enthusiasts are in for a treat as the Food Truck Frenzy returns to the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center after a hiatus at the College of Lake County. Whether you're planning a wedding, office party, or simply seeking culinary delights, this Grayslake event caters to all tastes. Indulge in a variety of offerings from wood-fired pizza to seafood, sliders, and delectable confections. Don't miss this family-friendly foodie festival—it's a feast for all!

Park on Park in Mundelein (Mid May-Mid Sept.)

Experience the nostalgia of classic automobiles at Park-on-Park Cruise Night in Mundelein, held every second Wednesday of the month from May 8 to September 11. This event exclusively showcases pre-1977 vehicles, attracting some of the most exquisite cars in the region. Organized, managed, and sponsored by devoted car enthusiasts, Park-on-Park Cruise Night offers a delightful experience for both owners and spectators alike, making it a must-visit destination for any car lover.

Long Grove Chocolate Festival (May 17-19)

Indulge in the sweet delights of the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest, a three-day celebration of old-world charm and delectable treats, running from May 17-May 19, at Historic Downtown Long Grove. This quintessential festival marks the beginning of the season, offering a perfect blend of family-friendly entertainment and irresistible chocolate temptations. From the nostalgic ambiance to the live music performances, Families can partake in the Chocolate Scavenger Hunt, while parents explore boutiques in search of hidden gems amidst the cobblestone streets adorned with local vendors showcasing a plethora of chocolate-infused creations, ranging from pudding pie pops to burgers drizzled with chocolate sauce.

Craft Beer Festival at Century Park in Vernon Hills (May 18)

Hey there, craft beer enthusiasts in Lake County! Get ready for the Craft Beer Tasting at Century Park Arboretum in Vernon Hills. Hosted by the Vernon Hills Park District, this event boasts a selection of local craft brews, accompanied by live music from Sunfallen and delicious eats from Spoon Burger Food Truck. Guests aged 21 and above will receive a complimentary tasting glass upon entry. Joining the festivities are renowned microbreweries from the Lake County Libation Trail, including Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove, Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein, Feather Glass in Vernon Hills, Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville, Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park and Phase Three Brewing and Roaring Table Brewery in Lake Zurich. Don't miss out on this hoppy affair!

 

 

 

 

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Butterflies and Blooms at Chicago Botanic Gardens (May 31-Sept. 6) 

Experience the wonder of Butterflies & Blooms at the Regenstein Learning Campus in Chicago. This enchanting exhibit features live butterflies from around the world, showcasing a stunning array of colors and species. Explore the life cycle of these delicate creatures and marvel at their beauty as they flutter around you. Admission is free with your ticket to the Regenstein Learning Campus, providing a perfect opportunity for a day of discovery. Don't miss out on this magical encounter with butterflies and blooms!

Flavors of the World Food Festival at Six Flags Great America (June-July) 

Six Flags Great America is hosting the Flavors of the World Food Festival from June 8 to July 7. This exclusive event offers a tantalizing array of international flavors, with dishes from over 11 different countries. Attendees can explore traditional treats from around the globe, all within the vibrant atmosphere of bustling street markets. No passport is needed—just bring your appetite and sense of culinary curiosity. The festival runs every Saturday and Sunday, promising a culinary adventure like no other.

Pride Celebration at Six Flags Great America (June 1-2)

Kick off Pride Month with a two-day celebration at Six Flags Great America! Enjoy delicious food and drinks, a brand new parade, and vibrant park decorations. On Saturday night, the festivities culminate with a dazzling fireworks display. Don't miss this chance to celebrate at Six Flags Great America!

Illinois Vintage Fest at Lake County Fairgrounds & Events Center (June 1-2) 

Travel back in time at the Illinois Vintage Fest, happening at the Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center on June 1-2. With over 200 vendors offering vintage clothing, artisan crafts, antiques and more, there's something for every vintage enthusiast. Doors open promptly at 11 a.m., so don't miss your chance to discover unique treasures. Admission is free, making this event accessible to all who appreciate the charm of bygone eras. Explore a weekend of nostalgia and vintage finds in Grayslake!

 

 

 

 

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Bitter Jester Music Festival (June 7-29)

Mark your calendars for the Bitter Jester Music Festival, happening from Friday, June 7-29. Head down to Port Clinton Square on Fridays and Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. for free concerts featuring talented musicians from across the Midwest. Cap off the festival with the Grand Finale on Saturday, June 29 at The Lot. Don't miss this opportunity to discover new talent and enjoy great music with your family in Downtown Highland Park!

Lake County PrideFest in Round Lake Beach (June 8)

Lake County PrideFest is back for its 4th year! This free, family-friendly festival will be held at the Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center. Enjoy music, performances, food trucks, vendors, and more! Join the celebration of LGBTQ+ life and culture and show your support for the community.

11th Annual Mundelein Craft Beer Festival (June 8) 

Get ready for the 11th Annual Mundelein Craft Beer Festival on June 8. Hosted by Mundelein Community Connection and Tighthead Brewing Company, this year's event will be held at Courtland Commons. Admission tickets include a souvenir tasting glass and unlimited samples from over 40 breweries, along with live music and food from local vendors. Join fellow beer enthusiasts for an afternoon of brews, tunes and tasty bites at this beloved festival.

 

 

 

 

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Libertyville Days Festival (June 13-16)

Get ready for the Libertyville Days Festival from June 13-16, in downtown Libertyville. Themed "Going for the Gold in 2024," this marquee event offers fun for the whole family, including a parade, carnival rides, food vendors and a beer tent. Enjoy the Miss Libertyville Pageant, a rib cook-off, demonstrations and live entertainment throughout the weekend. Don't miss the arts & crafts fair and the beer garden, where you can unwind and enjoy the festivities. Join in the fun and make lasting memories at the Libertyville Days Festival!

Taste of Highland Park (June 21-22) 

Get ready for the Taste of Highland Park on June 21-22, at The Lot. This premier food and music festival promises more music, more food and more fun. Savor the flavors of summer with dishes and beverages curated from Highland Park's top restaurants. Groove to exceptional live music performances while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Don't miss this culinary celebration and musical extravaganza in Highland Park!

Long Grove's Strawberry Festival (June 21-23) 

Get ready for a sweet summer tradition at Long Grove's Strawberry Festival from June 21-23. This beloved event celebrates all things strawberry with three consecutive days of festivities. Indulge in strawberry BBQ, participate in pie-eating contests, and explore a variety of strawberry-inspired treats. Admission is $5 per person per day, with free entry for kids 12 and under. Don't miss out on the berry-filled fun in Historic Downtown Long Grove!

Nostalgia Days in Zion (June 15)

 

 

 

 

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Yearning for a trip down memory lane? Look no further than Nostalgia Days at Shiloh Park in Zion. Immerse yourself in live music, indulge in Lake County's premier car, truck, and motorcycle showcase, enjoy outdoor movies, partake in carnival festivities, savor delectable cuisine, and discover countless other nostalgic delights awaiting you.

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park (Starting in Late June)

 

 

 

 

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Ravinia Festival, America's oldest outdoor music festival, inaugurates its season with a stellar lineup, firmly establishing itself as a hallmark of Lake County's cultural calendar. Since its inception in 1905, this Highland Park extravaganza has showcased the finest musicians across various genres. From iconic acts like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to legendary performers such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Tony Bennett, Ravinia has hosted an illustrious array of talent throughout its history. As we embark on another season, here's a glimpse of the stellar acts gracing the stage, with more details available in the Ravinia rundown below:


For more festivals in the land of lakes, click here. To get into the spring spirit, continue here.

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