Things To Do This Weekend May 17-19, 2024

By: Stephanie Wylie 05/15/2024

When the nice weather finally breaks, the work week gets longer. These days everybody's working for the weekend. Let's look at things to do in Lake County this weekend, May 17-19, 2024.

It is all about chocolate in Historic Downtown Long Grove this weekend. Paddle on the Des Plaines RiA drum corp competition takes place in Zion. Here we look at the top five things to do this weekend, May 17-19, 2024.

1. Watern Lantern Festival in Lake Zurich

The Lake Zurich Water Lantern Festival promises to bring an evening of magic and wonder. The inaugural festival, known for its blend of fun, happiness, hope and the creation of lasting memories, is set against Paulus Park’s serene backdrop. This family-friendly event has something for everyone. From the youngest members to the oldest, there will be food trucks, music and fun activities to enjoy from the moment the gates open. Participants will have the opportunity to design their lanterns, adding their personal touch to these beautiful floating lights. As dusk falls, the park will be filled with the soft glow of lanterns. Each ticket provides visitors with entry to the festival grounds, a floating lantern kit, LED candle, a commemorative drawstring bag, conversation cards, playing cards, a maker and a lantern retrieval tool for cleanup. Visit and join in the festivities at the Lake Zurich Water Lantern Festival and create memories that will last a lifetime. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 18; 5:30-9:30 p.m. Admission $55.99. Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich.

2. Long Grove Chocolate Fest in Historic Downtown Long Grove

Get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy a weekend filled with old-world charm, family fun and delicious chocolate. The Long Grove Chocolate Fest offers three days of cocoa-infused delights, entertainment and more. The storied festival features a carnival, pie-eating contests and live music. One of the festival's highlights is the Chocolate Scavenger Hunt, where children roam the village in search of chocolate treasures. Meanwhile, parents can explore the charming boutiques and stores. In addition to the chocolate delights, the festival boasts a stellar lineup of live music performances throughout the weekend such as KennyLive, Sixteen Candles, Simply Billy/Simply Elton and more.  Don't miss this chance to indulge in all things chocolate and make unforgettable memories with family and friends at the Long Grove Chocolate Fest. Children ages 12 and under receive free entry. For further details about the confection fest, head to

Friday-Sunday, May 17-19; Fri. and Sat.: 12-11 p.m. and Sun.: 12-6 p.m. Admission $5 per day. Historic Downtown Long Grove, various locations, Long Grove.

3. Craft Beer Tasting at Century Park in Vernon Hills

Craft beer aficionados, mark your calendars! The 10th annual Craft Beer Tasting event returns to Vernon Hills’ Century Park. This event celebrates the best brews from Chicagoland area breweries, promising a day filled with great beer, live music and delicious food. Get ready to sample some of the finest craft beers from the area’s most skilled brewmasters. The event features Lake County Libation Trail partners such as Tighthead Brewing Co. of Mundelein, Roaring Table Brewery of Lake Zurich, Mickey Finn’s Brewery of Libertyville and many more. Local restaurant and drinkery Feather Glass Bar and Eatery will serve delectable eats and Land of Lincoln wines. Enjoy live music by Sunfallen and indulge in delicious burgers from the Spoon Burger Food Truck. Admission includes a free tasting glass. Only visitors ages 21 and older can attend the Vernon Hills festival. Visit for further information. 

Saturday, May 18; 3-7 p.m. Admission $40. Designated Driver Ticket: $10 at the gate. Century Park, 1001 Lakeview Pwy., Vernon Hills.

4. Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon at Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway in Libertyville

Get ready for an exciting adventure on the water at the 67th annual Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon. The marathon spans 18.5 miles from Libertyville to Mount Prospect, offering participants a thrilling journey along the Des Plaines River. Competitors can also race in the minithon, running 5.25 miles and starting at Wheeling’s Potatwatomi Woods Picnic Grove. Heats are based on competitiveness, boat type and past performance.  Contenders can race in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle board. Some participants race competitively, while the rest enjoy a leisurely paddle, taking in the scenic beauty of the river. After the race, stick around for the finish line party, where you can enjoy live music by Andrew Saint, indulge in delicious fare from food trucks and celebrate with fellow participants. Free shuttles from the finish line to start as well as rental boats are available, making it easy for everyone to participate. Whether you're in it to win it or just looking for a fun day on the water, the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon has something for everyone. To learn more about the river race, visit

Sunday, May 19; 8 a.m. Admission $40. Marathon: Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch, 15545 W. Oak Spring Rd., Libertyville. Minithon: Potawatomi Woods Picnic Grove, East Dundee Road, east of North Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling.

5. Highland Park Historic Homes Bike Tour

The Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission invites history enthusiasts and architecture aficionados to explore the city's rich heritage through a five-mile biking tour. These tours offer a unique opportunity to delve into the past and explore the homes that have shaped Highland Park into the vibrant community it is today. The tour begins at Moraine Park, once the site of Hotel Moraine On-the-Lake, a luxurious hotel built in 1893. Remnants of Jens Jensen's stonework can still be seen along the path leading down to the beach. Nearby, you'll find the Samuel S. Holmes House, a beautiful Shingle Style home designed by Robert Seyfarth in 1925. Other highlights include modernist architecture, such as the Huebner & Henneberg-designed home and small homes designed by Louis Skidmore & Nathaniel Owings in 1937. Don't miss this opportunity to step back in time and explore the homes that have helped shape Highland Park's unique character. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 18; noon-1:30 p.m. Moraine Park, 2501 Sheridan Rd., Highwood.

To see more things to do this weekend May 17-19, 2024, click here.

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