Things To Do This Weekend November 17-19, 2023

By: Stephanie Wylie 11/15/2023

Embark on a magical journey across Lake County as the holidays unveil an enchanting and festive events. From the mesmerizing drive-through experience at Six Flags Great America's "World of Illumination: Arctic Adventure" to the captivating displays at Santa's Rock N Lights in Grayslake and the heartwarming arrival of Santa Claus at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills, Lake County offers a plethora of joyous celebrations.

Dive into Downtown Waukegan's dynamic and vibrant culture during ArtWauk, a monthly celebration of art, culture, and community that transforms the city into a thriving hub of creativity. Lastly, experience the charming love story set in a 1930s European perfumery at Citadel Theatre's presentation of "She Loves Me." Explore the magic of the holidays in Lake County, where tradition meets innovation and the essence of Christmas shines brighter than ever!





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Here are the things to do this weekend November 17-19.


1. World of Illumination: Arctic Adventure at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee





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Experience the magical World of Illumination: Arctic Adventure at Six Flags Great America, a mesmerizing drive-through audio-visual experience. Get ready for a dazzling journey through the winter wonderland. Join the lovable host, Beti the Yeti, as you navigate the Gurnee amusement park’s parking lot adorned with whimsical lights and enchanting winter characters.On select nights, extend the joy by stepping into the park for Carousel Lights and Market. Indulge in delightful holiday treats, capture memorable photo ops and bask in the festive décor of Carousel Plaza and Orleans Place. Make this holiday season unique for the whole family with an illuminated adventure! World of Illlumination: Arctic Adventureuns on select nights until December 31. For details and tickets, visit

Friday-Sunday, November 17-19; 6-10 p.m. Admission costs $39.99 per car. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.

2. Santa's Rock N Lights at Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Grayslake





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Step into the captivating land of Santa's Rock N Lights at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, a spectacular holiday season celebration! Indulge in the visual Grayslake feast of color-changing light technology that transforms the night sky into a dynamic and ever-changing canvas. Explore the enchanting displays featuring 3D light sculptures of dinosaurs, reindeer, polar bears and more, all illuminated with vibrant hues. Drive through 1000 feet of dancing light tunnels, where colors blend seamlessly, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.  To hear the synchronized tunes to the dazzling illuminates, turn your car’s radio to 88.7 FM. Let the brilliance of Santa's Rock N Lights illuminate your holiday season and fill your hearts with the warmth of Christmas. For more information on this event, visit The marquee event runs daily through December 31.

November 17-December 31; 5-9 p.m. Admission costs $29.99 per vehicle. Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake.

3. Santa's Arrival at Hawthorn in Vernon Hills





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Prepare for the season's magic as Santa Claus arrives at Hawthorn! As the man in the big red suit arrives, the Vernon Hills Mall transforms into a winter wonderland with the iconic “A Christmas Story” set. Every registered child will receive a unique holiday swag bag, adding excitement to the evening. The festivities include various fun activities, from meeting Santa's elves and face painting to balloon twisting, crafts and live music entertainment. Treat yourself to delicious snacks and warm beverages, perfect for keeping cozy during this special occasion. Take the chance to capture memories with Santa Claus and kick off the holiday season in style. Visits with Santa are free, and professional photos will be available for purchase from Cherry Hill Programs. Kris Kringle takes wishes daily throughout the holiday season through December 24.To discover more, go to

Friday, November 17; 6-8 p.m. Admission is $5 per child; adults, and children two years and under are free. Hawthorn, 122 Hawthorn Ctr., Vernon Hills.


4. Artwauk in Waukegan





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Are you ready for a monthly celebration of art, culture and community? Look no further than ArtWauk, a dynamic event transforming Downtown Waukegan into a thriving hub of creativity every third Saturday of the month. The Waukegan Arts and Entertainment District comes alive with theaters, galleries and venues featuring visual and performing arts.

The Dandelion Gallery and Studio features the work of Peg Raasch showcasing over 25 music-themed paintings. Stop by for a brew or two from the Ray Bradbury-inspired Lake County Libation Trail partner, Nighshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing Co. including their offerings like Burial@Sea (a Hefeweizen beer) and A Matter of Taste (a hoppy wheat brew). Head to Genesee Theatre as Girl Named Todd, a sibling trio of NBC’s “The Voice” season 21 take the stage performing tunes from their “One More Christmas” album. Many exhibited artworks are available for purchase, allowing visitors to engage with the artists themselves. Discover the magic, meet the artists, and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of ArtWauk. To learn more about Artwauk, explore

Saturday, Nov. 18; 5-9 p.m. Free Admission. Downtown Waukegan, various locations on Genesee, Clayton and Washington Streets and Grand Avenue, Waukegan.


5. "She Loves Me" at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest





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Embark on a journey of love and laughter as Citadel Theatre presents "She Loves Me," a charming musical set in a 1930s European perfumery. The Lake Forest production follows protagonists Amalia and Georg, shop clerks in the perfumery, who, despite their differences, find solace in the love letters they exchange in response to a "lonely hearts advertisement." The catch? The identity of their secret admirers remains a mystery. Join them on this delightful journey as they unravel the twists and turns of their quest for love.
"She Loves Me" at Citadel Theatre promises an unforgettable theatrical experience filled with romance, laughter and the timeless charm of a classic musical. Performances run on select days through December 17. Secure your seats for this captivating musical by

Friday-Sunday, November 17-19; Fri.: 7:30 p.m., Sat.: 7:30 p.m. and Sun.: 3 p.m. Tickets start at $40. Citadel Theatre Co, 300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest.


For more information on holiday events in Lake County, click here

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