Top 10 Things To Do In January 2024

By: Stephanie Wylie 01/03/2024

As the new year unfolds and Lake County dons its winter cloak, a myriad of enchanting experiences beckon. From frosty festivals to serene outdoor escapes, January in Lake County holds a treasure trove of delights waiting to be discovered. Join us as we unveil the top 10 things to do this January, guiding you through a month of memorable adventures and seasonal magic in the heart of Illinois. 

Don't forget to visit the many makers on the Lake County Libation Trail.





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Here are the top 10 things to do in January 2024.

1. Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe (Through January 7)





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Chicago Botanic Garden is set to host Lightscape, an immersive journey that ventures into unexplored corners, including the mesmerizing Evening Island. Radiant first-time installations and beloved classics, like the Winter Cathedral, converge to elevate this fifth annual celebration to unparalleled heights. Beyond visual splendor, Lightscape crafts a multi-sensory experience. Bring your loved ones to savor the joy of the season, with festive food and drinks creating a warm atmosphere for family and friends to share in the holiday magic. Step into a world where music, color, and light converge, guiding you through an immersive journey. As you enter the transformed garden, be enveloped in a magical atmosphere where the natural beauty harmonizes with the creative brilliance of light installations. Returning for its fifth year, this enchanting event promises to captivate both newcomers and seasoned visitors. Mark your calendars and immerse yourself in the radiant glow of Lightscape, where the magic of the season unfurls in the most enchanting way.

2. Winter Festivals in Lake County (Through January 28)





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Don't let the cold deter you – winter in Lake County is an invitation to venture outdoors for some frosty fun! As temperatures drop, Lake County embraces the season with a myriad of chilly festivities designed to cater to both the little ones and the whole family. January brings forth a selection of festivals tailored to those who embrace the cold. Step into the winter wonderland with a celebration of all things winter. Ensuring that winter in Lake County is not just chilly but also filled with memorable experiences.

3. Concerts in Lake County (Through January 30)





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In January, Lake County resonates with the melodious tunes of live concerts, offering a diverse range of musical experiences to kick off the year on a harmonious note. From intimate acoustic sets in cozy venues to energetic performances that fill grand concert halls, Lake County's concert scene has something for every music enthusiast. Whether you're drawn to classical melodies, contemporary beats or the soul-stirring sounds of local artists, January in Lake County provides an opportunity to revel in live music and create lasting memories amid the winter chill. 

4. Launch Gurnee (All January)





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Launch is not just a trampoline park; it's a premier family entertainment center offering an array of thrilling activities. From trampoline adventures and a Ninja Course to a Warped Wall, foamed Battle Pit and trampoline Dodgeball, Launch guarantees an exhilarating experience for all ages. Discover the first and only OMNI Virtual Reality setup in Illinois, bringing a cutting-edge dimension to your entertainment. Launch goes beyond trampolines with Bowling, an AirTrack basketball court and an enticing selection of Arcades.

Launch provides private party rooms, bowling parties and facility rentals, ensuring a memorable celebration for birthdays or fundraisers. For those culinary cravings, indulge in personalized pizzas, salad bowls and appetizer platters at their KRAVE Restaurant. Adults can unwind at the BARHOPS' bar with signature alcoholic beverages, creating a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement for the entire family. 

6. Timberjaxe Axe Lounge in Libertyville (All January)





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Timberjaxe Axe Lounge is more than just an axe-throwing venue; it's a family-friendly destination for ages 12 and up. Committed to fostering community bonding and skill development, Timberjaxe provides a unique space for families and youth to learn the art of axe throwing. Beyond family fun, Timberjaxe offers an ideal setting for team-building events catering to businesses, non-profit foundations and more. Adding to the AXEcitement, Timberjaxe features a sober bar. Indulge in delicious Mocktails crafted from a variety of Prana Kombucha on tap and Nitro Coffee drinks sourced from Tala Coffee Roasters, a local Libertyville vendor. Explore their affordable light in-house menu, featuring delectable bites and appetizers, for an all-encompassing, memorable visit. 

7. Sledding in Lake County (All January)





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A sense of adventure fills the air, offering a multitude of experiences to seize the season. Wander the solar-lit trails of the Lake County Forest Preserves, reveling in the serene beauty that winter bestows. Feel the rush as you sled down snow-covered hills, embark on a cross-country skiing expedition, or try your hand at ice fishing on a frozen lake. Unwind beneath the starlit sky, marveling at the celestial wonders above.Discover the perfect blend of hiking, education, and scenic beauty at the Volo Bog State Natural Area, where a variety of activities await. For an all-encompassing winter sports experience, the Lakewood Forest Preserve Winter Sports Area boasts an array of favorites in one convenient location. Embrace the chill, and let Lake County be your winter playground

8. Jurassic Gardens at Volo Museum (All January)





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Step into a prehistoric wonderland at Jurassic Gardens, Chicago, where the magic of the past comes to life through captivating, life-like animatronic dinosaurs. Transport yourself 65 million years back in time as these majestic creatures move in a controlled environment, providing an exhilarating and educational experience for all ages. For young paleontologists in the making, the excitement continues with a thrilling dinosaur dig, allowing kids to unearth dinosaur skeletons and discover the mysteries of the ancient world. Dive deeper into the realm of dinosaurs with a captivating video presentation in our dino-lab theater, providing fascinating insights into their prehistoric lives.

Beyond the educational experiences, Jurassic Gardens offers interactive fun at the Raptor Arcade, where playing leads to exciting prizes. Engage in the excitement of hands-on discovery at the Jurassic Gardens mining station, where you can mine for your very own dinosaur fossils. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jurassic Gardens stands proudly adjacent to the Volo Museum,enhance your adventure by opting for a combo pass, unlocking the treasures of both events. Join in on a journey through time, where the mysteries of the ancient world await exploration! 

9. Lake County Libation Trail (Through January 30)





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Here's to the Lake County Libation Trail, where the clink of glasses echoes the celebration of craft beer aficionados, wine connoisseurs and spirit enthusiasts alike. The Lake County Libation Trail shines a spotlight on key players like Bosacki’s Brewery, Tonality Brewing Co. and Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein, Copper Fiddle Distillery, Roaring Table Brewing Co., and Phase Three Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich. Grayslake boasts the enticing offerings of Light the Lamp Brewery and Glunz Family Winery & Cellars, while Waukegan showcases Nightshade, Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing, and Zümbier Brewery.

From Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. and Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove to Half Day Brewing Co. and Wright’s Brew and Bistro in Lincolnshire, Lake County's Libation Trail unfolds like a tapestry of distinctive brews and spirits. Libertyville's Mickey Finn’s Brewery, Highland Park's Ravinia Brewing Co., and Lynfred Winery, Green Oaks' North Shore Distillery, and Highwood's Broken Tee Brewing Co. and 28 Mile Distillery add their own unique flavors to the mix.

Venture further to Winthrop Harbor's Harbor Brewing Co., Lake Barrington's Wild Onion Brewery, Lake Villa's Harbor Brewing Co. and 9th Hour Brewing Co., and Antioch's Vigneto del Bino Winery. Explore Wheeling's Lynfred Winery, Buffalo Grove's Liquid Love Brewing Co., and Round Lake Beach's Black Lung Brewing Co. Each stop on this spirited trail promises a delightful journey for your palate.

Stay tuned for exciting details about the Lake County February Flavor Fest, running from February 1-29. Get ready to embark on a month-long libation adventure that celebrates the artistry of Lake County's finest producers!

10. Ice Rinks in Lake County (All January)





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Discover the magic of winter at over 30 enchanting ice skating locations scattered across Lake County.  Get ready to carve through the ice and let the frosty landscapes of Lake County be the backdrop to your winter escapades. Whether you're a seasoned skater or a first-timer, these picturesque ice-skating havens promise a delightful experience for all. Lace up those skates and get ready to twirl, twizzle and create magical memories on Lake County's ice! Please note: Always call ahead to confirm the rink's availability and avoid any unexpected closures. Also, visit the official website at here to stay updated on current ice conditions.

Click here to see more experiences beyond the top 10 things to do in January 2024.

Visit the many makers on the Lake County Libation Trail.and don't forget to check out February Flavor Fest in Lake County. 

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