Top 10 Things To Do in May 2023

By: Jonathan Jones 04/26/2023

Let’s go, Lake County, and peruse the top 10 things to do in May 2023.

In May, we celebrate the full swing of spring, since April showers bring May flowers (no, not the boat).

Month number five also hosts National Travel & Tourism Week. Stay tuned to our website from May 7-13 (pretty much year-round, too). Ravinia Festival in Highland Park's tickets will be available to the public on May 1 after releasing its 2023 schedule in March.





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Also, Lake County’s farmers markets are beginning to open for the season. Click here to learn more about the freshest and locally-grown ripe fruits and veggies of the season.

It’s time to toss your galoshes and winter coats and celebrate the finest box socials, performances, exhibits and scenic views the land of lakes has to offer. Here are your top 10 things to do in May 2023.

1. Theatre in Lake County 





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"So remember, “it’s bad luck to say ‘good luck’ on opening night. What you say is ‘break a leg.'” Witness the Broadway talent of equity and non-equity shows the land of lakes has to offer. Here are some of the centerstage shows in Lake County in March.

2. Ready, Set, Go Lake County's Racing History Exhibit at the Dunn Museum 





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As excitement grows for NASCAR coming to the Chicagoland area, Ready, Set, Go Lake County Racing History rumbles its way to the Dunn Museum. Inspired by artifacts in the Museum's collections and those shared by other Lake County historical organizations, the exhibit examines racing venues and many forms of racing that have occurred in Lake County. The exhibit features photographs and artifacts of boat races on the Chain O' Lakes, harness racing at the Lake County Fair, motor racing at Half Day and Waukegan speedways, runners at 5Ks and the Lake County Races and more.


3. Camping Season Begins 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 opened starting in May. Lake County may have few spots to camp, but boy, are they mighty. Visit these two locations in the land of lakes where the deer and the antelope. The three campsites remain open through October.

4. May Festivals in Lake County 





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The sun is out, and humans are hunting for a party to cut a rug to live Spotify, exploring their palate for a bite of enchanting eats and drinks, seeking the thrills of a lifetime on all of the carnival rides and so much more.

5. Concerts in Lake County 





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Live entertainment always gets your juices flowing when you’re looking for a new tune to hum. Here are some must-see concerts in the land of lakes. Let's see who's performing in May.

6. National Travel & Tourism Week in Lake County (May 7-13)

@visitlakecounty Welcome to Lake County, IL., home of Six Flags Great America, 75+ lakes, Ravinia Festival and so much more! We hope you stay awhile! #traveltok ♬ Paradise - Bazzi

U.S. Travel Association's NTTW celebrates its 40th anniversary with the theme #TravelForward. NTTW rallies all of the travel industry by the critical role in powering economies, communities and connections. Visit Lake County fuels every sector, in every communityu and our success is the county's success. From education to new business growth to advancing manufacturing and more, VLC continues to #TravelForward. Keep a close eye to VLC's social media as we rally behind our community and will be provide surprises. 

7. Car Shows in Lake County 





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Vroom Vroom! Blast "Born to be Wild" as you head to these annual automotive shows. Peruse dozens of classic cars that are in mint condition as the weather warms up and these sporty, flashy, tanky and just flat out beautiful whips invade the streets. There's also an instance where bigger trucks crush unsuspecting little vehicles.

8. Illinois Craft Beer Week in Lake County 





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During this week of imbibe, Visit Lake County Libation Trail is participating Illinois Craft Beer Week. Brew enthusiasts are encouraged to show their support with the #DrinkIllinois Summer Passport. The initiative emboldens visitors to obtain a Passport Frame from a participating brew house (or download your own at, snap a photo experiencing the Land of Lincoln beer and post on social media utilizing #ILPassportPlus for a weekly drawing of a $50 gift card to a brewery. The summer passport program runs longer than the Prairie State, suds-influenced week (ending May 26). Stay tuned for more details. Continue scrolling to see the Lake County Libation Trail participants.

9. Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon





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For over half a century, the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon has been a hit. The 18.5-mile marathon on the historic Des Plaines River begins in Libertyville at the Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch. This is the United States’ second oldest canoe race. If you are with the family, there is a brand new 5.25-mile mini-thon available starting in Potawatomi Woods in Wheeling. There are races for each age group to accommodate all. Be sure to look port and starboard when you cross the stream! Race registration is available at the start line or mini-thon start payable via check or cash.

10. Hurricane Harbor Chicago Opens for the Season 





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“There is a-splishin’ and a-splashin,’ reelin’ with the feelin,’ movin’ and a-groovin,’ rockin’ and a-rollin’” at Hurricane Harbor water park at Six Flags Great America. This Gurnee water park offers 17 refreshing attractions to help you beat the summer heat. Take a dip in the drink, recline, relax and experience all the thrills of your adventure at Hurricane Harbor. Hurricane Harbor is open through September 2.

Bonus: Historic Spaces Quest with College of Lake County

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Honor the brave men and women who have served our country by learning the rich history and importance of our military, as well as its impact on our country.Join College of Lake County as they explore the National Museum of the American Sailor, Dunn Museum and Volo Museum military exhibits. This is a wonderful opportunity for a family outing or bonding experience with a beloved veteran. Registration closes on May 9, and space is limited!

For more information about the top 10 things to do in May 2023, continue here. To view other spring outdoor happenings, click here.



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