Top 10 Things To Do in September 2023 - Visit Lake County - Blog

Top 10 Things To Do in September 2023

By: Jonathan Jones 08/24/2023

“But now in September, the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.” – said author Robert Finch.

This installment of the top 10 things to do in September is a brief hello to the upcoming autumn season. Fall doesn’t technically start until September 22, but Lake County is the place to be when the season begins.





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Take advantage and celebrate as much as you can in this transition period where the weather is virtually perfect in Lake County (except for people with severe allergies that include yours truly).

From Labor Day weekend to Ravinia, from fall fests to flyboys (and fly girls), from the world’s largest corn maze to pumpkin fests, from cinema watching to Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest by Snickers, your weekend digest is here in Lake County, IL.

1. September Festivals (All Month)





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A little bit of summer fun and a little bit of autumn chill. There’s a fantastic collection of festivals going on this September. Stay tuned to the Fall Festivals Guide coming soon.

2. Concerts and Stand-up Comedy in Lake County (All September)





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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.

3. Bristol Renaissance Faire just north of Lake County (Through September 4)





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Turn back time and travel just north of Lake County to the 16th-century at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. The festival’s opening weekend is highlighted by delectable food, a marketplace with unique handcrafted wares, an interactive theatrical gaming experience and slew of other 1500s festivities. There is plenty of excitement for youngsters as the Bristol Renaissance Faire has been voted as the top 10 family-friendly festivals for nearly a decade. However, adult shenanigans can commence if you’re visiting without kiddies as adults 21 and older can take a tour on the Kenosha, WI facility that hosts their legendary pub crawl. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Renaissance-era attire while enjoying the sights and sounds of Medieval Europe. The Olde English fest will run on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend. 

4. Northern Illinois Air Show in Waukegan (September 9)





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Viewers will witness an unbelievable flight performance by the world-renowned aerobatic pilots at the Waukegan Regional Airport. The Northern Illinois Airshow: Wings Over Waukegan features vintage military crafts like the F-86 Sabre, delicious eats, mouthwatering drinks, photo-ops with the brave pilots and more. Don’t forget your camera so you can capture the best snapshots and get there early to find the most optimal seating. The gates open at 9:30 a.m. As these captains of flight have said in the past and what pilots will exclaim in the future, “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.”

5. Richardson Adventure Farm Opens for the Season (September 9-October 29)





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You’ll be amazed by their maize mazes. Richardson’s Adventure Farm & Corn Maze is known for having the world’s most massive corn maze. The Spring Grove area spans 33 acres of land and is equipped with 11 miles of trails. This year’s theme to the renowned maze is celebrating the Spring Grove farm’s 20th anniversary. The design features the elements of their farm, from their overlooking structure of the labyrinth to the barn, to the Christmas Tree Farms, to the pumpkins and the tulip fest launched earlier this year.  Besides the famous maze, the Adventure Farm features another five mazes, a zip line, a pumpkin patch, ORBiting rides (a ride inside a giant 11-football), live pig races,  a wooded picnic area, free campfires, pedal carts, pedal trikes, a goat farm, a corn cabin and wagon rides. Richardson Farm is open through Sunday, October 29.

6. Theatre in Lake County (Select Days in September)






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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 September. Stay tuned for the Fall-Winter Theatre Guide coming soon. 

8. Spooks & Spirits Autumn Celebration (September 15-October 31)

@visitlakecounty Have a scary good time with #LetsGoLakeCounty ♬ Spooky Freaky - Felipe Vassão

Experience a “Boo”tiful weekend in Lake County during the annual Spooks and Spirits Autumn Celebration. There’s something for everyone: fall festivals,  costume parades, haunted houses, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, “supernatural” attractions and more. Don’t miss the land of lakes’ scary-good, locally-made brews, wines, and spirits for the adults.

7. Fright Fest Presented by SNICKERS at Six Flags Great America (September 16-October 29)





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The thrills and chills are at Six Flags Great America as the legendary Fright Fest returns to the Gurnee Amusement Park. Fright Fest presented by SNICKERS is when the park is totally transformed for eight weekends in ghoulish fashion and features live shows, street entertainment, haunted houses and, of course, riding all of the coasters and thrill rides at night. Then, as Halloween approaches, the kids can embark on a unique trick-or-treat trail. Also there is Kid's Boo Fest. The kids may walk in the gates saying "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist," when entering the Gurnee amusement park. This kid-friendly festival provides a tamer vibe during the Fright Fest Presented by SNICKERS. Your youngsters can saunter through the Trick-or-Treat Trail, navigate through a hay maze, listen to a not-so-scary story, view a Halloween show and bop the streets during the Monster Dance Party. The park encourages you and your goblins ages 13 and under to vamoose by 5 p.m. as the ghouls can be a little intense come nightfall.Fright Fest is open on weekends until Halloween.

9. Running Events in Lake County (Select Days in September) 





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The weather is excellent, and it’s the perfect time to get in shape for pumpkin spice season. Lake County is home to an array of 5Ks, 10Ks, and more that are USATF-certified courses that allow runners to run in much larger marathons. So be like Forrest Gump and say, “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was goin’ somewhere, I was runnin’!”

10. Jack-O-Lantern World in Lake Zurich (September 29-October 29) 





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Lake Zurich is celebrating lighted pumpkins and craft beer this weekend at Paulus Park. Jack-O’-Lantern World takes over the park starting Friday. The fantastic visual of thousands of illuminated, hand-carved pumpkins by over 50 local artisans is a unique seasonal sight. This orange-fruit display showcases a three-fourths mile trail highlighted by 17 immersive themed worlds of the jack-o’-lanterns. The event runs on select days through Halloween, and visitors must register online at for their timeslots. 

For more things to do in September, continue here. Stay tuned to Visit Lake County's Spooks & Spirits campaign and Spooks Check-in Challenge.




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