Shop Lake County Local This Holiday Season - Visit Lake County - Blog

Shop Lake County Local This Holiday Season

By: Jonathan Jones 12/17/2021

'Tis the season to be generous. Holiday your way just north of Chicago, and shop Lake County local this holiday season.

With work, family holiday planning and so many other things going on during the holiday season, it can be pretty hectic trying to find the right gift for that special someone. Sure an iPhone 13, a PS5 or a brand new car sound nice on paper, but let's face it, we're not made of money.


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Whether you have a white elephant holiday party, Yankee swap or whatever it may be, these Lake County gift ideas are perfect for everyone from mom to your mailperson.

We won’t tell your family that you were last-minute shopping. Shop Lake County local when our talented small businesses need it most.

Shop Small in the Land of Lakes

Growlers, Howlers and Four Packs from the Lake County Libation Trail


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“He was a wise man who invented beer,” said Greek philosopher and suds enthusiast Plato. Lake County is home to 18 libation trail brewhouses, and nine of them serve exceptional eats. Go a-wassailing with all of these suds makers as they've recently released their holiday libations for this festive season. Holiday Your Way with a four-pack, six-pack, growler or howler, but maybe think of someone else and give these fantastic flavors as a gift. There may not be 99 bottles of beer on the wall, but you can take a libation down and pass it around.

Eat Lake County Local


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Dine at the eldest restaurant in the land of lakes like Village Tavern in Long Grove, grab a slice of pie at Bill's Pizza & Pub in Mundelein or Slyce Coal Fired Pizza in Vernon Hills, Wauconda and Highwood, taste the southern hospitality provided by Bluegrass Restaurant, bite into a spicy meatball from Mambo Italiano in Mundelein or Primo Italian American Cuisine in Gurnee, sink your teeth into a juicy steak from Wildfire in Lincolnshire, eat the scrumptious Asian bites from D'angela's Dumplings in Libertyville, experience farm to table from Zin GastroPub in Lake Zurich and so many more. Support your local cuisine and Lake County Libation Trail makers as they will still serve the high-class fare and drinkables you know and love.

Extreme Flight Simulation in Gurnee


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Every time a bell rings, a prospective pilot gets their wings. Extreme Flight Simulations (figuratively) provides individuals with frequent flyer miles in the Gurnee facility’s airplane simulator. Take off, coast and land as this soaring simulator accurately reproduces the flight deck of the 737 NG. The aerodynamic attraction is open to the public and no flight experience is needed. 

Uniquely Sweet in Grayslake


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The Grayslake confectionery’s fudge was just introduced in 2019 to their variety of sweet tooth treats. The facility’s winter-themed fudge eats are highlighted by flavors like peanut butter caramel and salted peanuts, English toffee, festive cookies, white chocolate popcorn, puppy chow, turtle sticks, sea salt caramels, maple walnut fudges and more. These cocoa-inspired desserts are not the “Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing” because they’re considered “SuperFudge.” Besides their unbelievable fudge, Uniquely Sweet also offers toffee, patties, clusters, truffles, cookies, gourmet apples and much more.

Succulent Spirits from the Lake County Libation Trail


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These four succulent spirit makers provide an absolutely divine concoction of flavors. From rum to gin, absinthe and bourbon, to vodka and liqueur and everything in between, Lake County’s four distilleries have the perfect adult beverages for cocktail connoisseurs. The eclectic drinks are the perfect gift idea. Here's a list of our spirit inventors on the Lake County Libation Trail:

Long Grove Confectionery Co. and Flagship Stores (in Buffalo Grove and Wauconda)


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This is the old factory where chocolatey divinity is born. The magical world of cocoa where sweet bliss is created opened its doors in 1975. The confectionery facility began as a retail store around the U.S. Bicentennial, which looks like an 1800s schoolhouse. The sweet treat company is known for its mouthwatering and signature piece, the Myrtle®; the confectionery also owns a factory in Buffalo Grove (built-in 2001),  a Nut & Candy Factory Store (opened in 2016) and a Chicago location. The Long Grove Confectionery Co. proudly continues the dessert tradition with a menu containing other types of chocolate, barks, brittles, caramels, pretzels, peanut butter cups and so much more.

Staycation in Lake County


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It may be hard to be stuck indoors throughout the holiday season. The land of lakes accommodations provides a lush, feel-like a king environment that you could give as a gift to some overtired teachers. Maybe that first responder in your life needs a bit of peace, quiet and a libation. Whatever that special someone in your life is going through during this pandemic, and recovery be the savior for them that makes spirits bright by giving the gift of relaxation, reclination and rest with an overnight stay in Lake County. There are a ton of exclusive special offers that Lake County hotels are serving up.

Reclaimed Artists Inc. in Libertyville


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If home decor is on that special someone's holiday wishlist, Reclaimed Artisans is a place to stop off at. The MainStreet Libertyville business specializes in unique repurposed furnishings, antiques, vintage items, reclaimed and/or painted furniture and more supplied by over 130 local artisans makers.

Peter Patterson Glassworks in Mundelein


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This gift is truly from the heart, plus you get to have fun creating it. Produce some new holiday flair for that special someone in your life by making an ornament at this Mundelein facility. Choose from flat or twisted ornament styles or a window sparkler and also your choice of colors. Everything in the gallery will be marked at the sale price for the holidays, and it is a limit of one person per ornament. Like Tony Cannoli, the Mundelein establishment

Lambs Farm in Libertyville


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Lambs Farm is a business that offers benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities. Their team of wonderful individuals makes fantastic holiday treats like their cookies and items in their Sugar Maple Store. The store provides splendid holiday gifts like ornaments, mugs, kitchen supplies, decor, cookies, candy, jams and other assortments.

Tony Cannoli Specialty Shop in Mundelein


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Holy moly, that man Tony knows minds his ps and qs about cannolis! The Mundelein confectioner creates traditional and unconventional cannolis for customers to indulge their sweet tooth. Tony Cannoli Specialty Pastries also conducts classes to teach visitors how to make the sweet Italian treat. The Mundelein maker also makes cakes, donuts, cookies, chips and more. The sweet gift that everyone is yearning for. Tony was just recognized with Illinois Made status!

Vibrant Vinos on the Lake County Libation Trail


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“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” said literary libationer Ernest Hemingway. Lake County provides oenophiles and berry beverage aficionados with the most vibrant vinos on this side of the Mississippi. Wine is the stocking stuffer that keeps on giving...that is until you have an empty bottle. Here are the Lake County Libation Trail vintners:

Treetime Christmas Creations in Lake Barrington


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