Summer Fun Guide For Kids in Lake County 2022

By: Nick Borowitz 07/08/2022

Summer is a time when the kids are out of school and looking for something to do with seemingly endless energy.

With Lake County facilities opened and operating at normal capacity, there is no better time to get the kids out of the house and put that hyperactivity towards something productive.

For a chance to win an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge or four free tickets to Six Flags Great Americaclick here.


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Lake County has an abundance of activities that are kid-friendly and that the entire family can enjoy. Whether it be hitting the trails of the Lake County Forest Preserves District or taking a road trip down to the beach, there is no shortage of fun to keep the kids busy.

We put together this summer fun guide for the youngsters in Lake County to make keeping the younger family members entertained and (hopefully) from driving the parents mad.

Volo Museum


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Did you know that Volo Museum has a new Jurassic Gardens exhibit? No matter if you're an adult with a kid that loves dinosaurs or you yourself love them, there's no denying that taking a trip back 65 million years is a rather rad experience. Complete with moving animatronic dinosaurs with lifelike features, fossil digging and a dinosaur theatre full of prehistoric facts, you do not want the family to miss this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit. The Jurassic Gardens is a separate experience from the museum, but Volo Museum offers a pass that allows entry to both on the same day of purchase. And if you love Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine, Volo Museum is running a contest to win a Mystery Machine Weekend Getaway for two people. Included is entry to both the Volo Museum and Jurassic Gardens. In addition, the winner and a could win an overnight lakefront camping experience at Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort in the Mystery Machine!

Museums in Lake County


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Young minds are always growing, even when school is out for the summer. There’s no need to let that energy go to waste when there’s an opportunity to learn about the place where you live, and visitors can get a taste of Lake County's rich history. There are nuggets of wisdom to be found throughout the place we call home, like tidbits about the Greentown riot, learning the history of Grayslake and where the namesake comes from, the men and women who sing anchors aweigh to the critters and creatures that inhabit Lake County, and the roadsters in our favorite Hollywood flicks and more. Keep the youth educated, while they’re staying entertained with unique exhibits that capture their imagination.

Let The Ride Take You to Lake County!


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Let the Ride Take You to Lake County, Illinois, and discover the freedom of being able to set your own pace and seek out your own experiences. Your road trip adventure is just a stone's throw away. Take in the scenery on a new avenue and see where it leads. "Oh, the places you'll go" and explore, and those sites, sounds and feels will leave you and the family with memory makers. Lake County Road Trips showcases five different experiences via car, bike or hoofing to create an adventure on the land of lakes' arterial highways: Illinois Route 21, U.S. Route 45, Illinois Route 83, Illinois Route 41 and U.S. Route 12. So this summer, don't just take a road trip.

Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor Chicago in Gurnee


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Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor Chicago are two great thrill parks that you can experience at one destination. Located in the heart of the Midwest in Gurnee, Illinois, Six Flags Great America is 45 minutes north of Chicago and south of Milwaukee. Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor Chicago offers endless adventures for the entire family with 16 heart-pounding coasters, a 20-acre water park, spectacular shows, a nighttime parade and three children's areas. Try Tsunami Surge, the tallest water coaster in the world at a height of 86 feet! Reach a top speed of 28 miles per hour over 950 feet of enclosed tunnels and open-air slides featuring three gravity-defying blasts and five breathtaking drops, along with five hairpin turns. Splash your way into summer because Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor Chicago are the place to be!

Click here chance to win four free tickets to Six Flags Great America. Free tickets to an awesome park here in Lake County is a rather simple way to keep the kids busy for a day and for parents to have a laugh too!

Beaches in Lake County


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Some may claim that we're spoiled here in the Land of Lakes with our vast options of beaches to kick back on. No matter if you want a place to let the kids swim off that pent-up boredom, hop out on some paddleboards or go for a relaxing paddle boat ride, you don't have to go very far to find a body of water.

Miller's Dog N Suds Drive-In in Ingleside

Kids and children get hungry. That’s a universal constant. But you know what else is a reliable experience every year between May through October? Miller’s Dog N Suds Drive-In in Ingleside. The home of the Coney dog and their famous creamy root beer, this Ingleside drive-thru-styled eatery is a four-generation, family-owned business that recently celebrated its 55th birthday in 2022. A little touch of the past is still relevant today because you can’t pass up a delicious hot dog. Miller’s Dog N Suds regularly hosts concerts and classic car nights as well. At one point, there were 600 locations of the restaurant. Currently, 14 Dog N Suds are still in operation with one other place in Lake County (Grayslake). Other iconic menu items include Texasburgers, corndogs, cheese dogs, chicken sandwich and their shake of the month.

Bristol Renaissance Faire (Select Days from July 9-September 5)


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For nine glorious weekends starting in July, each Saturday and Sunday, plus Labor Day Monday, visitors take a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England, complete with 16th Century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and one-of-a-kind encounters with a spectacular cast of characters. The Faire boasts 16 different open-air stages featuring swordfighters, minstrels and jesters. All entertainment is included in the price of admission. It may be just north of the Lake County border but it’s worth a visit.

Ravinia Festival in Highland Park


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Ravinia Festival is packed full of performances sure to keep you moving. This renowned Highland Park gem showcases a variety of performers in the lineups that cater specifically to the younger crowds. Artists such as Laurie Berkner and Justin Roberts play tunes that are friendly for little ears. While music is what brings everyone together at Ravinia Festival, the real magic is in the unique ambiance. Don’t hesitate to turn a little spot of lawn into your own outdoor living room.

Citadel Theatre’s Winnie the Pooh at Mellody Farm Nature Preserve (July 21-24)


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The Citadel Theatre Co. presents the premiere of the original work, “Winnie The Pooh.” This unique retelling of the classic children’s story will be performed at the Lake Forest's Open Lands. Visit the Hundred Acre Woods with Pooh and friends all while hearing original music by local musician Mark Adamczyk. This experience is located at the Mellody Farm Nature Preserve inside Open Lands.

Thunder on the Chain Drag Boat Races at Blarney Island


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Just like being hungry, it's a fact that kids of all ages, boys and girls, love loud engines and vehicles racing. Why not feed them and keep them entertained when you bring them to the Thunder on the Chain races held every Thursday at Blarney Island. With a tasty menu and drinks for the adults, the young ones will love to hear the scream of the boats as they race across the Grass Lake waters. And Blarney Island is just a cool place to hang out, so accomplish two tasks in one evening.

Great Wolf Lodge Illinois in Gurnee


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Great Wolf Lodge offers Chicagoland families and beyond an amazing getaway destination that is just a short drive away. The family adventure begins in their enormous 80,000-square-foot indoor water park where it’s always awesome, and it’s always 84 degrees! Thrilling waterslides, a giant tipping bucket and zero-depth entry water play areas for pre-swimmers mean every family member will have an amazing time. There are kiddie-sized bowling lanes, an indoor miniature golf course and an enormous redemption arcade. Embark on an unforgettable MagiQuest adventure, exploring the world of Vellara with a magic wand in hand, without leaving the lodge. Four hundred suites come in several styles, accommodating families of every size and life stage (your wolf pups will love the themed suites: it’s like having their own log cabin, inside the room). And with multiple on-site dining and shopping options, it’s all right there, and it’s all fantastic.

Click here for a chance to win an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge to keep your wolf pack easily entertained for an evening during the summer months.

Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe


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The Chicago Botanic Garden has only begun to Flourish and turned 50 this year, and still looks timeless. They're celebrating their birthday through September 25th with a variety of events. The Model Railroad Garden features 18 G-Scale model trains that run on 1,600 feet of track throughout the 7,500-square-foot garden. The Carillon Concerts are a one-hour musical performance that takes place every other Tuesday using Carillon bells. Music on the Esplanade has different musical performers every Monday and Wednesday playing a variety of tunes on the Esplanade overlooking the Smith Fountain. Another have-to-see-it immersion is the Butterflies & Blooms, which gives visitors the opportunity to place themselves among the 2,800-square-foot enclosed habitat. These uniquely floral experiences all will run through to the end of August, so be sure to visit now.

Lambs Farm in Libertyville


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Lambs Farm in Libertyville includes a farmyard with a petting area that has the kid-favorite sheep and goats. They can go mini-golf, take a mini-train ride, jump in the cow bounce house and go for a spin on the Old World carousel. Be sure to visit the Dogwood Pet Shop, Magnolia Café & Bakery, the Cedar Chest Thrift Shop and the Sugar Maple Country Store. Your youngsters will get lit from the sugar and the opportunity to beg you to adopt a dog or other cute critters that Lambs Farm regularly takes care of. All the businesses at Lambs Farm benefit programs for people with developmental disabilities.

Tempel Lipizzans in Old Mill Creek


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The Tempel Lipizzans is a woman-owned business located in Old Mill Creek that has been training this stallion breed for over half a century. Grounded in historical accuracy and a sharp style of showmanship, The Tempel Lipizzans is a must-see performance for those who live in Lake County and surrounding areas. The "ballet" of the Lipizzan stallion will enamor kids and children alike as they dance and bust out moves that even they would qualify as 100% fresh. Follow the "INFO" button below to find their full summer lineup and bring the kids to a show this summer.

Extreme Flight Simulation in Gurnee


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Have you or has your child ever expressed interest in flying an F-18? How about a 737 NG? Like most people, probably and the neat thing is that Extreme Flight Simulation in Gurnee has the cockpit of that 737 and a recently added "cockpit" of the F-18. The best part is that no flight experience in real life is required. They say that every time a bell rings, a prospective pilot gets its wings. Take off, coast and land as this soaring simulator.

Skate Parks in Lake County


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Say cowabunga to your kids as they land an ollie in one of Lake County’s skate park halfpipes and bowls: Warren Township Center Skate Park, Viking Park, Betty Russell Community Park and Churchill Hunt Park (Gurnee), Jewett Park Skate Park (Deerfield), Williams Park (Antioch), Daniel Barry Memorial Skate Park (Grayslake), Waukegan Skate Park and Sullivan Community Center.

Par-King Skill Golf in Lincolnshire


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Par-King Skill Golf is a nationally-recognized mini-golf course. The acclaimed tiny links facility features two 18-hole mini-courses, 18 moving obstacles and seven water holes. Both options provide hours of fun for kids and children looking to sharpen their short shot skills as well as those that just want a laugh and have a good time with their friends. Even adults and pros alike will find a challenge when then they take on this big fight packed inside a small package. This course is cash only and does not take credit/debit. Children must be 48 inches to play.

Boundless Adventures in Bristol, WI


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Boundless Adventures is a family-owned business empowering and inspiring people to challenge themselves both mentally and physically. With challenge comes greater self-confidence and achievement. For ages seven and older, there are four different types of courses with varying degrees of difficulty, and nine courses in total. Each course consists of a number of elements (aka obstacles) developed to test your boundaries. Choose your own adventure based on your height, fitness level and comfort zone. Boundless Adventures newest addition to the venue is its axe-throwing cages not only testing your strength but your dexterity and aim.

Enjoy Illinois Chicago Bears Training Camp in Lake Forest


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The “Monsters of the Midway” training camp has returned for its second year at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. The training camp sponsored by the Illinois Office of Tourism will be open on select days to the public between July 28-August 20. The NFL organization will allow fans to enter the Lake Forest facility to view practice for 11 days between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are free, but must be secured online and were be made available on July 7. Bears fans can select up to four training camp tickets for each event. Camp visitors will park at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills and will be shuttled to and from Halas Hall.

WhirlyBall in Vernon Hills


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Bump, collide and compete against your friends in the unique bumper car sport WhirlyBall. Everyone’s favorite lacrosse/basketball/bumper car fusion game has returned as the Vernon Hills facility opened its doors this year. This play place also has a little something for adults. Besides delectable eats, WhirlyBall has a vast selection of brews while the youngsters duke it out (or you join in on the fun).

Golfing in Lake County


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Throughout the years, professional links events have, and continue to be drawn to our scenic and various golfing options. Kids and teens can tee up on one of 40+ courses here in Lake County for all skill levels and age brackets. There is a mix of courses that offer smooth greens for the new players all the way to long shot drives and plenty of traps for the seasoned amateurs. Listed below are just a few, but click the green "INFO" button for a comprehensive listing of courses that you could see yourself teeing up at next.

Summer Festivals in Lake County


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The summer festival season in Lake County always brings the heat, bad pun withstanding. There is always an experience for the family right around the corner. No doubt that 2019 was “Lit AF,” 2020 had to be put on pause and 2021 brushed off the dust. Many festivals are ready to make the 2022 season a rip-roaring good time. An added pro of summer festivals is that you're able to provide a large range of options for the kids to be able to pick and choose the activities they want to partake in. Below are just a few events that we think children will enjoy, click the green button to further explore more festival experiences.

Outdoor Concerts in Lake County


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With all the open spaces, parks and community gathering spots here in Lake County, you can rest assured that there is no shortage of live music which is often free to attend. Many neighborhoods, villages, cities and public places have their own concert in the park series throughout the summer. Music is a good way to help young children and kids burn off some of that excess energy with a little bit of dancing and moving.

Chicago Botanic Gardens

Kracklauer Park in Mundelein

Waukegan Band Concerts at Stiner Pavilion

Memorial Arbortheater Concerts in Vernon Hills

Concerts in the Plaza at Independence Grove

Zion Concerts in the Park

Summer Concerts at Deer Park Town Center

Fox Lake Summer Art Series

Free Concert Series in Lincolnshire

Movies in the Parks of Lake County


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Movies in the park are an excellent way to spend time together as a family and still get everybody outside. The kids can watch a movie that they love and the parents often are in proximity to shopping, food and libations. You can grab a bite to eat for the family or get everyone drinks and snacks before the movie plays. Depending on the venue, it may be free or will incur a small cover fee.

Waukegan Park District

Brothers' Field Movie Nights

Deer Park Town Center

Wizard of Oz at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire


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Relive the classic tale of four unlikely friends on the adventure of a lifetime. Join Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow (and little Toto too) as they journey down the yellow brick road to the magical Emerald City. Featuring the classic songs "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," The Wizard of Oz will remind you that there really is "no place like home." After the show, stick around for a special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages. Followed by a Q&A session with the cast. There are a variety of show times that makes finding a production simple and that works for you and your family.

Launch Trampoline Park Gurnee


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Kids and young children love trampolines. Why not let them go wild inside of a building specifically designed to let them fling themselves about the space. Launch Trampoline Park Gurnee has over 16,000 square feet of trampolines including two dodgeball courts, a foam jumping pit, kids zone and more. This awesome facility is designed for kids ages four and up. It's a heck of an experience for adults too. The Gurnee jumping spot hosts birthdays, parties, day camps, schools, civic and community gatherings and corporate events.

The Great Outdoors in Lake County


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There are numerous outdoor venues to explore nature in Lake County! With 170 lakes and rivers, enjoy state parks like Illinois Beach State Park in Zion off the shores of Lake Michigan and Chain O’ Lakes State Park in Antioch. Plus, with nearly 31,000 acres of land to explore at the Lake County Forest Preserves, Lake County offers outdoor beauty and trails for hikingboatingfishing and bird watching among many other activities.

Camping in Lake County


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With ample lakes and beaches, there are ample choices to camp out under the stars too. Summer heralds the arrival of camping season, so get out there and throw a tent up, tell the teenagers to think of ghost stories for the young ones and make some smores. Check these three spots as they remain open through the end of September.

Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest


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Housing over 150 different reptiles and unique critters, the Wildlife Discovery Center is a great spot to take kids who love animals of all shapes and sizes. What child doesn't want to see a sloth up close and in person? Or to be able to check out different types of snakes that can be found in Illinois? They may visit these types of educational centers for field trips, but there is a special quality when it's during the summer and the parents are the ones carting them.

Architecture in Lake County


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There is no denying that the state of Illinois is full of structural oddities, rarities and downright fascinating buildings. Frank Lloyd Wright homes, structural icons that make the Chicago skyline and quintessential facilities that are must-view buildings. Some are ageless wonders, some are beautiful and gaudy to look at and others are eccentric out-of-place structures that make Lake County a must-see for those who love structural engineering.

Canlan Sports in Libertyville and Barrington


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Canlan Sportsplex in Lake Barrington offers an 85,000-square-foot indoor turf field for baseball, softball, football, lacrosse and soccer at their Lake Barrington. It has 40,000 square feet of solid maple floating hardwood floors that allows for four basketball courts and eight volleyball courts to provide the safest and most forgiving court surfaces for all competitions. Their newest Libertyville complex has 360° Climbing Mountain for rock climbing, and a fitness center offering group exercise classes, Life Fitness with cardio and hammer strength equipment, personnel trainers, a free-weight room, one-fourth mile running/walking track and a kids' club. It also offers an open gym for indoor soccer, basketball, youth sports and training sessions.

Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Long Grove


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What kid doesn't like to dance and burn off some of that extra pent-up energy inside. At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, they can learn some incredible new moves in the process. And having sick new moves isn't just a cool way to wow folks on the dance floor. Engaging in rhythmic activities can be good for weight loss, stress management, mental stimulation, acts a social outlet and many more fun reasons. Check out the studio and see if your children may find a class that catches their eye.

Susanna Farms in Lake Villa


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Susanna Farms in Lake Villa offers a variety of therapeutic services for a range of purposes that including yoga, meditation and horseback riding. They specialize in entry-level skill-building for those dealing with anxiety, autism, and other physical and emotional issues. They also provide equine-assisted activities, camps for public and private events as well as corporate outings and birthday parties. See below for some experiences that could get you introduced to their unique space and animals. Be sure to check their camp events with haste as some dates are starting to fill. They have open spots for later in the summer, but not for long!

Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center


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The Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center is a community center that provides family and children productions and entertainment throughout the year on the indoor and outdoor stages. If you want an opportunity to keep the kids not only entertained but learning something new, this unique venue is the place to do that. If there isn't a live event happening, the Center is situated close to playgrounds, a long walking trail and an idyllic view of Hook Lake.

Don't forget, Visit Lake County has started our "Let The Ride Take You!" Road Trip campaign. Four routes, four totally different experiences.

For more things to do in July, continue here. To see all the cool happenings at Volo Museum, click here to read more. For a chance to win an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge or four free tickets to Six Flags Great Americaclick here.


5465 West Grand Avenue, Suite 100
Gurnee, Illinois 60031
Phone: 847-662-2700

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