Top 10 Things To Do in January 2022 - Visit Lake County - Blog

Top 10 Things To Do in January 2022

By: Jonathan Jones

The holiday season is all about over, but the top 10 things to do in January will keep you energized this winter in Lake County.

January features snowtime festivities the snow, a few shows show, a polar splash, angling, hoops, a fun run, illuminants to make spirits bright and a rekindling with nature in a land of lakes winter wonderland.

Welcome to 2022! Let's take a look at the top 10 things to do in January.

1. Polar Plunge in Waukegan (January 1)


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Tis the season to be freezin.’ After a year hiatus due to the effects of COVID-19, the low-mercury temperature Waukegan Park District tradition returns to kick-off 2022. Start the new year off by chilling in the 23rd Annual Polar Bear Plunge in Waukegan. This Waukegan Municipal Beach event awards a polar plunge shirt to the first 500 brave souls that take a dip in the drink. Water shoes or other footwear are required. Food, hot chocolate and polar bear hats will be sold on-site. If you’re not enticed by a frigid hug with Lake Michigan, cheer your friends and family from slightly warmer shores. Preregistration is $15. Wauk it off afterward as Lake County Libation Trail partner Nightshade and Dark's Pandemonium Brewing throw a post plunge party.


2. Lake County Festivals in January (Select Days from January 1-22)


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Winter lovers come out and play! Just because it’s a tiny bit frigid outside, it can’t keep visitors from partying hearty. There is a slew of winter festivities for you, cold-blooded creatures in January. Here is a list of fests in Lake County celebrating one of our chilliest months.

3. Historic Downtown Long Grove New Year's Virtual 5K (January 1-15)


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Jumpstart your fitness resolution by participating in Long Grove’s Virtual New Years Day 5K. Walk or run for a good cause as proceeds to go Save-a-Pet located in Grayslake. Time yourself, break a personal record, take a coffee walk or host a socially-distanced catch-up with friends and family on your outdoor virtual 5K experience. Make the run your own by creating a unique route, submit your time at and post a photo of your 5K experience and tag @EnjoyLongGrove or take the in-town route starting at The Village Tavern and ending at the aforementioned Lake County staple.

4. Lake County is Illuminated Post Holiday Season (through January 9)


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“Turn up the lights in here, baby. Extra bright, I want y’all to see this. Turn up the lights in here, baby. You know what I need, want you to see everything want you to see all of the lights.” – Rihanna. There is no way around it, Lake County is lit. From public light displays to motion twinkling shows to village and city Christmas tree and menorah lightings, Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season. Meander through a shiny land of lakes world and don’t forget to snap a memory before time runs out in this extended version of an illuminated land of lakes.

5. Sledding and Tubing in Lake County (All January)


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You can’t be the only one having a blast in the snow. Once the snow hits the ground, kids (and children at heart) gravitate towards any hill that has a slight incline to race their friends and family. It’s that time of year to inflate that inner tube or dust off that sled and zip through the snow. Never forget to “Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time! Cool Runnings!”

6. Ice Skating in Lake County (All January)


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Did you know that Lake County has over 30 ice skating locations? On a beautiful winter’s day, there’s no better place to be scooting over the frozen water. It is time to make your best U.S. Olympic Figure Skater Bradie Tennell triple axel impression. It’s an opportunity to slap shot like Chicago Blackhawk’s star Jonathan Toews. Whatever your favorite activity is on the ice, be sure to invite friends and family to create memories on the twirl, twizzle and triple lutz on the Lake County ice.

7. Live entertainment in January (All January)


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The land of lakes theatres are providing visitors with glorious nostalgia as they feature legendary comedians, Broadway shows, renowned musician’s tributes and a classy dance party. Here’s the scoop for January on Lake County's storied stages.

8. Northern Illinois Sports Show (January 13-16)


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Angling and hunting is an all-year sport. Explore the great outdoors at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center’s Northern Illinois Fishing and Hunting Spectacular. The show is highlighted by the country’s top fishing and hunting vendors, a slew of seminars, family-friendly attractions, outdoors outfitters and so much more. Join thousands of outdoor enthusiasts at the largest sportsman expo in the Chicagoland area.

9. Vipers Pro Basketball vs. the Illinois Bulldogs at Warren High School in Gurnee (January 29)


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“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – a quote from the NBA’s winningest coach, Phil Jackson. Gurnee just recently received their own basketball team in the Vipers. The Vipers are a semi-pro ABA hoops team consisting of former D-I athletes, international players and local ballers with hopes of moving to the NBA hardwood. Catch these players on their new homecourt at Warren High School and view their talent as they move their way up the ranks. The Vipers face off against the Bulldogs of the Windy City.

10. LVVA Ice Fishing Derby (January 28-29)


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Get your ice fishing on Lake County. There are two angler events with a lot of longevity and history to fulfill your snow fishing expeditions. The first is the LVVA Ice Fishing Derby in Wauconda and the second is the Chain O’Lakes Fishing Derby and Winter Festival (Feb. 14-16). Pack up your lines, hooks and spears, and go for the gold trying to nab some fresh pike, crappie, perch and bluegill that the Bangs Lake has to offer. With the pandemic going on, the Wauconda derby has moved to a virtual event. Cash and prizes will be rewarded to anglers in big and small fish catch category. Let’s take a look at our derby days.

For more top things to do in January 2022, continue here.






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