Gurnee Holiday Guide in Lake County, IL - Visit Lake County - Official Travel Site

Gurnee Holiday Guide

Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things in Gurnee

 "A beautiful sight. We’re happy tonight, walking in a Gurnee wonderland."

Gurnee is your holiday destination all in one place. From world-class shopping to luxurious accommodations, to delicious eats and so much more, this Lake County village has it all.

Let's not forget the thrills of scouring through 220 fabulous retail venues at Gurnee Mills, which makes the Village of Gurnee the place to be.

Stay overnight at one of Gurnee's lavish hotel and resorts including Great Wolf Lodge Illinois. The Northwoods themed waterpark resort is sure to keep your youngsters in a festive mood as they host Snowland. 

"Holiday Your Way in Lake County, Illinois" throughout November and December in the Village of Gurnee!

Village of Gurnee Holiday Events

Six Flags Great America's Holiday in the Park Lights!

Six Flags Great America kicks off its the Holiday in the Park Lights! event. This festival runs from November 26-December 30 on select days. The holiday party will transform the park into a winter wonderland featuring millions of dazzling lights, a beautiful Christmas tree (5 p.m. lighting every night), a meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, festive entertainment and of course, rides on a world-class roller coaster. When it gets a tad nippier outside, Six Flags Great America will run the Holiday in the Park Lights! Drive-Thru Experience through January. See the same flashing lights, except in your whip with the heat on high.

Now-December 31; 2-8 p.m. or 2-9 p.m. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.
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It's Santa Photo Time at Gurnee Mills

Jolly old St. Nick is hanging around Lake County to get a good idea of what your kiddies want for Christmas. Visit Santa, get a photo-op and maybe bring him a cold glass of milk and cookies. He’s got a lot of children to talk to! The man in the big red suit hosts his grand entry, Arrival Parade at the Gurnee mall on December 1

Through December 24. Gurnee Mills 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

Kringle is making a list and of course, checking it twice. Visit his magical wonderland filled with games, free photo opportunities, yummy food like freshly cooked fudge, cookies, fondue and popcorn! Attendees can create neat crafts, and even meet his elves!

Through December 24. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, 6112 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

“Let it snow” in Lake County for all we care, because inside Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the temperature is a toasty 84 degrees. Visit SNOWLAND for all the season's best like visit’s with Santa, shimmering décor, Snowflake Story Time, Snowland Celebration complete with magical snow, Snowland Yoga Tails, arts and crafts, dance parties, and more. And of course, there's the 80,000 square-foot indoor water park for a splashing good time!

Now-January 5. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, 1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee.
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Holiday Lights in Welton Plaza

Unfortunately for the second year in a row, the beloved Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will not choo-choo its way through Viking Park due to taking COVID-19 precautions. However, the village still knows how to throw a stupendous light show. Gurnee will illuminate the night sky with its Holiday Lights event that is highlighted by holiday carolers, food trucks, hot cocoa, a live-petting zoo, an ornament-making station, visits with the Santa Claus and of course, the bright lights in the big village. 

Thursday, December 2; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Welton Plaza, 325 N. O'Plaine Rd., Gurnee. 
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Holiday in the Park Lights! Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags Great America

After launching for the first time last year, the land of lakes amusement park launches its new Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience. See the dazzling display of illuminants, seasonal sights and holly jolly sounds from the warmth of your car on select days from December through early January. As one of the largest holiday drive-thru events in the Midwest and the only one inside a theme park, it includes 11 immersive, themed areas throughout the 300-acre theme park, embellished with millions of twinkling lights, live entertainment and festive music. Guests can enjoy distanced greetings from beloved holiday characters, iconic holiday decorations, a drive-by featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus and their jolly elves and much more.

December 3-January 9. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.
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Second Annual Gurnee Mills Holiday Market 

'Tis the season to be generous. Gurnee Mills is throwing a Holiday Market featuring local crafters and vendors. Whether you have a white elephant holiday party, Yankee swap or whatever it may be, these Lake County artisan-makers provide the perfect gift ideas for everyone from mom to your mailperson.

Friday-Sunday, December 10-12; 1-3 p.m. Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee.  
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Gurnee’s Breakfast with Santa

This breakfast date may be your kiddie's only opportunity to meet the man in the red suit this season. Head to Viking Park and have a unique breakfast with Santa Claus. Share your holiday wishes with Kringle and have your young ones take home an early holiday gift.

Saturday, December 11; 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 10:15-11:15 a.m. Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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55+ Monthly Mixer Holiday Celebration

It's always merry around these aprts this time of year. Invdiviuals ages 55 and older should head to Gurnee for the seasons greetings mixer. The holly jolly mixer is highlighted by a roast pork lunch with all the fixins. The monthly mixer also features a live performance by the Lake Shore Singers. Attendees are encouraged to bring a $5 gift for the exchange game and registration closes on Dec. 9.

Tuesday, December 14; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Village of Gurnee, 325 O'Plaine Rd. Gurnee.
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Santa Calls from the Gurnee Park District

"Hey, I just met you. And this is Santa. But here's my number, so call me maybe." Get your wishlist ready and hit up Kringle on the request line. The event is for Gurnee residents only. 

Wednesday, December 15; 5:30-8 p.m. Gurnee.
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Craft Fair at the Gurnee American Legion Post 771

The Gurnee American Legion hosts a craft fair for shoppers to explore and find spectacular holiday gifts. The free admission event is also highlighted by a bake sale, raffle and lunch.

Saturday, December 18; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gurnee American Legion Post 771, 749 Milwaukee Ave., Gurnee.
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Vipers Pro Basketball 

“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. During the holiday season, you can catch the hoopers host Chicago Knights on December 19.

Sunday, December 19; 6 p.m. Warren Township High School Almond Campus, 34090 N. Almond Rd., Gurnee.
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Village of Gurnee Shopping Spree

Gurnee Mills Mall

Experience over 200 retail stores for your holiday shopping needs at Gurnee Mills. Wrap up shopping with a meal at your favorite restaurant or play a few games at 60 to Escape or take to the ice for indoor skate at Top Shelf Ice Arena. Gurnee Mills features retail favorites like Bass Pro Shops, Macy's, the LEGO store, Kohls, Dick's Sporting Goods, Nike, Dine like royalty as Gurnee Mills offers world-class eats like Rainforest Cafe, Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Robin and many other eateries. 

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Bass Pro Shops

The super outdoor outfitter, caters to the Lake County lifestyle. Boating, fishing, camping, hunting, the Gurnee store is equipped with all-things outdoors for your next adventure on the land of lakes and surrounding waters. A perfect gift idea for your outdoorsy family and friends.

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Village of Gurnee Cuisine

Barnwood Restaurant

Great Wolf Lodge's full-service eatery offers lunch and dinner for guests of the resort as well as walk-in diners. Craft cocktails, shareable plates and affordable comfort for the entire family in this fully-themed rustic setting.

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Fatmans of Gurnee

The beloved Fatmans in Gurnee is the a staple in the community. The eatery's amenities are highlighted by two dining rooms, three bars, three patios, a stage for live music and outdoor volleyball courts. The menu features barbecue, burgers, pizza and more.

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Giordano's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

The rich-flavored, deep -dish double-crusted pies are a fan favorite in the Chicagoland area. The Gurnee eatery’s menu also features scrumptious pastas and fresh salads.

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Golden Corral

The renowned Golden Corral. The Gurnee buffet eatery features steaks, poultry, fish and other carved meats, a salad bar, various mouthwatering side dishes, desserts, and many different delectable cuisines. The all-you-can-eat restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Salutos Pizza & Pasta

The mouthwatering pasta, pizzas, bread and desserts are all freshly-made at this one-of-a-kind, family-owned restaurant. Their homemade salad dressing is always a favorite (and a great gift!).

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The Chocolate Sanctuary


A Gurnee chocolate-inspired restaurant that concocts beautifully-plated main courses, appetizers and desserts that incorporate the restaurant's namesake ingredient. Chocolate Sanctuary is a fun and casual restaurant, lounge and boutique for foodies and chocolate lovers alike.

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Timothy O’Toole’s Pub

This Irish-style pub is famous for its award-winning wings, burgers, fish and chips, plus 19 different beers on tap.

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Click here for a complete list of dining options in Gurnee.

Village of Gurnee Holiday Attractions

60 to Escape

Need an hour to shop for a specific family member? Escape into your own real-world video game at the Gurnee Mills escape room. This unique immersive adventure relies on your puzzle-solving skills to escape a room in 60 minutes or less. Visit this USA Today 10Best ranked escape room.

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Extreme Flight Simulation

Their simulator accurately reproduces the flight deck of the 737NG vessel. The facility is open to the public, and no flight experience is required. "We are prepared for lift-off" this holiday season. 

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Launch Trampoline Park Gurnee - formerly Jump America

Jump for joy at this indoor fun and fitness trampoline emporium that stretches 16,000 square-feet. The venue features two dodgeball courts and a foam jumping pit. The perfect place for your kids between the holiday shopping.

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Only Child Brewing Co.

The small-batch brew company creates premier artisanal drinks with fresh ingredients. The inspiring sips from this Lake County Libation Trail participant are delectable. The Gurnee brewhouse is also a dog-friendly facility.

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Marcus Theatres at Gurnee Mills

Be the first to check out the latest holiday or popular movie at this state-of-the-art cinema. Great food and beverage options from Zaffiro's Express and many more.

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Top Shelf Ice Arena

This state of the art ice arena center is located inside Gurnee Mills. 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 Lake County's newest indoor ice arena.

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A Stay in the Village of Gurnee

Baymont by Wyndham

A short walk across the street to Gurnee Mills. The 65-room accommodation is highlighted by a heated indoor pool, free hot and cold breakfast, a business center, laundromat onsite and more. 

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Country Inn & Suites

Just a short hop, skip and a jump to Six Flags Great America and Timothy O'Tooles, this quaint and cozy hotel is your home-away-from-home. The Radisson entity features a fitness center, an indoor pool, warm or cold complimentery breakfast, a lending library and more.

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Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

This 400-room resort features an 80,000 square-foot indoor water park, an abundance of kiddie activities including their interactive adventure game, MagiQuest, an arcade and bowling, restaurants, a Ben & Jerry's for ice cream and treats, and much more. The resort is located just off of I-94 and convenient to all Gurnee shopping. 

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Hampton Inn – Gurnee

The 134-room inn features a pool, a fitness center and free breakfast. Conveniently located near Gurnee Mills shopping.

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Holiday Inn Chicago North Gurnee

The 210-room hotel and conference center features a fitness center, free breakfast and a pool. Conveniently located near Gurnee Mills shopping.

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Wingate by Wyndham Gurnee

The 62-room accommodation features a pool and free breakfast. It's located ideally between multiple Gurnee attractions.

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WoodSpring Suites Hotel

Gurnee’s newest extended-stay offers a fitness center and laundry room. Treat yourself to a night out at Gurnee’s various dining options or enjoy the in-suite kitchen amenities including a two-burner cooktop, full-size refrigerator and freezer, microwave and prep sink. Housekeeping services are provided every other week and each stay includes free parking and WiFi. The convenience of the apartment-style, pet-friendly accommodation and ideal location near Gurnee Mills and Six Flags Great America. Room rates start at $99 per night.

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For more holiday happenings in Lake County, continue here. For more about the Village of Gurnee, click here.

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