Our guide to Lake County fall festivals
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Our guide to Lake County fall festivals

Dec 31, 2023

Although the autumnal equinox is still a couple weeks away, pumpkin-spice-everythings have been on the shelves for a month and everyone can generally agree it is finally fall.

With that, there is no shortage of fall festivals and harvest happenings to take in this season, from celebrating craft beer in Grayslake to attempting to set the world record for the most jack-o’-lanterns on display in Highwood.

Here’s a handy guide to many local fall festivals and events. As always, check the event’s website or social media before heading out.

Deerfield Harvest Fest: 5-9 p.m. Sept. 9. At the intersection of Deerfield Road and Park Avenue. Tickets: free. 847-945-5000; deerfield.il.us/624/Harvest-Fest.

Live music by West End 40 and 7th Heaven. Food and beverages available for purchase.

Grayslake Craft Beer Festival: 1-5 p.m. Sept. 16. Festival grounds on South Whitney Street between Center Street and Park Avenue in Grayslake. Tickets: $45-$100. 847-979-0091; grayslakebeerfest.com.

There will be more than 150 brews from more than 50 different breweries. VIP entrance at noon. There will also be food trucks and live music.

Wheeling Oktoberfest: 1-5 p.m. Sept. 17. Performance Pavilion at Heritage Park, 201 Community Blvd., Wheeling. Tickets: free. 847-465-3333; wheelingparkdistrict.com/events/fallapalooza.

Look for a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, airbrush tattoos, food trucks and music by Jennifer Fletcher & The Reckoning.

Antioch Fall Wine Walk: 12-4 p.m. Sept. 23. Village Senior Center, 817 Holbek Drive, Antioch. Tickets: $45. 847-395-2160; antioch.il.gov/event/fallwinewalk.

Tickets include wine tastings, a wine tote, wine glass and bonus bottle.

Wildwood Park District Harvest Festival: 12-6 p.m. Sept. 23. Rule Park, 33325 N. Sears Blvd., Gages Lake. Tickets: free. 847-223-7275; wildwoodparkdistrict.com.

There will be an antique car show, beer tent, food, kid’s activities, live music and entertainment, petting zoo, pony rides, pumpkin and face painting, vendors and more.

Fall Arts and Crafts Show: 2-7 p.m. Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 30 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 1. Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. Tickets: $5. 847-301-8543; lcfair.com.

There will be a variety of fall-themed arts and crafts for sale in myriad media.

Fox Lake Fall Festival: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 1. Grant Township Center, 26725 Molidor Road, Ingleside. Tickets: free. 224-225-1404; foxlake.org/423/Fall-Festival.

There will be music, craft vendors, pumpkin carving, food, refreshments, a pie eating contest, inflatables and petting zoo.

Pumpkin decorating: 5 p.m. Oct. 3. Renwood Golf Course, 701 E. Shorewood Road, Round Lake. Tickets: $1 per child. 847-546-8558; rlapd.org.

Advanced registration is required. Children are given a pumpkin and decorating supplies.

The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival: 5-9 p.m. Oct. 5, 4-11 p.m. Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 8. Highwood Metra Station, 317 Green Bay Road, Highwood. Tickets: free. highwoodpumpkinfest.com.

There will be craft vendors, food vendors, carnival rides, hayrides, pie eating contests, pumpkin carving stations and three stages for live music at the 13th annual event. Once again, they will attempt to set the world record for the most jack-o’-lanterns on display. Additionally, a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Through History” skeleton exhibition will be displayed. New this year is Pumpkin Town USA in the center of Everts Park.

Fox Lake Pumpkin Jubilee: 3-7 p.m. Oct. 7. Community Garden Green, 17 E. School Court, Fox Lake. Tickets: free. 224-225-1404; foxlake.org/392/Pumpkin-Jubilee.

There will be craft vendors, food vendors and pumpkin carving. Carved pumpkins will be added to a wall display.

Annie Alleman is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.