Exciting Upcoming Events in Lake Forest

Lake Forest, Illinois, is only about an hour north of Chicago, near the shore of Lake Michigan. It has great restaurants, beautiful scenery, and a variety of fun attractions and events. Here are some of the most exciting upcoming events near Lake Forest.

Concerts in the Square

fountain in a town square
Image via Flickr by Teemu008 

At Market Square, the first planned shopping center in the United States, you can enjoy live concerts every Thursday evening in June and July. You and your family members can see Sushi Roll on July 15, and there’s a classic car show on July 22. The Class of ’68 classic rock and soul band will provide a great soundtrack while you explore these great rides.

On July 29, Shout Out will play some of the most popular hits from the 1960s through today. While you listen, you can shop at a variety of stores, including Williams-Sonoma, Valentina, and Talbot’s. Before the concert starts, enjoy a burger, fresh fish, or a hearty steak at The Daily Grind.

The Ravinia Festival

The Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, taking place right in Ravinia Park. It’s all in a town called Highland Park that’s about 15 minutes away from Lake Forest. The festival goes from July 1 to Sept. 26, and Ravinia Park is within walking distance of several interesting shops and restaurants. Wi-Fi is free inside.

At the entrance, you’ll see the Kohl Kaplan Fountain. It opened in 2016, and it has 101 programmable, lighted fountain heads. It exhibits a beautiful show with water, lights, and music even when it’s not festival season. During the festival, it accompanies the music. Ravinia gets its name from the ravines along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. 

The festival opened in 1904, and it was originally an entertainment center for people using the nearby railroad. It hosted the New York Philharmonic on the first year.It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936, and it has an outdoor theater called the Pavilion that can seat 3,350 people. The Martin Theatre hosts indoor performances on park grounds in winter. During this huge summer music festival, you can enjoy classical music, shows for kids, rock, pop, and more. This season includes 64 performances, and the artists you can enjoy include The Beach Boys, Collective Soul, Willie Nelson, Counting Crows, John Legend, The Indigo Girls, and Train.

During many shows, all the seats in the Pavilion are full. You can also enjoy a picnic on the lawn outside. Many concerts set up outdoor screens so that everyone can see and hear the artists clearly, and you can bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy a picnic with your own food or food from the concession stands. Chair and table rentals are available, and alcohol is allowed for people over 21. However, only drinks in Ravinia souvenir cups are allowed inside the Pavilion.

The parking lot fills up quickly, but shuttles to and from secondary lots are available. The train also stops right outside the gates. After you purchase a ticket, you can use your Ravinia e-receipt for free rides to and from the festival.

The Glencoe Festival of Art

The 13th annual Glencoe Festival of Art is in Glencoe, only about 20 minutes away from Lake Forest. It’s a juried art show and festival with more than 90 artists exhibiting their paintings, photographs, and jewelry. You can also see ceramic, wood, and glass creations.

Many artists will be there to provide live demonstrations and answer questions about their work, and you can purchase many of the pieces on display. Salem Barker creates beautiful sculptures, and Maria Belokurova makes fun, fashionable jewelry. For metalwork with a patriotic feel, check out Derek Christensen, and for a piece of furniture that’s also an impressive piece of art, consider the colorful work of Mary Beth McGinnis.

You can purchase extremely realistic artificial flowers from Gracelynn and Ike Tamrak, and the unique pens crafted by Ron Sieracki and Kari Kloc make excellent gifts. This event will take place in downtown Glencoe on Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25, from 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. While you check out the exhibits, you can browse the many restaurants and shops nearby. You can also enjoy live music and fun activities for kids.

When you visit, bring any old artwork that doesn’t suit your taste anymore. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Chicago Furniture Bank is taking donations to help people moving out of shelters decorate their more permanent residences. Parking and admission for the Glencoe Festival of Art are free, and reservations are recommended but not required.


This music festival is in Chicago’s Grant Park, about an hour away from Lake Forest, from July 29 to Aug. 1. With eight stages and over 170 bands, you can listen to lots of artists in just four days. Acts include Miley Cyrus, The Foo Fighters, Limp Bizkit, Journey, and more.

Art Fair on the Square

You can come back to Market Square for the 67th annual Art Fair on the Square. The Deer Path Art League holds this event, and admission is free. It’s on Labor Day weekend, Sunday, Sept. 5, and Monday Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This juried fine art show attracts 20,000 people per year on average, and almost 400 locally and nationally known artists applied to participate last year. You can view 160 impressive exhibits in ceramics, drawing, pastels, digital art, textiles, glass, jewelry, graphics or printmaking, metalwork, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture, and other mediums.

The Emerging Artist Exhibit showcases art from students at local schools and celebrates the artistic talents of young people in the community. The mayor of Lake Forest will give the Mayoral Award to a selection of art students from each school.

These events are excellent opportunities for you to enjoy art, music, and the outdoors near Lake Forest. If we missed any of your favorite festivals or shows, contact us at Pasquesi Sheppard, LLC and let us know. We’re always interested to hear from our valued clients.