With spring just around the corner, now is a great time to start planning your warm-weather adventures in Lake Forest, Illinois. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, there’s something to grab your attention in this Midwest town. At Pasquesi Sheppard, we want you to get the most out of the spring season. Bring your kids, your partner, your friends, or yourself and try something new and exciting with some of our favorite recommendations. Read on to discover seven ways to celebrate spring around Lake Forest, Illinois.
The historic Elawa Farm is a great place to spend a spring day. This restored farm and garden originally belonged to an early 20th-century gentleman but was later sold to the city. Today, it’s maintained by a charitable organization whose mission is to inspire hands-on learning and an appreciation for gardening, ecology, and history within the community.
The 16-acre piece of land includes original farm buildings, along with gardens and a petting zoo. Other attractions include a garden market with fresh produce and flowers and an extensive list of events and demonstrations. Located adjacent to the Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve, Elawa Farm also contains a trail system for those who’d like to branch out past the farm area. Grab your most comfortable exploring shoes for this local gem.
One of the North Shore’s finest and most historic collections of upscale shops, Market Square is a great place to indulge in a little retail therapy. Enjoy stores and restaurants of all types, offering everything from clothing to accessories and sportswear. With seasonal sales, events, and promotions, this is a perfect opportunity to update your spring wardrobe.
If you’d rather just window shop, though, you can spend the day exploring the square’s art and music, with demonstrations and decorations found on sidewalks and alleyways. Conveniently located near the Metra’s North Line station, Market Square is a perfect getaway or stop on a larger Illinois-area trip. Start your spring off in style at this high-class retail paradise.
“Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by Eli Naeher
With over 250 acres of terrain surrounding the scenic Lake Michigan shoreline, Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve is a great place to take in the sights for the day. Enjoy picturesque views of trees, ravines, bluffs, and the iconic lake’s glistening shores. If you’re lucky, you may see some wildlife, as the lake and its surrounding area are known to be home to many species. Grab your bird-watching binoculars and look up.
If you’re searching for a more active day, you can hike, jog, or bike on the preserve’s trail system. For the history buff, explore the preserve’s past as a former Army base. Exhibits and historical sites like a maintained military cemetery will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Get ready to learn something new as you break a sweat at this engaging preserve.
If you’re looking to try an attraction as adventurous as it is educational this spring, check out the Wildlife Discovery Center. Get up close and personal with nature through exhibits and demonstrations featuring animals like crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, lizards, bobcats, and snakes. With rare species like the crocodile monitor, Gila monster, and beaded lizards hanging around, you’ll certainly see something new.
Stay on your toes with a venomous reptile exhibit and a raptor center featuring a screech owl, a great horned owl, a red-tailed hawk, and a Harris’s hawk. Enjoy a research center, lectures, nature trails, an animal rescue center, and more. This family-friendly attraction is a great stop for animal lovers of any age. Conveniently located within the Elawa Farms attraction area, you can easily spend a day getting lost in the wild beauty of nature.
If you want to spend your springtime supporting the local Lake Forest arts scene, the Citadel Theatre is a great place to do it. Catch your favorite drama, comedy, or musical performed by a professional, local theatre company, or try something totally new. The theatre’s latest offerings include the emotional drama Outside Mullingar and the absurdist comedy Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Be sure to explore the theatre’s website for a full list of offerings and to buy tickets to Lake Forest’s next big hit.
While it may still be a bit too cold to swim, there’s no wrong season to go to the beach. Head out to Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park to check out the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Bring a blanket, a book, and a meal for sunbathing, or take a walk or bike ride along the waterfront trails. If you’d like to extend your visit, you can even reserve a camp space. Don’t let the remnants of the winter cold stop you from taking off your shoes and dipping your toes in the sand. Or the glistening water, if you’re feeling up to the challenge.
For the rainiest spring day, spend your time indoors exploring the History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff. This interactive museum offers exhibits and displays highlighting the events, places, and people who have defined the Lake Forest area. Enjoy a permanent collection of artifacts and information along with special rotating exhibits and events. With free admission, there’s no reason not to learn more about your town at this charming spot. Take a trip back in time this spring without having to leave home.
So, there you have it. Pasquesi Sheppard just listed seven of our favorite attractions to enjoy in Lake Forest this spring. How did we do? Are there any places we missed? What’s your favorite way to spend a Lake Forest spring day? Be sure to contact us and let us know your thoughts. We can’t wait to hear what you’re looking forward to next season.