Columbus Day Activities and Events {2017}

Looking for something fun to do when your kids don’t have school on Columbus Day? Some school districts in Lake County are off on Monday, October 9. Check out some local ideas and worth the trip getaways for a fun day off or even a three-day weekend.

columbus day events lake county

Outdoor Fun

Check out  Royal Oak Farm Orchard {Harvard} to pick some apples, a truly perfect fall day off activity. They are open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pick apples and pumpkins and enjoy the entertainment area and market.

Didier Farms {Lincolnshire} has Pumpkin Fest now through October 31, 9:00 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Experience fall fun with hayrides, pumpkins, camel rides, and on Columbus Day check out pig races!

Have a Playdate with Nature at Greenbelt Cultural Center {Waukegan}. Depending on the weather, children can  build forts, create nature art, scoop pond critters or net insects. This event is from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., no registration required. Children must be supervised by an adult.

Looking for a little outdoor challenge? Hike Lake County is a great way to get out and enjoy the fresh air and all of the local beauty Lake County has to offer. Hike seven of the designated trails before November 30 and you’ll receive a commemorative shield or zipper pull. Columbus Day is a perfect day to start or continue the challenge!

Photo Source Lake County Forest Preserves on Facebook

Indoor Learning and Entertainment

Take in a FREE movie at Warren Newport Public Library {Gurnee}. They are showing The Secret Life of Pets at 2:00 p.m. Bring your own drink and snack; animal crackers will be served.

Brave the Chicago museums! Adler Planetarium, The Field Museum has  free admission on Columbus Day, but be prepared for long lines!

CRE8 Workshop {Deerfield} is having a half-day workshop for kids ages 7-14 with all new projects not typically offered. All materials included. Cost is $65 per child and the program lasts from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Register online.

Columbus Day
Photo source Cre8-workshop website

School’s Out Open Swim at FitNation {Gurnee} will help your little ones glide into the day right!

Check out Open Gym at Flips Gymnastics {Lake Forest} from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Cost is $10 registered/$15 non-registered.

The spooktacular Halloween Camp at Libertyville Gymnastics Academy is an annual kid favorite on Columbus Day! $55 for members/$65 for non-members. Camp is from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and is for potty-trained kids ages 3-10. Bring a sack lunch and be prepared for a ghouly good time!

Columbus Day Camps in Lake County

Camps are a great way to get have some fun in a relaxed, yet structured environment. All require pre-registration so be sure to call in advance!

Waukegan Park District We Have Off (WHO) Camps
The Columbus Day camp field trip is to Stade’s Farm in McHenry. There will be fun and attractions at this working farm and fun zone. Program is for children ages 6-12, from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.. Cost is $30 for residents/$35 for non-residents. Register by October 2.

Vernon Hills Park District
Games, sports, arts and crafts and more! Send a lunch and two snacks, and for $35 and your child will have a ball!

Gurnee Park District
Gurnee Park District offers days off programs for preschoolers and school-aged kids. The preschool days off dance camp is geared specifically for preschoolers ages 3-5. During camp, children will enjoy dance/movement instruction, make a craft, read a story and much more. A snack will be provided. 9:30-11:30 a.m. $32 for residents/$40 for non-residents.

Camp for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade will be at the Animal Gardens of Delavan, WI. Kids will take a wagon ride through animal habitats, tour a replica Native American village, and a enjoy the petting zoo. Kids should dress accordingly for this outdoor field trip and bring a lunch and beverage. Trip time is 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and is $44 for residents/$55 for non-residents.

Glencoe Park District
This Columbus Day, Glencoe Park District is offering a field trip for 5-11 year olds to the Lincoln Park Zoo, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Transportation, lunch, and lots of fun is included in the fee. $50 for residents and $57 for non-residents.

Taste Buds Kitchen Camp {Bannockburn}
Join Taste Buds Kitchen on an Italian Tour this Columbus Day! There are two different camp sessions: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. for children aged 4-8 years old, and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. for ages 9-13 years old. Both sessions will teach kids to cook Italian favorites with a twist like Lasagna Cupcakes and Garlic Knots. They’ll also learn Taste Buds Kitchen’s trick for making chocolate Biscotti. Register now and get ready for a cooking adventure! Cost is $60 per child.

Chicago Botanic Garden Day Off Camp 
Fall Fun Camp is from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade.  Children will participate in high-quality learning activities with experienced teachers who use inquiry-based, hands-on activities. Cost is $79 for non-member children; Garden Plus members receive a 20 percent discount.

And NEW this year, 5th-8th graders can spend the day in the kitchen! The Columbus Day camp is Vegetable Harvest: Using vegetables in sweet and savory dishes. Fee is $89 for non-member children; Garden Plus members receive a 20 percent discount.

Columbus Day
Photo source Chicago Botanic Garden website

Worth the Trip 

The ultimate way to spend the day is downtown for the Columbus Day ParadeThe parade of over 150 floats, bands, marching units goes down State Street, from Wacker Drive to VanBuren Street. It kicks off at 1:00 p.m.

Lincoln Park Zoo is free everyday, and a perfect trip for the whole family.

A day in the city doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Loralie gives you an itinerary (with a map!) on how you can do a day trip to Chicago for $20 or less.

We know some of our districts have an extra long 5-day weekend, why not surprise the kids with a quick vacation? We’ve got plenty of ideas:

Where do you like to go on your kids’ day off?

Dance academy of Libertyville

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