Summer Send-Off: Last-minute Family Adventures

Tick-tock, tick-tock… do you hear that? That’s the sound of the summer ticking away.  By now kids are already registered for school and you are checking off items on your back-to-school shopping list. But that doesn’t mean summer fun is over!

If you’ve got one last fling left in you, we’ve rounded up a few suggestions for one final family adventure this summer.   To find your perfect fit, we’ve organized it into Small, Medium, and Large to fit any family’s budget and stamina.  C’mon, you know you’ve got one last hurrah left in you…

Small Adventures

Time to treat yo’self!  These mini-excursions are sure to be a treat for the kids, with minimal travel time and dent in your wallet.

Sweet Pete's Lake Forest
Photo Credit: Jessica Lynn Studio

Sweet Pete’s This location is now closed
270 Market Square, Lake Forest | (847) 283-9500
Watch their eyes go wide when you surprise the kids with an impromptu trip to Sweet Pete’s in Lake Forest.  Skip dinner, and let them fill up a bag of their favorites to take home and enjoy freshly spun cotton candy or ice cream cone while you’re there.

For more small adventure ideas:

Medium Adventures

Able to spend a little bit more for your final summer fling?  These medium-size adventures will fit your moderate tastes.

McHenry Drive-in
© S. Younge | Little Lake | 2015

McHenry County Outdoor Theater 
1510 N. Chapel Hill Road, McHenry, IL 60050 | Showtimes: (847) 362-3011

According to Shelby,

All summer long, you can experience the outdoor theater with your family and enjoy one of your most memorable nights of the year. Put on the kids’ (and your) pajamas, grab the bug spray, bring some snacks and drinks (or enjoy the variety of food conveniently offered at the vintage concession stand) and get ready to play.

If you haven’t yet experienced an old-fashioned drive-in movie, it’s time to make the trip to McHenry.  The kids will love staying up late one last time before the school bells ring.

For more medium-size ideas:

Large Adventures

Wanna make a big impact and send-off summer in style?  These larger adventures may cost you a bit more, but the looks on their little faces will be priceless.

KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort Editor’s Note- Closed as of 2017. 
1700 Nations Dr, Gurnee, IL | (224) 717-3311 | Facebook

My kids love hotels, even more so hotels with pools, but a hotel with a waterpark?!? Now that is squeal-worthy!  Luckily, you don’t have far to go to enjoy an overnight stay at KeyLime Cove.  With our promo code: LLAKE129 for reservations Sun-Thurs through October 31, 2016, you’ll receive one of the best rates available.   Which means you’ll have enough money left over to enjoy a giant Kitchen Sink Sundae at D.W. Anderson’s.


For more large-and-in-charge ideas:

  • Spend the day at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.  We have the the tips to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone in your family.
  • Feel like you’re on top of the world atop the John Hancock Center in Chicago.
  • Get the royal treatment at Medieval Times in Schaumburg.
  • Jessica shares more waterpark destinations found locally and throughout the midwest.
  • iFLY Chicago allows people of all ages and abilities to experience human flight in a safe, comfortable and fun environment. Enjoy $20 off Monday through Thursday throughout August at the three Chicagoland iFLY locations.

How will you send-off summer with your family?


Dance academy of Libertyville
About Loralie 318 Articles
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home. She is the Features Editor and Marketing Director at Little Lake County.

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