101 Things to Do This Winter in Lake County

Winter in Lake County

I said I would never write another one of these lists last winter. Then I signed up for the summer edition. No one forced me to, I did it voluntarily. Then I joked on Facebook that I would NEVER EVER AGAIN IN MY LIFE write another one of these posts. In the immortal words of Eminem, guess who’s back, back again? 

I can’t stay away from these lists apparently and neither should you because there is vital information in them! You have 101 ideas to make the winter go faster; to get you out of your home even when it is three below outside; there is no excuse because I have volunteered myself (yet again!) to research, email, call, do footwork, and Google to find you ways to get to spring faster*.  I am going to suggest to my editors that this list should be the last one ever written because why try to improve on quality article writing?

*I just moved stuff around the list from last year.


things to do in winter

101 Things to do in Winter

1- Get a massage. What? Winter is harrrrrd.

2- Take the kids to the newly-opened Ultimate Ninja in Libertyville to get the blood flowing. *There will be no actual blood.  *I think.

3- Another great place to get the blood flowing is open gym. Again, there shouldn’t be blood, but let’s be real, they’re kids.

4- Let’s just get the blood-letting ideas out of the way. Ice skating can be lots of fun if you know what you’re doing. And by the looks of my last visit to an ice rink, you don’t know what you’re doing.

5- If being outside in the cold isn’t your idea of fun, we have indoor rinks too.

6- Exhausted from all of the activities already? Why not get away to Richmond for the day?

7- Back at it! Let’s go skiing and sledding!

8- Last year’s list was better. You can say it. I agree.

9- Why not celebrate bald eagles?

10- Give your baby a massage.

11- Drown your winter blues in some fudge.

12- Get your children’s teachers a gift for no reason because they have them longer during the day than you do.

13- Ready to get the heck out of town for the day again? We have 10 places to go!

14- Ever visited a ski club? Now you can say you’ve been.

15- It might be winter, but Lake Michigan is gorgeous even when it’s cold. Pick one of the warmer winter days, see the white caps and stop at The Sweet Stop in Winthrop Harbor for lunch on the way home.

16- Do a dessert walk. It’s a thing, I swear.

17- Celebrate Groundhog Day in Woodstock.

18- Get yourself microbladed.

19- Visit City Barbeque in Vernon Hills.

20- Or visit one of these places to get mac and cheese.

21- Donate your time to a good cause as a family.

22- After all of thateating, you are going to walk to go for a long walk.

23- Or throw a birthday party.

24- Maybe even throw an active birthday party.

25- Then reward yourselves for being good parents by going on a date night.

things to do in winter

26- Or be realistic and get pizza to bake at home with the kids.

27- Do a hot chocolate tasting using our favorites guide. Tell us which one is your favorite in the comments because we really like comments.

28- Visit a Lake County museum (we have a lot more than you realize).

29- See a movie at one of our many small-town theaters.

30- Get some soul food.

31- Get a bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes in Vernon Hills and Gurnee. Because bundt cake is what’s gonna make 2018 epic.

32- Count down the days until Great Wolf Lodge opens in Gurnee! But until then, feed your fix with some other options.

33- Go on a Metra adventure with the kids. We have one for the two lines that run through Lake County: Union Pacific North and Milwaukee North.

34- See our article about where Kids Eat Free in Lake County and go to a semi-affordable dinner.

35- Horse riding lessons are offered year-round, so if you have a little one who is horse crazy, the downtime of winter might be the perfect time to try it out. Read about the benefits of horse riding lessons for children before you make a decision.

36- Make Rolo cookies. You won’t regret it.

37- Plan your spring break activities. 

38- Visit a Virtual Reality lounge right here in Lake County. 

39- Make homemade tagalong bars to get you to March when the real thing is delivered.

40- Visit the Skate Room in Vernon Hills to skate on synthetic ice. Read — inside. Wink, wink.

41- Take your kids to a drop-in art class at a local library.

42- Then take your little artist to get a milkshake afterward. We have a list of the best milkshakes in Lake County to help you out.

43- Get out of town for President’s Day.

44- Get some soup at my personal favorite,  The Vegas Cafe in Antioch. Not close to you? Read our list of the best soup in our county.

45- Visit an authentic Chicago hot dog factory for lunch.

46- Go to Aldi, buy their five-dollar wine and get an appetizer from the freezer section. Eat your “dinner” after the kids go to bed. Never been to Aldi before? We have some great tips for first-timers!

47- Volunteer with the kids at Feed My Starving Children.

48- Teach your little ones how to read with these great books from the library.

49- While you’re at the library, get these books to work on their manners as well.

50- We’re only halfway there??

things to do in winter

51- Get a taco in celebration of being halfway through the list! Err, halfway through winter.

52- Get some coffee at Cafe Book.

53- Or get a sitter and go alone.

54- On the alone theme, go to one of Lake County’s most romantic restaurants.

55- Since I am sure you are behind, here are some last-minute Valentine’s ideas.

56- Read a new book written by one of our very own writers here at Little Lake County. (It isn’t me. I am the one who can’t get Valentines in on time)

57- You’re gonna need cookies to go with the book above. Here are our favorite chocolate chip cookies near you.

58- Bake with the kids.

59- Have waffles for dinner.

60- Visit Discovery World in Milwaukee.

61- Check out the Little Lake County calendar for daily events year-round. Remind me why we write this list every year?

62- Visit a local nursing home and make a new friend.

63- Go to one of my favorite restaurants in Lake County for dinner.

64- Or stop by a tried and true favorite.

65- Bounce around.

66- Clean the snow off of your neighbors’ vehicles.

67- Then come to my neighborhood.

68- Take a field trip.

69- Find a new mall to explore.

70- Go to the Kenosha Public Museum.

71- And go to Mike’s after for some amazing donuts.

72- Did I already say go bowling? Eh, go again.

73- Get a cupcake because we aren’t dieting until at least May.

74- Find a bookstore, a corner and read.

75- Does anyone have some ibuprofen?

things to do in winter

76- Go out for some spaghetti.

77- Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little early because it’s dark at 5 p.m.

78- School the kids at roller skating to We Will Rock You by Queen. Take some more ibuprofen.

79- Or maybe do something without wheels attached to your feet.

80- Try the F-Bomb Zen as F#[email protected] Yoga at Blue Sky Studio in Libertyville. There’s wine too!

81- Eat at a spy restaurant.

82- Visit a cool chocolate shop.

83- Get some pizza.

84- According to Jenna, Menards is THE place to take preschoolers. Don’t believe me? Read her article about 25 Places to Take Preschoolers. 

85- Go for a walk INDOORS.

86- Hit a winter farmers market.

87- Head to the Round Lake Area Children’s Museum. This place saved me many a winter day when my girls were wee ones.

88- Or try The Treehouse in Lake Zurich.

89- Almost there. Seriously, does anyone have ibuprofen? Stock up on some healthy snacks for kids like CLIF Kid Organic Zbars.

90- Try a vegan restaurant.

91- Read the 100 Things to Do in Summer list because you’re sick of winter. And reading this list.

92- Take your train lover to a choo-choo themed restaurant.

93- It’s always summer at the Chicago Botanic Garden, well in the greenhouses at least.

94- Dance classes help get the wiggles out.

95- Margaritas? Well, no one had ibuprofen so…..

96- Can we just say 96 Things to Do This Winter?

97- Snickerdoodle cookies are all I have at this point.

98- Introduce your children to Ferris Bueller. The movie. Please tell me you know who that is.

99- Take a cooking class.

100- Blow frozen bubbles and wow your kids.

101- Meet me at The Triangle for breakfast in celebration of finishing the list.

What did I miss? Let me know in the comments! 

Find more Winter in Lake County fun, donuts not included.

By Kari
Round Lake

Kari loves to write and take photos, not necessarily in that order. Kari loves making people laugh, being real, and spending time with her husband and two daughters. She also really loves her dog Buddy and fish Lucy. When she is not busy writing or going through the Starbucks drive-thru, you can find her talking to her plants Zoe, Evie, and Albert. She didn’t name Evie. Her nine-year-old did. But she’s totally an Edna so that’s what Kari calls her when her nine-year-old isn’t home.

101 Things to Do This Winter in Lake County

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