Do you have a little sports fan at home? Ever wanted to meet a Chicago Bears player or one of your favorite athletes from a local sports team? The great news is Lake County offers many opportunities to get these real life and up close experiences with the stars…and most of these experiences are FREE!
One trip to Michael Jordan Basketball Camp as a 6th grader was all it took to ignite my passion for sports and meeting my favorite athletes. I now share that passion with my family as my two boys, Jordan and Danny, love to snap a pic or snag an autograph from the players they see on Sunday afternoons at Soldier Field or the stars they see hitting home runs in Wrigley Field. This year has brought us so much excitement as we’ve been able to meet Cubs All Stars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo as well as Bears Pro Bowler Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, Ka’Deem Carey, Brandon Marshall, Antrell Rolle and many more! Most of these events took place right here in Lake County!
How do I find out when and where athletes will be making appearances?
-I subscribe to a great website: Chicagoland Sports Appearance Connection. The CSAC website posts athlete appearances daily. For free, you can view the current date and see times and locations of any events taking place. If you want to plan ahead like me, you can pay a $30 fee to get all events sent to you ahead of time by e-mail for one year. We usually schedule our family events around athlete appearances, so we opt for the e-mails ahead of time.
What do I bring to an event and how early should I be?
Most free events usually offer a free picture that the athletes will sign for you or you can visit your favorite local sports store to grab a football or other item you would love to display in your child’s room or your man cave. It’s always best to call ahead to make sure you can bring your own item. Also, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture this awesome experience and make the memories last a lifetime. Many events can attract big crowds and I recommend you arrive at least an hour early to most events to make sure you don’t miss out.
Who can we meet in Lake County?
With Halas Hall, home of the Chicago Bears, sitting right in Lake Forest, the Bears players are the most common athletes to appear in Lake County. But within the last year we met Kris Bryant from the Cubs in Zion and also Chicago Bulls point guard Aaron Brooks in Antioch. You never know what stars will be visiting with fans in Lake County.