8 Things to Do in Waukegan That You Shouldn't Miss

July 28, 2017 Roseanne Arnett

Waukegan /wɔːˈkiːɡən/ is the largest city in and the county seat of Lake County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. As of the 2013 census estimate, the city had a population of 88,826. It is the ninth-largest city in Illinois by population, and it is the fifth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, after Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Kenosha.
Restaurants in Waukegan

1. Genesee Theatre

203 N Genesee St, Waukegan, IL 60085-4221 +1 847-263-6300
Excellent
77%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 218 reviews

Genesee Theatre

The historic Genesee Theatre is a 2,400 seat entertainment venue located in Waukegan, Illinois. Located along the northern shore of Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee, the Genesee Theatre is a hub of activity for Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Hosting a variety of music, comedy, and dance, the Genesee marks Waukegan as a destination for high-quality entertainment once reserved for major cities. The Genesee was built in 1927 as a vaudeville stage and movie palace before being restored in 2004 to its modern glory as a live entertainment venue boasting one of the largest stages in the Midwest, an acoustically dynamic auditorium, and a beautifully restored grand lobby for intimate and elegant events.

Reviewed By carpediem1010 - Chicago, Illinois

Over the holidays I took my parents and teenage son to see Michael Carbonero, a True TV magician. Top performance very well rounded show with humor mixed with magic tricks. My parents, upper 70's were hesitant of going to this theater, however it was a wonderful surprise how well refurbished it was on the interior decor. Very clean and comfortable. They have one small bar/concession stand which was good to grab a beer and a Sprite before the show. Parking in lot across street was a little pricey at $20 car.

2. ZumBier

3232 W Monroe St, Waukegan, IL 60085-3029 +1 847-420-7313
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 12 reviews

ZumBier

Reviewed By CJDiaz - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Being originally from Waukegan and still living in the area, this is one of it's highlights! The place is inconveniently located by has a charm of it's own. The staff is great, not only are they attentive but they have a great knowledge of the...MoreNow the 'crack corn' popcorn is the big deal. Our own pubmix spice makes it irresistible.

3. Waukegan Municipal Beach

201 E Sea Horse Dr, Waukegan, IL 60085 +1 847-599-2525
Excellent
55%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

Waukegan Municipal Beach

Reviewed By Sherri_Lantinga - South Korea

Lovely sandy and clean beach. Many friendly families spend the day and bring food to picnic at tables under shade trees. Great way to spend some time. $20 admission for non-residents; free for military with ID (thank you!). Glad we read the other reviews - it's a strange drive through boat storage and cement companies, and there are few amenities (no food, drinking water, changing rooms, or showers).

4. Bowen Park

1800 N Sheridan Rd, Waukegan, IL 60087-5132
Excellent
63%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

Bowen Park

Reviewed By Timothy F - Beach Park, Illinois

Bowen Park is a jewel among the magnificent parks that Waukegan has to offer. At over 60 acres and countless things to see and do, there is something for everyone. The Waukegan Historical Society is there, as is the Jack Benny Center for the arts. There is a baseball field, jungle gyms, a skate park, hiking-jogging trails, and plenty of parking.

5. The People's Choice Family Fun Center

2413 Grand Ave, Waukegan, IL 60085-3314 +1 847-360-8000
Excellent
45%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
0%
Terrible
13%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 23 reviews

The People's Choice Family Fun Center

Reviewed By Susie L - Gurnee, Illinois

This game room is awesome. Most of the games are only one token to play. They have a decent redemption counter. Nice little pizza joint inside too. Specials throughout the week like double token Tuesdays. They also have a free community day too.

6. Lyons Woods Forest Preserve

10200 Blanchard Rd, Waukegan, IL 60087 +1 847-367-6640
Excellent
60%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Lyons Woods Forest Preserve

Reviewed By Sherry C - Wadsworth

We love visiting all of our forest preserves and this one is no exception. Great trails and so quiet and peaceful. We go hiking here, as well as snowshoeing. Enjoy it all. There is also a separate bird-watching area on one of the trails. We typically always see deer in the colder months and a variety of birds during the warmer weather. Our granddaughter enjoys going with us as well. For those that geocache, there are some of those here as well. There are some picnic tables near the main parking lot so you can sit and enjoy the preserve while having a snack.

7. St Mary Catholic Cemetery and Oakwood Cemetery

801 S. Genesee Street, Waukegan, IL 60085
Excellent
0%
Good
100%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

St Mary Catholic Cemetery and Oakwood Cemetery

Reviewed By Anna G - Chicago

St Mary Catholic Cemetery and Oakwood Cemetery (owned by the City of Waukegan, IL) shares land, but they are indeed two different cemeteries with no indications of where St Mary's ends and Oakwood begins. They also share spectacular background: Lake Michigan. Come here for the sunrise or at the end of the day when sun sets and cast a warm light on stones and monuments.

If you like history especially local history it is a must stop for you.
There are some very famous people resting here.

When you enter St. Mary's Cemetery from Sheridan Road, also referred to as Genesee St., you will find the area on the Northwest side of the road to be predominantly Slovenians and former members of Mother Of God Catholic Church. Mother Of God was built by the Slovenians in 1903. Along the north fence, is also the burial area for those who had been moved from Mt. Olivet Cemetery. There are also graves of other European nationalities in this area.

The original Oakwood Cemetery (know as Waukegan Cemetery) was opened in 1830. Until 1851, it sat below the bluff at the end of Clayton Street. In that year, the Town of Waukegan bought 17 acres between Marion Street (now Sheridan Road) and the bluff and moved the graves uphill to the cemetery's present site. In 1888, the City Council renamed the graveyard Oakwood Cemetery.

I recommend annual event co-sponsored by the city, the Waukegan Park District, the College of Lake County's Lakeshore Campus and the Waukegan Historical Society which is called OAKWOOD CEMETERY WALK.
It is a “living history” event that showcases the rich history of Waukegan through costumed actors portraying local historical figures with connections to the cemetery and Waukegan, Illinois. For details go to Waukegan Historical Society website.

8. Waukegan Harbor Light

at the end of Government Pier, Waukegan, IL
Excellent
50%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
50%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 2 reviews

Waukegan Harbor Light

Reviewed By Anna G - Chicago

Very romantic at all times but especially at the sunset. If you don't have a car you can get here from Chicago by Metra train (Ogilvie station) which stops nearby the harbor. Waukegan Harbor Lighthouse is located at the end of the pier on Lake Michigan called Government Pier. Built in 1889, it was moved later when the pier was extended in the early twentieth century. In 1967 after the fire only the iron cast tower survived undamaged.
It is an active light operated by the US Coast Guard.

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