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18 Best Things To Do in Gurnee, IL

Gurnee, Illinois is the perfect destination for a fun and exciting family vacation. Located just outside of Chicago, Gurnee offers a wide variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. 

From amusement parks to shopping, to museums, and more, Gurnee has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a day of fun or a week-long holiday, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Gurnee. Let’s start!

1. Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America is an amusement park located in Gurnee, Illinois. 

Six Flags Great America

It is one of the largest amusement parks in the United States and is owned and operated by Six Flags. The park consists of eight themed areas, each with its own set of rides, shows, and attractions. 

The park also features an indoor waterpark, Hurricane Harbor, as well as a variety of restaurants, shops, and games.  The park hosts many annual events including Fright Fest, Holiday in the Park, and Mardi Gras. There are also several roller coasters, including the Raging Bull, Goliath, and X-Flight. 

Six Flags Great America provides thrills for all ages and is a great way to spend the day with family and friends.

2. Hurricane Harbor Chicago

Hurricane Harbor Chicago is a popular waterpark located in Gurnee, IL. It features over 50 water rides and attractions, including the world’s largest wave pool, the 35-foot tall Tornado waterslide, the six-story-tall Bonzai Pipelines, and the five-story-tall Abyss. 

The park also includes a lazy river, an interactive water play structure, and a variety of slides, pools, and other attractions. The park is open seasonally from mid-May to mid-September and offers special discounts and events throughout the summer.

3. Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, IL is a family-friendly resort and indoor water park, located just outside Chicago. The resort offers a variety of accommodations, as well as an indoor water park, complete with slides, pools, and a lazy river. 

Other amenities include a multi-level arcade, an on-site restaurant, and a spa. Guests can also take advantage of a variety of interactive experiences, including MagiQuest, a live-action adventure game. 

There are even special events hosted throughout the year, such as holiday celebrations, summer campouts, and other seasonal activities.

Great Wolf Lodge

4. Gurnee Mills

Gurnee Mills is an outlet mall located in Gurnee, Illinois. It is one of the largest outlet malls in the United States, with more than 200 stores and restaurants spread out over 1.4 million square feet of space. 

Gurnee Mills features a wide selection of popular name-brand stores, including Nike, Coach, Saks Off 5th, J.Crew Factory, Old Navy Outlet, and much more. 

Along with shopping, Gurnee Mills also offers a variety of entertainment options, such as an indoor carousel, an AMC movie theater, and an indoor mini-golf course. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of dining options, ranging from fast food to casual sit-down restaurants.

Gurnee Mills

5. Illinois Beach State Park

Illinois Beach State Park in Gurnee IL is a 4,160-acre park located along the Lake Michigan shoreline. 

The park offers visitors a variety of activities, including camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, swimming, beachcombing, bird watching, hiking, and biking. The park also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year. 

The park also has a nature center where visitors can learn about the local flora and fauna, as well as the unique ecosystems of the area. The park is also home to many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. 

Illinois Beach State Park

A park is a great place for visitors to connect with nature and explore the beauty of the Great Lakes region.

6. Betty Russell Community Park

Betty Russell Community Park is a 42-acre park that features a wide variety of recreational amenities, including a fishing pond, two playgrounds, two soccer fields, two baseball diamonds, two basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, a shelter house, a 0.5-mile trail, and a picnic area. 

The park also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as “Movies in the Park” and “Concerts in the Park”. Additionally, there are several picnic shelters and a concession stand available for use. 

Betty Russell Community Park is a great place to spend the day with family and friends.

7. Only Child Brewing Company

Only Child Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in Gurnee, IL. Founded in 2016, the brewery specializes in producing innovative and creative beers, as well as traditional styles. 

They feature a rotating selection of beers on tap, including IPAs, stouts, lagers, sours, and more. The brewery also hosts regular events, such as beer releases, live music, and food truck visits. 

Only Child Brewing Company

Visitors can enjoy their beer in the taproom or on the outdoor patio

8. Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve

Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve is a 1,717-acre nature preserve located in Gurnee, Illinois. It is managed by the Lake County Forest Preserves and is a part of the Des Plaines River valley system. 

The preserve contains a variety of habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, and woodlands. Visitors can explore the area on foot or bicycle, and enjoy the many trails and educational programs that the preserve has to offer. 

Rollins Savanna

The preserve’s wetlands are home to many species of birds and animals, and the grasslands provide important habitats for many species of butterflies and other insects. The preserve also features a large picnic area and a playground

9. Top Shelf Ice Arena

Top Shelf Ice Arena in Gurnee IL is a state-of-the-art ice rink that offers a wide range of activities for all ages. It features two professional-sized ice rinks, a pro shop, and a range of services from learn-to-skate and learn-to-play hockey programs to private ice rentals and birthday parties. 

The arena also hosts youth and adult hockey leagues, figure skating, and speed skating. 

Top Shelf ice arena

The facility also provides a snack bar and arcade games for added entertainment.

10. Launch Trampoline Park

Launch Trampoline Park in Gurnee, IL is a premier indoor family entertainment center offering a variety of activities for all ages. There are over 18,000 square feet of wall-to-wall trampolines, with a Foam Zone, a Ninja Course, and a Battle Beam. 

There are also several arcade games, a snack bar, and a dedicated area for birthday parties. Launch Gurnee also offers a variety of fitness classes, including TRX suspension training, yoga, and HIIT classes. 

Launch Trampoline park

With all these activities, Launch Gurnee is the perfect place to have fun and stay healthy.

11. Marcus Gurnee Mills Cinema

Marcus Gurnee Mills Cinema is a state-of-the-art movie theater that offers a modern movie-going experience with its eight auditoriums, each featuring digital projection and sound systems. 

The theater also offers spacious seating, 3D capabilities, a full-service concession stand, and an arcade room. Marcus Gurnee Mills Cinema also has ample free parking and is conveniently located near the Gurnee Mills shopping center.

12. 60 to Escape

In 60 to Escape, groups of up to 8 people are challenged to solve puzzles and use clues to “escape” the room they are in within 60 minutes. 

The escape room experience is highly interactive and encourages teamwork as participants must work together to figure out the puzzles and progress. Different scenarios and themes are available, allowing players to explore different stories and settings as they work together to try and escape in time.

13. Extreme Flight Simulation

Extreme Flight Simulation in Gurnee IL is a state-of-the-art virtual reality flight simulator experience. 

The facility offers a variety of immersive experiences in a realistic environment, including simulated flights in a variety of aircraft and a variety of terrain. 

The facility is equipped with advanced motion and force feedback controls, high-resolution visuals, and immersive sound to create a truly unique and realistic experience. Customers can choose from a variety of scenarios and settings, and the staff is on hand to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

14. Lambs Farm

Lambs Farm is a non-profit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities. The organization offers a variety of programs and services to help these individuals live as independently as possible. 

Lambs Farm

These include residential and day services, employment services, and recreational activities. Lambs Farm also houses a petting zoo, market, museum, and restaurant, making it a popular destination for the community. 

The organization’s mission is to provide meaningful opportunities and experiences that enable adults with developmental disabilities to lead fulfilling lives.

15. Gurnee Days

Gurnee Days is an annual festival held in Gurnee, Illinois. It is a four-day event that takes place in the last week of July each year. 

It features a carnival, live music and entertainment, food vendors, a parade, a car show, fireworks, and other activities. 

The event is hosted by the Gurnee Park District and is a great way to bring the community together to celebrate Gurnee and the surrounding areas.

16. Lake Carina Forest Preserve

Lake Carina Forest Preserve is a 162-acre forest preserve that features a beautiful 5.6-acre lake surrounded by forests, prairies, and wetlands. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, bird watching, and picnicking. 

The preserve also offers educational programs and an ADA-accessible playground. It also includes a variety of habitats, providing a unique opportunity to see a variety of wildlife.

17. Gurnee Woods Forest Preserve

Gurnee Woods Forest Preserve is a 636-acre preserve located along the Des Plaines River and is home to a variety of wildlife species, including river otters, beavers, and deer. 

Visitors can explore the preserve on the 5.2 miles of trails, which include a boardwalk, a canoe launch, and a fishing pier. 

The preserve also offers a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, and nature photography.

18. The Chocolate Sanctuary

The Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee, IL is a chocolate lover’s paradise. 

This family-owned and operated business offers a wide range of chocolates, caramels, and confections. From hand-crafted truffles to gourmet chocolate bars, this chocolate shop has something for everyone. 

Visitors can explore the different varieties of artisan chocolates and choose from an impressive selection of flavors and textures. 

The shop also has unique creations like chocolate-covered bacon, toffee apples, and even a chocolate-covered Oreo. 

For a truly decadent experience, visitors can sample the “Chocolate Flight,” a selection of some of the shop’s most popular chocolate treats. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a special occasion or just want to satisfy your sweet tooth, The Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee, IL is sure to have something for you.


Gurnee, Illinois is the perfect destination for a family vacation. With a variety of activities and attractions, there is something for everyone. From amusement parks to shopping, to museums, and more, Gurnee has something for everyone. 

Whether you’re looking for a day of fun or a week-long holiday, Gurnee is sure to provide a memorable experience. So come and explore Gurnee’s many wonders to give your family the perfect getaway!

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