Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Gurnee, Illinois

Spread the love!

Gurnee, Illinois: Where Fun and Adventure Meet – Best Things to Do and Places to Visit

Are you planning a trip to Gurnee, Illinois? You’re in for a treat! This vibrant village located in Lake County offers plenty of fun activities to keep you entertained. From thrilling amusement parks to historic sites and museums, Gurnee has something for everyone.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ll love Six Flags Great America. One of the country’s top 20 most-visited amusement parks, Six Flags offers heart-pounding rides that will leave you breathless. And if you’re looking for a shopping extravaganza, check out Gurnee Mills, the largest outlet and value shopping destination in Illinois. With over 200 stores, you’re sure to find something you love.

Looking for water fun and games? Head to Hurricane Harbor, the water park adjacent to Six Flags. Or if you prefer outdoor activities, check out the nearby Des Plaines River Trail for hiking and biking. And when you’re ready to relax, Gurnee has plenty of spots to unwind, from spas and wellness centers to indoor entertainment options like escape rooms and simulations. So pack your bags and get ready for a weekend getaway you won’t forget!

Key Takeaways

  • Gurnee has something for everyone, from thrilling amusement parks to historic sites and museums.
  • If you’re looking for a shopping extravaganza, check out Gurnee Mills, the largest outlet and value shopping destination in Illinois.
  • Gurnee offers plenty of options for outdoor activities, relaxation, and family-friendly fun.

Thrilling Amusement Parks

If you’re in the mood for some adrenaline-pumping fun, Gurnee has got you covered with its exciting amusement parks. Here are two of the best:

Six Flags Great America

Get ready for the ride of your life at Six Flags Great America! With over 45 thrilling rides and attractions, this amusement park is a must-visit for anyone seeking adventure. From roller coasters like Goliath and The Joker to family rides like the River Rocker and the Hometown Fun Machine, there’s something for everyone at Six Flags.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Six Flags also has a variety of shows, games, and dining options to keep you entertained all day long. And if you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to check out Hurricane Harbor, the park’s water park with tons of slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers.

Hurricane Harbor

Speaking of Hurricane Harbor, this water park is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. With attractions like the Tsunami Surge, the Mega Wedgie, and the Monsoon Lagoon, you’ll be splashing and sliding all day long. And if you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, grab a tube and float down the Hurricane Bay lazy river.

But don’t worry, you won’t go hungry at Hurricane Harbor. There are plenty of dining options, including burgers, pizza, and ice cream. And if you want to take a break from the sun, check out the park’s indoor dining area.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your sunscreen, put on your swimsuit, and head to Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor for a day of thrills and spills!

Shopping Extravaganza

Looking for a shopping experience that will make your heart skip a beat? Look no further than Gurnee, Illinois! With two major shopping destinations, Gurnee Mills and Bass Pro, you’ll find everything you need and more.

Gurnee Mills

Gurnee Mills is the ultimate shopping destination for bargain hunters. This outlet mall has nearly 200 stores, including popular brands like Nike, H&M, and Forever 21. Whether you’re looking for clothing, accessories, or home goods, you’ll find it all at Gurnee Mills. And don’t forget to stop by Build-A-Bear to create your own furry friend.

But Gurnee Mills isn’t just about shopping. You can also catch a movie at the Gurnee Marcus Cinema, play a game of mini-golf at Glowgolf, or test your skills at the Rink Side Sports & Family Entertainment Center. With so much to do, you’ll want to spend the whole day at Gurnee Mills.

Bass Pro

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you won’t want to miss Bass Pro. This massive store is a paradise for hunters, fishermen, and anyone who loves the great outdoors. With a huge selection of gear, clothing, and accessories, you’ll find everything you need for your next adventure.

But Bass Pro isn’t just a store – it’s an experience. Take a stroll through the indoor waterfall and aquarium, or grab a bite to eat at the Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant. And don’t forget to check out the gift shop, where you’ll find unique souvenirs and treasures to take home.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready for a shopping extravaganza in Gurnee, Illinois!

Water Fun and Games

If you’re looking for some wet and wild fun in Gurnee, you’re in luck! The town is home to some of the best water parks in the Midwest, and they’re perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Here are two of the best places to get your splash on:

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is a massive indoor water park that’s open year-round, so you can have fun no matter what the weather’s like outside. The park has a variety of slides, including the Howlin’ Tornado, a thrilling ride that sends you swirling down a giant funnel. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, you can float down the lazy river or soak in the hot tub. Plus, the lodge also has a game room, mini-golf course, and other fun activities to keep you entertained.

Keylime Cove

If you’re looking for a tropical escape, look no further than Keylime Cove. This Caribbean-themed water park has everything you need for a day of fun in the sun, including a wave pool, water slides, and a lazy river. Plus, the park has a variety of restaurants and bars, so you can refuel with a tasty meal or a refreshing drink. And if you’re looking to stay overnight, the park has a hotel with rooms that are decorated in a fun, beachy style.

No matter which water park you choose, you’re sure to have a blast. So grab your swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, and get ready for a day of wet and wild fun in Gurnee!

Outdoor Activities

Looking for some fun outdoor activities in Gurnee? You’ve come to the right place! Here are two great options for you to check out:

Betty Russell Community Park

Betty Russell Community Park is a great spot for families and groups of friends looking to enjoy the outdoors. This park has it all – from playgrounds and basketball courts to tennis courts and soccer fields. Whether you’re looking to shoot some hoops, play a game of tennis, or just relax on the grass, Betty Russell Community Park has something for you.

Van Patten Woods

If you’re looking for something a little more rugged, check out Van Patten Woods. This forest preserve offers miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for cross-country skiing in the winter. The trails wind through beautiful wooded areas, and there are plenty of spots to stop and take in the scenery.

So whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely afternoon at the park or a more adventurous outing in the woods, Gurnee has got you covered. Get out there and enjoy all the great outdoor activities this town has to offer!

Indoor Entertainment

When the weather outside is frightful, it’s time to find some indoor entertainment that’s delightful. Luckily, Gurnee has plenty of options to keep you entertained and out of the cold. Here are two of the best indoor entertainment options in Gurnee:

Jump America

If you’re looking to get some exercise while having fun, Jump America is the perfect place for you. This indoor trampoline park will have you bouncing off the walls (literally) with excitement. You can jump on trampolines, play dodgeball, or even practice your flips in the foam pit. It’s a great way to burn off some energy and have a blast at the same time.

Arcade Fun

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the good old days of arcade games, head over to Gurnee Mills Mall and check out the arcade. With classic games like Pac-Man and Galaga, as well as newer games like Dance Dance Revolution, there’s something for everyone. You can spend hours racking up high scores and reliving your childhood.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re looking for even more indoor entertainment options, Gurnee has plenty to offer. You can go bowling at Brunswick Zone, or test your skills on the climbing wall at Vertical Endeavors. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have a great time staying warm and cozy indoors.

Food and Drink

Dining Options

You’re in Gurnee and you’re hungry. Lucky for you, there are plenty of dining options to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re in the mood for some classic American fare or something more exotic, Gurnee has got you covered.

If you’re in the mood for a classic burger and fries, head over to Culver’s. They’ve got all the classic fast-food options, plus some tasty frozen custard to top it off.

For something a little more upscale, check out Timothy O’Toole’s Pub. They’ve got a great selection of craft beers and a menu full of tasty pub fare, like their famous corned beef and cabbage.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more exotic, head over to Tacos El Norte. They’ve got all the classic Mexican dishes you love, plus some unique options like their shrimp ceviche tostadas.

Only Child Brewing Company

If you’re a beer lover, you can’t miss a visit to Only Child Brewing Company. This local brewery has a great selection of beers on tap, from classic IPAs to more unique options like their chocolate milk stout.

But it’s not just about the beer at Only Child. They’ve got a great atmosphere too, with plenty of seating both inside and out. Plus, they often have food trucks parked outside to satisfy your hunger while you enjoy your brews.

So whether you’re in the mood for a classic burger or a unique craft beer, Gurnee has got plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

Relaxation Spots

After a long day of roller coasters and shopping, you might want to unwind and relax. Luckily, Gurnee has some great spots for you to do just that. Here are some of the best places to visit when you’re looking for some R&R.

Spa Retreat

If you’re in need of some serious pampering, head to the Spa at KeyLime Cove. This luxurious spa offers a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps, and more. Plus, you can take advantage of their steam room, sauna, and whirlpool to really unwind.

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, check out the Float Sixty Float Center. Here, you can experience the ultimate in relaxation by floating in a sensory deprivation tank. It might sound a little strange, but trust us, it’s incredibly relaxing.

For a more traditional spa experience, try out Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas. They offer a wide range of services, from massages and facials to haircuts and color. Plus, they have locations all over the Chicagoland area, so you can find one that’s convenient for you.

No matter which spa you choose, you’re sure to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So go ahead, treat yourself to a little relaxation in Gurnee. You deserve it!

Escape Rooms and Simulations

If you’re looking for a fun and challenging activity to do with friends or family, Gurnee has plenty of escape rooms and simulations to choose from. Test your problem-solving skills and teamwork as you race against the clock to escape a themed room or complete a simulated challenge.

One of the top-rated escape rooms in Gurnee is 60 to Escape, where you have just 60 minutes to solve puzzles and clues in order to escape the room. They offer a variety of themed rooms to choose from, including a zombie apocalypse, a bank heist, and a spy mission.

Another highly recommended escape room is Edge of Escape, which has been called “far and away the best escape room” by reviewers on Yelp. They offer a variety of challenging and immersive rooms, including a haunted house and a prison break.

If you’re looking for a more high-tech experience, check out the simulations at VR Universe. They offer a variety of virtual reality experiences, including racing games, shooting games, and even a virtual escape room.

For a unique and challenging experience, try the virtual reality escape room at Zero Latency VR. You and your team will be transported to a different world where you must solve puzzles and work together to escape before time runs out.

No matter which escape room or simulation you choose, you’re sure to have a fun and memorable time in Gurnee. So gather your friends and family and get ready for an adventure you won’t forget!

Historic Sites and Museums

If you’re a history buff, Gurnee has plenty to offer with its historic sites and museums. Here are some of the best places to visit:

1. Warren Cemetery

Warren Cemetery is a historic cemetery that dates back to the 1830s. It’s the final resting place of many of Gurnee’s early settlers and features a beautiful garden area. It’s a great place to take a peaceful stroll and pay your respects to the town’s founding families.

2. Gurnee Historical Society

The Gurnee Historical Society is a small museum that showcases the town’s history from the 1800s to the present day. It’s run by volunteers who are passionate about preserving Gurnee’s past. You can learn about the town’s early settlers, the impact of the railroad, and the growth of Six Flags Great America.

3. Adlai E. Stevenson II Farm

The Adlai E. Stevenson II Farm is a historic site that was once the home of the famous politician and diplomat. It’s now a museum that showcases Stevenson’s life and career. You can see his personal belongings, including his desk and typewriter, and learn about his contributions to American politics.

4. Jack Benny Center for the Arts

The Jack Benny Center for the Arts is a cultural center that’s housed in the former home of the famous comedian. It features art exhibits, theater productions, and music performances. You can also take a tour of the home and see some of Benny’s personal belongings, including his violin.

Whether you’re interested in local history or just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, these historic sites and museums are definitely worth a visit.

Nightlife and Events

You might think that Gurnee, Illinois is a sleepy town with nothing to do at night, but you’d be wrong! There are plenty of options for a fun night out in Gurnee.

If you’re looking for some nightlife, head to one of the local bars or pubs. You can grab a drink and chat with the friendly locals. Some popular spots include Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, Mickey Finn’s Brewery, and The Vine Martini & Wine Bar.

But if you really want to let loose, head to Six Flags Great America for their annual Fright Fest event. This Halloween-themed extravaganza features haunted houses, scare zones, and spooky shows. You might even run into some zombies or ghosts! Just be sure to bring a change of pants if you’re easily frightened.

If you’re in the mood for some culture, check out the Genesee Theatre. This historic venue hosts concerts, comedians, and theatrical performances. You might even catch a famous musician or actor on stage! And if you’re feeling fancy, you can upgrade your experience with VIP seating and a pre-show dinner.

So don’t let the small town vibe fool you – Gurnee has plenty of options for a fun night out. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a thrilling scare, there’s something for everyone.

Budget-Friendly Options

So, you’re trying to save some money but still want to have a good time in Gurnee? No worries, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available to you.

First off, if you’re planning to hit up Six Flags Great America, be sure to check out their website for discounts and promotions. They often have deals on tickets, food, and souvenirs. And if you’re in the military, be sure to take advantage of their military discount.

Looking for some free activities? Gurnee has plenty of parks and nature preserves to explore. Check out the Des Plaines River Trail for some beautiful scenery and wildlife sightings. Or head to Hunt Club Park for some disc golf, volleyball, and more.

If you’re in the mood for some shopping, check out the Gurnee Mills Mall. They often have sales and discounts at their various stores. And if you’re a AAA member, be sure to bring your card for additional savings.

For a cheap and tasty meal, head to the Burger King on Grand Avenue. They offer a value menu with items starting at just $1. And if you’re in the mood for some pizza, check out Rosati’s Pizza. They often have coupons and specials available on their website.

So, don’t let a tight budget hold you back from having a good time in Gurnee. With these budget-friendly options, you can still enjoy all that this vibrant village has to offer.

Weekend Getaways

So, you’re planning a weekend getaway to Gurnee, Illinois? Great choice! With so much to see and do, you won’t be bored for a single second. But what about accommodation? Don’t worry, Gurnee has plenty of great hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for luxury or something more budget-friendly, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

If you’re flying in, you’ll want to know that Gurnee is conveniently located between Chicago and Milwaukee. That means you can easily spend a day or two exploring these vibrant cities before heading back to Gurnee for some rest and relaxation.

Chicago, known as the Windy City, is famous for its architecture, museums, and deep-dish pizza. You could spend hours wandering around the Art Institute of Chicago or taking selfies in front of the “Bean” at Millennium Park. And don’t forget to try some Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches while you’re there!

Milwaukee, on the other hand, is a bit more laid-back. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Beer lovers will want to check out the Miller Brewing Company or the Lakefront Brewery. And if you’re a fan of motorcycles, you can’t miss the Harley-Davidson Museum.

But let’s get back to Gurnee. After a busy day of sightseeing, you’ll want to unwind and recharge. That’s where your hotel comes in. The KeyLime Cove indoor water park resort is a popular choice for families. With a lazy river, wave pool, and plenty of slides, it’s sure to keep the kids entertained. And if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort has a spa and golf course.

No matter what your budget or interests, Gurnee has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled weekend!

Family-Friendly Activities

If you’re looking for some fun family-friendly activities in Gurnee, you’re in luck! There are plenty of things to do in the area that are perfect for kids of all ages.

Amusement Parks

First up, we have amusement parks. Gurnee is home to Six Flags Great America, which is one of the largest and most popular amusement parks in the country. With dozens of rides, shows, and attractions, there’s something for everyone at Six Flags. From roller coasters to water rides, your family is sure to have a blast.


If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Gurnee has plenty of playgrounds for your kids to enjoy. Head over to Viking Park or Hunt Club Park for some outdoor fun. Both parks have multiple playgrounds, as well as picnic areas and sports fields.

Family-Friendly Activities

Gurnee also has a variety of other family-friendly activities. Visit the Gurnee Mills mall for some shopping and entertainment. The mall has a movie theater, arcade, and even a miniature golf course. Or, check out the Gurnee Park District, which offers a variety of classes and programs for kids of all ages. From dance classes to sports teams, there’s something for everyone.

So, whether you’re looking for an exciting day at an amusement park or a relaxing afternoon at a playground, Gurnee has plenty of family-friendly activities to keep you and your kids entertained.

Touring Gurnee

Welcome to Gurnee, the land of fun and adventure! You’re in for a treat as you explore this vibrant village located in Lake County, Illinois. Here are some exciting things you can do while touring Gurnee:

Visit Six Flags Great America

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, then Six Flags Great America is the place to be. With over 45 rides and attractions, you’ll be screaming your lungs out in no time. From the heart-pumping Goliath roller coaster to the classic American Eagle wooden coaster, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to cool off at the Hurricane Harbor water park, which has over 30 water attractions.

Explore Gurnee Mills

For all you shopaholics out there, Gurnee Mills is a paradise. With over 200 stores, you’ll find everything from designer brands to discount outlets. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be doing a lot of walking. And when you need a break, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or catch a movie at the Gurnee Marcus Cinema.

Relax at KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort

If you’re looking for a place to unwind, then KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort is the perfect destination. This tropical-themed resort has a massive indoor water park, complete with a lazy river, wave pool, and thrilling water slides. There’s also a spa, shopping, and six restaurants to keep you entertained.

Go on a Ghost Tour

Are you brave enough to go on a ghost tour? Gurnee has a haunted history, and you can learn all about it on the Haunted History Tour. You’ll visit historic sites and hear spooky stories from the past. And who knows, you might even encounter a ghost or two.

Play Golf

If you’re a golf enthusiast, then Gurnee has some excellent golf courses. The Bittersweet Golf Club has two challenging 18-hole courses, while the HeatherRidge Golf Course has a scenic 9-hole course. And if you’re looking for something different, try mini-golfing at the GlowGolf indoor mini-golf course.

There you have it, folks! These are just a few of the fun things you can do while touring Gurnee. So pack your bags, grab your friends, and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget.

Sports and Recreation

You might not be a professional athlete, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some sports and recreation activities in Gurnee, Illinois. Whether you want to break a sweat or just have some fun, there are plenty of options to choose from.

First up, let’s talk about sports. If you’re a fan of baseball, you can catch a game at the Gurnee Park District’s baseball fields. And if you’re feeling competitive, you can even sign up for a league and show off your skills.

If you prefer something a little more low-key, you can hit up one of the many parks in the area and shoot some hoops, play some volleyball, or even try your hand at horseshoes. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at disc golf at the Gurnee Disc Golf Course.

Now, let’s move on to recreation. Of course, no trip to Gurnee would be complete without a visit to Six Flags Great America. With roller coasters, water rides, and plenty of other attractions, it’s a great place to let loose and have some fun.

But if you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, you can always head to the movie theater and catch the latest blockbuster. And don’t forget to grab some popcorn – it’s a classic movie snack for a reason!

Overall, whether you’re a sports fanatic or just looking for a good time, Gurnee has plenty of options to keep you entertained.

County Fair Fun

Ah, the county fair. The smell of fried food, the sound of carnival games, and the sight of farm animals. It’s a classic American experience, and Gurnee’s county fair is no exception.

First things first, let’s talk about the food. You can’t go to a fair without indulging in some deep-fried goodness. From corn dogs to funnel cakes, the fair has got you covered. And don’t worry, they have plenty of options for those with dietary restrictions too. Plus, the facilities are always kept clean, so you don’t have to worry about any unsanitary conditions.

Now onto the games. You may think you’re a pro at carnival games, but let’s be real, those stuffed animals are harder to win than they look. But that’s all part of the fun, right? And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and win that giant teddy bear you’ve been eyeing.

But the fair isn’t just about food and games. It’s also a chance to see some adorable farm animals up close and personal. From cows to pigs to chickens, the fair has it all. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to see a cute baby animal or two.

So, grab your friends and family, and head on down to the county fair for a day of fun and nostalgia. Just make sure to bring some cash for all those fried treats and carnival games.

Theme Park Souvenirs

Ah, the classic theme park souvenir. You can’t leave without one, right? Whether you’re a collector or just want a little something to remember your visit, Six Flags Great America has got you covered.

First up, the classic: t-shirts. You can’t go wrong with a t-shirt that screams “I survived the Demon” or “I conquered Goliath.” And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not go for a tie-dye shirt with Bugs Bunny on it? It’s like the ’60s and Looney Tunes had a baby.

If t-shirts aren’t your thing, fear not! There are plenty of other options. How about a plush Bugs Bunny or Tweety Bird to snuggle with at night? Or a keychain with your favorite roller coaster on it? And if you want to really go all out, you can even get a personalized caricature of yourself riding a roller coaster. It’s like a selfie, but way more impressive.

But let’s be real, the best souvenir from any theme park is the memories you make. So, go ahead and ride that coaster one more time, scream your head off, and take in all the sights and sounds. And if you really want to remember it all, take a few pictures (or a lot, we won’t judge). Just don’t forget to grab a souvenir on your way out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the deal with Gurnee, IL? Is it just Six Flags and outlet shopping or is there more to it?

Listen, you’re not wrong. Six Flags and Gurnee Mills are definitely the big attractions in town. But there’s more to Gurnee than just roller coasters and discounted designer clothes. You can take a stroll through the scenic Warren Township Park or hit up the Gold Pyramid House for a taste of Egypt in the Midwest. And don’t forget about the delicious food scene, with local favorites like Timothy O’Toole’s Pub and Giordano’s Pizza.

Are there any free things to do in Gurnee besides walking around the mall?

Absolutely! You can check out the Gurnee Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays for fresh produce and live music. The Warren-Newport Public Library has a variety of events and activities for all ages, and the Gurnee Park District offers free concerts and movies in the park during the summer. Plus, the aforementioned Warren Township Park is a great spot for a picnic or a game of catch.

What are the best kid-friendly activities in Gurnee that won’t make me want to pull my hair out?

We feel you. Six Flags can be a blast, but sometimes you need a break from the crowds and the noise. Check out Jump America for some indoor trampoline fun or the KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort for a day of splashing around. The Gurnee Park District has plenty of playgrounds and sports fields, and the Wildlife Discovery Center is a great spot for animal-loving kiddos.

Looking for a romantic evening in Gurnee – any suggestions besides staring into each other’s eyes at a crowded theme park?

We got you, lovebirds. Take a sunset stroll through the Independence Grove Forest Preserve or catch a movie at the Gurnee Marcus Cinema. For dinner, try the upscale cuisine at Wildfire or the cozy Italian fare at Osteria di Tramonto. And if you’re feeling adventurous, sign up for a hot air balloon ride with Soaring Adventures of America for a truly breathtaking view of the area.

Is it just me or does Gurnee seem to come alive at night? What are some must-do activities after dark?

You’re not imagining things – Gurnee definitely has a lively nightlife scene. Check out Timothy O’Toole’s Pub for some pub grub and live music, or hit up the Brunswick Zone for some late-night bowling. For a more laid-back evening, head to the Vine Martini & Wine Bar for some delicious drinks and cozy atmosphere.

What’s the best way to spend a day in Gurnee? I want to make the most of my time there.

We hear you loud and clear. Start your day off with some breakfast at Egg Harbor Cafe or Honey Butter Pancakes, then head to Six Flags for some thrills and spills. Take a break for lunch at the family-friendly Rainforest Cafe or grab a slice at Gurnee’s Pizza. Afterward, check out the shops at Gurnee Mills or hit up the nearby Volo Auto Museum. End your day with dinner at one of Gurnee’s many fantastic restaurants and catch a movie at the Marcus Cinema.

Spread the love!

Scroll to Top