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Your Next Adventure Made Easy: Ravinia Festival

Summer nights, starry skies, and the sweet sounds of music – what’s not to love about Ravinia Festival? Every year, this cherished Chicago tradition brings a vibrant lineup of artists to its beautiful open-air venue nestled within Ravinia Park.

Here at Lake Forest Place, our senior living community is just a delightful 16-minute drive from the festival. Even better, our vibrant community offers its own brand of summer fun, ensuring you have enriching experiences all season long.

So pack your picnic basket, dust off your dancing shoes, and get ready to discover why Ravinia is the perfect pairing for a joyful summer!

History and This Year’s Lineup: Ravinia 101

Ravinia Festival isn’t just a musical event; it’s a slice of history. Since 1904, this outdoor festival in Highland Park, Illinois, has delighted generations of music lovers.

Each summer, from June to September, more than 100 incredible performances span genres and bring together people of all ages. From elegant classical concerts to lively jazz and pop, there’s truly something for everyone.

This year’s lineup includes:

  • James Taylor & His All-Star Band: Tune in to their timeless songs for a perfect sing-along!
  • Roger Daltrey: Rock out to legendary hits from The Who.
  • Clint Black + Lyle Lovett and His Large Band: Get ready for some classic country favorites.
  • The Beach Boys With Special Guest John Stamos: Enjoy classic summer fun with surf music icons!
  • Jazz in June & More: Explore a whole world of jazz from big bands to incredible vocalists like Norah Jones and Mavis Staples.

Lake Forest Place Tip: Ravinia offers discounted tickets to individuals 65 and over. Just be sure to select “senior” when you purchase your tickets.

The Picnic: A Ravinia Tradition

Part of the magic of Ravinia is the relaxed atmosphere and the tradition of enjoying a delightful picnic as the music plays. Here’s where your creativity gets to shine!

  • Pack a Nostalgic Basket: Think classic sandwiches, fresh salads, and maybe some of those cookies that remind you of childhood summers.
  • Gourmet or Casual: It’s totally up to you! A simple cheese-and-charcuterie spread can be just as wonderful as a full home-cooked meal.
  • Don’t Forget the Drinks: Whether it’s sweet tea, a refreshing lemonade, or a special bottle of vino to celebrate the evening, make sure your picnic basket is fully stocked.

Lake Forest Place Tip: For our busy residents, don’t stress about the spread! Our Hamilton Bistro offers delicious grab-and-go bites perfect for a Ravinia picnic.

Take a Seat: Rent Lawn Chairs (or Bring Your Own!)

Don’t want to worry about packing chairs? Ravinia Festival has you covered! You can rent lawn chairs for a convenient $8 each. Even better, you can reserve them online up to 24 hours in advance and pick them up right in the park. When the show’s over, simply leave them on the lawn – easy!

Of course, you’re more than welcome to bring your own comfy lawn chairs or blankets if that’s your style.

You’ll find rental locations near the Martin Theatre (north of the main entrance) and the Carousel (near the north entrance). Save a few dollars by reserving online ahead of time!

Lake Forest Place Tip: Heading out to Ravinia Festival for a picnic with friends and family? Rent a buffet table for only $12!

Ride the Metra for Free: Easygoing Travel

Forget the hassle of driving and parking! Ravinia and Metra have partnered to make your festival experience a breeze.

The Metra’s Union Pacific North (UP-N) Line offers free rides to and from Ravinia Park in Highland Park during the 2024 Festival. Just show your dated Ravinia concert ticket to the conductor, and your train ride is free both ways!

For most performances, simply hop off at the “Ravinia Park” station, located right across from the festival gates. For events at Bennett Gordon Hall, the “Braeside” station is your stop, followed by a short walk north on St. Johns Avenue to Ravinia’s South Gate.

Lake Forest Place Tip: If you’re planning to drive, remember that Ravinia Festival is in the heart of a residential area. Parking on the streets is prohibited and will result in a $100 fine. You can find more details on parking at the Ravinia Festival on their website.

Making Memories: 7 Tips To Get the Most of Your Experience

Ravinia is an experience designed for enjoyment at any age! Here are seven tips to ensure your outing is both comfortable and memorable:

  1. 1. Plan Your Arrival: Aim to arrive a little early to find parking, soak up the atmosphere, secure a great spot on the lawn, and have a leisurely picnic before the show.
  2. 2. Dress for the Occasion: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes suitable for walking on grass. Check the weather forecast and bring layers; concerts at Ravinia will go on rain or shine.
  3. 3. Don’t Bring Cash: Ravinia is a cashless venue, and cash won’t be accepted at concessions, restaurants, bars, chair and table rental, and the Festival Shop.
  4. 4. Stay Hydrated: Pack a refillable water bottle and hydrating snacks like watermelon or cucumbers.
  5. 5. Enhance Your Experience: If you’d like a closer view, consider reserving seats under the pavilion. Binoculars can also come in handy for those sitting farther back on the lawn.
  6. 6. Leave Your Furry Friend at Home: While service animals are permitted at Ravinia, pets need to be left at home.
  7. 7. Relax and Take It All In: Ravinia is about more than the music. It’s about the beautiful setting, the shared experience – allow yourself to fully enjoy it!

Lake Forest Place Tip: If you’re a resident at Lake Forest Place, let us know if you’d like help planning your visit to the Ravinia Festival. We’re happy to make it easy!

Where Fun and Fulfilling Experiences Are Always Close to Home

Just a few minutes drive from Lake Forest Place, the world-class Ravinia Festival is practically at our residents’ doorsteps. But even when they’re not exploring the wider world of music, our community offers a vibrant lifestyle full of possibilities.

Experience a retirement with scenic views, lively outdoor social events, and engaging activities designed with you in mind. Give our team a call at 847-423-6679 or contact us online to schedule a personalized tour of our community and discover how we put joy back into senior living.