Your summer Lake County tour: Waukegan

I am touring Lake County this summer, hitting all the towns and finding all the cool spots to take your kids!

Last week I was in Gurnee, sampling yummy Italian food, telling you about fancy horseys and one of the coolest kid parks in the county.

This week, I am in Waukegan, Gurnee’s next door neighbor!

Create Your Own Cheesecake and Cheesesteak

Those of us in Lake County know Waukegan as our county seat, or as the place where we have to do our jury duty. But it gets an unfair rap because of that.

But this is where I am about to engrain Waukegan in your brains, my friends.

With four little letters.


Create Your Own Cheesecake and Cheesesteak in Waukegan was the setting of my life being changed.

You heard it here first. Oh. My. Sweet. Baby. Ruth.

You can create your own cheesecake creation as if it were an ice cream. In a cup!


My friend Lisa told me about this place where you can create cheesecake creations with different flavors such as Reese’s peanut butter cup, red velvet, lemon … the list goes on and on.

Then I found out that this place has been here for four years. FOUR YEARS?? I feel so cheated. Cheated out of so many past cheesecake experiences.

So this is what I am doing for you today:

Don’t waste your cheesecake experiences.


There are two locations. One in Waukegan and one in North Chicago.

Make time.

They also have the most delicious cheesesteak I have ever had as well, so this is worth the drive, Chicagoland.

Plus, have I ever steered you wrong before? That’s what I thought.

There are plenty of other great menu options such as chicken, salad and even Philly Steak nachos. They have a great kids menu, and everything is made on site.

I am told their kid’s chicken strips are amazing, and the source is very reliable.

This place is the real deal. Friendly, hometown at its best and HELLO: CHEESECAKE IN A CUP!

How can you go wrong?

C.Y.O.C. is located at 2114 N. Green Bay Rd. in Waukegan. Their other location is at 2314 Green Bay Rd., North Chicago.

Genessee Film Series at Genessee Theater

Did you know that Waukegan is the birthplace of Jack Benny? I know, a lot of you are saying WHO??


Did you also know that a lot of movies were filmed in Waukegan as well?

Movies such as Batman Begins and The Blues Brothers had scenes shot on the Amstutz Expressway in good old Waukegan.

While in Waukegan, I needed to combine one of my other favorite things: John Hughes.

It’s like my world’s are colliding: eating and stalking John Hughes!

I wrote this post for Chicago Parent back in January about Mr. Hughes, and things have been just snowballing on my personal blog ever since.

Ferris Bueller is playing on the big screen at the Genessee Theater in downtown Waukegan on June 11 as a part of The Genessee Film Series this summer!

I love that it says, “Directed by Lake County native John Hughes,” in the description.

Tickets are only $4 for adults and $2 for children, seniors and military.

You also have the option of buying a summer pass for $15 for the entire summer series.

Waukegan Municipal Beach

When I think of Waukegan, I always think of the lake shore. The town has a great beach, Waukegan Municipal Beach.

It is open daily from sunrise to sunset and has picnic tables and sand volleyball.

Parking is free weekdays, but it is $20 during the weekends.


So this is the thing — if you are planning on going to the beach on the weekend?

Go to Illinois State Beach just up the road. Parking is always free there.

If you are lucky, you will catch a wedding that you can watch while you are there.

Waukegan Municipal Beach is located at 201 Sea Horse Dr. in Waukegan. Illinois State Beach Resort is located at 1 Lake Front Dr. in Zion.

Cheesecake, John Hughes and wedding gawking while wearing sand in your swimsuit?

Waukegan is looking a lot better than jury duty right about now, isn’t it?

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