Scottish Festival and Highland Games Itasca Illinois

**Updated for 2017**

Last year, we attended the Highland Games and Scottish Festival, one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest, and we had so much fun learning about the Scottish culture. In fact, it’s become one of our favorite family festivals.

Nitty Gritty:

When: Friday, June 16 (1 p.m. – 10 p.m.) and Saturday, June 17 (8 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
Where: Hamilton Lake in Itasca, IL located at I-290 and Thorndale Avenue
Cost: Ticket prices vary depending on the day you choose to visit. Check out their page for more ticket information.


  • Eat, eat, eat! We were able to try a variety of Scottish food like haggis and Scottish toffee pudding.

Highland and Scots Festival Food

  • Seeing animals we don’t see very often. We were able to get up close and personal to highland cattle.

Highland and Scots Festival Animals

  • Fun kids activities including a “train,” bounce houses, and mini golf.

Highland and Scots Festival Ride

Highland and Scots Festival Bounce

Highland and Scots Festival Mini Golf

  • Lots of room to run about.

Highland and Scots Festival Run

  • Learn about different clans.

Highland and Scots Festival Clan

  • Seeing traditional Scottish games like a Caber Toss (flipping 20-foot, 140-pound tree trunk), the 22-pound Hammer Throw, the Sheaf Toss (flipping a bale of hay over a high bar) and the Clachnert
  • Traditional and unique cultural events like live Celtic music, bag pipes, Highland Dance contests
  • Shopping! Scottish wares, goodies, swords (real and wooden), and even kilts.

Highland and Scots Festival Shirt

  • Proceeds benefit a good cause. Prices may be a little more expensive but rest assured that your money is benefitting the Scottish Home in North Riverside, which provides assisted living and nursing care for seniors since 1910. Their current mission is to build a new structure for Alzheimer’s care.

Bottom Line:

We highly recommend attending this festival if you like learning about different cultures. So neat trying different foods, hearing bagpipes played and watching the Highland Games being played.

Tips to enjoy the Scottish Festival and Highland Games:

  • Bring a picnic blanket or chairs. Lots of grass to lay down, eat food, and relax.
  • Wear your kilt. Believe me, you won’t be the only one.
  • Read more about this year’s Scottish Festival and Highland Games from the Daily Herald.
Have you been to the Highland Games before?
Highland and Scots Festival Swords
Interested in discovering more kid-friendly activities this summer in the Northwest suburbs? Check out this handy dandy list!
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