Gorton Center is located on the corner of East Illinois and McKinley Roads – one block south of Deer Path Road. It is just steps from the Lake Forest Union Pacific North (UP-N) Metra Station and the downtown Lake Forest area. Its central location makes it convenient and easily accessible to the surrounding community.

Location: 400 E. Illinois Rd. Lake Forest, IL 60045

Phone: 847-234-6060



From Chicago – map

Follow the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) west to the Edens Expressway (I-94) and U.S. Route 41. Exit at Deerpath Road and travel east (right) to McKinley Road. Make a right on McKinley, and Gorton is in the second block on your left. Park in the upper parking lot at the intersection of Deerpath and McKinley on the northeast corner (it is marked).

From Milwaukee

Head south on I-94 to U.S. Route 41. Exit at Deerpath Road and travel east (left) to McKinley Road. Make a right on McKinley, and Gorton is in the second block on your left.

From the West

From I-90, take I-294 toward Wisconsin. Exit at IL Route 60 and travel east to U.S. Route 41. Turn left on 41 and then immediately exit at Deerpath Road. Travel east (right) to McKinley Road. Make a right on McKinley, and Gorton is in the second block on your left.

From the South

Take I-294 north. Exit at IL Route 60 and travel east to U.S. Route 41. Turn left on 41 and then immediately exit at Deerpath Road. Travel east (right) to McKinley Road. Make a right on McKinley, and Gorton is in the second block on your left.

From Indiana

Take I-90 or I-80/94 to I-94 northbound to Chicago and then follow the directions from Chicago, above.

Local Lake Forest – map

Gorton is located on the corner of McKinley Road and East Illinois Road in Lake Forest – just steps from the Metra Station.


Taking the Train

Metra’s Union Pacific North Line (UP-N) with service from Chicago to Kenosha is highly recommended! Get off at the Lake Forest stop. The Lake Forest Metra station is across the street from Gorton. Please note that not all trains stop at Lake Forest – check the schedule carefully.

Please visit the Metrarail website or call 312-322-6777 (weekdays) or 312-836-7000 (weekends) for complete schedules and information.



Free parking is available in the Gorton lot on the west side of the building and in the city lot to the north of Gorton. There is also parking available in the train station lots across from Gorton, but fees may apply.


What time should I arrive for live music and events?
We recommend arriving 30 minutes prior to curtain time to provide ample time for parking and locating your venue. Doors generally open about 30 minutes prior to showtime for seating.

What is the seating capacity of Gorton venues?
The John & Nancy Hughes Theater has 309 seats, and the Stuart Community Room seats up to 125 depending on room configuration. Outdoor events have a capacity of 500 patrons.

I purchased tickets but cannot find a record of them in my email. What should I do?
Please call 847-234-6060 to check the status of your order with Gorton’s main office. Emailed tickets will appear as an attachment to the confirmation email you received at the time of purchase. Please check your spam and promotions folders to ensure that you did not receive your tickets there. If you did not receive your tickets, we are able to resend them. Your receipt is NOT your ticket.

Do I need to print out my emailed tickets or class registration?
No. You will be checked in under your name when you arrive.

Where do I go for an indoor event at Gorton?
Indoor event venues are located on the first floor of Gorton. The John & Nancy Hughes Theater is on the far east side of the first floor, and the Stuart Community Room is in the center of the first floor on the north side of the building. You can access these rooms from either first-floor entrance.

I’m coming to Gorton for a class. Where should I go?
There are signs posted daily with the location of all classes. They are located just inside the west door and at the top of the first set of stairs inside the south door. Additionally, there are directories near both stairwells indicating the level and location of each room.

Where can I find a restroom?
There are accessible restroom facilities on every level at Gorton – those on the main floor are open for outdoor events.

What should I bring to an outdoor event at Gorton?
For shows and concerts, patrons should bring their own folding chairs or blankets for seating. “Ravinia-style” picnic tables are allowed, as well as outside food and drink. Concessions (primarily beverages such as beer, wine, hard seltzers, soft drinks, and water) will be available for sale at each event. These sales help support Gorton, so patrons are encouraged to purchase when able.

Do you sell concessions?
Yes, we sell drinks at most events and popcorn and candy at most films. They are sold prior to each event and, at intermission for events that have one. The concession area closes shortly after an intermission. Food and drinks are allowed in our event spaces.

What happens in case of bad weather?
Outdoor events may be delayed, interrupted, or canceled if an emergency situation occurs. Every effort will be made to move an event indoors – sometimes with two seatings, depending on attendance. You will receive an email about this change by 10:30 am on the day of the show. Gorton’s outdoor events are open-air and we cannot guarantee refuge to patrons in the event of a surprise weather event. Check the National Weather Service Forecast.

Refunds are not given due to bad weather unless the concert is canceled in its entirety with no replacement concert scheduled.

Are films and events at Gorton suitable for all ages?
Most events at Gorton are suitable for all ages. Check individual event website pages for any suggested content or age restrictions.

Gorton does not censor or control the content created by guest artists or filmmakers. Patrons with sensitivities to adult language or socio-political commentary are advised to be aware of the artist’s work before purchasing tickets to and/or attending a performance.

When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets are on sale now! Events, films, and classes are added to the website on an ongoing basis, and at certain times during the year or for certain events, go on sale at a pre-determined and pre-publicized time. Check info at for the latest calendar of offerings.

What items are prohibited at Gorton?
Any item deemed harmful or unsafe by Gorton is prohibited.

  • No smoking or vaping inside or outside at Gorton events.
  • State law prohibits the public use of cannabis.
  • No firearms, explosives, or other weapons are permitted in our parking lot or building.
  • No pets (except service animals) at events other than Dog Day.
  • Grills, kegs, firepits, or large open flames are not permitted.
  • Tents, canopies, and 6-foot or larger umbrellas are not permitted.
  • Anything that needs to be staked to the ground is not permitted.
  • Balls and flying discs or similar are not permitted.
  • Drones or other flying instruments are not permitted.

Gorton Center reserves the right to refuse service.

What is your refund policy?
Classes: Refunds will only be given up to one week prior to the first week of class of any session. (The refund period for some classes, which require advanced reservations or purchase of materials, may be more limited.) Cancellations will incur a $5 handling fee for programs costing under $100 and a 10% handling fee for programs with fees of $100 or more. If a class is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, you will be notified, and a full refund will be given.

Films & Events: There is no refund given for unused film or event tickets.

What is your photo policy?
Gorton Center will take and may use photos and videos from events and classes for its promotional purposes. Your attendance indicates your consent to the above. You can find our photo gallery from past events on our website.

Audience photography, recording, or any form of reproduction during events and of the artists presented at Gorton is prohibited unless it is specifically encouraged in the pre-event announcements. Gorton encourages all kinds of photos at events before and after the show. Please tag us on social media! #gortonsgotit #gortoncenter Instagram: @gortoncommunitycenter Facebook: Gorton Center

How is Gorton cleaned?
High-touch surfaces are routinely cleaned and sanitized for the protection of everyone. Restrooms are also cleaned regularly and guests are encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands. We have installed active ionic oxidation air purifiers in Gorton’s heating and cooling systems to purify the air and kill airborne pathogens, including COVID-19, which tests at 99% efficacy.


Gorton Center is within walking distance of many of Lake Forest’s restaurants as well as lodging at the award-winning Deer Path Inn.


Gorton Center is committed to accommodating your accessibility needs. If you have needs other than those listed here, please contact us at 847-234-6060. Patrons with disabilities should notify Gorton when tickets are purchased and before the performance. Accessible parking, wheelchair seating, hearing assistive listening devices, and other special services will be provided on a best-effort basis and cannot be guaranteed.

Wheelchair Seating

Gorton has accessible seating available to wheelchair patrons and their companions (subject to availability). These seats are not for sale on the website and must be purchased via phone through our main office at 847-234-6060. Please note: everyone must have a ticket to be admitted to an event. Patrons must identify the need for wheelchair seating when purchasing tickets to ensure accessible seating is available. Service animals are welcome.

Accessible Parking

Parking spaces for persons with disabilities are available in the public parking lot to the south and west of Gorton Center. Patrons may also be dropped off at the south entrance under the porte cochére.

Audio Enhancement

Gorton offers hearing assistive listening devices and has a Hearing Loop installed in the John & Nancy Hughes Theater and in the Stuart Community Room. Listening devices are available free of charge to audience members and are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the performance from the theater manager. Hearing assist devices do not work with some in-ear hearing aids.

Hearing Loop

Hearing Loops allow people who wear hearing aids to directly receive the sound from a PA system in their own hearing aids. To hear better, you will no longer have to pick up a separate listening device.

If you wear hearing instruments you will need to find out if they have a wireless receiver, called a T-coil or Telecoil, built in to benefit from the hearing loop in our theater. The T-coil program is accessed by pushing a button on your hearing aid. This T-coil setting has to be activated before use. Please consult your audiologist to ensure your T-coils are properly adjusted.

Find more Hearing Loop information at

Visually Impaired

Signage throughout the building is equipped with braille. Please be sure to inform the office of any special needs when ordering tickets to ensure suitable arrangements can be made. Service animals are welcome.


Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available to patrons on all levels of the facility.


The elevator accesses all floors and is located in the main lobby, near the John & Nancy Hughes Theater.