Spot Our National Bird in Minnesota

Late fall brings bald eagles to the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha, Minnesota, a five-hour drive from Chicago. “Not only do the river bluffs erupt into a sea of spectacular oranges, reds, and yellows, but viewing hits the next level as the leaves fall and eagles become clearly visible in the canopy,” says … Read more

Celebrate Día de los Muertos with a Night of Spooky Stories

“Hang out with any Mexican long enough and they’ll tell you some spooky personal story,” says local playwright Ricardo Gamboa. “It shouldn’t be surprising when you consider we come from a culture that celebrates Day of the Dead.” For this year’s Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday commemorating the deceased, Gamboa is hosting ¡Ay … Read more

Level Up Your Apple Picking

Established in 1984 on the site of a dairy farm dating back to the early 1800s, Door Creek Orchard, outside Madison, Wisconsin, is a two-and-a-half-hour trek from Chicago, but it’s worth every minute for the lyrical apple experience that awaits. With its varied terrain of wetlands, woodlands, and rolling prairies, Door Creek exists as a … Read more

Get Away the Stress-Free Way by Train

Travel isn’t easy these days. If your flight isn’t delayed, it’s canceled. And have you seen the cost of gas? Enter: Amtrak. Though not always the quickest or most glamorous mode of transportation, the humble train may be the least stressful way to travel to these four Midwest destinations this fall. ST. LOUIS Travel time … Read more

Pamper Yourself With a Staycation

Need to get away but don’t want to travel? These new or newly refreshed Chicago hotels are just the answer. FOR BOOKWORMS  The Study at University of Chicago  Opened in the spring, the hotel has 167 handsome rooms, each with a large desk and a soft leather chair and ottoman perfect for curling up with … Read more

Sip Wine While Watching the Harvest

When you think of wine country, you probably don’t picture Illinois. But while the Land of Lincoln may not be California, the state’s unique viticulture is worth exploring — especially the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural Area, near the southern border. Featuring 20 wineries and 55 vineyards, it has a unique terroir (a combination of climate, topography, and … Read more

Reflect on a Century of Chicago Segregation in Steppenwolf’s 1919

University of Chicago professor and literary star Eve L. Ewing’s poetry collection 1919 commemorated the 100th anniversary of the deadly Chicago race riot that was spurred by the killing of Eugene Williams, a Black teenager who drifted near a “white” beach while swimming in Lake Michigan. Thirty-eight people died in the violence that followed, and … Read more

Channel 007 to Solve the World’s Largest Corn Maze

He’s the man with the golden touch — when it comes to corn, that is. Since 2001, George Richardson and his family have dazzled Chicagoans with their intricate maize mazes, billed as the world’s largest, depicting everything from the Beatles to Illinois history. This year’s version at Richardson Farm (October weekend admission: $24 for adults; $18 for … Read more