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posted: 7/3/2011 12:01 AM

On the road: St. Patty's Day comes early

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  • Kids can take part in plenty of fun activities at the annual Irish American Heritage Festival in Chicago July 8-10.

      Kids can take part in plenty of fun activities at the annual Irish American Heritage Festival in Chicago July 8-10.
    Courtesy of Stacy McReynolds

 
 

Chicago

St. Patty's Day part two

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There's no need to wait until next March to celebrate all things Irish. The 26th annual Irish American Heritage Festival celebrates the best in Irish music, dancing, food and culture. There will be kids' stuff including games and a Sham-ROCK Stars! contest.

6 p.m. to midnight Friday, July 8; noon to midnight Saturday, July 9; and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. Tickets cost $14, presale tickets $8 by July 8; $7 for seniors; free for kids younger than 12. Call (773) 282-7035 or visit irishfestchicago.com.

Gold Coast art

If you have time for just one city art fair this summer, make it the 54th annual Gold Coast Art Fair, held not on the Gold Coast, but Grant Park. Why? Chicago's third oldest art festival is consistently ranked as one of the best fine art and craft shows in the nation. There will be free live art demonstrations, activities for kids, strains of folk music and jazz, along with food vendors. The juried artwork includes painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass, woodwork, photography, clothing, mixed media and more.

9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, July 9-10, at Butler Field in Grant Park, Monroe and Lake Shore Drive. Call (847) 926-4300.

Folk and Roots Festival

Wondering "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" or what "John Henry" or "Tom Dooley" have been up to lately? The Lincoln Square neighborhood is home to the 14th annual Chicago Folk and Roots Festival. Festgoers can hear live music from a mix of international artists, national and local talent. There will be a family-friendly kids' tent, an interactive dance tent, open jams at the gazebo, food, and arts and crafts.

Noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10, at Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. Chicago. A suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors. Call (773) 728-6000 or visit chicagofolkandroots.org.

Midwest

Great big fun for the little ones

Pack up the family and head to Williams Bay, Wis., for Music By the Lake's first Family and Children's Concert featuring Tom Chapin and Friends. Best for the 4- to 11-year-old set, the concert features Chapin and friends Michael Mark and Jon Cobert performing new music as well as some of Chapin's Grammy-winning songs.

4 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at the Ferro Pavilion at George Williams College of Aurora University, 350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay, Wis. Tickets cost $10 to $15, free for kids 3 and younger. Call (866) 843-5200 or visit musicbythelake.com.

Bash on the beach

Detroit Lakes, Minn., rocks for 10 days during the 76th Northwest Water Carnival with bike tours, night golf, a sand-castle contest, water fights, bed races and bingo. Bring the kids for geocaching, games, family entertainment and a shipbuilding contest. Stay for the big parade and water-ski show on the closing day.

Friday to Sunday, July 8-17. Ticket prices for events vary. Call (800) 542-3992 or visit dlwatercarnival.com.

Worth the trip

Zumba has taken the fitness world by storm, and now gal pals can experience the hottest new trend while vacationing at Breezes Runaway Bay Resort & Spa in Jamaica. The inclusive resort is hosting a Wellness & Zumba Week where certified instructors lead daily beachfront zumba and Pilates classes for guests of all activity levels. There also will be talks on beauty, health and nutrition secrets. There also will be scuba diving and tennis classes, windsurfing and kayaking.

The special runs from Aug. 14-21. Rates start at $175 per person, per night based on double occupancy with a three-night minimum stay. Book by Aug. 3 and get a $260 air credit on four- and five-night stays or a $420 air credit on six- and seven-night stays. A second Wellness & Zumba Week is planned for December. Call (877) 273-3937 or visit breezes.com.

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