Come on down to my boat, baby
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Tall ships will once again be sailing into Chicago and docking at Navy Pier for "A Taste of Tall Ships Chicago 2011." Count on four days of dockside boarding tours and sailing excursions on Lake Michigan aboard visiting tall ships. There will be fireworks on Saturday, Aug. 13.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 11-14, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Boarding prices range from $6-$16 and "sail away" tickets cost between $49-$66. Call (312) 595-7437 or visit navypier.com.
Get a better sense of the rich history and arts of Japan at the 56th annual Ginza Festival. Performances and activities include taiko drummers, folk dancers, live music, martial arts demonstrations, bonsai demos and anime screenings. Visitors can wear their favorite anime' costumes or traditional Japanese garb on "Dress Up Days." Master craftsmen from Tokyo will demonstrate generations-old skills creating crafts, and booths teem with Japanese goods from children's toys to kimonos. There also will be traditional Japanese cuisine.
5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13; and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 Menomonee St., Chicago. Admission: $5-$6 adults; free for kids younger than 12. Call (312) 943-7801 or visit ginzachicago.com.
What little girl wouldn't go ga-ga over tiaras, tea parties, makeovers, movies and a grand ball? The Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort serves it up at the sixth annual "Pretty Princess" weekend that promises a full schedule, including princess crafts, makeovers, a tea party, Disney princesses, face painters and a fashion show. Packages includes overnight accommodations for up to four guests (two adults, two children), a goody bag for each child, entrance to all princess events and complimentary snacks and drinks.
Saturday to Sunday, Aug. 13-14, at the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort, 250 W. Schick Road, Bloomingdale. Rate is $149 for Saturday night stay and includes four guests, additional children pay $25 each. Reserve at (630) 529-0200 or visit IndianLakesResort.com and click "packages."
Ship shape fest
The New Buffalo Ship and Shore Fest began as a small arts and crafts festival 27 years ago and has evolved into a three-day celebration of music, games, arts and crafts in downtown New Buffalo, Mich. Enter the watermelon or ice cream eating contest or simply sup on pizza, barbecue items, tacos and more. Kids will enjoy the moonwalk, face painting, magicians and carnival rides while adults sip microbrews and varietals from Round Barn Winery and browse arts and crafts. There will be a lighted boat parade and fireworks on Saturday.
5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 12; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 13; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. $5 suggested donation. Call (773) 791-1809 or visit visitnewbuffalo.org.
Shake a Lego to Lake Geneva
Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark will host a series of Lego-themed events lead by Lego certified professional Adam Reed Tucker that include creative hands-on building sessions and discussions. When booking the Building Creativity with Lego Bricks package, families will get overnight suite accommodations, four water park passes, ice cream social and a "Create and Take Build Session."
Sunday to Tuesday, Aug. 14-16, at 7020 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, Wis. Rates for a one-bedroom suite start at $219. Call (866) 636-4502 or visit timberridgeresort.com.
Time to sow some fun in Mendota, Ill., a town that may have the corner on kernels during its Sweet Corn Festival. Tons of free, hot, buttered, sweet corn will be the highlight of the of the 64th annual celebration, but there also is a variety of entertainment, a crafters marketplace and flea market, a beer garden with live bands, a parade and a carnival. Enjoy free admission and parking, too.
6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, at Illinois Avenue and Jefferson streets in downtown Mendota. Call (815) 539-6507 or visit sweetcornfestival.com.
Worth the trip
Set in the shadows of the San Juan Mountains, Telluride, Colo., isn't just a winning winter ski destination. Autumn's daytime temperatures are temperate, nights are pleasingly brisk and the 18th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival keeps it hot with live blues, funk, rock, gospel and soul performances. Tons of food, craft vendors, children's activities and beer from more than 50 of the country's best microbreweries round out the fall fun. Enjoy performances by Willie Nelson, The Flaming Lips, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Mavis Staples, Robert Cray and others.
11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 16; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 17; and 10:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday, Sept. 18. Three-day passes cost $160 providing festival-long entry and admittance to Saturday's grand tasting. Single-day tickets cost $55 on Friday, $65 on Saturday and $55 on Sunday. Call (866) 515-6166 or visit tellurideblues.com.