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updated: 10/2/2011 3:14 PM

On the road: What is burgoo? Head to Utica fest to find out

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  • The annual Burgoo Festival will be held Sunday, Oct. 9, and features tons of bubbling stew as well as seasonal crafts and live music.

      The annual Burgoo Festival will be held Sunday, Oct. 9, and features tons of bubbling stew as well as seasonal crafts and live music.

  • SeaWorld Orlando is featuring its family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular during the month of October.

      SeaWorld Orlando is featuring its family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular during the month of October.



Grateful dead

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The "Day of the Dead" display is the most popular exhibit every year at the National Museum of Mexican Art with its gleaming altars, sugar skull sculptures and colorful art in many media celebrating the dearly departed in weird and wonderful ways. The 25th annual Dia de los Muertos display is the largest Day of the Dead exhibit in the nation and includes works of art from throughout Mexico and the United States. This year's event is dedicated to photographer Milton Rogovin (1909-2011) and surrealist painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011). Programs, offered in Spanish and English, include public tours, children's art classes and sugar skull demonstrations.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday through Dec. 11 at 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago. Admission is free. Call (312) 738-1503 or visit

Retail therapy

The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower offers a La Joie du Shopping package for couples or groups. It includes luxury accommodations for two, a special 15 percent storewide discount at Bloomingdales; a Chanel makeover for her and a Malin & Goetz skin consultation for him at the store's cosmetics counter; L'Occitane Shea Butter foot cream for tired feet; Le Bar appetizer sampler with choice of Champagne and a chocolate indulgence courtesy of the hotel's pastry chef.

Valid through Dec. 31 at 20 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. Packages start at $255 per night. Call (312) 324-4000 or visit

Touring Graceland

It's the season to tour cemeteries and Chicago boasts one of the country's legendary Victorian graveyards. The Chicago History Museum will offer guided tours of Graceland Cemetery, which has ornate tombs of famous Chicagoans such as Marshall Field, George Pullman, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Potter and Bertha Palmer.

10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, Oct. 29-30, and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. Meet at the entrance at Irving Park Road and Clark Street. Tickets cost $45. Call (312) 642-4600 or visit


Glockenspiels and goulash

Count on wagon rides, German music, food booths, crafts, magic shows for the kids and the Great Pumpkin Giveaway at Lake Geneva's 20th annual Oktoberfest. Downtown streets offer restaurant and shopping specials as the oompah band entices visitors to get up and dance.

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, Oct. 8-9, in downtown Lake Geneva. Call (800) 345-1020 or visit

We ate the world

There are Italian and Mexican and Polish food festivals, but you'll have to get your gullet to Des Moines, Iowa, for the U.S. Cellular World Food Festival. Eat at 30 cultural cafes for $5 or less or try tastes for only $1, shop at the world marketplace, watch cooking demonstrations and listen to musicians strolling the streets or onstage. Where else can you sample Turkish, Lao, Thai, Ethiopian, Moroccan, Italian, Bosnian, French, Indian, Filipino, Cajun and many more ethnic delicacies all in one place?

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday, Oct. 7-8, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in downtown Des Moines' East Village. Free admission. Call (515) 286-4943 or visit

Would you burgoo?

Whether it was a mispronunciation of the word barbecue or ragout, a French word for seasoned stew, burgoo has been historically cooked outdoors in enormous iron kettles over a wood fire for hours and hours. Get your fill of the warming dish at the Burgoo Festival in Utica, Ill. The town street party features vats of the pioneer stew, a craft fair and live music.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in downtown Utica. Visit or call the LaSalle County Historical Society at (815) 667-4861.

Worth the trip

SeaWorld Orlando has a fall offer that coincides with its Halloween Spooktacular event. With each full-paid adult ticket, kids ages 3 through 9 enter for half-price. The family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular is held weekends in October. Enjoy trick-or-treating, silly and spooky shows, dancing with whimsical sea creatures, and creating sea-themed arts and crafts. This offer also includes a second visit free for both the full-paid adult and the half-price child tickets.

Noon to 8 p.m. Oct. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 28-30. The offer is available for advance and online purchase only. Adult admission is $81.99 plus tax, and children's half-off admission is $36.99 plus tax with each paid adult ticket. Purchase tickets at or by calling (888) 800-5447.

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