Shine a light
Millennium Park doesn't just rock during summer. The Chicago attraction comes alive with a new video and sound installation by Chicago artists Luftwerk. Entitled "Luminous Field," the installation, created specifically for Millennium Park, bathes the Cloud Gate sculpture and the surrounding plaza in images and sounds set to music. Family activities, hands-on art projects, musical games and dance performances will be held in a heated tent on the Park's Chase Promenade North on weekends.
6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, Feb. 10-21, at Michigan Avenue and Washington Street, Chicago. Free. (312) 742-1168 or explorechicago.org.
Love is in the air
For those looking to wow that special someone, Hotel 71's "Romance With a View" package has done all the work for you. In February, the boutique property will transform its penthouse ballroom on the 39th floor into a destination site. Take in panoramic views and feast upon a special six-course tasting dinner by executive chef Gabriel Kolofon. Upgrade options include private musicians, a cappella vocalist, a dance floor for two and a guest room with complimentary upgrade.
Package is valid through 2012 at 71 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Pricing is $1,500 per couple. (312) 346-7100 or hotel71.com.
Kids climbing the walls with cabin fever? Inject a little sensory overload with the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam at the Allstate Arena. The event is part of a yearlong celebration honoring the 30th anniversary of the monster truck Grave Digger. Expect freestyle and racing competition among custom-designed machines with names like Avenger, El Toro Loco, SupermanTM and Monster Mutt.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11-12, at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. All opening night tickets, with the exception of Gold Circle and VIP, cost $10. (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com and MonsterJam.com.
The (blue) grass is always greener
Listen, tap your toes, or join the pickin' and grinnin' at the 12th annual Old Post Bluegrass Jam in Vincennes, Ind. It's a day of free musical entertainment by musicians and players from all over. There also will be a food court and Grinder's Coffee Shop.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at Beckes Building, 1101 N. Second St., Vincennes, Ind. Free admission and parking. (812) 886-0400 or vincennescvb.org.
Climb the ropes
Get the daredevils in your house off the furniture and onto the new Northern Lights Sky Ropes Course at Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Climb through 42 challenges in varying degrees of difficulty while harnessed 30 feet above the Northern Lights Mega Arcade.
Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, 511 E. Adams St., Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The attraction is part of the Wilderness Resort's Wild Fun and Extreme Fun Discount Passes or purchase a 30-minute admission ticket for $9. (800) 867-9453 or wildernessresort.com.
'Sugar and Champagne'
Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Abbey Resort & Spa on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin hosts "Uncorked: Sugar and Champagne" with dessert and wine pairings from around the world. It's a fun dessert course for those dining out on Valentine's Day or stay overnight or the whole weekend at the resort. Along with wine sampling, participants can view demonstrations by the Abbey's executive chef Steve Walters while the culinary team whips up dozens of desserts. There also will be an Uncorked Wine Shop where two featured wines from the event will be available for purchase.
6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Abbey Resort & Spa, 269 Fontana Blvd., Lake Geneva, Wis. Special room packages start at $229 per couple per night including admission to the event. If a room package has not been purchased, admission is $30 and includes 10 tasting tokens and complimentary tastings. (800) 709-1323 or theabbeyresort.com.
Worth the trip
Consider a family trip to Lake Erie Shores & Islands indoor water park. Take your pick from Kalahari Resorts, Great Wolf Lodge, Rain Water Park and Castaway Bay. There is a new 3M Family Pass to the Merry-Go-Round Museum, Maritime Museum and Milan Historical Museum for the history of canals and shipbuilding. Visitors can check out Ghostly Manor, the planetarium or wheel around Skateworld. Visitors can check out Ohio's largest operating multigauge model railroad on display at Train-O-Rama. Sawmill Creek Resort also is offering ice skating, cross-country skiing, tubing and snowshoeing.
Winter attractions continue through March. The entire family gains admission to three museums for $45. (419) 625-2984 or SHORESandISLANDS.com.