Spring break exhibits
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If it looks like spring break will be a close-to-home trip this year, consider taking the family to the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa. Two memorable exhibits are opening in March: "Dinosaurs Unearthed" and "Anne Frank: A History for Today." Explore the animatronic dinosaur exhibition that runs Saturday, March 3, to Sunday, July 8, and allows interaction in a naturalistic setting. Older kids and teens will appreciate the story of Anne Frank and her family, which is juxtaposed with world events before, during and after Adolf Hitler's rise to power. The exhibit opens Saturday, March 31, and runs through Monday, May 28.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, Iowa. General admission is $5-$7. "Dinosaurs Unearthed" costs $12.50-$17 plus general admission. (563) 324-1933 or putnam.org.
Cherry capital stays cheery
During President's Day Weekend, Traverse City, Mich., offers indoor and outdoor activities with the Cherry Capital Winter Wow! Fest along the city's West Bay shoreline. Some of the action includes Monster Dog Pull, Frozen Pit Spit contest, Brain Freeze ice cream eating contest, Frozen Bed Race and the Soup r' Bowl where participants slurp up soups created by local chefs. The festival ends Sunday night with a fireworks display above the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb 17; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18; and noon to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, in Traverse City, Mich. (800) 940-1120 or winterwowfest.com.
Gals get well
Gather the girls for a road trip to the fourth annual Women's Weekend of Wellness at the American Club Resort in Kohler, Wis. There will be presentations from speakers, a healthy dose of yoga, food and ideas on how to incorporate healthy habits into your life. The weekend begins with a welcome reception and a SpaNight Delight at the Kohler Waters Spa.
Friday to Sunday, March 2-4, at the American Club Resort, 419 Highland Drive, Kohler, Wis. The two-night Women's Wellness Weekend package starts at $416 per person based on double occupancy and includes 30 percent off all services at the spa. Day package rates are available on Saturday for $199 per person. (800) 344-2838 or AmericanClub.com.
Eat this, not that
When six of the 18 contestants on this season's "Top Chef" oversee Chicago eateries, you know it's not the Second City in terms of food. Chicago celebrates the Fifth Annual Chicago Restaurant Week as more than 200 restaurants join together to bring 10 days of dining bliss. It's your chance to sample cuisine created by some of the country's top chefs at restaurants with prix fixe menus at $22, $33 and $44. Choose among Japanese, Mexican, Contemporary American, Italian, German, Indian, French bistro, steakhouse, casual fare and five-star sophistication.
Friday to Sunday, Feb. 17-26. See a list of restaurants and menus and make reservations at eatitupchicago.com or call (312) 567-8500.
Reconnect the dots
The JW Marriott Chicago is offering a "Disconnect to Reconnect" package during which you'll experience the new hotel's suites, a two-hour couple's connection experience at VALEO Spa (wine, champagne or the beverage of your choice while enjoying a foot massage then off to the Clarity Chamber or Couples Connection suite). To ensure alone time, the hotel will even hold your cellphones and hide the TV remote so you are compelled to reconnect with each other. Valid through President's Day weekend with a savings of more than $250, the package also includes an in-room multicourse dessert bites tasting from chef Michael Reich.
Package valid through Monday, Feb. 20, at 151 W. Adams St., Chicago. Rates begin at $534. (312) 660-8200 or visit jwmarriottchicago.com and book with the code 'LUV.'
A face only a mummy could love
Seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see more than 20 mummies from Egypt and Peru held in the Field Museum's extensive collections, including complete humans, human skulls and animals. The museum obtained most of the remains from the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 and many have not been on display since. During the exhibit, "Opening the Vaults: Mummies," the specimens are being shown in their original 19th-century display cases along with detailed CT scans revealing injuries, illness and jewelry placed inside the wrappings.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Friday, Feb. 17, to Sunday, April 22, at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. All-access passes cost $29 for adults, $24 for seniors and students with ID and $20 for children. (312) 922-9410 or fieldmuseum.org.
Worth the trip
To see the best northern lights, you've got to hang out in the right circle like the remote sub-arctic town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, considered one of the world's best places for viewing the phenomenon. Churchill offers northern lights tours during February and March through Frontiers North Adventures and the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, a scientific research outpost. The eight-day, seven-night Northern Lights & Winter Nights program includes a private guided tour of Manitoba Museum, arctic-orientation activities in Winnipeg followed by a flight to Churchill, nightly trips out on the tundra to view the northern lights, daylight snowshoe excursion, dog sledding and more.
Tuesday to Tuesday, Feb. 21-28, and Thursday to Thursday, March 22-29. The package costs $3,965 based on double occupancy and includes hotel rooms in Winnipeg and Churchill, round-trip airfare between Winnipeg and Churchill, meals in Churchill and all scheduled outings and activities. (800) 663-9832 or frontiersnorth.com.