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Art and nature go hand in hand at the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival where you can stroll and shop on the Esplanade and view works by more than 80 juried artists. Artists will give interactive demonstrations and booth chats throughout the weekend. Family activities include an art scavenger hunt for kids.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday, July 6-8, at 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Admission is free. Parking is $20 per car. (847) 835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org.
Cruising back in time
Go back to the golden era on a narrated tour aboard a Lake Geneva, Wis., cruise line boat. You'll leave the Riviera boat docks in downtown Lake Geneva to cruise to the historic Black Point Mansion and tour the renovated 20-room home. Built in 1888, it's considered one of the finest surviving examples of great summer homes of the early 1900s in the Midwest.
Summer tours are 11:10 a.m. daily and 1:10 p.m. Saturday to Sunday through Aug. 26, at the Riviera docks in downtown Lake Geneva. Tickets are $36 for adults, $34 for seniors, $30 for students ages 10-16 and $24 for children ages 6-l0. (800) 558-5911 or cruiselakegeneva.com.
All tarted up
Cherry lovers get ready for the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich., a tasty event held annually since 1926. Travel to the heart of the nation's tart cherry capital and cherry pick among 150 events, including the National Cherry Festival Air Show, music, rides, arts and crafts, a cherry pit spit contest, kids' activities, a grand parade and a TART Cherry Bike Tour.
Times and venues vary Saturday to Saturday, July 7-14, in Traverse City. cherryfestival.org.
Orchestrate a holiday bash
Grant Park Orchestra Independence Day concerts commemorate our country's 236th birthday with beloved favorites and a few surprises by Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Sousa and others. You can also take in the Grant Park Chorus' 50th anniversary with a second world-premiere commission by Sebastian Currier that explores the remote and mysterious world of sleep.
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, and Friday, July 6; and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe streets. Free. (312) 742-7638 or grantparkmusicfestival.com
West Fest is a two-day Chicago street fair that reflects the hip character of West Town featuring live cutting-edge music on three stages -- a main stage, DJ stage and a Kid Fest stage. Performers include The Black Lips, Man or Astroman, Pet Lions, Summer Girlfriends and Crooked Fingers and Bad Veins play back to back. Kid Fest offers pony rides and face painting, but there will also be arts and music programming for tweens and teens, along with goods from local retailers and artists, and food from neighborhood restaurants.
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, July 7-8, on Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street. Admission is $5. (312) 850-9390 or westfestchicago.com.
Park it here
Explore juried work from nearly 100 artists during the fourth annual Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival in the heart of the Lincoln Park/DePaul neighborhood. Bands like Sister Hazel, Jon Drake & The Shakes, Super Happy Fun Club and Dot Dot Dot provide the tunes while food vendors and a kids' area with inflatables and activities entertain foodies and children. Your gate donation benefits the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce.
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, July 7-8, on Racine Avenue between Fullerton Avenue and Webster Street. $7 suggested donation. $5 parking is available in the DePaul University garage at 2330 N. Clifton. (773) 880-5200 or lincolnparkchamber.com.
Worth the trip
When visiting Orlando, pencil in a stop at SeaWorld's newest attraction, "TurtleTrek." Enter two massive naturalistic habitats, home to manatees and sea turtles and learn what makes each species precious. Then go into a 360-degree dome theater for a 3-D film on the life journey of a sea turtle. Book through World Parks & Resorts Orlando (including three theme parks and seven official hotel partners) and get discounts on shopping and dining, early entry to the parks on select dates, all-day free dining deals with each full-paid admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica and other perks.
(888) 800-5447 or SeaWorldGetaways.com