Dig it, Daddy-O
Get ready for hours of moving grooves, melancholy meditations and improvised tunes during the sixth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival. World-class headliners and local emerging artists converge upon 17 stages across Hyde Park. Choose among 40 free live jazz performances in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. There also will be food from local eateries with food kiosks on the Midway Plaisance.
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 29-30. Various venues around Midway Plaisance Park at 59th Street in Chicago. (773) 324-6926 or hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
Free science adventures
You still have time to take advantage of free weekday admission to the Museum of Science and Industry. Illinois residents just flash their ID to enjoy free general admission for the rest of September. See "Life in Space," an exhibit that features one of the only full-scale models of the Curiosity Mars Rover; "YOU! The Experience," celebrating the connection between the human mind, body and spirit; and feel the physics and consider the chemistry of natural phenomena like tornadoes and avalanches in "Science Storms."
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday through Sept. 28 at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. msichicago.org.
Design Harvest, Chicago's third annual street festival celebrating the home, offers tents and courtyards filled with modern, vintage and handmade furniture and home accessories from more than 25 vendors. The celebration of home and garden design features live music from the likes of Bucktown Aces, Golden Horse Ranch Band, Lawrence Peters Outfit and more. Expect plenty of food and refreshments.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30, at Grand Avenue between Damen and Wood streets, Chicago. Free admission. (312) 850-9390 or design-harvest.com.
Saturday, Sept. 22, is the start of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, but it's also a day of a festive Germanic celebration in Galena. The sixth annual Galena Oktoberfest will delight the entire family for a lot less than an international trip. The day begins with a cannon blast and the ceremonial tapping of the keg. Expect nonstop live music, polka dancing and lessons, wiener dog races, a parade, beer stein endurance contest, bean bag tournament, bounce houses and games for the kids, and plenty of German-style food, soft drinks and beer.
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Depot Park, 99 Bouthillier St., Galena. Gate tickets cost $5 for adults and teens, kids 12 and younger admitted free. (815) 331-0180 or galenaoktoberfest.com.
Press on to Guttenberg
In a town called Guttenberg, one might expect a fairly rocking German Festival. The Iowa town tucked between limestone bluffs and the Mississippi River will feature a beer- and winemaking contest with judging, hog roast, craft fair, German bands, children's games, citywide garage sales, and lock and dam tours.
3 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in Guttenberg, Iowa. germanfestinguttenberg.com/.
Barns and noble
Head west for the All State Iowa Barn Tour, the annual free, self-guided tour of restored historic barns. See and photograph restored barns, some of which received awards of distinction from the Iowa Barn Foundation. Tour barns as time and distances permit, and maps are available at each barn.
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23. iowabarnfoundation.org/events.htm.
Worth the trip
You can finally realize what victuals Jethro and Elly May enjoyed when you attend the 21st annual West Virginia RoadKill Cook-off Saturday, Sept. 29. Sample possum, groundhog, polecat and more as top chefs compete for cash prizes with their best recipes. The RoadKill Cook-off is held in conjunction with the Annual Autumn Harvest Festival that offers country crafts, wagon rides, apple pressing and farmers market, live music, games and contests. Cookin' starts at 9 a.m., judging begins at 2 p.m. and you can taste the grub throughout the day. pccocwv.com/roadkill_cookoff_and_festival.html.