Combine eating, walking and history on a Tastebud Food Tour Chicago. You'll visit a half-dozen food tasting locations from specialty food shops and landmark hotels to one-of-a-kind ethnic eateries during a three-hour narrated peek into the city's food, history and architecture. Choose among a variety of tours from Sweet Chicago to Flavor of Chicago where you might sample deep-dish pizza, award-winning gumbo, specialty confectionery, gourmet cupcakes and more. Visit the oldest tavern and restaurant in Chicago or one of the most famous tea rooms in the world.
Tours runs daily, but tour times vary and each tour has a different starting location. Tickets: $44. www.tastebudtours.com.
Take me out to the ballgame
Chicago Mart Plaza hotel presents a Ninth Inning Baseball Package for guests who want to catch Chicago baseball action while enjoying deluxe accommodations. The package at the contemporary River North hotel includes deluxe view room, a bag of peanuts and a box of Cracker Jack, two CTA Fun Passes for each night booked, $15 self-parking and a 15 percent off coupon to be used at Clark Street Sports.
Through Oct. 31 at Chicago Mart Plaza, 350 W. Mart Center, Chicago. Rates start at $149; use booking code IKJD1. (312) 836-5000 or www.martplaza.com.
Ticket to ride
Just an hour's drive northwest of Chicago, the Illinois Railway Museum opens for another season of the bygone era of railroading. With more than 400 pieces in the rolling collection, the Union, Ill., museum is the largest of its kind in the country. Learn about the vital role railroads played in America's growth as you view steam and diesel locomotives, streetcars, commuter trains, passenger cars, freight cars, dining cars, dome cars, baggage cars and cabooses, plus snowplows and track maintenance cars. Ten miles of track loop around the grounds. Free admission to the museum grounds Saturdays in April.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Open weekends in April and October and daily May through September. Trains run at various times and days, so check the website. Admission is $10-$14 for adults, $7-$10 for kids and $38-$50 maximum for families. (800) 244-7245 or www.irm.org.
Midway Village Museum in Rockford will host a new World War I era living-history event. The Great War: World War I at Midway Village Museum takes place during the 99th anniversary of the war and features re-enactors portraying soldiers from the United States, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary. Walk near encampments, talk to the re-enactors about life as a soldier, see cavalry and medical units, plus battles and skirmishes. Indoor displays will include WWI weapons and artifacts.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, at Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford. Ticket cost $10 for adults; $5 for children and students 3-17. (815) 397-9112 or www.midwayvillage.com.
Hot wheels to Indiana
Those with a taste for the hot and spicy should point the vehicle toward historic downtown Madison, Ind., for the 17th annual Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace. Held at the Thomas Family Winery, the event features assorted vendors of chili products so visitors can sample salsas, cheeses and sauces, purchase dried and fresh spices, hot breads, chili powder, vinegars and pepper plants to grow back home. Count on live music, cooking demos, and professional and amateur salsa contests.
7 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 12; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at Thomas Family Winery, 208 E. Second St., Madison, Ind. (800) 948-8466 or www.indianahotluck.us/.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.