The tour season has opened at the 600-acre Taliesin Estate in Spring Green, Wis. Visitors can get a firsthand look into the creative genius of Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, which contains five Wright-designed structures including the architect's 1911 iconic home. There are eight different tour options lasting from one to four hours.
Tour times vary Monday through Sunday through Oct. 31. Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center is at the intersection of Hwy. 23 and County Road C in Spring Green. Prices range from $16-$80. (877) 588-7900 or www.taliesinpreservation.org.
Pretty fly festival
Grab your binoculars and experience the sights, sounds and natural beauty of birds in peak spring migration to Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin. As one of the largest fresh water marshes in the U.S., Horicon Marsh hosts the 16th annual Bird Festival featuring a variety of activities. New for 2013, the Birding by Bicycle guided tour invites birders to peddle through the Ice Age Scientific Reserve. Other program favorites include the Hot Spot Birding Bus Tour & Hike, Beginners Bird Hike and Birding Adventure Boat Tour.
6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Monday, May 10-13, at Horicon Marsh International Education Center, N7725 Hwy. 28, Horicon, Wis. Many events are free, but some tours require a nominal fee. (920) 387-7890.
The spring hunt in Mesick, Mich., doesn't involve weapons, but rather a keen eye and the need for fun. The Mesick Mushroom Festival in northwest Michigan celebrates morels with a carnival, carriage rides, flea market, duck races and a parade. Calling itself the nation's mushroom capital, Mesick will offer crafts and flea market shopping, several contests for mushroom hunters, a horseshoe toss, a horse pull, and food like barbecue chicken, baked goods, pasties, a fish dinner and a beer tent. Watch the Mug bog racers throw mud through the air and grab a map of local spots in the woods to pluck everything from tiny morels to humongous fungus.
9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, May 10; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 11; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 12, in downtown Mesick. (231) 885-2679 or www.mesick-mushroomfest.org.
An estimated 10,000 beer lovers will congregate for their favorite beverage at the American Beer Classic at Soldier Field. Sample hundreds of unique beers from breweries of all sizes, connect with brewers and other beer enthusiasts or visit the designated driver's suite, which will feature soda tastings. Educational sessions include learning about the home-brewing process from brewers. There also will be live bands performing and guided tours of Soldier Field.
Session 1 is from noon to 4 p.m. (VIP admission at 11 a.m.); session 2 is from 6 to 10 p.m. (VIP admission at 5 p.m.) Saturday, May 11, at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive, Chicago. Tickets range from $55-$70 general admission, $110 VIP, $30 designated drivers. (312) 235-7000 or www.americanbeerclassic.com.
You needn't wait until June to get the blues. May is blues month in Chicago, and you can enjoy a number of free Chicago Blues Festival preview events at the Chicago Cultural Center. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Omar and Friends, Kevin Purcell and Peaches, and the Grove Shakers will be among the performers taking the stage.
Performances from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, May 7, 14, 21 and 28, and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, May 9, 16 and 23, at Randolph Café, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Free. (312) 744-6630 or tinyurl.com/alvcn3n.