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posted: 9/1/2013 5:18 AM

On the road: Lake Geneva hike and boat ride

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  • Hike then board a boat for a champagne brunch Sundays this fall with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

      Hike then board a boat for a champagne brunch Sundays this fall with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

  • Witness one of the largest carriage driving competitions in the nation in Prairie du Chien, Wis.

      Witness one of the largest carriage driving competitions in the nation in Prairie du Chien, Wis.

  • The faces of The Beatles are part of the "world's largest corn maze" at the Richardson Farm in Sugar Grove.

      The faces of The Beatles are part of the "world's largest corn maze" at the Richardson Farm in Sugar Grove.



You make me so very happy

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One man's quest for happiness is the subject of a nationally celebrated exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center. "The Happy Show" is Stefan Sagmeister's artistic rundown of his 10-year attempt to train his mind to be happy as one would train a body to run a faster race. A graphic designer who has created album covers for The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads, Sagmeister chronicles his efforts via video, infographics and hand-drawn explanations in a four-room exhibit.

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday through Monday, Sept. 23. 78 E. Washington St., Chicago. Free admission. (312) 744-6630 or

Mollusk madness

Chicago's popular post-Labor Day event, the Guinness Oyster Fest, returns for its 15th year with an eclectic music lineup, arts and crafts, a kids' area with pony rides and inflatables, oysters and plenty of Guinness and other beverages. Come to the Roscoe Village neighborhood to hear Rusted Root and popular Irish mainstays, The Tossers and The Chancey Brothers, while tasting raw and cooked oysters.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. 2000 block of West Roscoe at Damen. Gate donation of $7. (773) 868-3010 or

Renegade crafters

The Renegade Craft Fair offers a curated selection of more than 300 indie crafters, a pop-up vintage market, workshops by the Lill Street Art Center, Chicago School of Shoemaking and RX Made, along with music and a photo booth to document your day. Also on hand will be some of the city's most innovative food.

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 7- 8. 2000 West Division Street, Chicago. Free admission.


Carry on

If you find yourself yearning for one of those carriage rides every time you're on Michigan Avenue consider an outing to Prairie du Chien, Wis., for the annual Villa Louis Carriage Classic. Nattily attired drivers navigate the riverside grounds behind horses in a display reminiscent of 19th-century equine competitions. More than 100 turnouts (driver, carriage, animals and manner of presentation) will take part in a variety of driving competitions that include obstacle courses. Take a tour of the Victorian mansion and learn about a period in the Villa Louis' history when the estate served as a breeding farm for Standard bred trotting horses used in harness racing.

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 7-8. 521 N Villa Louis Road, Prairie du Chien. Adult two-day pass is $20; child (5-17) two-day pass $10; adult one-day ticket $12; child one-day ticket $5. (608) 326-2721 or

Feet, seat and eat

Experience fall colors on a self-guided eight-mile hike from Lake Geneva to Williams Bay, Wis., on Sundays this fall, then take your seat on a boat cruise and eat on board during a narrated tour of the lake. The walk follows the public lake shoreline, where you'll see multimillion dollar estates, gardens and more. The classic Grand Belle of Geneva passenger boat picks up walkers after the eight-mile hike to the Williams Bay Municipal Pier for an onboard champagne Sunday brunch buffet, including appetizers, six entrees, desserts and a tour before returning to Lake Geneva.

8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2013. Riviera Docks, 812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. Cost is $48 for adults and $46 for seniors 65 and over. Reservations required. (800) 558-5911 or

Corn fields forever

It's the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first album so commemorate it at the world's largest corn maze carved with the lads' faces plus guitars, drums, an LP record and musical score. Richardson Farm's 13th corn maze in Spring Grove consists of a 28-acre maze and 11 miles of trails, as well as a 50-foot tube slide, 50-foot observation tower, two 40-foot zip lines for little kids, jumping pillows, fenced play area for kids, paintball gallery, pedal cart tracks, wagon rides, barrel swings, pig races, bunnies, goats and more. Get your certificate of completion after walking the entire maze and head to the concession pavilion for kettle corn, brats, burgers, funnel cakes, fudge and soft drinks.

Noon to 10 p.m. Sundays, 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, plus 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 2, and Columbus Day, Oct. 14, through Oct. 31. "Maze til Midnight" on two weekends when the moon is full: Sept. 20-21 and Oct. 18-19. 9407 Richardson Road between Richmond and Spring Grove. Admission is $13 teens and adults, $10 children 4-12, kids 3 and under free. (815) 675-9729 or

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