Burning down the house
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Add sizzle to Valentine's Day with the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel's Some Like it Hot romance package, inspired by the classic screwball comedy of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The Some Like it Hot package includes romantic treats such as Vosges Chocolate Red Fire Milagro Heart of Love, a complimentary bottle of wine, Hot Chocolate Body Paint, breakfast in bed for two, and complimentary valet parking to make you feel pampered.
Available through March 1 at the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel, 636 S. Michigan Ave. Package rate starts at $269 per night, based on double occupancy, and you can extend your stay over Valentine's Day weekend for $169 a night, double occupancy for the nights of Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15-16. (312) 447-0955 or renaissanceblackstone.com.
The Joffrey Ballet brings much-needed heat to Chicago's winter in February with "Contemporary Choreographers," a program of three works that runs for 10 shows only at the Auditorium Theatre. There's even a show on Valentine's Day so you can surprise your love with tickets to see contemporary, groundbreaking dance -- aren't you a cultured, thoughtful person? Enjoy an evening of three pieces, two by some of contemporary ballet's brightest choreographers working today, and one by a local "rising star" choreographer.
Performance times vary Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 12-23, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway. Single tickets cost $31-$152 and are available at Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph St., the Auditorium Theatre Box Office, or by calling (800) 982-2787 or visiting ticketmaster.com. More details are at joffrey.org.
President's Day pleasure
President's Day Weekend at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa includes an array of amusement from hot air balloon shows to giant Malamute sled rides. The resort's Winter Wonderland activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through 26 miles of groomed trails, sledding, ice skating, turkey bowling and two Fire and Ice Winter Glow shows on the resort's Marina. Snuggle around a bonfire while watching Galena on the Fly light up multiple hot air balloons across the night sky over Lake Galena. Get in on a hockey shot contest or curling tournament at the resort's new Nordic Center, and kids can go for snow art, snow sandbox, freeze bubbles, Bocce ball, and snowman building and decorating.
Friday through Monday, Feb. 14-17, at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, 444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena. (800) 892-2269 or eagleridge.com.
A Capitol idea
Madison's Capitol Square is transformed into a winter wonderland with ice and snow sculptures, a tubing hill, snowboarding, cross-country ski racing, adaptive sit ski programming and snowshoeing venues during the Winter Festival. The Wisconsin event offers family activities, special events at museums, live entertainment, public open skiing, cross-country ski lessons, ice skating and lots more. Every year, Madison Winter Festival attracts more than 20,000 spectators, winter enthusiasts and athletes.
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Capitol Square in downtown Madison, Wis. For details, go to winter- fest.com.
Snow falling on cedars
Winter Festival in Cedarburg, Wis., celebrates its 40th year with an ice-carving contest, a chili contest, costumed bed races on ice, barrel races, a grand parade, Alaskan malamute Dog Weight Pull, snow golf, live music and an arts show. Don't miss the Japanese-style "Snow Battle" (half snow dodgeball, half old-fashioned snowball fight) in Cedar Creek Park. There'll be wine sampling at Cedar Creek Winery and Anvil Pub & Grill will have an outdoor "Snow Bar" and Chili Bar. The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts will be hosting a coffee/cocoa and sweets bar, too.
8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in downtown Cedarburg, Wis. (888) 894-4001 or cedarburgfestivals.org.
Fly like the wind to Iowa
Are the kids sulking about the weather and pining for spring? Point the vehicle west toward Iowa for the 2014 Color the Wind Festival in Clear Lake. Hundreds of colossal, colorful kites float on the crisp air (think nuclear-sized bears and colossal fish, horses and alligators floating up above) and fun ground displays on the frozen waters of Clear Lake. Stunt kite teams participate in team flying shows choreographed to music. You can bring your own kites or purchase one at the event. Warm up the family with a hot bowl of chili, steaming hot chocolate or a hot dog from the food wagon then traverse the ice to get the best views and photos and visit with the kite pilots.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the downtown sea wall at the west end of Main Street in Clear Lake, Iowa. colorthewind.org or (641) 357-5516.