Get this party arted
The kickoff to Chicago's neighborhood summer festival season is a great one, starting with the Do-Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale in West Town. Shop indie shops, browse artisans' works, listen to nonstop live music on two stages and sample food from local restaurants. There's a dedicated "Do-Fashion" area for designer pop-up shops and merchandise, and a Family Fun Fest offering pony rides, face painting, train rides, The Easel Art Studio Craft Tent and local vendors.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 30, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 31-June 1, on Division Street from Ashland to Leavitt. There is a $5 suggested donation for admittance. (312) 850-9390 or do-divisionstreetfest.com.
Enjoy the city's music, food and art festivals without the sleepy schlep home with The James Chicago's "Summer in Chicago" package. If you drive to The James, snag complimentary valet parking (a $60 per day value), and while there take advantage of free Wi-Fi, a local car service when available, modern guest room or suite and award-winning dining from David Burke's Primehouse.
Book by June 15 for stays July 1-Sept. 2 at The James Chicago, 55 E. Ontario St. Reserve rates start at $229 if you use promo code SUMMER. Advance purchase required and the rooms are nonrefundable. (312) 337-1000 or jameshotels.com.
Such a wit
The AAA Four Diamond theWit Hotel Chicago is celebrating its fifth anniversary with many specials, including a spa and hotel package. Stop by State and Lake Chicago Tavern for its Butcher Burger made with Hook's five-year cheddar and five-hour braised pork belly and $5 craft cans all month long. The Five Year Anniversary Package includes overnight accommodations, and upon arrival, all guests will find a strawberry vanilla cream "Sprinkle Cake" in their room, compliments of theWit's pastry chef Toni Roberts. The Spa@theWit 5 Year Celebration Treatment is an 80-minute scrub, face masque and massage available until the end of May.
Hotel package is available for a full year, through May 2015, starting at $189 per night. The Celebration Treatment is $215 per person at theWit Hotel, 201 N. State St. (312) 467-0200 or thewithotel.com/specials.
Wright way to Racine
Due to heavy demand, SC Johnson is adding to its schedule of free tours including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Administration Building and Research Tower on the company's Racine, Wisconsin, campus. The 15-story Research Tower, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was completed in 1950 and last used in 1982. It received extensive interior and exterior restoration work. The two-hour Landmarks Tour also includes the Wright-designed Administration Building, opened in 1939 and also on the National Register. View films at the Golden Rondelle Theater, designed for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
Wednesdays through Sundays, May 28-Sept. 28, at SC Johnson, 1525 Howe St., Racine, Wisconsin. Tour reservations are recommended and should be scheduled online at scjohnson.com/visit. Call (262) 260-2154 or email Tours@scj.com.
Rockford moves Wright, too
The newest Frank Lloyd Wright museum, The Kenneth & Phyllis Laurent House, opens to the public in June in Rockford. Wright considered the home one of the 35 best works of his career, and it's the only building ever designed by the architect for a person with a disability. The single-story Usonian structure, both functional and beautiful, met the needs of its owner decades ahead of the Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. It features a solar hemicycle footprint, patio, fishpond, carport and links to the natural landscape.
Tours are at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday the first and last weekend of the month year round beginning June 6. Tours depart from Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford. Minimum group tour size is four people, and admission is $15 per person. Check laurenthouse.com/visit for specific dates.
Guided three-day weekend bicycle tours of Door County, Wisconsin, start at the end of June. Door County Bike Tours include scenic places to explore on the peninsula, with lodging at the Eagle Harbor Inn, in the village of Ephraim and the Glidden Lodge in Sturgeon Bay, depending on the tour dates. The vacation includes three days of guided bike tours, two nights lodging, two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner, admission to planned events and attractions, support vehicle and a Door County Bike Tour T-shirt. Door County Bicycle Tours are geared toward the casual bicyclist with an average ride of about 20 miles a day.
Tour dates are June 27-29, Aug. 9-10, Aug. 30-Sept. 1 and Sept. 19-21. All-inclusive package rates start at $790, and tours are limited to a maximum of 16 people. See DoorCounty BikeTours.com.