Mart and art sleepovers
Art lovers and shoppers will like the new packages for summer stays at the Godfrey Hotel Chicago. Available Friday nights, The River North Art Experience includes overnight accommodations for two; tickets for two to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and a guided River North Art Gallery Tour (Saturday) hosted by Chicago Gallery News. The Bloomingdale's Shopping Package includes overnight accommodations for two; a special welcome gift in the room from Bloomingdale's upon arrival; a 15-percent discount card to use during the shopping trip; $50 in gift card credit; free item delivery back to the hotel when $250 or more is spent; and two 50-minute massages of your choice at the spa.
Available now through Aug. 31 at the Godfrey Hotel Chicago, 127 W. Huron St., Chicago. The Art Experience package starts at $288; the Shopping package starts at $510. Both packages are based on double occupancy. (855) 649-2200 or godfrey hotelchicago.com.
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Flowers and song
Check out the schedule of free outdoor concerts at the Chicago Botanic Garden Monday through Thursday evenings. Besides Carillon Concerts by the water in the Hot Summer Nights Music Series, there are also beautiful views and quiet walks through the gardens. Bring the kids Wednesdays for Dancin' Sprouts, or indulge in Music on the Esplanade and Cocktails on Tuesdays. Picnic dinners are allowed at some events, while others have food and beverages available for purchase.
7 p.m. Mondays, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 1 at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Admission is free, but parking is $20. Check chicagobotanic.org for schedules or call (847) 835-5440.
The other Summerfest
Just steps from Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Summerfest is an outdoor, casual family festival that features live music, food and drink vendors, art and jewelry fashioned by local artists and a family area with lots of activities for kids. Bring the little ones to frolic in the park and a blanket that they can rest on and enjoy food and music. Twenty hours of live music include favorite cover bands like 16 Candles, Too White Crew and Wedding Banned.
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 28, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 29, at 2000 N. Clark St., Chicago. Entry to the festival is a $5 suggested donation. Call (773) 665-4682 or go to starevents.com/events/chicago-summerfest.
Beach, blankets, bingo
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in northern Michigan celebrates Beach Week for its guests at its private Beach Club. Highlights include kayak races, candy bingo, 5K run, pottery painting, and tons of activities for families and couples. Groove to live beach music, enjoy beach bonfires, kid's beach crafts and popular "Beach Olympics," a series of five beach-themed challenges for your chance to earn Gold, Silver or Bronze medals.
June 27-July 6 at 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd., Acme, Michigan. Beach Week activities are value-added for guests who stay at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa during those dates. Visit grandtraverseresort.com/beach week.
Strawberry festival forever
Cedarburg celebrates its 29th Annual Strawberry Festival, when more than 100,000 people pay a delicious, free, family-oriented visit to the Wisconsin town. Witness an attempt at a Guinness World Record for the Largest Scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream; bring the young ones to Henry's Kids Korner at Cedar Creek Park for pony rides, a petting zoo, inflatable bounce houses and food vendors; sample Cedar Creek Winery's Strawberry Blush Wine while tasting the "Original" Strawberry Brat, Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Pie, Strawberry Crepes, Strawberry Slush and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. More than 250 local and Midwest artists showcase paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, and photography. Cedar Creek Settlement events at the north end of town include live bands, food booths, a merchant's marketplace and indoor shopping.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, in downtown Cedarburg, Wisconsin. (888) 894-4001 or cedarburg festivals.org/strawberryfestival.html.
Ann Arbor ardor
There are summer festivals, and then there's the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, an exhilarating celebration of performing arts and outdoor entertainment offering dozens of performances, activities and screenings of film and visual arts, eclectic music, dance, comedy and family fun. Celebrating its 31st season, the festival produces two concurrent programs, one indoor and one outdoor on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The indoor Mainstage series features ticketed performances of world-class music, dance, theater and comedy (Robert Cray, Mavis Staples, Andrew Bird, the Capitol Steps). Outdoors, Top of the Park offers free concerts, movies, open-air attractions and family activities from marching bands to climbing walls.
Hours vary by day now through July 6 at Ingalls Mall, North University Avenue and Thayer Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mainstage performance costs vary; Top of the Park is free. annarbor summerfestival.org or (734) 994-5999.