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posted: 7/26/2014 5:45 AM

On the road: Immerse yourself in the bratwurst experience

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  • Meet the Brat-meister during Brat Days in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, July 31-Aug. 2.

    Meet the Brat-meister during Brat Days in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, July 31-Aug. 2.

  • Experience Jamaica's roots, rock and reggae when you take the "Root of Roots" tour offered by Island Outpost.

    Experience Jamaica's roots, rock and reggae when you take the "Root of Roots" tour offered by Island Outpost.



Ship out, shape up

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is partnering with celebrity fitness guru Andrea Metcalf and Chicago SUP paddle boarding company for a fitness-oriented summer experience. The one-of-a-kind package includes a one-on-one fitness session with Metcalf, paddle boarding experience on Lake Michigan, special Andrea Metcalf in-room fitness amenities, including a stability ball and workout DVDs, complimentary access to the hotel's historic junior-sized Olympic pool and state-of-the-art health club, and overnight accommodations to relax after all of that activity.

Available through Aug. 30 at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, 505 N. Michigan Ave. Package starts at $259, excluding tax. (312) 944-4100 or

Winning at Wrigley

There hasn't been much to celebrate within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field for, oh, about 100 years. But outside the stadium, things just keep rocking and rolling along. The 12th annual Wrigleyville Summerfest serves up plenty of tasty food and beverages from local eateries, music courtesy of Chicago bands, and a Kids Zone with interactive games and family-friendly activities. Enjoy the live tunes of Hairbanger's Ball and Too White Crew. Come by on Sunday and worship in the middle of Seminary St. while listening to a live choir.

Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at 3300 N. Seminary, Chicago. Admission is a suggested donation of $5. (773) 665-4682 or wrigleyville


Art in the vineyards

The third annual Art & Music in the Vineyard is a two-day event featuring artists from Michiana and beyond. Expect to find original works of pottery, glass, metal sculptures, paintings, jewelry and much more, and sip on award-winning wine, refreshing microbrews or DiVine cocktails while listening to live music from Slim Gypsy Baggage, Dogpatch Ramblers and others.

Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at Round Barn Winery, 10983 Hills Road, Baroda, Michigan. (800) 716-9463 or

What a brat

Brat Days is a one-of-a-kind brat experience in -- where else? -- Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Entertainment includes lots of live bands such as the Happy Schnapps Combo and The Toys, a brat-eating contest, a brat trot race, and more food than you can shake a sausage at. Try a brat-on-a-stick; brat-be-que; brat lasagna and jambalaya; brat egg rolls; brat fajitas; Oostburgers (burger/brat); as well as ice cream and pizza.

4 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 31; 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1; and 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at Kiwanis Park, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Tickets are 10 for $5.

Fairy fine fellows

If a yearly visit to a local Renaissance Faire can't twist your knickers, point the sword to Vasa Park in South Elgin for the 10th annual World of Faeries Festival. Dab some patchouli behind your ears and browse fairy art and crafts, magic shows, sword-fighting demos, belly dancing and lots of folk music.

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at Vasa Park in South Elgin. Admission is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; and free for kids ages 12 and younger. (815) 788-1630 or theworldof


Worth the trip

To mark the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley and the Wailer's multiplatinum record, "Legend," Chris Blackwell's Island Outpost offers the "Root of Roots" tour. Walk in the footsteps of Bob Marley and travel through the evolution of Jamaican music with this tour offered by Inside Outpost, during which you get privileged access to Jamaica's culture. The excursions are led by local tour guides with special areas of expertise. The Root of Roots tour locations include: Marley's hometown and the birthplace of reggae; the Institute of Jamaica; Treasure Isle Studio, one of Kingston's oldest recording studios; Spiritual Redemption House where Marley was baptized; and Bob Marley Museum. Stay at Strawberry Hill, 50 minutes north of Kingston, in the Blue Mountains.

Rates start at $345 per night. The tour is fully customizable, and the cost of the tour varies based on the excursions included.

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