The Peninsula Chicago offers experiences like Princess for a Day, Chicago Fire House Excursion, children's baking classes and others for guests of all ages. Princess for a Day includes attendants who provide hair, makeup and nail services, followed by a gown and tiara fitting. Afternoon tea follows, where the princess-in-training will learn how to greet her royal subjects, how to drink tea in a refined manner and how to do a proper curtsy, before a horse-drawn pumpkin-shaped carriage whisks you and your little princess to a store of your choice.
Available throughout 2014 at The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St. Cost varies; hotel rates start at $595/night for September. (312) 337-2888 or chicago.peninsula.com.
Istanbul meets Chicago at the 12th Chicago Turkish Festival. Enter the Plaza through the doors of a traditional Safranbolu House and browse the Land of Civilizations Exhibit explaining the history of Anatolia and the Turkish Republic; enjoy live midday and evening shows of a marching Ottoman Military Band; authentic Turkish classical and folk music concert; Turkish Folk Dance performances; Whirling Dervishes; and a fashion show of Turkish couture and textiles. Art demonstrations include paper marbling, calligraphy, ceramic art, carpet weaving and silver filigree. Taste Turkish pastries while sipping Turkish coffee, or relax in the beer garden and try Turkish-style grilled kebabs.
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 5-6. 401 N. Michigan Ave. Free admission. chicagoturkishfestival.org.
Sail on, sail on, sailor
Celebrate Venetian Night with a cruise aboard the Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago, Mystic Blue or Seadog. Or enjoy the parade from the water, cruising along Navy Pier while eating dinner and watching the decorated boats. Finish the evening with the Navy Pier fireworks display.
Boarding and cruising times vary per vessel, Saturday, Sept. 6, at Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Ave., Chicago. Reservations are required for all cruises. For Odyssey, (888) 957-2320 or odysseycruises.com; Spirit of Chicago at (888) 957-2324 or spiritofchicago.com; Mystic Blue at (888) 333-9150 or mysticbluecruises.com; Seadog at (888) 636-7737 or seadogcruises.com.
What's the allure of lighthouses -- romance, travel or mystery? Get your fill of all three at the 19th annual Apostle Islands Lighthouse Celebration. It includes lighthouse tours, cruises and a Keeper's Reunion. The area boasts a total of nine lighthouses and towers within its boundaries. Cruises and tours will be ongoing during the celebration, including special cruises to individual lighthouses on Michigan, Outer and Sand Islands, none of which are offered at any other point of the year.
Wednesday, Sept. 3, through Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin. Tours range in price from $37.95 to $50.95. Keeper's Reunion tickets are $30, with Cruise Combos available ranging from $68 to $77. Children 12 and younger qualify for special cruise prices. (800) 323-7619 or lighthousecelebration.com.
Happy sails to you
There's a fantastic way to soak up Michigan's fall colors -- from the water. Keweenaw Excursions is offering a three-day excursion that takes passengers up the St. Mary's River, through the Soo Locks, and into Lake Superior, aboard its 110-foot Keweenaw Star. Travel north to explore the hundreds of tree-filled islands of Potagannissing Bay and over to the Canadian town of Bruce Mines, to view the lighthouse at McKay Point. Float past more lighthouses and islands (which should be ablaze in fall colors) through the Soo Locks and out into Lake Superior, before returning to Sault Ste. Marie for the night.
Saturday to Monday, Sept. 27-29, at 109 Bridge Park Dr., Charlevoix, Michigan. Cost is $475 per person, based on double occupancy ($550 per person, single occupancy), and includes transportation, two night's accommodations at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as a gaming package and most meals. Space is limited, and reservations are required. (231) 237-9365 or KeweenawExcursions.com.
Feet, seat and eat
Step into fall colors on a self-guided 8-mile hike from Lake Geneva to Williams Bay, Wisconsin, then take your seat on a Gage boat and eat on board during a narrated tour of the lake. The unguided walk follows the public lake shoreline, passing tony estates, exquisite gardens and wooden boats. The classic Grand Belle of Geneva passenger boat picks up walkers after the hike to the Williams Bay Municipal Pier for an onboard champagne brunch buffet Sunday, including appetizers, six entrees, desserts and a tour before returning to the starting point in Lake Geneva.
Hike starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26, at the Riviera Docks, 812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Cost is $48 for adults, $46 for seniors 65 and over, $41 for ages 13-17 and $35 for ages 4-11. Reservations required. (800) 558-5911 or cruiselakegeneva.com.