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posted: 8/12/2017 7:32 AM

Midwest travel: Explore Chicago in-depth with Airbnb Experiences

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  • Blues fans will thrill at the new Airbnb Experiences in Chicago.

    Blues fans will thrill at the new Airbnb Experiences in Chicago.

  • Shoppers will appreciate the Nordstrom Exclusive Shopping Package offered at JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America.

    Shoppers will appreciate the Nordstrom Exclusive Shopping Package offered at JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America.

 
By Jacky Runice
Daily Herald Correspondent

Chicago

Are you experienced?

Airbnb just launched Experiences, bookable local-led immersions that offer visitors a closer look at Chicago's world-famous food, art, music and night life. You can explore street art in Pilsen with a local contemporary artist; hit the city's famed blues trail and visit the spaces and places where area blues legends were born and watch performers live on stage; or dive into Chicago's first mermaid school. Among the 20 Chicago experiences, there are options for the art aficionado, foodie, tennis player, budding mixologist, history buff, dancer and more. Experiences range in price from $35-$150. See airbnb.com/s/Chicago--IL/experiences for descriptions and reservations.

Don't stop the music

Broadway In Chicago returns to Millennium Park for the sixth time to present its annual Free Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert. Show tunes fans can revel in selections from more than 10 shows, including songs from Disney's "Aladdin," "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," "Les Misérables" and "Wicked," among others. 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Free. broadwayinchicago.com/.

Broadway In Chicago returns to Millennium Park for the annual Free Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert Monday, Aug. 14.
Broadway In Chicago returns to Millennium Park for the annual Free Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert Monday, Aug. 14. -
European union

The Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Chicago's Rogers Park offers a European ambience, narrow cobblestone streets, murals and quaint storefronts. Experience the community during the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest, a free, weekend-long arts festival that features more than 150 artist-vendors, open studios and live entertainment on three outdoor stages. Shop for handmade arts and crafts, sample items from local restaurants, watch artists demonstrate techniques and works-in-progress and bring the kids for free hands-on art activities and family-friendly circus, theater, dance and music acts. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19-20, at 6900-7030 N. Glenwood Ave., near the 1400 block of Morse Avenue, Chicago. (773) 761-4477, ext. 701, or glenwoodave.org/.

Explore more than more than 150 artist-vendors at the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest in Chicago Aug. 19-20.
Explore more than more than 150 artist-vendors at the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest in Chicago Aug. 19-20. -
Midwest

The Dane abides

The 52nd annual Danish Festival celebrates Greenville, Michigan's Danish heritage, and this year's theme is Hans Christian Andersen's "The Fir Tree." The festival features events all weekend: 14 colossal, colorful hot air balloons, live music, arts and crafts, a firefighter's parade, family fun day, Tivoli Gardens (aka Danish beer dome), truck and tractor pull, military museum tours, Fairy Tale parade at 6 p.m. Friday and the Grand Danske parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17; 9 a.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 18; 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 19; and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, in downtown Greenville, Michigan. For a schedule of events, call (616) 754-6369 or visit danishfestival.org/.

The 52nd annual Danish Festival celebrates Greenville, Michigan's Danish heritage Aug. 18-21.
The 52nd annual Danish Festival celebrates Greenville, Michigan's Danish heritage Aug. 18-21. -
Budding blues

Plan now for a visit to Brown County, Indiana, during the 19th Annual Bean Blossom Blues Fest. The biggest jam fest in the Midwest includes daily performances by award-winning blues artists, food, camping and craft beer. Everyone is welcome to bring their own instruments to jam because surprise performances can be the best part. This year's lineup includes Charlie Musselwhite, Samantha Fish and the Eric Lindell Band. Bean Blossom, Indiana, is about 230 miles from Chicago. 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24; 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25; and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground, Bean Blossom, Indiana. Admission varies. (812) 988-6422 or beanblossomblues.com/.

The 19th annual Bean Blossom Blues Fest Aug. 24-26 is the largest jam in the Midwest.
The 19th annual Bean Blossom Blues Fest Aug. 24-26 is the largest jam in the Midwest. -
Shopping daze

For those who live to shop, JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America just announced a new Nordstrom Exclusive Shopping Package. It includes a stay at the luxe hotel and a $100 gift card for Nordstrom shopping per night. Nordstrom is just steps from the hotel, which is also adjacent to the mall. The Nordstrom Exclusive Shopping Package takes advantage of Minnesota's tax-free shopping and also offers guests $50 in dining at the property's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant each night; Nordstrom Makers chocolate or toffee upon arrival; and a personal stylist/shopper at Nordstrom upon request. JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America is at 2141 Lindau Lane, Bloomington, Minnesota. The Nordstrom Exclusive Shopping Package starts at $359 per night plus taxes and gratuity. To book, call (800) 228-9290 (promo code SHO) or visit marriott.com/hotels/travel/mspjw-jw-marriott-minneapolis-mall-ofamerica/.

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