Follow the sun
Take the opportunity to share the partial solar eclipse with your kids at the Chicago Children's Museum during a day of out-of-this-world programming. Gather in the Great Hall for interactive demonstrations, a livestream from NASA, and a safe look at the eclipse with special glasses. For ages 4 and older. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, at the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Admission is $13-$14. (312) 527-1000 or chicagochildrensmuseum.org/.
Ray of light
The latest ACTIVATE event, Network: Pulsing With Power, includes an array of installations and activities that features artists, musicians and educators who use light as an integral part of their work. Take a virtual reality bike tour through an electrical flower garden, FlowerSpace, where the flowers pulsate in time to your pedaling. Explore the hidden world of cells by going on a Microsafari, an interactive microscopy demo by citizen-science lab Analytics Lounge. See kinetic paintings with surfaces that change before your eyes with each flickering of a colored bulb. Try on clothing designs and paint your body in a live fashion photo shoot and more. 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at Couch Place Alley, 170 N. State St., (enter between Lake and Randolph), Chicago. Free; for all ages. RSVP in advance at activate.loopchicago.com/ for a free drink ticket at the event.
Sip and save
Loews Chicago Hotel hosts an exclusive wine tasting, preview show, and meet and greet with American folk/pop singer-songwriter Brett Dennen. Sip Dennen Vacationer California Rosé of Dennen Wines, a collaboration between Napa Winery Smith Devereux and the singer-songwriter, who is a northern California native. The exclusive, intimate event takes place at the hotel's outdoor terrace, Streeterville Social. Your ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine (100 percent of ticket sales will go to North Star Reach, a nonprofit organization in Pinckney, Michigan, that serves children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges across the Great Lakes region, free of charge). 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, at Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Drive, Chicago. Tickets cost $10 and are available at https://tinyurl.com/yd3hhjqw.
In the pines
The 34th annual Festival in the Pines in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, presents more than 250 arts and crafts booths, a motorcycle show, tasty eats like cheese curds, brats and pork-chop-on-a-stick from Chippewa Valley restaurants, plus a beer and wine garden. Kids can get in on games, rides and a free petting zoo. Two stages feature live music, magicians, jugglers, belly dancers, family entertainment and more. Stop in at the Chippewa Valley Museum while you're in town. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, at Carson Park, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Admission is $6; $5 for seniors 62 and older; free for kids 11 and younger. (888) 611-7463 or festivalinthepines.com/.
More than 450 exhibitors and vendors welcome your senses at Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Experience the beauty of Mexico's rich history, art, music and food. Wall-to-wall mariachi, tacos and tamales, colorful costumes and dancers, a car and motorcycle show and a Sunday procession and an outdoor mass are all on the menu. Noon to midnight Friday through Sunday, Aug. 25-27, at Henry W. Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Admission is $16 for ages 9 and older. Free admission for all from noon to 3 p.m. Friday; and from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for seniors 65 and older, people with disabilities, active duty military personnel and veterans with current identification. mexicanfiesta.org/.
Down to the crossroads
Get to Rockford's Lyran Park on the Kishwaukee River to enjoy the eighth annual Crossroads Blues Festival where you can hear The Kinsey Report, The Jimmys, Ivy Ford Band and many more. This year's fest also features 30 different beers plus various wines for sipping during the concerts. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Lyran Park, 4781 S. Bend Road, Rockford. Advance tickets cost $5; $10 at the gate; camping is $20. (779) 537-4006 or crossroadsbluesfestival.com/.