Chicago Gourmet turns 10, and the high-end food festival offers a bounty of highlights. Look into eXtraordinary Chefs -- eXtraordinary Places, a collection of 10 parties at 10 iconic Chicago locations, or consider the annual Hamburger Hop, a popular burger cooking showdown, or Sweets & Beats, an after-hours dance party at Willis Tower. There are also cooking demos from chefs like Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, Tony Mantuano and more, book signings, wine and cocktail seminars, gourmet pavilions, and tastings from established and emerging restaurants and craft beverage makers. The Main Event, presented by Bon Appétit, showcases more than 250 Chicago restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers and premium breweries from around the world. Special ticketed dinners range from Ballpark Fare Goes Gourmet at the Park at Wrigley to Late Night Gourmet at The Underground. Events are 21 and older only. Friday through Sunday, Sept. 22-24, in Chicago's Millennium Park. Tickets start at $50. chicagogourmet.org/.
The 2017 Hyde Park Jazz Festival offers two days of live jazz on 13 indoor and outdoor stages. Expect world premieres, unexpected collaborations, a spotlight on women bandleaders and an in-depth look at Thelonious Monk at 100. See and hear national and international jazz artists; spin on the outdoor dance floor; refuel at food and beverage vendors; and shop artisan vendors. 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 23, and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at various venues in Hyde Park, Chicago. A $5 donation is requested. hydeparkjazzfestival.org/.
Sip, Sip Hurray
The fourth annual Blue Harbor Craft Beer Festival in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, brings more than 30 Midwestern breweries serving traditional and craft brews and barrel-aged beers to the lakefront Blue Harbor Resort. Get in on beer and barbecue pairings or a VIP experience meeting brewers and previewing exclusive limited-edition beers with culinary pairings and small plates. The Grand Craft Beer Tasting allows sampling of more than 100 beers and ciders while enjoying live music by the Honey Goats. The Beer BBQ on Friday, Sept. 22, takes place at 3 Sheeps Taproom, 1837 North Ave., Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The VIP beer seminar before the craft beer fest runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Blue Harbor Resort, 725 Blue Harbor Drive, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Grand Tasting, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, costs $39; the VIP experience is $75; and the Beer BBQ is $25. Buy tickets at xorbia.com/events/blueharbor/beerfest/. For hotel reservations, call (866) 701-BLUE or book online at blueharborresort.com/craft-beer-festival.
Barns and noble
Head west for the All State Iowa Barn Tour, the Iowa Barn Foundation's annual free, self-guided tour of restored historic barns. See and photograph restored barns, some of which received awards of distinction from the Iowa Barn Foundation. At many of the stops, the owners will discuss the barns and their histories. The tour is arranged so that you can go from barn to barn on your own, as time and distance permits. Tour maps will be available at each barn. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24. For directions, go to iowabarnfoundation.org/events.htm.
Come on in
Doors Open Milwaukee is a two-day public celebration of Milwaukee's art, architecture, culture and history, offering behind-the-scenes tours of more than 150 buildings throughout downtown and various neighborhoods. Visit commercial properties, sacred spaces, theaters, breweries, mansions, hotels, museums, apartment buildings, art galleries and community gardens. The event is geared for adults, but there's a family activity booklet with activities and a passport with 20 child-friendly Doors Open sites. There are more than three dozen in-depth walking tours, too, but they tend to sell out quickly. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Free except for scheduled guided tours, which cost $10. See doorsopenmilwaukee.org/.
Double the fun
Make it a family weekend in Waukesha, Wisconsin, when the second annual Waukesha Oktoberfest and the Apple Harvest Festival come to town. Saturday's Oktoberfest includes live German music, dancers, food, beer, Wisconsin's own Sprecher products and contests. On Sunday, the Apple Harvest Festival offers live music, food vendors, an apple pie baking contest, children's activities, Scarecrow Lane, a craft fair, planetarium shows, guided nature hikes and horse-drawn wagon rides. Waukesha Oktoberfest: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Frame Park, 1150 Frame Park Drive, Waukesha, Wisconsin. Free. Apple Harvest Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Retzer Nature Center, S14 W28167 Madison St., Waukesha, Wisconsin. Admission is $5 per car. visitwaukesha.org/events/.