'Very Eric Carle'
The Chicago Children's Museum's new exhibit, "Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit," brings the artist and author's world to life starting Saturday, Sept. 30. Weave a web with the Very Busy Spider and find your light with the Very Lonely Firefly in the play-and-learn exhibit that allows you to step into the pages of Eric Carle's classic "Very" series. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, open until 8 p.m. Thursdays, running Saturday, Sept. 30, to Jan. 7, 2018, at the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. $14 for kids and adults; $13 for seniors; free for members and children younger than 1. chicagochildrensmuseum.org/.
Get schooled in sake
Slurping Turtle, a River North ramen shop and sushi restaurant, hosts a sake tasting and education event that features 15 sake varieties, passed appetizers (from maki rolls and gyoza to poke bites) from chef Tadashi Nagura and select Japanese whiskeys. Representatives from sake and whiskey companies will be on hand to educate guests. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Slurping Turtle, 116 W. Hubbard St., Chicago. $25 plus tax and gratuity. (312) 464-0466 or tinyurl.com/ya2b3gmf.
This little piggy
For the first time, Grand Cochon will be hosting the finale to the 14-city touring culinary competition in Chicago. The 14 winning chefs of regional competitions will face off in a contest with a cause -- a portion of the proceeds go to Piggy Bank, which supports heritage breed pig farmers. More than 2,500 pounds of heritage pork will be served as part of the stand-up tasting menu, which includes dozens of competition plates served alongside artisan wines, boutique spirits, handcrafted cocktails, cheeses, charcuterie, oysters, sweets and much more. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at Morgan Manufacturing, 401 N. Morgan St., Chicago. Tickets start at $150, which includes food and drink tastings. grandcochon.com/.
Crow about it
Plan an outing to Ottawa, Illinois, for the 30th annual Scarecrow Festival, which calls itself the state's biggest "toddler friendly" festival. Kids can enjoy colossal bouncy houses, face painting and countless scarecrows decorating downtown Ottawa. Adults can browse 75 vendor booths and unique merchants or grab a bite at a local restaurant. Other attractions include the Scouting Museum and the I and M Canal, perfect to bike or hike on an autumn day. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in downtown Ottawa, Illinois. For details, call Brian at (815) 434-4071 or see pickusottawail.com/scarecrow-festival/.
Moo-sic to your ears
Do you see a rump roast as a thing of beauty? Then Minocqua's Beef-A-Rama is for you. Roasters begin cooking their signature beef before dawn and while runners get ready for the Lakeland Rotary's Rump Roast Run, which starts at 9 a.m. Enjoy live music and kids' activities like bounce houses and face painting, browse the Prime Choice Craft Show featuring more than 70 vendors, and get down to Torpy Park to grab a roast beef sandwich, watch the beef-eating contest, the cow pie plop, and the Parade of Beef down Oneida Street at 3 p.m. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in Torpy Park, Minocqua, Wisconsin. (715) 356-5266 or minocqua.org.
Walk the Wright way
Take a self-guided architectural adventure through Wisconsin this autumn while exploring the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail in Madison in celebration of the architect's 150th birthday. While in town, explore lively State Street restaurants and more. Make a weekend of it at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, which is the halfway point on the trail. On your trek, don't miss the Monona Terrace Convention Center (Wright envisioned his "dream civic center" would link the shores of Lake Monona with Madison). The Frank Lloyd Wright Trail Package at the hotel includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, self-parking for one car in the hotel lot, a Frank Lloyd Wright welcome gift and a $50 gift certificate to the Capitol ChopHouse. Through May 1, 2018, at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, 9 E. Wilson St., Madison, Wisconsin. Rates start at $250 per night plus tax and are based on availability. The only way to book this package is to call the Hilton Madison at (608) 260-2363.