Midwest travel: Explore Adler for free during discount days


Stars in your eyes

Alter your mind in a healthy way by visiting other galaxies, traveling incredible distances and eyeballing exploding stars at the Adler Planetarium during Illinois Resident Discount Days. Treat the kids to some spaced out activity or expand your own planetary view for free. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day are included in discount days this year and Illinois residents can use their discount to apply toward other admission packages that include sky shows and the Atwood Sphere Experience. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission with proof of residency Jan. 11, 12, 15, 18-22, 25-29 and Feb. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24 and 29 at Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (312) 922-7827 or

What's your story?

The 19th annual Fillet of Solo Festival celebrates the ancient yet popular again storytelling and live lit scene. The festival welcomes 14 storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers for a three-week, multivenue selection of powerful stories. You'll witness personal narratives from the hilarious to the heartfelt, some set to live music. 7 and 8:30 p.m. Fridays; 4, 5:30, 7, 8:30 and 10 p.m. Saturdays; 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m. Sundays (no 7 p.m. show Jan. 31) Jan. 15-31. Check the website for venues. Single tickets cost $10, a Festival Pass is $50. (773) 761-4477 or

Glazy Sunday morning

If you've already had it with your Atkins diet, you may as well hit up Donut Fest. Chicago restaurants and bakeries fry up crullers, tubes and rings of sweet dough hoping to win the title of "Best Donut." Tickets include taste tests, three coffee samples and a goody bag. Vendors include Stan's Donuts; Glazed & Infused; Firecakes; Bombobar; and Dark Matter Coffee, among others. Proceeds benefit Un86'd. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, at Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave., Chicago. Limited tickets ($50) are still available for the second VIP session. (773) 537-4440 or


Lean in Green Lake

Heidel House Resort and its Evensong Spa present wellness seminars, fitness classes and special spa services during January Wellness Month to help you stay on your 2016 health kick. Saturdays in January typically begin with a rejuvenating yoga session followed by other classes, such as Skincare 101, meditation seminars, and Emotions & Essential Oils. Throughout the month of January, Evensong Spa features $50 midweek service specials Sunday through Thursday. Through Jan. 31 at Heidel House Resort in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Rates during Wellness Month start at $69 per night. (800) 444-2812 or

Super snow Sunday

Get the gal pals to agree on a trip up north for the Women's Winter Tour, now in its 18th year providing outdoor recreation for fun and fitness. Pack your fringe, bell bottoms or satin jacket because this year's theme is the '70s. The Women's Tour is entirely noncompetitive, so you'll cross-country ski or snowshoe at your own pace, stopping along the trail for locally crafted wines, gourmet cuisine, desserts and chocolates at trailside refueling stops. Spend Super Bowl Sunday in the snow, skiing and sampling instead of being on chicken wing duty at home. Sunday, Feb. 7, at Timber Ridge Nordic Center in Traverse City, Michigan. Cost is $10 for young girls, $30 for teens and $40 for adults (on the day of the tour, the last two categories bump up to $40 and $50 respectively.) For lodging, go to

Way to go, Ohio

Ohio State Parks offer winter adventures of hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, geocaching and more at five Ohio State Park Lodges. Expect an affordable variety of packages and deals at Maumee Bay, Salt Fork, Mohican, Punderson Manor and Deer Creek State Parks. The 10/20/30 Deal is a progressive discount that increases to up to 30 percent off room rates as guests extend their stays. There's also a two-night Bed and Breakfast package featuring a savings of at least 15 percent when combining the nightly room rate and included cooked-to-order breakfast. All lodges offer extensive indoor activity, too. Offers valid for stays through May 26. For the 10/20/30 deal, use the promotional codes STAY1, STAY2 or STAY3 depending upon the number of nights staying. Use code BNB2 for the Bed and Breakfast package. or (800) 282-7275.

Time to eat the doughnuts: Chicago's Donut Fest is Jan. 31.
Visit Heidel House Resort in Green Lake, Wisconsin, during January Wellness Month.
Spend Super Bowl Sunday laughing it up with the gals during the Winter Women's Tour in Traverse City, Michigan. courtesy of Sarah Brown
Ohio State Parks offer winter adventures of hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, geocaching and more at five Ohio State Park Lodges through May.
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