Midwest travel: Gear up your bike for Chicago's Bike the Drive


Ride your bike on LSD

Release the daily grind and glide down Lake Shore Drive, minus exhaust fumes and apoplectic drivers, with thousands of other biking enthusiasts during Bike the Drive, a once-a-year opportunity to enjoy Chicago's skyline when Lake Shore Drive is closed to cars and open to two-wheeled vehicles. On Sunday, May 29, you'll be able to cycle on all lanes of Lake Shore Drive for a 30-mile route (or a shorter 15-mile option). It's held rain or shine, so don't turn back home if you see a couple of raindrops. Along the way, there are rest stops with water, food and facilities. The post-ride fun includes a fest with music and food. The event benefits Active Transportation Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit safe, convenient and fun. Ride starts at 5:30 a.m. and the festival runs from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 29, at Butler Field in Chicago. The cost is $17-$64 with package deals, group discounts and accessible riding. Register at

To market, to market

The outdoor Randolph Street Market returns to the West Loop for its summer season Memorial Day weekend. It promises hundreds of select purveyors of high-quality items in a garden party atmosphere. Expect interactive art and DIY demonstrations, seasonal fancy food, live music, a vinyl swap meet and more. The warm-weather market adds an outdoor area with a beer garden plus space for more antiques, furniture and vintage clothing. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29, at 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago. Entry is $10 or $8 in advance at (312) 666-1200.

You can't have a fest without food: The Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival May 28-29 is one of the first neighborhood summer music (and food) parties in Chicago. Courtesy of the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

Street fest season starts

The intersection of Belmont and Sheffield is the hub of Chicago's vibrant Lakeview neighborhood, and the yearly Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival doesn't disappoint. The 32nd annual festival kicks off Chicago's outdoor street fest season over Memorial Day weekend. Located just steps from the Belmont Red Line El stop, the popular street party showcases the region's favorite tribute bands, plenty of food and beverages from neighborhood restaurants as well as artisans offering their handiwork. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29, on North Sheffield from Belmont to Roscoe, Chicago. $5 suggested entry donation. (773) 868-3010 or


Tend to your brat

No, it's not about whining kids, but rather the World's Largest Brat fest focuses on a real delight that never disappoints: the Wisconsin bratwurst. The four-day rain-or-shine event features free admission and music, food for purchase and family-friendly fun in the heart of downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Expect wienies of all kinds, plus vegetarian options, as well as ice cream and other local victuals. No oompah bands here: Lita Ford, Aaron Lewis and Travis Tritt are among the headliners. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, May 27-29, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, May 30, at the Allianz Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, Wisconsin. Free.

Prepare to scream: Ghost Boat: Journey Into Haunted Canyon kicks off Memorial Day weekend in the Wisconsin Dells. Courtesy of Dells Boat Tours, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Ghost riders

Sure, the Dells can be scary with countless screaming children upset about their mini-golf scores, but the popular tourist destination gets downright eerie as Dells Boat Tours launches its Ghost Boat excursion Memorial Day weekend. Experience one of the spookiest places in the Dells - the mysterious Cold Water Canyon. The after-dark voyage is a 1½-hour adventure that features a trek in the woods, deep in a rocky gorge, in nearly complete darkness. Ghost Boat: Journey into Haunted Canyon is not recommended for children ages 9 and younger or the faint of heart. Tours begin nightly at 8:30 p.m. with various departure times May 27-Aug. 30 from 11 Broadway in downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Ghost Boat tickets cost $24.50 for adults and kids 12 and older, $17 for kids 11 and younger. Purchase at (608) 254-8555, in person or at

The Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis is teaming up with the Eiteljorg Museum on a cool summer nights program beginning in June. Courtesy of Indiana State Museum

Free Indy fun

Going to Indy this summer? The Indiana State Museum is offering outdoor-only programming and activities geared toward multigenerational museum-goers. Get in on games, painting, water experiments and other fun related to Indiana's art, science and culture. Game Night includes fun with hula hoops, Imagination Playground, mastodon puzzles, jump ropes and more; Science Night brings water experiments and bubble making; and Art Night sets up drawing stations, community mural making, make-and-take tissue flowers and a tour of outdoor sculptures. The adjacent Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art stays open late for live music, a cash bar and activities under The Sails along the downtown canal. 6 to 8 p.m. June 1-July 27 at the Indiana State Museum, White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. For museum info about exhibits and events, call (317) 232-1637 or visit Eiteljorg is open until 8 p.m. June 1-Aug. 3. For details, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or see

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