Midwest travel: Catch Cubs fever at Chicago History Museum exhibit
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Relive the Chicago Cubs' historic 2016 World Series win by viewing memorable Cubs artifacts on display at the Chicago History Museum. See items from Wrigley Field bleacher seats to Ben Zobrist's Game 3 Jersey and Game 7 hat on loan from the Chicago Cubs archives in the museum's cornerstone exhibit "Chicago: Crossroads of America." 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Saturday; 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. Admission is $14-$16, free for kids younger than 12. (312) 642-4600 or chicagohistory.org/.
The fourth annual Taste Talks Chicago features Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern and celebrity chef Fabio Viviani as headliners for a weekend full of food, drinks and fellow foodies. Attend a cocktail party at Virgin Hotels Chicago with Taste Talks and participating chefs; join conference panels and programming with Chicago chefs such as Mindy Segal, Matthias Merges, Sarah Grueneberg and Tony Mantuano; and watch 12 top chefs from across the country throw down with their best barbecue creations. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8. Venues and ticket prices vary. See chicago.tastetalks.com/ for a schedule and tickets.
Spa Week returns, meaning you can snag $50 spa deals across Chicagoland. Some of the most popular and high-end services that normally cost $500 will go for $50. Get a Brightening Acid Body Peel at Michigan Avenue's Elizabeth Adam Salon and Day Spa; try a hot stone massage in Oak Park; opt for a spray tan package in Bartlett; or indulge in a facial reflexology treatment at a Downers Grove salon. Book now through the dates of Spa Week, Oct. 16-22. Now through Oct. 22. spaweek.com/.
The city of Highwood hosts the eighth annual Great Pumpkin Festival, a three-day party highlighted by an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most jack-o'-lanterns lit in one location (the current world record is 30,851). Family festivities leading up to the record-breaking pumpkin lighting include pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie-eating contest, trick-or-treating in downtown Highwood, a kids' play area, live music, a costume contest, a carnival, horse-drawn hay rides, pony and camel rides, and food and beverages galore. Proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Illinois. 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in downtown Highwood. highwoodpumpkinfest.com/.
Looking for a place to take the kids over the Columbus Day break? Lake Geneva offers the autumnal scenery of Geneva Lake, and The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa invites families to enjoy a weekend stay with guided lake shore walks, caramel apple creations, seasonal scavenger hunts and harvest bonfires paired with cider and roasted marshmallows. A classic Oktoberfest menu beckons at the newly renovated Waterfront restaurant throughout October, including selections such as spaetzle, sauerbraten, Wiener schnitzel and Bavarian pretzels. Adults will like the Avani Overnight Spa package, the Bed & Breakfast package and the Stay and Play Golf package. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, at The Abbey Resort & Spa, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana, Wisconsin. Columbus Day weekend rates range from $99-$229. (800) 709-1323 or theabbeyresort.com/special-pkg/seasonal-specials.aspx.
Yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, cheese, sourdough, beer or wine -- what's your fermented pleasure? Fermentation Fest -- A Live Culture Convergence is an annual celebration of live culture in all its forms that brings together farmers, chefs, artists, poets and performers in the beautiful countryside of Sauk County, Wisconsin. Visit Reedsburg for tastings, demonstrations, cooking classes, art events, performances, food carts and more. There are classes in rustic bread, pretzels and beer, goat cheese, home-brew and fermentation basics, as well as tastings and a marketplace with fermented food, art, beer and more. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Costs for classes vary. Register online fermentationfest.com/.