On the road: Touring Chicago's historic bars
You've been beaned
You can see the "Bean" in Millennium Park, but you'll have to hoof it to Kenosha, Wis., to see the massive chocolate replica of Chicago's famous sculpture. In its only public showing, the confectionery wonder makes a limited appearance on the popular Jelly Belly public tours. The 10-foot long by 7-foot wide replica of Chicago's famous Cloud Gate elliptical sculpture was designed under the guidance of professional chefs from the French Pastry School at Kennedy-King College.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Tuesday, May 1, at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center, 10100 Jelly Belly Lane, Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Tours are free. (866) 868-7522 or JellyBelly.com.
Stars and bars
Trends in beer sampling, culinary experiences and being a tourist in your own town have spurred Chicago Detours to launch a new Good Times Historic Bar Tour. It's an experience of drinking, eating and learning while touring the Magnificent Mile. Guests share iPads with historic photos and video clips. Tickets include light appetizers at the restaurant stops.
5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, April 1 to May 31; 5:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 5 to 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 to 11 p.m. Saturdays, June 1-Oct. 14. Tour starts at 435 N. Michigan Ave and end at 100 E. Ontario. Cost is $32, $30 for students and seniors. Guests must be 18 or over and reservations are required. chicagodetours.com.
Bourbon warms more than the belly
Women love to visit a spa, but there's plenty of opportunity for guys to get into it at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Book him a Vintage Bourbon Massage -- a scrub featuring a combination of brown sugar and Kentucky bourbon followed by a healing massage. The Men's Bourbon Retreat is a hand and foot soak spiked with molten bourbon, followed by a moisturizing massage. After either treatment, he enjoys a taste of new signature single-barrel bourbon in the Allium Bar. There also are plenty of spring treatments for women, too, such as a Burst of Color Pedicure and a new Resculpting Facial.
8 a.m. to 9 p m. daily for hotel and nonhotel guests at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago, $45-$210. Visit fourseasons.com/chicagofs.
Expect a fowl time at the annual Prairie Chicken Festival in and around Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., with a pre-dawn viewing of prairie-chicken courtship in three wildlife areas, Dutch-oven outdoor breakfasts, guided birding tours, nature walks and a prairie-chicken calling contest. Additional activities include bird-banding demonstrations, live music and dance performances, lectures and demonstrations by photographers and wildlife experts.
4:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, April 13; 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 14; and 4:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15. Tickets $25. (715) 343-6215 or http://prairiechickenfestival.org
Cheer for beer
In addition to photographing and gazing at the thousands of tulips that grace Holland, Mich., every spring, you can also stop at New Holland Brewing to see how the beer grows from hops and malt to a cold brewski. Brewery and distillery tours are offered every Saturday.
1:30 p.m. distillery tours with noon and 3 p.m. brewery tours at 690 Commerce Court, Holland, Mich. Distillery tours are $5 per person and include samples. Brewery tours are $10 per person and include samples of beer and a take-home New Holland pint glass. (616) 355-6422 or newhollandbrew.com.
Worth the trip
The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite visitors to explore, learn, share, and give back to America's nearly 400 national parks during National Parks Week 2012. The theme is "Picture Yourself in a National Park" and throughout the country, visitors can enjoy the 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic places and cultural treasures for free.
National parks will mark the annual celebration with special events and activities including Volunteer Day, Earth Day and Junior Ranger Day. Take ranger-led hikes and kayak trips, camp and explore during the special week.
Saturday to Sunday, April 21- 29. nationalparkweek.org.