Midwest travel: Jazz up your weekend at Hyde Park Jazz Fest
The Hyde Park Jazz Fest features nearly 40 performances at 14 venues throughout the historic South Side neighborhood. Local artists Tomeka Reid and Mikel Patrick Avery have composed original pieces for the fest, and Avery will lead a full-scale parade down the Festival Midway. Ambrose Akinmusire's project, banyan, is a 60-minute composition with an original video installation. Other standout acts include Regina Carter, Xavier Davis, Henry Threadgill and David Virelles, among others. The ninth annual festival also offers an outdoor dance floor, artisan vendors, films and discussion programs. 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 26, and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, in various venues around Hyde Park, so check the website for a schedule and locations at hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
Those stars of YouTube, cute kitties, come to the stage of the Athenaeum Theatre for the Internet Cat Video Festival. See an exclusive screening of a new film by the creator of the droll Henri Le Chat Noir videos, Will Braden, who nabbed the People's Choice Golden Kitty Award at a previous fest. The festival features 75 minutes of carefully curated cat videos. Be sure to give a hug to adoptable cats and kittens, too. The festival benefits Chicago Cat Rescue and Tree House Humane Society. 1, 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. General admission tickets are $15, or $20 on the day of the event. (773) 935-6860 or athenaeumtheatre.org.
Get out of the house with Millennium Hotels and Resorts' "Fall Into Autumn" deal that allows families and couples to explore the city, take in a concert, or just stroll like a tourist along the River Walk then snooze in a beautiful room. Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago is participating in the fall deal, which includes 10 percent off their Best Flexible Rate as well as 10 percent off food and beverage. Now through Nov. 30. The "Fall Into Autumn" package is subject to availability and rates start at $179 for the Chicago property, at 163 E. Walton Place. (866) 866-8086 or millenniumhotels.com.
Get all of your favorite ethnic treats, entertainment and flavors at the International Fall Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. More than 100 different ethnic foods and craft vendors will fill the autumn air, celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of West Central Wisconsin. While you nosh and take in international entertainment, offspring can hit the Family Fun Zone with a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, caricature drawings, silly string war zone and more. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Free. (715) 839-4914 or downtowneauclaire.org.
It has legs
California proved that grapes aren't strictly fond of France -- Illinois' vineyards are ripe with possibility, too. Vintage Illinois 2015 proves our state's luscious efforts at Matthiessen State Park, in Oglesby, as wine tasters sip some of the best. Tickets are good for either day, so if you purchase a ticket for Saturday, you can return Sunday with your wristband and glass and just purchase more tasting tickets. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, in Matthiessen State Park, Oglesby, Illinois. Advance tickets cost $20 (available through Sept. 17) or $25 at the door. vintageillinois.com.
Get your kicks
Drive to the next town over and chances are you'll run into a car show. But the crème de la car has to be the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. Auto enthusiasts can ogle more than 1,100 vehicles among 85,000 spectators. Expect live music on the Hot Rod stage and other events like Horsepower Alley's BURNOUT Competition, all taking place in the heart of downtown Springfield, Illinois. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, in downtown Springfield, Illinois. route66fest.com.