Midwest travel: Smoky bones mean Ribfest Chicago June 10-12
Take a ribbing
Chow down on some smoky bones while sipping a cold one at the annual Ribfest Chicago. It all happens in Chicago's Northcenter -- where Lincoln Avenue and Irving Park Road meet. The three-day fest is for everyone: youngsters can head to Kids Square, which will be set up with inflatables, activities and kid-friendly entertainment, and hungry diners can enjoy ribs, other goodies and live music. Don't miss RibMania, the Midwest's professional rib-eating competition. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June, 10, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, on Lincoln Avenue from Irving Park to Berteau, Chicago. Suggested donation is $5. ribfest-chicago.com/.
Chicago's Taste of Randolph Street packs in the music and food fans June 17-19.
- Courtesy of Star Events
French fare at a street fair?
If your palate leans more toward Parisian bistro fare, Bombay street food and Portuguese flame-grilled chicken, the 20th annual Taste of Randolph Street is the fest to pencil in. Many of the Randolph Street corridor restaurants will be dishing out bites while live tunes from Peter Bjorn & John, Growler and others provide the ambience. Peek into trendy art galleries and clubs and browse jewelry, clothing, artwork and knickknacks from local artisans. Taste of Randolph Street is kid-friendly, however, it is usually jammed with fans. Friday through Sunday, June 17-19, at 900 W. Randolph St., Chicago. A $10 donation is suggested for admission to benefit the West Loop Community Organization. See tasterandolph.com/.
AC Hotel Chicago Downtown offers the Eataly Package through July 27.
- Courtesy of AC Hotel Chicago Downtown
AC = Always Comfortable
AC Hotel Chicago Downtown is offering a summer package that invites you to shop the Magnificent Mile and eat and drink your way through Eataly -- the artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace located one block from the hotel. The Eataly Package includes overnight accommodations; two glasses of Prosecco upon arrival in the AC Lounge; an antipasto tray upon arrival; and a $50 gift card to Eataly. Through July 27 at the AC Hotel Chicago Downtown, 630 N. Rush St., Chicago. Rates are $149-$349 a night. Book the package at marriott.com/hotels/hotel-deals/chiac-ac-hotel-chicago- downtown. Use the promo code D60 online or at (800) 228-9290. Blackout dates may apply.
The 68th Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, which runs through June 12, is 10 days of sweet scents and events for all ages.
- Courtesy of Mackinac Island Lilac Festival
The 68th Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is 10 days of breathing deeply and saying "Mmmm" as the Michigan island is filled with sweet scents and myriad events. Lilac Festival activities include A Taste of Mackinac. The ticketed event offers favorite recipes from local restaurants, Mackinac Island fudge, and Michigan wine and beer. Other events include the Dog and Pony Parade, face painting, scenic cruises, daily Lilac Walking Tours with national lilac experts and carriage tours. The festival concludes with the Grand Parade, one of the longest running horse hitch parades in the world. Now through June 12 on Mackinac Island, Michigan. (906) 847-3783 or mackinacisland.org/.
Once in a blue moon
The Blue Ox Music Festival aims to be the biggest concert in the upper Midwest showcasing various acoustic groups touring the nation. The weekend event looks to satisfy family concertgoers and festival fans with traditional bluegrass and modern string band music. Blitzen Trapper, Shovels & Rope and Sam Bush are among the performers. 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday, June 9, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, June 10-11, on the Blue Ox Grounds, 5024 Crescent Ave., Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Tickets run $90-$175. (715) 839-7500 or blueoxmusicfestival.com/.
The Two Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival in Ottawa takes place June 10-12.
- Courtesy of Two Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival
Take me to the river
Fresh lobster, wine, live jazz and an outdoor market make up the Two Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival in Ottawa. Sample the grapes among 25 Illinois vineyards while listening to jazz and blues in beautiful Washington Park, the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate. See historic architecture or visit the nearby Reddick Mansion. Explore the antique district on Main Street and specialty booths of the Outdoor Craft & Botanical Fair in the Old Town area. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 10; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 11; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, in Washington Park in Ottawa, Illinois. Tickets cost $20-$30. ottawa2riverswinefest.com/.