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3/27/2015
Madison—the capital of Wisconsin and the home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers—is often billed as an active, athletic town. But it's also a great place to bring your family. Whether you've got preschoolers, tweens or teens in tow, there's plenty to see and do. Here are some of my family's favorites. 1) Madison Children’s Museum Sitting near the... More
3/25/2015
Summer squash growers, has this happened to you? One week you’re admiring a clump of sturdy green vines sprinkled with blossoms. The next week you’re looking at a heap of yellowing, wilted leaves. Squash seeds are easy to start directly in our Midwestern soils as soon as the danger of frost has passed. The problem is that by early to mid-July it’s all over for the typical... More
3/23/2015
More than 75,000 people are expected to flood Indianapolis for the men's Final Four competition April 4 and 6. Whether you'll be one of those 75,000 or someone who stops in another time, you’ll find plenty of things to keep you occupied in our nation’s ninth-largest city. Here are five great ways to enjoy this pretty town in the Heartland. Get moving. Rent some wheels from... More
3/20/2015
Spring starts today, and spring blooms—frilly daffodils, dainty bleeding-hearts and statement tulips—will soon follow. Though these harbingers of the season look beautiful in the landscape, I like to snip a few from my yard to arrange in tiny vessels like teacups or drinking glasses. Try these flower display ideas inside or outside your home. They're great for Easter dinner, a... More
3/18/2015
As the sun drops toward the horizon, the Platte River is awash in gold. Flock after flock of Sandhill cranes circle and swoop and scan the river, looking for the perfect place to land for the night. I'm waiting silently in a wooden viewing blind with 30 other people at Rowe Sanctuary, hoping that the graceful but skittish birds—easily spooked by humans... More
3/16/2015
For many people, Green Bay = the Packers. Yes, the fabled citizen-owned football team is a huge part of the community’s identity. But the city of 100,000 that hugs the bottom of―you guessed it―Green Bay offers fun, interesting spots to visit that have nothing to do with football. 1) Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary This wooded 700-acre animal sanctuary was opened in 1936 as a... More
3/13/2015
Mammoths, bison ... and minted lamb burgers? You can find them all in North Dakota's capital city, where a $51 million expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center just opened, adding another colorful stop to the city's selection of restaurants, activities and outdoor fun. Make it an adventure-packed weekend with these five top draws. 1) North... More
3/11/2015
An exhibit in Nebraska weaves together the personal side of the Civil War—a story told in thread and cloth, yarn and ribbon.  I never expected to find my family’s history on the walls when I went to see the exhibit Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War. But there on the wall was a quilt painstakingly pieced together from the blue, gray, red and... More
3/9/2015
In Michigan, spring might arrive in snow or sunny warmth. Regardless of the temperature, you'll find spring spirit at these six celebrations. 1) On March 15, Detroit’s tiny Corktown neighborhood hosts both the Corktown Races and a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Runners and spectators come dressed as shamrocks, leprechauns and even pints of Guinness. More than 8,000... More
3/6/2015
Within a month or so, the rivers that drain into the upper Midwest's Great Lakes will begin to shake winter's frozen grip. Fantastical ice formations that cluster and drip like melted wax will burst free as rivers swell with snowmelt and spring showers. The waterways will rush through thick forest, thunder across rocky outcrops and may even plunge through gorges in a rush toward... More