Midwest Living

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Chicagoans love summer. It’s glorious here through September (and even into October), with the waters of Lake Michigan sparkling, green parks bustling with families, tulips blooming and fireworks bursting over Navy Pier. And the best part? You don’t have to pay through the nose to make the most of the summer in Chicago. Look around and you’ll find free outdoor... More
I love old barns.  They’re a way for me to feel connected to the generations before me—a window to the past. I’ve taken more than 200 photos of barns recently in my home state of North Dakota and other Midwest states. Some of my favorites: Double decker. This gem east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, started out as a cattle sale barn and remains a working facility... More
Johnnie Morris’ repertoire leans heavily on his knack for framing experiences. The Missouri-based entrepreneur grew his Bass Pro Shops into a chain of megastores by turning them into attractions full of wildlife dioramas and giant aquariums that elevate a trip for buying fishing rods into a family memory. Since then, he’s turned his attention to luxury tourism experiences,... More
Jill Emmer never imagined that the rainbow-color umbrella she borrowed from her mother would end up traveling the world. The Minneapolis Instagrammer known as @shineonyoucraydiamond started posting whimsical pictures with the colorful prop, and followers soon developed umbrella envy. Photo by @shineonyoucraydiamond “People started asking where I got it from,” Emmer says.... More
It's flea-market season. Whether you're a browser, a buyer or a bargainer—or all three—here's our list of must-attend Midwest flea markets, each filled with quality antique, vintage and art finds.   Illinois Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show Sandwich, Illinois; July 12, August 9, October 11. Admission: $5. After watching attendance drop at... More
Is it just me, or is there a definite shift in the air come summer? Without fail, it makes me want to shake things up a bit. My white walls beg for color and texture. And as a mom to three young kiddos (and one big kid out on his own), the kick-off to summer has all of us pining for a little adventure. With that playful spirit in mind, I spent time this week tossing some unexpected fun... More
It’s an impressive disappearing act. Each year, 200-some artists descend on a town to paint for four days. When they leave, the only clue they were ever there is a tribute to the town’s history told in approximately 18 murals. This month, they'll gather in Delavan, Wisconsin.  These Houdinis of the art world are the Walldogs. Artist Nancy Bennett began the... More
It's time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather in Chicago, a city so happy to see summer that even the scent of sun-warmed asphalt seems a perfume drawing us out. Whether you'd like to eat, drink, shop, admire the architecture or take in music, here are some of our favorite al fresco options in Chicago. Cruise the river. If there’s one thing every... More
In May, our Instagram followers loved sunsets and sunrises—silhouetting barns, highlighting a field of wildflowers and lighting the way for kayakers. The five most-liked photos of the month:  1) @hawkstar84 captured the sunrise in rural Hardin County, Iowa (https://instagram.com/p/3BfgkImzTu/).  2) Another Iowa farm scene made the second spot on our list. @... More
Iowa's capital is known for being home to the State Fair, but Des Moines also gives artists, foodies and explorers plenty to love. 1) John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park You'll find 28 playful, surreal and modern sculptures at the park. The Des Moines Art Center curates the collection, which looks especially fabulous at night when lights illuminate the... More