Midwest Living

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1) Cleveland Metroparks Pick a park, any park. Nicknamed the Emerald Necklace by locals, the extensive Metroparks system loops through 18 natural preserves and 21,000 acres of northeast Ohio green space. Metroparks also recently took over management of six lakefront properties linking Huntington to Euclid Creek in a scenic 14-mile stretch. You can hike, bike, do archery, golf, boat... More
Your first mission, should you choose to accept it: Find the Safe House restaurant. Stroll along an alley in downtown Milwaukee, and keep an eye out for a door marked International Exports Ltd. Find the door? Step in—but stop there. Do you know the password? If so, whisper it to the Control Agent in the entry. If not, be prepared to prove that you are a trustworthy spy. You might... More
My mom’s beautiful flower gardens owe much of their splendor to seeds she saves year to year in assorted containers at the top of a kitchen cupboard. Toppling them over in a search for a missing lid last weekend, I was immediately drawn to their familiarity and promise—the dry white-tipped wisps that shoot into sturdy marigolds and the shriveled pea-shaped nasturtium seeds. Having... More
On Sunday here in Des Moines, we woke to snow ... again. A few sunny days in the 50s and 60s last week tricked me into thinking spring had arrived, but in fact, the first official day is tomorrow, March 20. And as we Midwesterners know, even that calendar date means little.  There could be more white-dusted mornings before the daffodils bloom. But if there is one benefit to the... More
It’s one of the simplest sets on New York City's glitzy Broadway: a few high-backed wooden chairs neatly arranged around the stage’s perimeter, a light pole holding an old-fashioned telephone and a small tree pressed against a dark backdrop. Then the house lights dim, the orchestra swells and the blank canvas slowly comes to life. Glowing oranges and reds shed light on a vast... More
After this snow-smothered winter, I can’t wait any longer to feel renewed and warm. So I head to Aroma Workshop in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood to create a fragrance that brings spring to me, right now. As I'm seated at the fragrance testing bar in his tiny store, perfumer Tedd Neenan encourages me to take little whiffs that he calls “bunny sniffs” from... More
Despite all our bucket-list ambitions, the fact is that most of us won’t ever make it out on an African safari. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never witness one of the planet’s last great wildlife spectacles. In fact, there’s one waiting right now in central Nebraska. Yes, Nebraska, where the mighty herds that come to mind probably consist of beef cattle lazily... More
My fitness tracker wristband registered 22,576 steps the first day of last month’s Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas—roughly 12 miles for me. But who’s counting when you’re on a treasure hunt for smart design? Overall, our editors noticed an upbeat mood as manufacturers focused on modern styles, innovative technology and handcrafted finishes. In detail, there was more... More
It always happens this way. You're zooming along the interstate in a cornfield-induced haze, a visual playlist of silos, gas stations and Subway signs flashing by on repeat, when suddenly, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait, wait! What is that?" I bolted upright from the backseat and (probably dangerously) thumped my window loudly to catch my brother's attention. Within spitting distance... More
Arctic air and deep snow didn't stop our Instagram followers from exploring the Midwest in winter. Here are our five most-liked Instagram photos for February:  #1: A woodsy scene in the Minnesota River Valley photographed during a hike by @intothegreatwideopen (http://instagram.com/p/knSeCrmzd_/). #2 Stunning sunset in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, by@krissygeh (http://... More