Midwest Living

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The holidays have a way of sneaking into Chicago, slowly but surely filling the streets with twinkling lights and nostalgic music, building the “White Christmas” anticipation in such a way that even the cold is welcomed—at least for a few weeks. If you’re looking for the holiday spirit in the Windy City, you'll find beloved traditions (The Joffrey’s... More
One of my most cherished holiday memories involves Christmas lights in my hometown of Winona, Minnesota. On a night of sub-zero wind chills, Grandma Lois and I thought it would be fun to ride the Trester Trolley for a Christmas light tour. Clarence, the driver (wearing a Santa hat, of course), greeted us with a smile as we stepped into the warmth of the trolley. We waited for... More
In the southernmost reaches of Ohio (50 or so miles south of Columbus), a region of the Midwest called the Hocking Hills feels distinctly Southern. The name comes from the rugged, wooded gorges and peaks, part of the Appalachian Mountain foothills, and the folks working here serve creature comforts (extra handmade quilts for your cottage, a cup of coffee to-go after... More
If you’re seeking sweet gift inspirations, a way to sharpen your kitchen skills, or fresh menus for your Thanksgiving and winter meals, now’s the perfect time to schedule a cooking and baking class. Midwest teaching kitchens can help you master everything from baking crusty rustic breads to sculpting a picture-perfect pie. Here are five of our favorite places to take cooking... More
Chicago guidebooks and best-of lists all include the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Wrigley Field, Millennium Park and Chicago-style pizza. But take a few steps off the tourist path to find more interesting food, cocktails, tours and culture, including a church nestled in a skyscraper and a buffet filled with only chocolate. Here are 10 reasons why we recommend... More
The reds and golds of fall colored all our most-popular Instagram pictures in October, as photographers captured autumn beauty in parks, by lakes, and along city and small-town roads. Join in the fun by tagging your photos #midwestmoment and following us @midwestlivingmag.  #1: Fiery maple trees photographed by @stephenozga (http://instagram.com/p/ubf8_iGzeF/) in Olathe,... More
For a fun, well-rounded Midwest weekend getaway that’s easy on the wallet, check out free Kansas City attractions, such as the Hallmark Visitors Center, the Money Museum, Harley-Davidson factory tours, and the Nelson-Atkins and Kemper museums. 1) Hallmark Visitors Center You’ve sent the cards; now, you can see how they’re created. The world’s largest greeting card... More
“How much longer until we get to Burlington?” I asked my husband as the sky darkened. “Can’t be much farther south,” he said, glancing at our car’s compass. South? Oops. Somewhere along the way, we missed a turn that would have pointed us east toward the Iowa-Illinois border. But finding yourself off your planned route can lead to unexpected... More
Midwesterners are fortunate to have two of America's elite National Scenic Trails: the North Country Trail, which stretches from New York to North Dakota, passing through Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota in the process; and the Ice Age Trail, which winds throughout Wisconsin. Although the Ice Age Trail (IAT) was conceived in the 1950s, only a little more than half of... More
A cascading waterfall, palm trees and a rush of warm air greet visitors as they step into Omaha’s newest attraction, the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. Last weekend, I was among the first guests to wander through the $21 million, 20,000-square-foot glass garden that features a Tropical House, Temperate House and temporary plant display area... More