Midwest Living

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The Walker Art Center started the free  Internet Cat Video Festival  three years ago with no clue how many people would come for cat-centric YouTube snippets on an inflatable screen. When 10,000 showed up the first year (and every year since), event officials knew they created something special. So what’s all the fuss about? Here are five highlights from last Thursday... More
"What other town would embrace a bunch of hobos for over 100 years?" asks petite Connecticut Shorty (who retired after logging 5,000 free miles) while looking at the small-town Iowa surroundings. City leaders lured the quirky festival to town in 1900 to get publicity, but hobos and the curious still trek to the north-central town of Britt for the National Hobo... More
Chicago’s family fun options are nonstop—just like your kids. Here are our top picks in and around Chicago for families, including world-class museums, historical sites and Lake Michigan beaches. 1) Museum Campus Plan a day or more to explore three top-notch museums. Shedd Aquarium houses 32,000 fresh and saltwater aquatic animals. Kids can touch sea stars... More
On a cross-country road trip, you might barrel right through Davenport, which sits on the Mississippi River separating Iowa and Illinois. But put on your brakes because there’s enough here to fill an overnight or weekend getaway. Known for jazz (the birthplace of legend Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke), the thriving riverfront and walkable downtown have even caught the... More
Consider that if you only spent 10 minutes in each of the Mall of America’s 500-plus stores, you’d need 86 hours to see them all. By next year, the mall will be even bigger after a $325 million expansion. If you’re a first-timer, pressed for time or want to do more than shop, here are our top 10 favorite Mall of America destinations for interactive entertainment and family fun (... More
Dreaming of escaping to an island this summer? Consider heading north to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This stunning national park encompasses Lake Superior’s 22-member Apostle Islands, plus the mainland town of Bayfield, Wisconsin, and its share of the lakeshore. What makes this destination drive-worthy? Here, in no particular order, are our top six reasons. #1: Lake... More
With patriotic charm, Old West adventure, sweeping history lessons, stunning scenery, caves and paleontology, and wildlife galore, South Dakota’s Black Hills is one of America’s greatest family destinations. Here are 10 places to spark kids’ imaginations, dole out sneaky history lessons and replace “Are we there yet?” with “Wow!” 1) 1880 Train ... More
An old white wooden door, with chipped paint and idle hinges, gets new life with a strip of black chalkboard paint down the center and a scrawl of chalk. “All it takes is a great mind,” it announces. “And a pile of junk.” Twice a year, Junkstock upcycles an old Omaha, Nebraska, dairy farm into a haven for shoppers seeking repurposed, vintage, retro and antique... More
The Twin Cities embrace the outdoors with family-friendly attractions such as Valleyfair amusement park, Twins baseball and the Minnesota Zoo, but there’s plenty inside to keep kids busy when the weather’s too hot or wet. 1) Minnesota Children’s Museum Build sandcastles on the rooftop, run a cafe, crawl through tunnels, make a music video and splash... More
The Ozarks make a stunning backdrop for biking, hiking, water sports and outdoor recreation during an active Midwest weekend getaway in Branson. 1) Table Rock Dam and Lake Anchored by a massive dam (see the ins and outs of the structure on a guided tour), this White River-fed reservoir serves as the centerpiece of Branson’s great outdoors. In the warm months, the lake is prime... More