Best New Midwest Attractions: 2009
The new sound of music
Indianapolis -- With the river and a picnic out front and Indy's skyline at your back, relax on the grass at the second year of the Family Art Series at White River State Park's Celebration Amphitheater (left). The free summer series includes musical storytellers, salsa bands, dance lessons and informal opera performances.
Cincinnati -- Opened in 2007, the 4,100-seat National City Pavilion offers an intimate option to the 20,000-seat Riverbend Music Center. Summer home to the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops orchestras, the pavilion also hosts indie rockers and punk bands.
Monticello, Illinois -- Set in a refurbished Dutch hay barn with surprisingly flawless acoustics, the University of Illinois' Allerton Music Barn hosts ticketed performances in bucolic Allerton Park. The main event is a Labor Day festival featuring tango, opera, jazz cabaret and Civil War-era brass music.