Get ready for summer with a botanical garden show featuring Dale Chihuly's glass masterpieces, lawn games made with entertaining patterns, and a baklava sundae that will rock your world.


Chihuly at Cheekwood Garden
Credit: Courtesy of Chihuly Studio

Garden Party

Among the deep green of a botanical garden, a hint of color peeps through, bending, curving, contorting. But something about this specimen is different: It's glass. The twisting, organic sculptures of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly naturally fit into an outdoor setting. And now, with the arrival of Chihuly in the Garden 2023, 20 of them are installed around the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. (That's on top of the Chihuly pieces that are always here.) Larger-than-life flowers, fiery spiralized clusters and tropical "plants" burst with vibrant energy. The exhibit just opened and will run until October 15. Book early for night viewings with live music. 

Related: St. Louis is Home to a National Park, Imaginative Museums and Incredible Restaurants

Read and Run Chicago
Credit: Courtesy of Read and Run Chicago

Book It

Some of my favorite books have come to life with Read and Run Chicago, a roving book club that offers free jogging tours of literary locations around the city. Past runs have highlighted The Girls in 3-B through historic queer hangouts in the Loop, and Three Girls From Bronzeville with a tour of sites on the South Side.  Jessica Mlinaric, MWL contributor

Related: Top Things to Do in Chicago

Fly KC new terminal plans image
Credit: Courtesy of Fly KC

Wheels Up

The newly constructed, $1.5 billion Kansas City International Airport aims to be the world's most accessible place to board a plane. Architects worked with advocacy groups to incorporate features such as wheelchair-accessible check-in desks, visual paging systems, inclusive play areas and sensory rooms. Anxious flyer? Step into
The Kansas City Air Travel Experience to walk through a calm, controlled simulation
before actually taking a trip.

Related: Border-Hop Between Kansas and Missouri to Fully Savor the Food, Sports and Culture of Kansas City

Home + Garden

Cathy Lancaster cornhole set outdoors with grill
Credit: Jacob Fox

Playing Favorites

Chicago artist and wallpaper and fabric designer Cathy Lancaster was playing cornhole at a block party when she realized her tan plastic set was a bummer. "I love putting my patterns on interesting things, especially if they involve entertaining," she says. "So when I found a supplier who could make cornhole sets with my patterns, I had to go for it!" She grouped her most popular prints into coordinating pairs (like Watermelon St. Thomas, pictured) and added matching beanbags. On sunny days, she puts the sturdy wood sets outside her Wrigleyville gallery and watches passersby play. They'll prove just as irresistible in your own yard. $440.

Prairie Land Design veggie harvest basket
Credit: Jacob Fox

Hold the Veggies

We've all been there—picking tomatoes and, when our hands get full, filling our T-shirt. This year, upgrade to a harvest basket. These PrairieLandDesign totes are made in Minnesota from metal mesh and cedar. You can even use your hose to rinse dirt from beets or lettuce right in the basket. From $69. 

Related: June Garden Calendar

100 Plants to Feed the Birds book cover
Credit: Kelsey Hansen

A Feast for Birds

This award-winning book can teach us all how to plant a smorgasbord for our winged friends.—Teresa Woodard, Contributing Garden Editor

100 Plants to Feed the Birds is by Laura Erickson, a birding pro from Duluth, Minnesota (Storey, $17).

Related: 6 Simple Tips to Start Bird-Watching—Plus the Gear You Need


Styles 4 Kidz Staff
Credit: Hawa Images

Give Back: Family Practice

A number of years ago, Tamekia Swint taught hair-braiding on mission trips to Poland, but the University of Illinois grad had never considered doing hair as a career. Then she met a mom who'd transracially adopted two African American girls. "I'd never seen a parent so desperate for help and wanting to learn but not having the training or resources available," Swint says. She founded Styles 4 Kidz in 2010 to provide compassionate hair care and education for parents of kids with textured hair in biracial and transracial adoptive and foster families. A salon in Oak Park, Illinois, offers one-on-one lessons in cornrows, braids and twists, while an online program includes monthly training sessions and product recommendations. "We are focused on empowering parents to be able to learn how to care for their kids' hair," Swint says. "The connection between hair and culture is a big deal." 

As part of our Good Neighbors program, highlighting unique Midwest nonprofits and individuals making our communities stronger, Midwest Living has donated $500 to Styles 4 Kidz.

Kind Lips Chapstick
Credit: Courtesy of Kind Lips

Kind Lips

These lip balms are doubly soothing, providing a pocket-size reminder to speak nice words.—Kelsey Ogletree, MWL Writer

Minneapolis-based Kind Lips gives 20 percent of profits to anti-bullying groups. $15 for a four-tube variety pack.

ADHD Designed Planners
Credit: Courtesy of Imperfect Inspirations

Brain Empowered

A mom to five neurodivergent kids, Britney Brown launched Imperfect Inspiration after receiving an ADHD diagnosis of her own. Brown's stylish notepads, planners and other tools are specially suited for people who struggle with focus. Order online or visit her shop, Copy and Paste, in Des Moines. 


Baklava Sundae
Credit: Kelsey Hansen

Greek to Me

Each summer, just as irises bloom, a little festival pops up at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in my Des Moines neighborhood. Outside, it's all sunshine, spanakopita and ouzo-soaked folk dancing. But in the cool, quiet basement, you'll find buttery cookies baked by the congregation and a wonder they call a Baklava Sundae—crumbled baklava over coffee or vanilla ice cream. The marriage of nuts, honey, pastry and java rocks my world, every time. If a road trip to 35th and Cottage Grove on the first weekend in June isn't feasible, make your own, using baklava from a Mediterranean bakery or restaurant. (Don't have one close by? Get your phyllo fix from Sedara Sweets and Ice Cream—a metro St. Louis biz owned by a Lebanese American and Iraqi couple. They ship dozens of varieties.)—Hannah Agran, Executive Editor

Siren Shrub drink
Credit: Courtesy of Crowded Kitchen

Join the Shrub

If you like kombucha, you'll probably dig shrubs—lightly sweetened vinegars
infused with fruit or herbs. Some of the best come from Siren Shrub Company in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Choose among flavors such as Tart Cherry, Lemongrass or (our fave) Basil. Add a splash to seltzer for a refreshing quencher. $22 for 16 ounces. 

Beth Sinclair and Lexi Harrison
Credit: Courtesy of Crowded Kitchen

Feed to Follow

For vegetarian and vegan recipe inspo (and tempting cocktail ideas, too), check out Crowded Kitchen, a blog and Instagram from Beth Sinclair and Lexi Harrison, a mother-daughter duo who live in Michigan. Dishes such as Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta and Crunchy Thai Tofu Salad are approachable, healthful and brilliantly colorful.

Related: Midwest Living's Top Vegetarian Recipes