A spa and plush beds redefine the airport layover. Chefs throw down for a cause. And everyone is flinging blades at bars.

December 28, 2018
Great Lakes Center for the Arts
Great Lakes Center for the Arts


Art on the Lake

A new hub for international art and culture opened last summer in northern Michigan. The sleek Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor (near Petoskey) has hosted musical prodigy Frankie Moreno, country artist Sara Evans, and The Second City comedy tour. Visitors can attend a cinema series in the 500-seat auditorium or buy curated art pieces throughout the building.

Great Lakes Center for the Arts
Courtesy of Great Lakes Center for the Arts


Dare we say we're hoping for a flight delay on our next trip through Minneapolis-Saint Paul? A new 12-story hotel attaches a luxury spa, two restaurants and 291 rooms to the airport. With half-day room rates (up to eight hours), direct access to TSA screening for carry-on luggage, plus acoustic design to buffer air-traffic noise, recharging at the airport never sounded better.


Axe to grind

First we cringed. Then we accepted that the axe-throwing trend is only gaining momentum. Since 2017, dozens of venues, many of them BYOB, have opened in the Midwest. So if you need us, we'll be slinging blades and enjoying a drink (extra responsibly).

Bad Axe ThrowingIn 2016, the Canadian chain opened a spot in Chicago. Now they're in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Kansas City and beyond.

Blade and Timber Launched in Kansas City in late 2017, the start-up has already expanded to Leawood, Lawrence and Wichita in Kansas. West Coast bars are underway.

Backyard Axe Throwing LeagueThe Toronto-based business has opened U.S. sites in the Detroit metro and Chicago.

Get Outside

Skating Trail

800 feet: Distance of an ice "rink" in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The free skating trail loops through Central Park in the Minneapolis suburb.

Central Park ice loop
Courtesy of Minneapolis Northwest Tourism


Midwest Streaming

'Tis the season to binge-watch a TV series. Start with a regionally inspired hit on Netflix.

Stranger Things Things get eerie when a boy disappears in Hawkins, Indiana. Starring Winona Ryder, the sci-fi series drips with 1980s nostalgia. Catch up on the hype before Netflix drops season three this year.

Ozark Jason Bateman takes the lead in this Missouri crime drama. The second season debuted on Netflix in August.

Parks and Recreation The beloved NBC satire-sitcom launched fictional Pawnee, Indiana, (and actors like Chris Pratt) to stardom. Netflix has all seven seasons. And rumors of a reboot began circulating last spring.

Eat: Give Back

Souper Bowls 2019

This Indianapolis charity cook-off pits local chefs against each other on January 26. Eat, vote and support Second Helpings, a nonprofit that fights hunger and provides culinary job training. The organization prepares 4,000-plus meals daily in the Indy metro.