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Hotel 71 Chicago offers a new Tailgate Package
On the Road
By Jacky Runice | Daily Herald Correspondent

Chef Ernesto Zendejas turns out ethnic specialties at the Mexico Pavilion during Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival.


Courtesy of Gene Duncan

Climb the Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine, Wis., to catch breathtaking view of autumn colors.


Courtesy of James Jordan

Bubba Weiler (Jem) and Caroline Heffernan (Scout) star in Steppenwolf for Young Adults' "To Kill a Mockingbird."


Courtesy of Michelle Nolan

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Published: 10/2/2010 11:18 PM

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Hotel 71 Chicago offers a new Tailgate Package that allows fans to enjoy plush downtown accommodations and customized tailgating fare on game day. The package includes accommodations, valet parking and a tailgate basket that you can enjoy "in-room" or take "to-go" for the stadium experience. The baskets are themed based on your team preference, whether it's the Chicago Bears or the visiting NFL team and include team logo items and food representing your favorite team's city. Each tailgate basket feeds up to four people.

Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue. Tailgate Package available through Dec. 26 and starts at $249. (312) 346-7100 or

Songs in the key of life

The North Park University Concert Band, conducted by Dr. Joe Lill, presents a free concert for families with children with autism and special needs. The concert features music ranging from Disney movie favorites to the classical compositions of Gustav Holst and Percy Grainger. The concert facility is wheelchair-suitable, welcoming and safe for individuals with special needs.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, in Anderson Chapel, Kedzie and Spaulding avenues in Chicago. Admission is free, but reservations are necessary at (773) 244-5625.

Scout a literary trip into the city

The young people in your family have or will read the American classic, "To Kill a Mockingbird." See the novel come to life in a performance by Steppenwolf for Young Adults. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning book by Harper Lee, the play dramatizes the tense tug of war between justice and racism.

Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 12 to Nov. 12. Tickets are $20 ($15 student tickets available via phone/box office only). (312) 335-1650 or


Last time to climb

Before you know it, a bird's-eye view of the Midwestern terrain will be completely white, so take the opportunity to climb to the top of Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine, Wis., for a final fabulous look at autumn colors. The 144 steps are worth the effort for Lake Michigan views from the catwalk of one of the Great Lake's tallest and oldest operating lighthouses. If it's clear out, you'll even spot the Chicago skyline. Avail yourself of picnic-type food, beverages and Wind Point merchandise.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10. Cost is $l0 for adults and $5 for children 6 to12 years old. (262) 639-2026.

Shine on harvest moon

Harvest Days return to Kohler, Wis., where kids can get in on Pumpkin Patch wagon rides, wander the corn maze, make some fall crafts and visit the Towering Hay Fort for some active fun. The fort is constructed from 125 bales of hay towering 15 feet tall and 150 feet in diameter so there's room for all the little climbers. Expect fall food and beverages to refuel, live entertainment, breakfast specials at the Wisconsin Room at the American Club and in-store promotions throughout the Shops at Woodlake. Consider the Inn on Woodlake hotel package, which includes one-night accommodations, continental breakfast, guest passes to Harvest Days, a pumpkin for each child and 20 percent discount on services at the Kohler Waters Spa.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 9-10 and 16-17. Admission is $5 and free for kids 5 and under. Harvest Days hotel package is available Friday or Saturday through Oct. 17 and starts at $179 per night based on two adults and two children. (800) 344-2838 or

Ghost riders

Sure, the Wisconsin Dells can be scary with countless screaming children upset about their mini-golf scores, but the popular tourist destination gets downright eerie as Dells Boat Tours launches its Ghost Boat excursion. The after-dark voyage is a 1½-hour adventure featuring special effects and supernatural legends from the Ho-Chunk tribe. The tour is not recommended for children ages 10 and younger or the faint of heart.

1033 River Road, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, Saturday, Oct. 9, and Fridays, Oct. 15 and 22; 6 and 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, and 6 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 16, 23 and 30. Tickets $20 per person. Call (608) 254-8555 for reservations or visit

Worth the trip

There are food festivals, and then there's the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival celebrating 15 years with a global-tasting experience. Foodie nirvana is found among the cuisine, culture and entertainment of more than two dozen countries during a 1.3-mile stroll around a 40-acre lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort. This year, Disney and celebrity chefs team with winemakers and brew masters from around the world during the six-week festival to present three new tasting marketplaces in Belgium, South Korea and Singapore. There are also new menu offerings at popular marketplaces including Argentina, Chile, Poland, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Australia, Spain and others. Get in on daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events, culinary demonstrations and concerts.

Through Nov. 14. (407) 939-3378 or