Winterfest in Lake Geneva, a new beer tour in Milwaukee and more

Chicago Tribune

Here are some of the more interesting events, deals, websites and other travel tidbits that have come across our desk recently:

•Great Value Vacations has a nine-night Highlights of Western Europe package that's priced from $2,437 per person, double occupancy, for departures in April from Chicago. The escorted tour includes round-trip air, two nights' lodging in London and one night each in Brussels, the Frankfurt, Germany, area; Innsbruck, Austria; Venice, Italy; Lucerne, Switzerland; Dijon, France, and Paris. Some meals are included, as well as various tours. 800-896-4600,


• offers its picks for the 10 best family vacations for 2017 at

•Visitors to Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula can get a workout and enjoy some wine and brews on Sundays this winter thanks to the Old Mission Snowshoe Wine & Brew tour. You can bring your own snowshoes or rent a pair and snowshoe among two wineries and the Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant, Brewery and Distillery. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance. They're good for shuttle service and five tastings at each of the three locations. If there's not enough snow, you can walk the route. The program runs through March 5.

•Lake Geneva, Wis., is making the most of the cold temperatures Jan. 28 to Feb. 12 with its annual Winterfest and U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition. The snow sculpting Feb. 1-4 is the star attraction, as huge blocks of snow are transformed into works of art. Other events include the Human Dog Sled Race, the Abominable Snow Race, live magic and illusion at the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, helicopter rides, historic tours of Maxwell Mansion, a party at Yerkes Observatory and a chili cook-off.

•Through the end of January, Michigan ski areas have reduced prices for beginner downhill and cross-country skiers or snowboarders. The specials include a beginner lesson, rental equipment and ski pass.

•Bald eagles are the stars Jan. 27-29 as Eagles in Flight weekend is held at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Ind. Among the activities will be live eagle, hawk and owl programs. You can reserve rooms at the Turkey Run Inn at the park. 765-597-2635,

•Start your internal engines: More than 200 restaurants in Indianapolis will be offering three-course prix-fixe meals Jan. 23 to Feb. 5 during the annual Devour Indy promotion.

•They'll be braving the cold Jan. 28 in St. Joseph, Mich., for the second annual Winter Beer Fest. Fifteen regional and local breweries will be on hand, and there will be live music and food. Last year's event sold out in advance, so it's a good idea to order tickets at For event info, see

•The Rockford Dance Company in Rockford, Ill., will present a new children's ballet titled "Anansi" at the Rockford Public Library's Nordloff Center. Performances are 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27, and 1 and 4:30 p.m. Jan 28. 815-963-3341,

•The Iowa tourism folks have put together a list of 13 day trips to interesting destinations in their state. Read about them at

•Hop Head Tours, specializing in beer tours in Milwaukee and Madison, has a new tour in Milwaukee called the River North Beer Tour. It visits the city's three newest craft breweries and will run every Saturday at 3 p.m. Cost is $60, and advance ticket purchase is advised because seating is limited.

Deals and websites have been checked for availability as of press time. Listings are not endorsements. Send tips at least a month in advance to

Phil Marty is a freelancer.


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