Celebrate the arts, culture, and cuisine of the American Midwest on this Journey that features visits to art museums, performance venues, and local cafes and restaurants. Get to know two warm and friendly host clubs who will expand your knowledge of their communities and broaden your artistic and gastronomic horizons.

Home Hospitality

Home Hospitality provided by the Friendship Force clubs of Northern Illinois and Greater Milwaukee.

Live With a Local

  • A themed Journey lets ambassadors experience activities which can provide a unique window into the local culture by including activities which aren’t touristy in nature.
  • O&H Danish Bakery: Stop for a sample of Danish kringle.
  • Shully’s Catering: Tour, culinary demonstration and dinner of Wisconsin cuisine.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Visit many art museums, including Racine Art Museum, Redline Community Art Studios, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Lyndon Sculpture Garden.
  • Attend cultural performances including a musical performance by singer Leslie Fitzwater, a performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and a day at the Milwaukee Ballet, where you will tour the studios and watch the company attend their daily classes.
In the past, the Greater Milwaukee and Northern Illinois Clubs have cooperated to host very successful themed programs which provided ambassadors a unique peek into Midwest culture which a tourist wouldn’t experience.

Explore the Arts, Culture, and Food of the American Midwest

11 Days / 10 Nights Program and Itinerary:

September 11, 2017 – September 21, 2017
Coordinator: Dave Kalan

All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.

Day 1 - Monday, September 11

Ambassadors will come from around the world and arrive at various times at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport where they will be picked up by their host families.

Spend time with host families.

Day 2 - Tuesday, September 12

A day of activities is planned for ambassadors in the city of Chicago.

Day 3 - Wednesday, September 13

Open day in Northern Illinois.

Day 4 - Thursday, September 14

Ambassadors will board the train at either Union Station or Glenview.

Ambassadors arrive at Milwaukee Airport Rail Station. Someone will play guitar and we will sing a song to greet the ambassadors.

Spend time with host families.

Day 5 - Friday, September 15

S.C. Johnson and Son: Movie and architectural tour of the Frank-Lloyd-Wright-designed buildings of this company.

Salute Italian Restaurant: Lunch.

Racine Art Museum: Tour art museum which holds North America’s largest contemporary craft collection.

O&H Danish Bakery: Stop for a sample of Danish kringle.

Wingspread: Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright built home of the Johnson family.

Welcome Dinner at home of Dave Kalan. Hosts will attend and take their ambassadors home.

Day 6 - Satuday, September 16

Milwaukee Public Market: Let ambassadors wander around the market. Hand out a chocolate from Kehr’s Candies.

Riverwalk Guided Tour. Walking tour of the Riverwalk with an emphasis of Milwaukee’s important historical and current role in America’s food system. Point out the sculptures along the river. Hand out a sample of an ethnic pastry and provide coffee or stop for coffee.

Usingers Sausage, Wisconsin Cheese Mart, Spice House. Ambassadors will explore these stores. There will be sausage and cheese samples.

Mader’s German Restaurant: Lunch at this established restaurant to emphasize Milwaukee’s German heritage.

Redline Community Art Studios: Guided tour of some of the studios of the 22 artists.

Milwaukee Art Museum: Docent-led tour of either the permanent art collection or special exhibit.

Spend time with host family.

Day 7 - Sunday, September 16

Open time with host families.

Small Dinner Parties. For some of the dinner parties, we will ask local members and the ambassadors to train people on making some food dishes with everyone participating and then eating the food.

Day 8 - Monday, September 18

Hosts may want to take their ambassadors to the small artistic town of Cedarburg in the morning.

Lyndon Sculpture Garden: Tour.

Shully’s Catering: Tour, culinary demonstration and dinner of Wisconsin cuisine.

Musical performance by singer Leslie Fitzwater.

Day 9 - Tuesday, September 19

Open time with host families.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Backstage tour and attend a performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls,” which starts at 7:30 pm.

Some participants make want to go out for a drink after the performance at the Safehouse, a “spy bar.”

Day 10 - Wednesday, September 20

Milwaukee Ballet: Watch the company attend their daily class and tour the studios.

Farewell Lunch. Lunch with a short program and a line-dancing lesson.

Open afternoon and evening.

Day 11 - Thursday, September 21

Departure. Ambassadors will take the Coach USA bus to O’Hare Airport.


$550 USD

Price Includes: FFI and host fees and transportation from Northern Illinois to Milwaukee. Airport bus from Milwaukee to O’Hare Airport is NOT included.


20Spaces Remaining

Moderately Challenging

Know before you go

  • Activities and food outside of the home of the host family aren’t included on open days. We will be working with the ambassadors to understand their interests in the areas of food, performing arts, art, museums and architecture. Milwaukee will develop a list of activities for the open days which will include Miller and craft breweries, Harley Motorcycle Museum, Chudnow Museum (ethnic), Grohmann Museum (“working man” art museum), Cedarburg Wine and Harvest Fest.
  • In Milwaukee, the ambassadors will be walking about a mile on the Riverwalk along the Milwaukee River which has a number of sets of stairs. There will also be a lot of walking while touring Chicago. Therefore, the Journey has a Moderate activity level.
Interested in this Journey?

We would love to have you on this Journey with us.

Our Mission

Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.
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