Chicago Fall Refresh

Revive your brain and your beauty with free museum tours and indulgent spa treatments

Get Schooled

The kids are heading back to class, and we’re eager to learn something new, too, so we’re looking to our many museums. In the past, we may have thought an art museum was a snooze, but now that we’re older (not old), we fully appreciate a good work of art. So we’re keen on the Art Institute’s free daily gallery talks that bring us up to speed on top museum masterpieces, the Modern Wing or the architecture of the building. The calendar wasn’t out yet for the exhibit-specific tours and lecture series, but the kind folks at the information desk will have a schedule. 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312.443.3600,

More interested in the cosmos than canvases? The Adler Planetarium takes us behind the scenes of the innovative Space Visualization Laboratory. The lab is at the foreground of research on virtual exploration of the universe and allows visitors to experience some of the Adler scientists’ fascinating findings firsthand. Astronomers and space technology experts are also around for out-of-this-world chats on topics including dark energy, galaxy formation, supernovae and asteroids. 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 312.922.7827

History buffs, feel free to geek out at the National Hellenic Museum. At this Greektown institution, free Sunday tours cover exhibits that delve into Greek history, heritage and immigration. On exhibit through October 2015 is "Transcending Boundaries: The Art of Anthony Quinn," who starred in the classic film "Zorba the Greek." 333 S. Halsted St., Chicago, 312.655.1234,

Face Fall Head-On

Summer’s winding down, floppy straw hats are being swapped for wool caps, and dozy beach days are dwindling. The upside? Autumn! With its crisp-apple appeal. We want to be ready, so we’re booking appointments for these dry-skin-sloughing, fresh-skin-revealing facials—and more.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, we don’t like those mature skin signs we’re seeing. We’ll take a little anti-aging action with the 80-minute Youth Renewing Signature at Spa at Loews Chicago that starts off with a two-part peel that uses Vitamin C and what they told us was a “plumping activator.” A purifying clay mask and the right HydroPeptide combo rounds things out. We went in feeling old; we came out glowing. $200. Add an Opal Eye Enhancement ($40) for a super sonic infusion of anti-aging sea serum. Spa at Loews Chicago, 455 North Park Drive, Chicago, 312.840.6615,

We like the Superfruit Fitness Facial at Spa Space for its personalization, particularly now when sun damage is at a high ($115). Plus, the September special gets you a vitamin-rich pumpkin facial peel upgrade for just $20. Voila, we’ve got a new meaning for “healthy glow.” We’ll even keep on our cushy robe and slippers for a Sports Pedicure ($50) in the Pedicure Suite; bring a bottle of wine to share with your bestie (Spa Space has the glasses). 161 N. Canal St., Chicago, 312.466.9585,

A basic best: The Ultimate Arden Facial. Yes, we’re referring to the illustrious Elizabeth Arden who opened her first day spa in 1910. We’re sure she’d be in awe of the treatment table alone (electric warmer, adjustable under the knees and head), much less the advanced elements like microdermabrasion, face and eye collagen mask, and the sleep-inducing scalp massage. We have no regrets after purchasing the super-smooth, Age Defense Multi-Peptide Eye Concentrate at Red Door Spa. 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312.988.9191,