Our family's favorite outdoor show opens this afternoon.
The Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show puts a real nice splash into the winter as we go into the big second week for show season around Chicago outdoors. And the All-Canada Show kicks off Thursday at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.
``The Boat Show'' In my world is the major family show of the year. It is in its 80th year and will be at McCormick Place North through Sunday.
This year has an added kid appeal with SpongeBob SquarePants from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. Here's to Bikini Bottom.
It's our favorite, pure and simple.
Oh, there's the Huck Finn Trout Pond. And boats, lots of boats to see and walk through. And campers/RVs.
The boat of note this year is Miss GEICO, the fastest offshore racing boat in the world, capable of 185 mph.
After years of absence, Dan Basore is back with his Historical Fishing Display and, as usual, you're more than welcome to bring in lures/fishing equipment for appraisal.
Other new things are Pirates of Colonial America, Antique Boat and Motor Display and DockDogs.
Other notable events are the Shedd Aquarium's Listen to Your Lakes Space, wakeboard/water-ski clinics (Saturday and Sunday) and the Affordability Pavilion.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for kids 13 to 15, free for kids 12 and younger ($2 senior discount today and Thursday). Parking: $19 (or take Metra or CTA).
Go to www.ChicagoBoatShow.com
All-Canada Show opens Thursday and runs through Sunday at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.
No secret here, this is planning the dream trip to Canada.
Otherwise, some notables are the ''Hanson Buck'' exhibit, passport applications, seminars by Norm McCreight and ''Locked at Lac Seul,'' the largest locked antler exhibit in the world.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and kids 13-16, free for kids 12 and younger. Parking is free.
Musky Road Rules Cabin Fever Clinic has two nearby gatherings.
Notable at this clinic is kids and women are free. For guys, it's $50.
On Saturday, there's one at the Holiday Inn in Elk Grove Village. On Sunday, there's another at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockford.
Go to muskyroadrules.com
UPCOMING OUTDOOR SHOWS
Show, dates: site, contacts
Hammond Outdoor Sports Show, Jan. 23-24, Jean Shepherd Community Center, Hammond, Ind. sportsshow.gohammond.com
America's Outdoor Show, Jan. 27-31, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, americasoutdoorshow.com
Strictly Sail Chicago, Jan. 28-31, Navy Pier, www.strictlysailchicago.com
Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo, Jan. 29-31, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, greatwatersflyfishingexpo.com
Chicago RV & Camping Show, Feb. 10-14, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, thervshow.com
Tinley Park Fishing & Outdoor Show, Feb. 13-14, Tinley Park High School, tinleyparkfishingshow.com
[LATE ADD] Henry Decoy Show, Feb. 14, Henry-Senachwine High School, Henry. Contact Susan or Bruce Bauter at (309) 364-4104 or email@example.com
Our World-Underwater, Feb. 19-21, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, www.ourworldunderwater.com
Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, Feb. 26-28, Interstate Center, Bloomington, deerinfo.com/illinoishome.asp
Chicago Maritime Festival, Feb. 27, Chicago History Museum, chicagomaritimefestival.org
Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Spring Fever Outdoor Show, Feb. 27-28, Expo Center, Valparaiso, Ind., nwisteelheaders.org
Lake Home & Cabin Show, March 5-7, Schaumburg Convention Center, www.lakehomeandcabinshow.com
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 10-14, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, Wis., www2.jsonline.com/sportsshow
Canoecopia, March 12-14, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, www.rutabaga.com/canoecopia
Indoor Fishing Flea Market, March 13, Rolling Meadows High School, by the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters and the RMHS Choral Boosters, www.muskiesinc.org/chapters/03/indoorFishingFleaMarket.asp
Travel and Adventures Show, March 20-21, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, adventureexpo.com
Great Outdoors Expo, March 27-28, Woodstock North High School, Woodstock, greatoutdoorsexpo.net
National Antique Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show, April 23-24, Pheasant Run, St. Charles, midwestdecoy.org