The Early Show on Nov. 10, 2019 started show season around Chicago outdoors, but the bulk of the shows, classes, flea markets and swap meets come in winter starting in early January of 2020.
I will update as needed as some dates and sites become solid or change. If you have anything to add or subtract from this master list, please let me know by any of these means: firstname.lastname@example.org, message at Dale Bowman on Facebook, @BowmanOutside on Twitter or @bowmanoutside on Instagram.
Here is the master list:
Nov. 10, 2019: The Early Show, presented by Illinois Smallmouth Alliance and DRiFT, Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook
Jan. 3-5: Let’s Go Fishing Show, Gateway Center, Collinsville
Jan. 8-12, Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show, McCormick Place South
Jan. 9-12: All-Canada Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles
Jan. 10-12: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
Jan. 16-19: Northern Illinois Sports Show, Lake County Fairground & Event Center, Grayslake
Jan. 17-19: Muskie Expo Chicago, Pheasant Run, St. Charles
Jan. 17-19: Greater Chicago RV Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
Jan. 23-26: Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, Schaumburg Convention Center
Jan. 25-26: Capt. Dan Keating Schools, Lake Michigan Angler, Winthrop Harbor, Salmon 101, Saturday, Advanced Tactics & Seasonal Strategies, Sunday
Feb. 7-9: Rockford Boat, Vacation & Fishing Show, Indoor Sports Center, Loves Park
Feb. 8-9: Tinley Park Fishing Show, Tinley Park High School
Feb. 8-9: Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Feb. 9: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School
Feb. 12-16: NWTF Convention & Sport Show, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Feb. 13-16: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Feb. 14-16: National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, Minneapolis Convention Center
Feb. 14-16: Muskie Expo Milwaukee, Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center, West Bend, Wis.
Feb. 14-23: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds
[UPDATE 3] Feb. 15: Midwest Musky Club’s annual swap meet, Village Sportsman’s Club, Alsip
[UPDATE 4] Feb. 15-16: Bedford Sales 50th anniversary Open House, Morris
Feb. 22: DRiFT’s annual Fly Fishing Auction, Villa Park VFW, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
[UPDATE 2] Feb. 22-23: Fish On, Woodland Park, Portage, [Ind.
[UPDATE 5] SOLD OUT
Feb. 22: Teach Outdoors annual banquet , Jennifer’s Garden Banquet and Convention Center, Morris
Feb. 29: Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet, River Park Moose Lodge, River Grove
[Update 6] CANCELED
Feb. 29-Mach 1: Chicago Dive & Travel Expo , Chicago Marriott O’Hare
March 4-8: Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center, West Allis, Wis.
[UPDATE 3] March 5: Midwest Musky Club’s Mega Raffle Fundraiser, Village Sportsman’s Club, Alsip
March 5-8: Northern Illinois Boat Show, New Lake County Fair Grounds, Grayslake
March 5-8: Illinois Taxidermist Association convention, Decatur Hotel & Conference Center
March 7: Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School
March 7: Illinois Smallmouth Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout, Elmhurst American Legion
March 7: Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc.’s annual banquet, Schaumburg Golf Club
[UPDATE 1] CANCELED
March 7-8: Elmwood All Outdoors Show , Elmwood Community Schools No show in 2020
March 8: Quad County Hawg Hunters’ Fishing Flea Market, Plano American Legion, email@example.com or 815-286-7170
[UPDATE 7] CANCELED
March 13-15: Canoecopia , Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
[UPDATE 8] CANCELED
March 13-15: Greater Chicago Boat Show , Schaumburg Convention Center
[UPDATE 7] POSTPONED to May 2:
March 14: Fish & Hook Sports Show , VFW Post 5788, Lockport
[UPDATE 8] POSTPONED
March 19-22: Ultimate Sports Show , DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Mich.
[UPDATE 8] POSTPONED
March 20-22: Rockford RV, Camping & Travel Show , Indoor Sports Center, Loves Park
[UPDATE 8] POSTPONED to 2021
March 27-29: Illinois Deer Classic , Peoria Civic Center
[UPDATE 11] CANCELED
March 28: Walleyes Unlimited swap meet , Fox Lake Legion Hall
[UPDATE 10] CANCELED
April 18-19: Chicago Herpetological Society’s ReptileFest , Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago
[UPDATE 13] CANCELED
April 25: Riverside Fishing Club swap meet , LaGrange American Legion
[UPDATE 15] POSTPONED TO SPRING OF @2021
May 2: Fish & Hook Sports Show , VFW Post 5788, Lockport
[UPDATE 13] CANCELED
May 5-9: North American Vintage Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show , Westin Chicago Lombard
[UPDATE 14] CANCELED
May 8-9: Driftless Outdoors Show , Onalaska Omni Center, Onalaska, Wis.
[UPDATE 12] CANCELED
May 16-17: Outside Experience , Northerly Island