Two major outdoor shows with many similar features continue through Sunday in Rosemont and Schaumburg.
The Chicagoland Fishing Travel & Outdoor Expo is in its second year at the Schaumburg Convention Center.
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If you goChicago Outdoor Sports Show
Location: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 9291 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont
Days and hours: 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26
Tickets: $10 online, $12 at the door, free for kids 11 and younger
Chicagoland Fishing Travel & Outdoor Expo
Location: Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 North Thoreau Drive
Days and hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26
Tickets: $12 adults, $3 for ages 5-11, free for kids younger than 5
It describes itself as an angler's dream and best opportunity to find anything fishing related, whether looking for the newest equipment, booking travel near or far, or wanting to buy a boat.
It features more than 100 travel-related exhibitors (including guides, lodges, resorts and regional promotion agencies), most of the major fishing tackle manufacturers, local fishing retailers, and almost 100 fishing boats.
The show covers the pursuit of all species through all techniques, fly fishing to conventional, with seminars with expert instructors and nationally recognized pro fishing celebrities.
The show includes a 5,000-gallon fish tank loaded with large-mouth bass, giving top pros a way to demonstrate the latest and the tried and true lures in the water.
The Northern Illinois Raptor Center, a charitable organization, will have on display a live great horned owl, a barred owl, a male American kestrel and a red-tail hawk.
The show also features a fishing simulator. New fishing boat models from Lund, Crestliner, G3, Ranger, Skeeter, Prince Craft, Sea Ark, Bass Cat, Alumacraft, Bayliner, Avalon, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Crest, Smokercraft and others will be on display.
The Fly Fishing Pavilion will include retailers, manufacturers, guides, a learning center with casting demos, seminars, and on Saturday and Sunday hands-on fly tying with an expert.
Chauncey from Chauncey's Great Outdoors Radio Program, heard on ESPN Radio AM 1000, will be at the show with an area for kids and adults to learn more about the outdoors. A nature center has live animals and reptiles.
On Sunday, kids 11 and younger are admitted free and kids' events include a scavenger hunt with prizes, and exposure to the CastingKids program, open to young people in two age groups, 7-10 and 11-14. It's similar to NFL Punt, Pass and Kick events.
CastingKids will be presented by the Illinois BASS Federation Nation and, during the last hour, will include the Illinois CastingKids State Championship.
The Chicago Outdoor Sports Show in Rosemont has many of the same features, including a 5,000-gallon aquarium where the audience can receive expert information from witnessing the professionals use various techniques in catching fish.
The Historical Fishing Display traces the evolution of fishing in America from the earliest fishing items dating to the Copper Culture 8,000 years ago, early Native American items, the first fishing lures brought from Europe, the earliest manufactured fishing items made in America continuing through displays of items made through the 1970s.
The SIMULCAST Exhibit is a 50-foot-long casting pond that is 16 feet wide and 2 feet deep with large screen TVs to show the techniques being taught by guest pros at and in the pond.
The show includes the Chicago 3-D Archery Tournament and Public Shoot, with cash prizes of more than $1,000. It's open to people 18 and older. The Bowfishing Association of Illinois will be on-site.
The Fire & Ice Expo offers a variety of products, interaction with celebrity chefs, recipes and barbecue seminars.
Wildlife artist Jim Tingey will provide an opportunity for kids to paint a fish using watercolors and will give them instructions.
There's a catch-and-release trout pond where kids can catch their first fish. The show also features Chauncey's Great Outdoor World, where kids experience what nature is like and members of the Chicago Herpetological Society bring snakes, lizards, turtles and other creatures.
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County nature centers on Saturday and Sunday also bring in things to touch and educational activities so families learn what's in their neighborhoods.