Winter is almost over and it's time to celebrate with brewskies at the biannual Chicago Beer Festival, held at the historic Union Station. Sip beer from more than 60 breweries and 200 beers, including local and international brews plus lots of seasonals. Breweries will each pour two to three beers with a focus on spring flavors. Tickets, not sold at the door, include 30 beer samples. Food will be available for purchase.
1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Union Station, 225 S. Canal St., Chicago. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased at thechicagobeerfestival.com.
Faith and begorra
If you didn't turn the right color of green over the weekend, you can still become a leprechaun at the third annual Northwest Celtic Fest. The family-friendly festival promises a saturation of Celtic culture with live music, food, children's games, a pipe music invitational plus beer and scotch tasting. Sample Shepherd's Pie, Rueben fritters, Belgian fries, Irish burgers, fish and chips and Irish bakery items. Free admission.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. (847) 781-2606 or hoffmanestates.org.
Before there were billboards, radio, television or the Internet, there was the poster, among the first of the mass media. The largest vintage poster show in the world, The International Vintage Poster Fair, blows into Chicago with exhibitors from the U.S. and around the globe. More than 25 international dealers with more than 10,000 original vintage posters for sale (vetted by the International Vintage Poster Dealer Association) offer art in every genre, including product advertising, entertainment, food and drink, sports, travel, military, the circus, magic and more. Vintage posters have enjoyed resurgence in popularity in the 21st century representing a unique piece of world cultural history. Stop by and you may bring home some Belle Époque, Art Nouveau, Moderne, the fabulous '50s or the trippy '60s into your life.
5 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 28; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 29; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. Tickets, valid for the entire weekend, cost $15. (800) 856-8069 or posterfair.com.
Land in Eagle Ridge
March in Illinois could be 75 degrees, or it could below freezing. But whatever the weather, families spending spring break in the Midwest can't miss when vacationing at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena. Vacation packages in March give access to all the fun, relaxation, and beauty of Eagle Ridge and the Galena Territory. If there's snow, take advantage of Eagle Ridge's Nordic Center, which offers use of cross-country ski equipment, plus, there's sledding and sleigh rides; jump in the heated indoor pool for swimming and activities like movie nights and make-your-own snack; and check out the hot air balloon rides, too. Parents will appreciate Stonedrift Spa and the resort's award-winning restaurants.
Now through March 31 at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, 444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena, Ill. The exclusive Facebook fan rate for one standard hotel room is $99 per room at facebook.com/EagleRidgeResort. A Teacher Appreciation Special of $89 per night is for teachers and school administrators with valid school identification. All room rates are subject to availability. (800) 892-2269 or eagleridge.com.
Celebrate Easter in Cambridge, Wis., a sweet town between Madison and Milwaukee. The kids can have breakfast with Peter Cottontail at the Keystone restaurant before the Easter Bonnet Parade on Main Street. Then kids can then be let loose for the Easter egg hunt before the short drive back home.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, in downtown Cambridge, Wis. See cambridgewi.com for details.
Eagles land in Minnesota
The National Eagle Center holds live-bird programs, field trips and nature presentations throughout each day of Soar with the Eagles, a celebration honoring the spring migration. Visit the eagle education ambassadors of the National Eagle Center and witness special weekend events such as bird of prey education programs, naturalist talks, nature photographers' presentations, river experts and more. Meet a Great Horned Owl, handle live reptiles and amphibians, and don't miss experts from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center presenting a flying bird show.
10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23, at The National Eagle Center, 50 Pembroke Ave., Wabasha, Minn. (60 minutes west of Eau Claire, Wis.). (877) 332-4537 or nationaleaglecenter.org.