Chicago Boat Show 2010 – Kids under 12 are Free – Jan 16-17

If the winter weather is getting you down, begin to dream about the summer by going to the 2010 Chicago RV & Outdoors Show, now through Sunday, Jan 17 at the McCormick Place.  Kids under 12 are free and all paid admissions get a free magazine subscription (Yachting, Ski, Boating, Soundings or Spa magazines). 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.  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. 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.

For the many Chicagoans who enjoy nature by going camping, sailing, boating, fishing or traveling by RV during the summers in the Midwest, the RV portion of the show will be great.  McCormick Place is near the downtown harbors of Lake Michigan) Many people make a yearly family trip to a summer home this way or rent a place on a lake to retreat from the hectic daily work life in the woods. This is the one show that you can look at (and dream about) all the newest innovations in recreational vehicles.

In addition to hundreds of boats and a wide selection of the latest marine accessories, visitors to the 2010 Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show can find a variety of special features, including:

• NEW! Antique Boat and Motor Display – Premiering at this year’s show is the Antique Boat and Motor Display – a must see for boating and fishing enthusiasts! This exhibit, presented by both the Blackhawk Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society of America and the Motor Heads of Illinois, will highlight one of the premier antique boat and motor collections in the world.

• NEW! DockDogs – Come watch the pros or bring your dog to enter a world renowned dog jumping competition. DockDogs is an exhilarating dog jumping contest where canines from all over the country compete against each other in three separate events, including Big Air®, Speed Retrieval® and Extreme Vertical®.

• NEW! Historical Fishing Display: Check out the “Evolution of Fishing in America,” presented by noted collector Dan Basore. Dan will be on hand throughout the show to discuss his collection and rate your antique fishing gear.

• NEW! Pirates of Colonial America – Premiering at this year’s show is an interactive exhibit offering show visitors the opportunity to step in to the life of a colonial American pirate. Both children and adults can enjoy viewing and learning about featured 19th century replicated pirate artifacts, including historical documents, buried treasure, period shops and much more!

• NEW! Pre-Show Shopping – Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show’s newest online offering allows attendees to pre-shop the 2010 show for the greatest deals on the newest boats by visiting Show goers can plan ahead and search boats by brand, model and more, in addition to scheduling dealer appointments.

• NEW! Adopt-a-Dog Day – An outdoors person and their trusty dog companion, what’s better than that? How about a family and their newly adopted pet! Visit the Adopt-a Dog Center near the XX of the show on and go home with a furry new friend. For more onsite details, visit

• Affordability Pavilion – Returning to this year’s show is the very popular Affordability Pavilion. This featured area will showcase boats for those with smaller budgets, highlighting pricing options and boats that visitors can finance for $250 or less per month.

• Huck Finn Trout Pond – FREE fishing for kids 12 and under at the Huck Finn Trout Pond. Stocked with fresh frisky fighting trout, kids can let loose at the Huck Finn Trout Pond while experts help them make their next big catch. And to make it even more exciting, several young anglers will win great prizes if they’re lucky enough to catch a tagged trout. Be sure to bring the camera to catch the moment when your little one reels in a big one!

• Miss GEICO – Miss GEICO, the world’s fastest offshore racing boat, is a catamaran poised for performance and can reach upwards of 185 mph. The 40-foot, twin 1,500 turbine-powered offshore racer demolishes records and awes those unfortunate enough to race against her.

• Shedd Aquarium’s Listen To Your Lakes Space – The Listen to Your Lakes Space is the ideal place for boaters to discover how they can positively impact the waterways around the Great Lakes. Children of all ages can visit the Great Lakes Playscape and enjoy an interactive play zone featuring native animal encounters. Meanwhile, adults can learn new techniques on how to maintain their boats while protecting the great lakes environment and its inhabitants.

• Wakeboard & Waterski Clinic – Watch as the pros demonstrate the latest techniques and stunts in wakeboarding and waterskiing on the trampoline, sponsored Munson Ski & Marine.

Unfortunately, McCormick (GOUGERS!)  Parking is $19 (or take Metra or CTA).

Go to

Admission Prices:

$10 Adults (16 & older) — SEE DISCOUNT BELOW

$30 Adult 4-pack (16 & older) — The more the merrier! Buy three full-price adult tickets and the fourth one is on the house. Just think…that $10 savings can go towards parking, the first round of hot dogs or that new boat or RV you’ve been waiting for. This offer is valid for online purchase ONLY.

$8 Senior (65 & older) — Wednesday, January 13th & Thursday, January 14th ONLY

$4 Youth (13-15)

FREE for kids 12 & younger

Purchase your e-tickets now »   Use “DEW” in the promo code to save $2 per ticket!

Your e-ticket purchase includes a 1-year magazine subscription to Yachting, Spa, SkiBoating or Soundings(a $7.00 value)

** $2 discount coupons on weekday adult admission for ticket purchases at the show will be available on select Mountain Dew cans throughout the Chicagoland area beginning in December.

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