Celebrate the end of winter across the Midwest this March. Vegas meets Midwest with Penn and Teller's magic show in Aurora, discover Hillbilly Silly Science in Dubuque, and chuckle for 11 days at Grand Rapids' LaughFest.

February 21, 2018
The Sound Exchange
The Sound Exchange to perform at the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, courtesy of Jamey Guy


Penn and Teller at the Paramount AURORA March 23 Even as the world-famous duo describes how a trick is performed, your eyes will deceive you into believing it's real. The Las Vegas magicians and comedians pull from a honed repertoire of tricks, including the jaw-dropping bullet catch. paramountaurora.com

Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival NAPERVILLE March 24 Pitch Perfect fans can see the real thing at the country's premier vocal harmony tournament. Winners here will face o with six other regional champs for top honors. A Capella Festival's Facebook event page

The Sound Exchange
The Sound Exchange to perform at the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, courtesy of Jamey Guy

Underground Railroad Shuttle Tour ALTON March 24 This two-hour guided tour dives deep into the history of how the Mississippi River provided transportation and assistance for escaped slaves prior to and during the Civil War. The tour visits several Underground Railroad sites. visitalton.com/shuttle


Indiana Heritage Quilt Show BLOOMINGTON March 1–3 View some of the Midwest's most impressive quilt work, attend workshops or enter your own art into this regional quilt show. Exhibits will feature African-American quilters and antique quilts. ihqs.org


Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular: Dino-Myte Theories! DUBUQUE March 10 Dr. Cletus Beaker entertains and educates kids and families about the di erent theories of dinosaur extinction using goofy stage props, homemade experiments and playacting. Dino-Myte Theories! Facebook event page

Found Footage Festival INDIANOLA March 14 This traveling video and comedy show revels in the weird, often embarrassing and hilariously mundane ephemera of the age of the VHS cassette. foundfootagefest.com


Gilda's LaughFest GRAND RAPIDS March 8–18 Some of the biggest names in stand-up and improv headline this 11-day festival. This year brings comedians Trevor Noah, Cameron Esposito, Maria Bamford and "Weird Al" Yankovic to venues across the city. laughfestgr.org

Carnival Weekend BOYNE FALLS March 16–18 Marking the end of winter, the Boyne Mountain Resort throws a weekend-long bash, known to outsiders as Carnival and to locals as Crazy Daze. Ziplines, specialty dinners, parties and the Slush Cup (where skiers attempt to skid across a man-made pond) round out the festivities. boynemountain.com


Amish Experience: Homemade Noodles Demonstration HARMONY March 24 Learn about Amish culture and how to make noodles inside the home of an Amish cook for this one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience. You'll also take home a bag of fresh noodles at the end of the day. eagle-bluff-skills-school.org

Leslie Odom, Jr. with the Minnesota Orchestra MINNEAPOLIS March 24 Tony Award-winning actor and singer Leslie Odom, Jr. (the original Aaron Burr in Hamilton) will sing a set of jazz and Broadway standards, backed by the orchestra. minnesotaorchestra.org


Schlafly Stout and Oyster Festival ST. LOUIS March 23–24 A staggering 80,000 oysters are own in from the coasts, along with 20 renowned shuckers, for a giant party at Missouri's largest locally owned and independent brewery. Schlafly will brew 15 specialty stouts for the event. schlafly.com/stoutandoyster


March Madness: NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament OMAHA March 23–25 Part of the Sweet 16 heads to Omaha this spring. Attend the high-stakes games over the weekend. The winner here earns a trip to the Men's Final Four showdown in San Antonio. ncaa.com

North Dakota

North Dakota Winter Show VALLEY CITY March 3–10 A rodeo, a concert, pageants, animal shows and educational opportunities for kids mark the largest and longest-running agriculture show in the state. northdakotawintershow.com


Cirque de la Symphonie CINCINNATI March 9–11 The renowned Cincinnati Pops Orchestra provides a live soundtrack for aerialists, acrobats, contortionists and dancers. Musical numbers will include Sousa marches and classics from lm and stage. cincinnatisymphony.org/pops

South Dakota

Schmeckfest FREEMAN March 16–17, 23–24 Schmeck means taste in German. So bring an appetite to this small town for a food-focused heritage festival. Crafts fairs and historical seminars culminate each night with a bu et and a musical performance. schmeckfest.com


Coulee Region Polar Plunge LA CROSSE March 2–3 Hundreds of brave souls run and dive into the frigid waters of the Mississippi River. The charitable stunt serves as a fund-raiser for the Special Olympics. Prizes will be awarded to the best-costumed plungers and shore-bound spectators. polarplungewi.org