Make the Midwest the Highlight of Your Spring Travels

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March 23, 2023

In the Midwest, spring comes alive with festivals and events that put a spotlight on the area’s culinary specialties and cultural influences.

Midwest Spring Comes Alive on a mapTake a trip into the heartland to experience a Mac & Cheese smorgasbord, an iconic race, and a gathering of Airstream trailers. You won’t find these kinds of wholesome celebrations anywhere else.

The following are just a few of the big events unfolding in the Midwest during spring.


Moonlight Market, May 3 (first and third Wednesday through September), Springfield: Moonlight Market is held on Jackson Street between 6th and 7th streets in front of Obed & Isaac’s and 7th Street Cidery. Check out some of the finest artisans in Central Illinois. 

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Springfield area:

Camp Lakewood Campground & RV Park, Effingham Oak Terrace RV Resort, Peru (IN)
Double J Campground, Springfield

Woman pitching softball on the field.

Getty Images

Big 10 Softball Championships, May 10, Peoria. Eichelberger Field hosts exciting softball action from top competitors in one of America’s premier collegiate athletic conferences. 

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Peoria area:

Kamp Komfort RV Park & Campground, Carlock Starved Rock Family Campground, Utica
Sankoty Lakes, Spring Bay

Fireworks exploding over a river.

The fireworks above the Chicago River during the annual Memorial Day weekend event at Navy Pier.

Navy Pier Fireworks, May 27, Chicago. Chicago ranks as the third-largest American city, and it exudes the energy you’d expect from a major metropolis. Get a sense of that Windy City pizzaz at the Navy Pier Fireworks, launched every Saturday through Labor Day Weekend at the famous Navy Pier on Lake Michigan near the mouth of the Chicago River. 

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Chicago area:

Pine Country RV & Camping Resort, Belvidere Leisure Lake Resort, Joliet
RV Park at Hollywood Casino Joliet, Joliet Glenwood RV Resort, Marseilles
Lehman’s Lakeside RV Resort, Peru


Wild bird on a bare branch

Northern Cardinal. Getty Images

Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, May 11–14, Porter. Birdwatchers gather at the Indiana Dunes National Park Visitor Center before setting out to catch glimpses of colorful migrator species.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Porter area:

Bear Cave Resort, Buchanan Honey Bear Hollow Family Campground, Peru
Elkhart Campground, Elkhart Caboose lake campground, Remington

Indy cars circling the track

Indy 500 Before the race.

Greenwood Pickleball Open, May 19-21, Greenwood (near Indianapolis). Compete with top players or simply watch one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. Join the competition and show off your skills.

Indianapolis 500, May 16–28, Indianapolis. The 107th running of this iconic motorsports event brings top racers to the Brickyard (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) for high-speed action. A series of events culminates on the 28th for the “Greatest Spectacle of Racing.”

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Indianapolis area:

Columbus Woods-N-Waters Kampground, Columbus Lake Haven Retreat, Peru
Ceraland Park & Campground, Columbus Hidden Paradise Campground, St Paul
Heartland Resort, Greenfield


A pile of Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese topped with chopped bacon. Pixabay

Mac and Cheese Fest, May 4, Dubuque. Foodies can indulge in one of America’s favorite comfort foods along with craft beers galore in the Grand River Center. Sample more than 20 varieties of cheese-drenched pasta.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Dubuque area:

Amana RV Park & Event Center, Amana Lakeshore RV Resort & Campground, Oelwein
Interstate RV park, Davenport Beyonder Gateway at Sleepy Hollow, Peru
Lundeen’s Landing, East Moline Lazy Acres RV Park, Urbana

Kites on the Green, May 6, Johnston (near Des Moines). Marvel at giant kites and thrill at kite battles in the Johnston Commons. Assemble your own kite and set it aloft.

Young happy family with little boy run in field and flying a kite.

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15th Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, May 12–13, Des Moines. Bacon and beer make the perfect pair at this mouth-watering event held at JR’s Southpork Ranch. Come for the wide varieties of bacon, stay for the music.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Des Moines area:

Shady Brook Camping & RV Adventures, Earlham Kellogg RV Park, Kellogg
Crows Nest RV Resort, Indianola

White hotel with a long porch against a blue sky.

Grand Hotel. Photo: Pixabay


Open the Grand, May 5, Mackinac Island. Partake in the first afternoon tea of the season at the iconic Grand Hotel, with the world’s largest front porch, which dishes out sweeping views of Lake Huron. Tour a small town known for its sweets and horse-drawn carriages.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Mackinac Island area:

Chain O’Lakes Campground, Bellaire Holiday Park Campground,Traverse City
Big Cedar Campground & Canoe Livery, Germfask Traverse Bay RV Resort, Traverse City
Kalkaska RV Park & Campground, Kalkaska Glenview Cottages & RV Park, Sault Ste Marie (ON)

A field of beautiful bright orange tulips

Getty Images

Tulip Time, May 6–15, Holland. This town pays homage to its Dutch namesake with dazzling displays of tulips. Tour the Tulip Immersion Garden and enjoy a feast for the senses.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Holland area:

Bear Cave Resort, Buchanan Camp Turkeyville RV Resort, Marshall
Hungry Horse Family Campground, Dorr

Great Lakes Boating Festival, May 20 & 21, Grosse Pointe. Grosse Pointe Shores and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club host one of the nation’s most prominent displays of marine leisure craft. Tour boats on land in water, some up to 80 feet in length.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Grosse Pointe area:

Wayne County Fairgrounds RV Park, Belleville
Campers Cove Campground, Wheatley (ON)
Northpointe Shores RV Resort, Fair Haven

Cropped shot of a crowd at a music festival

Getty Images


Mid West Music Festival, May 12–13, Winona. Regional bands and musicians gather in a variety of venues to showcase some of the hottest sounds of the heartland. 

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Wompma area:

Money Creek Haven, Houston Neshonoc Lakeside Camp-Resort, West Salem (WI)
Old Barn Resort, Preston

Art-a-Whirl, May 19–21, Northwest Minneapolis. More than 800 artists in over 60 locations showcase their works. See private studios and galleries, and enjoy delicious food and beverages in a hip neighborhood.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Minneapolis area:

St Cloud/Clearwater RV Park, Clearwater St Cloud Campground & RV Park, St Cloud
Grand Hinckley RV Resort, Hinckley Chapparal Campground & Resort, Wonewoc (WI)

Man paddles a red kayak on a river.

Paddling on the Red River. Getty Images

Red River Paddling Excursion, May 31, Moorhead. Join a paddling trip and learn how the Red River shaped the history and terrain of Northwest Minnesota. All skill levels are welcome.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Moorehead area:

Royal Oaks RV Park, Bemidji Governors’ RV Park Campground, Casselton (ND)
Stony Point Resort RV Park & Campground, Cass Lake Jamestown Campground, Jamestown (ND)

Airstream Trailer near a lake.

Getty Images


Wake up Downtown Logan May, 4–7, Logan. Attention all Airstream enthusiasts: bring your silver bullet to this town 50 miles southeast of Columbus for live music, restaurants, and meetings with Airstream factory experts. Camp right on the street in downtown Logan (but hurry—spaces fill up fast). This Airstream-only event takes place in the gateway to the Hocking Hills.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Logan area:

Sun Valley Campground, Chillicothe Wolfies Campground, Zanesville
Pine Creek Cabins and Campground, South Bloomingville

Brazil Argentina and world flags is flying

Getty Images

A World A’Fair Dayton International Festival, May 5–7, Dayton. At the Green County Fairgrounds, visitors can experience food, music, and dance from cultures across the globe. Browse booths representing more than 30 countries.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Dayton area:

Olive Branch Campground, Lebanon Thousand Trails Wilmington, Wilmington
Kings Island Camp Cedar, Mason

Buckeye Country Superfest, May 27, Columbus. Ohio Stadium fills with the rowdy sound of country music when top acts, including George Strait and Little Big Town, take the stage. 

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Columbus area:

Jackson Lake Campground Park, Canal Winchester Alton RV Park, Galloway
Cross Creek Camping Resort, Delaware


Downtown Baraboo Spring Fair on the Square, May 13, Baraboo. Home to the Circus World Museum, this town rolls out the welcome mat a day before Mother’s Day. Enjoy shopping, live music, food, and fun, with more than 80 artists and crafters.  

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Baraboo area:

Yukon Trails Camping, Lyndon Station Arrowhead Resort Campground, Wisconsin Dells
Buffalo Lake Camping Resort, Montello Sherwood Forest Camping & RV Park, Wisconsin Dells

Female drinking wine

Getty Images

Uncork Me Wisconsin, May 13, Madison. Breese Stevens Field becomes the setting for top vintages from Badger State winemakers. Also on tap: delicious snacks and live music.

World’s Largest Brat Fest, May 26–28, Madison. In the heart of downtown Madison, this event brings the community together each Memorial Day weekend for free music, succulent pork, and family-friendly fun. It’s a great way to kick off the summer.

Good Sam Campgrounds in the Madison area:

Madison Campground, De Forest Lakeland Camping Resort, Milton
Blackhawk Camping Resort, Milton


Leave a Reply


  1. Nancy Grant

    Nice set of ideas for Spring in the midwest. But please add the spring opening date on the the first page so we do not have to go to each linked campground to find one open in early spring. Camping for some retirees starts in late March or early April, before its gets crowded with summer vacation families. Same comment is true for the last dates when fall exploring any region.

  2. Thanks, Chris. Here’s to a great 2023 camping season! — John

  3. Chris

    This is Chris representing Caboose Lake Campground! This blog is awesome and spot on! The midwest is a great place to visit during the spring, summer AND fall! Check us out if you come to the area. We have a lake and water activities!