It’s the Lenten season in Cincinnati, which can only mean one thing: fish fry Fridays are back. (That and someone you know has given up chocolate for the next 40 days.) If you're looking for a fish fry — particularly ones with alcohol — check out our list.
And along with holy haddock, this weekend promises debauchery in the form of Bockfest and a Big Lewboski-themed pub crawl, plus FC Cincinnati's home opener and a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.
Here are 10 things to do this weekend.
Friday, March 4Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats
Acclaimed Food Network star and author Alton Brown, famous for mixing his love of science and gourmet food on television, is coming to the Aronoff Center. Prepare yourself for two hours of Brown’s displays of science, music and food. Brown says fans should expect "more cooking, more comedy, more music and more potentially dangerous science stuff." Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are required. 7:30 p.m. March 4. $35-$65. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
Cincinnati's favorite debaucherous celebration of dark beer, springtime and goats returns to take over the city in March. But this time, the party will be in a new location. Bockfest is back March 4-6 and instead of being held at its traditional headquarters at the now-defunct Moerlein taproom, it will be held at the Findlay Playground at 1811 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. Favorite activities are taking place all weekend including the 30th Bockfest parade (leaves 6 p.m. March 4 from Arnold's Bar & Grill), a Bockfest 5K (10 a.m. March 5 from Bockfest Hall) and the gender-neutral Bockfest Sausage Queen finale (9:30 p.m. March 5 at Bockfest Hall). Bockfest Hall will also be full of fun, food and Bock beer all weekend long. There will also be associated brewery tours. March 4-6. Free. See a full schedule at bockfest.com.
Braxton's Garage Beer Fish Fry
Stop by Braxton's taproom on Friday, March 4, for a Garage Beer Fish Fry. Grab your favorite Braxton drafts, along with Braxton-beer-battered seasonal fish nuggets or sandwich served with fries and homemade tartar sauce. 5-9 p.m. March 4. 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, facebook.com/events.
Saturday, March 5The Root Beer Stand
Cincinnati's favorite summertime staple has announced its opening date for the 2022 season. The Root Beer Stand in Sharonville will open on March 5. Opened as an A&W Root Beer Stand in 1957, the now family-owned restaurant makes secret-recipe root beer (available by the jug) using water from the property’s well. With its particular minerality, the root beer is so incredibly unique and flavorful you won’t regret buying an extra gallon for the road. But don’t miss out on the food — the secret-recipe chili for the eatery’s famous foot-long coney dogs is to die for. 11566 Reading Road, Sharonville, therootbeerstand.com.
Day of the Dude Pub Crawl in Bellevue
Break out the bathrobe and great ready to channel your inner — and outer — The Big Lebowski fan. Bellevue businesses are celebrating the cult classic film with drink specials and encouraging guests to wear costumes. Participating businesses include Darkness Brewing, Nomad, Three Spirits Tavern, The B-List and more. 6-10 p.m. March 5. Free admission. Fairfield Avenue, Bellevue, facebook.com.
Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The largest hands-on display of replicas of Leonardo da Vinci's machines is now on view, and you won't have to go to Italy to see it. Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion is open at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. It features 40 full-size working recreations of da Vinci's inventions from the late 15th century. Highlights of da Vinci's "working" examples include a revolving crane, a full-size armored tank, a robot and four different flying machines. Through May 8. Free admission. 1100 Spaatz St., Dayton, Ohio/Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, nationalmuseum.af.
FC Cincinnati Home Opener
FC Cincinnati's home opener will be held March 5 against D.C. United, during which time they'll also be donning their new orange Juncta Juvant Kit. The team's season opener took place Feb. 26 — the earliest-ever start to a Major League Soccer season — in an away match against Austin FC. FC Cincinnati lost 5 to 0. The Juncta Juvant Kit replaces the white Heritage Link Kit that the club sported last season and will be alternated with the familiar navy blue Dynamic Kit against this season's opponents. Drawing design inspiration from Cincinnati's flag, "the orange kit highlights the bond between the club, the fans and the city," reads a release from FC Cincinnati. 6 p.m. March 5. Tickets start at $26. TQL Stadium, 1501 Central Parkway, West End, fccincinnati.com.
Ministry, The Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity at Madison Theater
Al Jourgensen, whose visage now conjures that of a Mad Max villain, is pessimistic about the future. The enduring frontman for Industrial Rock institution Ministry has long delved into the darker side of life, but his band’s last two records — 2018’s AmeriKKKant and 2021’s Moral Hygiene — take things to a new level. Both are concept albums about our current cultural climate and the rise of right-wing radicalism and its skewing of everything from the arts to media to science. Ministry’s tour-mates this time out include Stoner Rock icons The Melvins and Metal mainstays Corrosion of Conformity, all of which rose up out of an early 1980s scene. Doors open at 6 p.m. March 5. $39.50 advance; $45 door. Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Covington, madisontheater.com.
Sunday, March 6Hamlet at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Actress Sara Clark plays the titular role of the tragic Danish prince in this Shakespeare classic. Hamlet's father, the king, dies under mysterious circumstances only to have his brother — Hamlet's uncle — ascend the throne and steal his queen. A story of revenge unfolds as Hamlet attempts to expose the villainy of his uncle. Cincy Shakes says, "Incest and intrigue, murder and madness, triumph and treachery all combine to paint one of the most complex and compelling portraits in all of English literature." Face masks and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test required. Through March 20. $25. 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyshakes.com.
Cincinnati Home and Garden Show
More than 400 experts will be in one spot with both ideas and services for hire, whether you're looking for landscaping inspiration or help renovating kitchens or bathrooms. Promenade through more than 10,000-square-feet of "Feature Gardens" that display innovative landscape design for gardens and patios. Those who are ready to start a new project are encouraged to come with ideas, pictures and examples to discuss with professional designers for practical advice at the “Ask a Designer” area. 11 a.m. -8 p.m. March 3 and 4; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. March 5; and 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. March 6. $14; save $2 by purchasing tickets online. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, cincinnatihomeandgardenshow.com.