Madison, Wis., & Marion, Iowa

Film fans can check out popular film festivals next month in Wisconsin and Iowa. More than 150 movies will be screened during the 21st annual Wisconsin Film Festival April 4-11. Full-length features, documentaries, animated, children's and short films from the United States and abroad will be screened on the campus of the University of Wisconsin and other sites. Tickets are $9-$11 ( Movie buffs can enjoy more than 30 films by local, regional and national filmmakers during the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival April 12-13 at the Collins Road Theatres in Marion, Iowa (

Vergas, Minn., & Poynette, Wis.

Maple syrup is on tap and several spots in Minnesota and Wisconsin will celebrate the signal of spring with festivals. Tap sap from a tree and treat yourself to fresh maple syrup on pancakes during the Maple Syrup Fest April 6 in Vergas, Minn. Visitors can enjoy a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Vergas Event Center. The cost is $5-$10. Events also include a medallion hunt, geocaching, a 5K run/walk ($30-$40), tours of sugar houses (weather-permitting), live music and more (

Also on April 6 in Poynette, Wis., the Maple Fest will include tree tapping and other family fun at the MacKenĀ­zie Environmental Center. A pancake breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, with maple syrup-making demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, displays and more (

Colleen a. Coles