Chicago events calendar for March 2014. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

events for 12 months
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March 2014

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in March 2014 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Mardi gras bash

March 1, 2014

0.5 miles south

Escape winter’s chill by dancing to conga rhythms at Steamy Nights in Havana at Chicago Cultural Center. Requires advance ticket and costume or mask. Cost.

Mardi gras bar crawl

March 1, 2014

1 mile east

Your ticket to the World’s Largest Indoor Bar Crawl includes two drink tickets, drink specials, games, a mask, and music at Crystal Gardens, Navy Pier. Cost.

Shopping-cart race

March 1, 2014

3 miles west

Shopping cart riders race through Wicker Park pulled by humans in the Chiditarod, which is the same day the Alaska Iditarod dog-sled race begins. Donate food.

Small-town craft fair

March 1, 2014

21 miles south

Community Expo & Spring Craft Fair has handmade arts and crafts, local business exhibitors, and kids’ activities at Prairie Junior High School in Alsip. Free.

Custom car show

March 1 - 2, 2014 (begins Feb. 28)

17 miles NW

World of Wheels features hot rods, competition cars, specialty, and concept vehicles at the Rosemont convention center.

Irish film festival

March 1 - 8, 2014

Chicago locations

Chicago Irish Film Festival focuses on the spirit of Irish culture at Music Box Theatre & Society for Arts.

Orchid Show

March 1 - 16, 2014 (begins Feb. 15)

24 miles north

See 12,000 blooming orchids on display at the Orchid Show, which includes weekend classes and Tuesday morning music at Chicago Botanic Garden. Cost.

Polar Plunge

March 2, 2014

2 miles north

Join 2,000 who wade into the cold waters of Lake Michigan to support charity during Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach, or watch from shore.

Film festival

March 6 - 8, 2014

42 miles west

The Geneva Film Festival screens a variety of independent films and screenplays from around the world at State Street Dance Studio in Geneva. Cost.

Peaceful film festival

March 6 - 9, 2014

0.5 mile south

Peace on Earth Film Festival (POEFF) features works that raise awareness of peace, non-violence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater. Cost.

Paper money expo

March 6 - 9, 2014

16 miles NW

Chicago Paper Money Exposition includes an auction and 85 booths of rare paper money, stocks, and bonds at Crowne Plaza in Rosemont. Sunday is free.

St. Patrick’s parade (west)

March 8, 2014

19 miles west

Celebrate Irish tradition with leprechauns, clowns, jugglers, dancers, bagpipes, marching bands, and floats at Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Free.

Children’s expo

March 8 - 9, 2014

28 miles NW

Kids get to play and be entertained, and their parents can find quality children’s products and services at the Chicagoland Kids Expo at the Schaumburg convention center. Cost.

Maple sugar fair

March 8 - 9, 2014

33 miles west

Watch maple tree tapping, taste a maple treat, learn to dance a reel, and join a scavenger hunt at Maple Sugaring Days at Naper Settlement. Cost.

St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls

March 8 - 15, 2014

Chicago locations

These events usually include drink specials and party souvenirs, with no cover charges at multiple bars.
Chicago, Illinois
March 2014

Local food festival

March 13 - 15, 2014

2.5 miles SW

The Good Food Festival features locally grown food for sale plus gardening and cooking workshops and a Localicious dinner at UIC Forum. Cost.

Creativity expo

March 14 - 15, 2014

0.4 miles south

Hear creative experts speak about arts, fashion, film, and food, and then visit vendor tables at Creative Chicago Expo at Chicago Cultural Center. Free.

Small press festival

March 14 - 15, 2014

1.1 miles south

A zine is a cheap, self-published, underground publication. Chicago Zine Fest offers panel discussions Friday, and exhibitions by 200 writers, artists, and publishers Saturday at Columbia College. Free.

Zombie, horror, sci-fi convention

March 14 - 16, 2014

17 miles NW

Zombie lovers unite at Walker Stalker Con, which features panels, celebrities, vendors, and a costume party at the Rosemont convention center.

Pet expo

March 14 - 16, 2014

27 miles NW

Chicagoland Family Pet Expo features entertainment, exhibitors, and demos at Arlington Park Racetrack.

St. Patrick’s parade (downtown)

March 15, 2014

1.3 miles south

The Chicago River flows green at 10 a.m. near Michigan Ave. & Wacker Dr. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at noon, rain or shine, at Balbo Ave. and goes north on Columbus Dr. to Monroe St. Free.

St. Patrick’s run/walk

March 15, 2014

2.8 miles north

St. Paddy’s Day 5K & 8K Run/Walk in Lincoln Park begins near N. Cannon Drive & W. Fullerton. It ends with Irish music, entertainment, and refreshments.

St. Patrick’s Festival

March 15, 2014

9 miles NW

After the big parade, enjoy Irish music, dance, food, activities, and gift shopping at St. Patrick's Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center. Cost.

Maple sugar fair

March 15 - 16, 2014

29 miles NW

Enjoy an outdoor pancake breakfast with real maple syrup and see how it’s made in a pioneer sugar camp at Sugar Bush Fair. Includes a puppet show, hayride, and food market in Schaumburg. Cost.

Kids carnival

March 15 - 16, 2014

40 miles west

Family Palooza has carnival rides, inflatables, games, stage shows, magicians, a petting zoo, climbing wall, and zip line at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Flower and garden show

March 15 - 23, 2014

1 mile east

Chicago Flower & Garden Show features 20 gardens, 100 vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars, and a kids’ activity garden at Navy Pier. Cost.

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 16, 2014

13 miles NW

Northwest Side Irish Parade begins at Onahan School at noon and is free. Buy a ticket for the optional after-party for dinner and family fun.

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 16, 2014

17 miles south

South Side Irish Parade is on Western Avenue and goes south from 103rd to 115th St. Free.

St. Patrick’s Day

March 16, 2014 (9 a.m.)

19 miles west

Pre-register for the Lucky Leprechaun 5K, which begins in downtown Elmhurst and ends with a family friendly party outside Pints. Strollers OK but no dogs.

Festival of writers

March 16 - 21, 2014

Chicago locations

Free Story Week offers readings, conversations with authors, panels, performances, and book signings.

Burlesque competition

March 20, 2014

9 miles north

Burlypicks is a national burlesque and variety-act competition that begins at Parlour on Clark.

Tattoo convention

March 21 - 23, 2014

16 miles NW

Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention features live tattooing, sideshows, and entertainment at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont. Cost.

Beer festival

March 22, 2014

1.5 miles SW

The Chicago Beer Festival features unlimited tastings in the afternoon or evening, with food sold separately, in Union Station. Repeats in Oct. Cost.

Craft fair

March 22, 2014

27 miles west

Browse handcrafted goods from 150 juried exhibitors at Shower of Crafts Craft & Art Fair at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton. Cost.

Flower show

March 23 - April 6, 2014

0.5 mile south

Macy’s Flower Show features 2 million flowers and exotic topiaries plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street. Free.

Party at the nature museum

March 25, 2014 (6 to 9 p.m.)

3 miles north

See all the exhibits, join a trivia contest, and visit the bar during Nature on Tap for teens and adults at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Cost.

Sewing expo

March 27 - 29, 2014

28 miles NW

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo has workshops, shows, and vendors at Schaumburg Convention Center. Cost.

Art Institute party

March 28, 2014

1 mile south

Young people can mix and mingle, visit the bar, and rock out to music at After Dark in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cost.

Shamrock 8K race

March 28 - 30, 2014

1.5 miles SE

The Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday is billed as the world’s largest timed 8K race. It starts and ends in Grant Park and includes a post-race party. The free Shamrock Shuffle Health and Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday at Navy Pier.

Bluegrass festival

March 28 - 30, 2014

30 miles

Enjoy a dozen acts plus workshops at Great Northern Bluegrass Music Festival at the Marriott in Naperville.

Science-fiction convention

March 29, 2014

1 mile south

Celebrate your inner geek at Chi-Fi with guests, musicians, panels, cosplay, games, vendors, and parties at the Palmer House hotel.

Greek parade

March 30, 2014 (2:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles west

The annual Greek Independence Day Parade begins at N Halsted St. & Randolph. Free.

Improv festival

March 31 - April 6, 2014

Chicago locations

Billed as the world’s longest running festival of improvisational theater, the Chicago Improv Festival includes music, song, comedy, story, and puppetry performances in multiple locations. Cost.
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events for 12 months

March 2014 calendar of events in Chicago. What to do in Chicagoland today, this weekend, this month. Special events, festivals, things to do in Chicago, IL.