Chicago events calendar for March 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

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March 2015

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in March 2015 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.

Culture of China

March 1, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of China at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Polar Plunge

March 1, 2015

2 miles north

Join 3,000 who wade into the cold waters of Lake Michigan to support charity during Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach, or watch from shore.

Rhinofest fringe theater

March 1, 2015 (begins Jan. 10)

6.5 miles NW

Watch hundreds of artists perform at the Prop Thtr during Rhinoceros Theater Festival, billed as Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival.

Diving expo

March 1, 2015 (begins Feb. 27)

17 mile NW

Our World Underwater offers workshops for divers, films, diving-equipment, travel services, and a kids’ area at the Rosemont convention center.

Golf show

March 1, 2015 (begins Feb. 27)

17 mile NW

Hit balls with this year’s new clubs, take one-on-one full swing and putting lessons from pros, hear presentations, and shop for gear at the Chicago Golf Show at the Rosemont convention center.

Kids carnival

March 1, 2015 (begins Feb. 28)

40 miles west

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

Funny classic play

March 1 - 2, 2015 (begins Feb. 7)

1.3 miles north

The Importance of Being Earnest, which author Oscar Wilde called “a trivial comedy for serious people,” is a hilarious satire of Victorian society’s strict moral code at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Discount tickets.

Irish film festival

March 1 - 7, 2015 (begins Feb. 28)

Chicago locations

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

Chicago schools play

March 1 - 8, 2015 (begins Feb. 12)

3.6 miles NW

Follow the lives of three students in Chicago schools at Forgotten Future: The Education Project. It’s a play that promises to entertain, inform, and inspire you, at the Flat Iron Arts Building. Discount tickets.

Slapstick comedy

February 20 - March 8, 2015

8 miles north

Boeing Boeing is a sexy, funny farce about a playboy dating three “stewardesses” at once, based on the 1965 movie with Tony Curtis & Jerry Lewis, in the quaint Hamburger Mary’s theater. Discount tickets.

A play about dating

March 1 - 15, 2015 (begins Jan. 30)

3 miles north

Two lonely souls meet online in Softly Blue, a play at Greenhouse Theater Center about guarding our secrets and learning to trust others. Discount tickets.

Orchid Show

March 1 - 15, 2015 (begins Feb. 14)

24 miles north

See 10,000 blooming orchids on display at the Orchid Show, which includes weekend classes, Tuesday morning music, and an Evening with Orchids cocktail tasting on March 12 at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Family drama

March 1 - 15, 2015 (begins Feb. 11)

31 miles north

Other Desert Cities is about a family the NY Times called “balanced on a razor’s edge of affection and aggression” at Citadel Theatre. Discount tickets.

Addams Family

March 1 - 22, 2015 (begins Jan. 28)

7.5 miles north

The Addams Family: The Musical (based on the TV show) is about the daughter falling in love with a “normal” boy and inviting him and parents to dinner, onstage at the Mercury Theater.

Youth poetry festival

March 1 - 28, 2015 (begins Feb. 25)

Chicago locations

Louder than a Bomb is an Olympic-style poetry competition that gives Chicago youth a platform to share their stories and learn about others.

Thriller theater

March 1 - 28, 2015 (begins Feb. 13)

5 miles north

The Sweeter Option is a fast-paced psychological thriller involving a Chicago investigator, an embezzlement scheme, and a mysterious woman onstage at Strawdog Theatre. Discount tickets.

Dark comedy

March 1 - 28, 2015 (begins Jan. 27)

8.6 miles north

Greedy siblings squabble over Mama’s Texas estate while she’s alive in Dividing the Estate, by playwright Horton Foote, at Raven Theatre. Discount tickets.

Comedy about dating

March 1 - 29, 2015 (begins Feb. 5)

3 miles north

First Date is a funny romantic musical celebrating the search for love with humor and optimism, live at the intimate Royal George Theatre. Discount tickets Feb.

Hollywood political play

February 20 - March 29, 2015

4.8 miles north

The Glass Protege is a powerful drama about the repression of a closeted actor in 1949 and the fallout 40 years later at Theater Wit. Discount tickets.

Sensual German opera

March 2 & 6, 2015 (begins Feb. 9)

1 mile SW

Tannhäuser is a story of love and lust that promises to transfix you with “its sensuality and its majestic power” at Civic Opera House. Discount tickets Feb.

Flamenco festival

March 2 - 7, 2015 (begins Feb. 6)

multiple locations

See colorful traditional and modern Spanish dancing, both live and on film, at Chicago Flamenco Festival.
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Italian opera

March 3 - 14, 2015 (begins Jan. 24)

1 mile SW

Lyric Opera performs Tosca, a passionate story about a fiery diva, a rebel artist, and corrupt police, which has a rousing score, beautiful arias, and English subtitles at the Civic Opera House. Discount tickets.

Taste of the Gold Coast

March 4, 2015 (6 to 8 p.m.)

1.3 miles north

A ticket to Taste of the Gold Coast includes samples from local restaurants and three drink tickets at Fitness Formula Club on Clark Street. Dress up.

Paper money expo

March 5 - 8, 2015

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. Free on Sunday.

Green film festival

March 6 - 8, 2015

Greater Chicago area

One Earth Film Fest shows films about climate change, sustainability, and environmental activism.

Shopping-cart race

March 7, 2015

3 miles west

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

Beer festival

March 7, 2015 (1 and 6 p.m.)

3.7 miles SW

Taste beer from 19 breweries at the annual Windy City Brewhaha at Lacuna Artist Lofts.

St. Patrick’s parade (west)

March 7, 2015 (noon)

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 7 - 8, 2015

27 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 Arlington International Racecourse.

Culture of Lithuania

March 8, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Lithuania at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Uplifting musical

March 10 - April 12, 2015

5 miles north

The Full Monty is a crowd-pleasing musical about ragtag, lovable out-of-work steel-mill workers who bare all to earn cash at Theater Wit. Discount tickets.

Film festival

March 12 - 14, 2015

42 miles west

The Geneva Film Festival screens a variety of independent short and feature-length films from around the world in downtown Geneva.

Gilbert and Sullivan opera

March 13 - 15, 2015

8 miles south

The Yeomen of the Guard has topsy-turvy plot twists, comedy and tragedy, reluctant marriages, puns, and a haunting score, at Mandel Hall. Discount tickets.

Custom car show

March 13 - 15, 2015

17 miles NW

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

St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls

March 13 - 17, 2015

Chicago locations

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

St. Patrick’s parade (downtown)

March 14, 2015

1.3 miles south

The Chicago River flows green at 9:30 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 14, 2015 (9:30 a.m.)

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 14, 2015 (1 p.m. to midnight)

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.

Small-town craft fair

March 14, 2015

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.

Maple sugar fair - Schaumburg

March 14 - 15, 2015

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.

Maple sugar fair - Naperville

March 14 - 15, 2015

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.

Flower and garden show

March 14 - 22, 2015

1 mile east

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

Culture of the Philippines

March 15, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of the Philippines at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 15, 2015 (noon)

13 miles NW

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

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 15, 2015 (11 a.m.)

17 miles south

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

Festival of writers

March 15 - 20, 2015

Chicago locations

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

Local food festival

March 19 - 21, 2015

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.

Peaceful film festival

March 19 - 22, 2015

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. Free.

Science-fiction convention

March 19 - 22, 2015

1 mile south

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

Tattoo convention

March 20 - 22, 2015

16 miles NW

Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention features live tattooing, sideshows, and entertainment at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Pet expo

March 20 - 22, 2015

27 miles NW

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

Pinot Noir tasting

March 21, 2015

1 mile east

Sample 100 pinots and meet the winemakers during Chicago Pinot Days in Lakeview Terrace at Navy Pier. Discount tickets.

Beer festival

March 21, 2015 (1 or 6 p.m.)

1.5 miles SW

A ticket to The Chicago Beer Festival includes 40 tastings in the afternoon or evening, with food sold separately, at Union Station. Repeats in Oct.

Culture of Greece

March 22, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Greece at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Flower show

March 22 - April 4, 2015

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.

Quilt festival

March 26 - 28, 2015

17 mile NW

Shop for quilts and take mini-classes at International Quilt Festival in Rosemont convention center.

Burlesque competition

March 27, 2015

4.7 miles north

Burlypicks is a national burlesque and variety-act competition and show at Lincoln Tap Room.

Shamrock 8K race

March 27 - 29, 2015

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.

Craft fair

March 28 - 29, 2015

27 miles west

Browse handcrafted goods from 100 juried exhibitors at Shower of Crafts Craft & Art Fair at College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn.

Brunch at Brookfield Zoo

March 28 - April 5, 2015

14 miles SW

Breakfast with the Bunny is an all-you-can-eat buffet and a visit with the Easter bunny March 28-29 and April 4. The gourmet Easter Brunch is April 5. Both are at Brookfield Zoo. (They have no web page yet.)

Greek parade

March 29, 2015 (2:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles west

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

Small press festival

March 2015 (undated)

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.
Next month:April 2015

March 2015 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.     steve.davis@events12.com