Chicago events calendar for March 2016. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend fairs, shows, St. Patrick’s Day parades, free kids’ activities in Chicago, Illinois.

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March 2016

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in March 2016 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.

Orchid Show

March 1 - 13, 2016 (begins Feb. 13)

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 at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Peaceful film festival

March 3 - 6, 2016

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.

St. Patrick’s Day party

March 4, 2016

2.5 miles north

Forever Green has 2 Irish bands, Trinity Irish Dance Company, and beverages for age 21+ at Park West.

Green film festival

March 4 - 6, 2016

Greater Chicago area

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

Custom car show

March 4 - 6, 2016

17 miles NW

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

Shopping-cart race

March 5, 2016

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 tasting

March 5, 2016 (uncertain)

3.7 miles SW

Taste beer from 22 breweries at the annual Windy City Brewhaha at Lacuna Artist Lofts.

Polar Plunge

March 6, 2016

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.

Irish day in Oak Forest

March 6, 2016

25 miles SW

Oak Forest Fleadh includes a 5K race at 8:30, bikers and walkers on car-free Cicero Avenue at 10 a.m., a family parade at 11 a.m., and Irish pub specials.

Food festival

March 10 - 12, 2016

3 miles SW

Good Food Festival is all about locally produced food. Visit exhibitors, Good Food Commons, Chefs at Play, and kids’ corner at UIC Forum.

Film festival

March 10 - 12, 2016

42 miles west

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

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

March 11, 2016

1.2 miles south

The $175 St. Patrick’s Day Dinner honors the grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and includes cocktails, dinner, and Irish music at Hilton Chicago.

Local food fest

March 11, 2016

2.7 miles SW

Localicious features savory dishes of locally grown food by award-winning chefs, plus local beer and spirits, with bluegrass and swing at UIC Forum.

St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls

March 12, 2016

Chicago locations

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

St. Patrick’s parade

March 12, 2016

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 parade (west)

March 12, 2016 (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.

Maple sugar fair - Naperville

March 12 - 13, 2016

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.
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Flower and garden show

March 12 - 20, 2016

1 mile east

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

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 13, 2016

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.

Shamrock 8K race

March 18 - 20, 2016

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 McCormick Place.

Pet expo

March 18 - 20, 2016

27 miles NW

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

St. Patrick’s run/walk

March 19, 2016

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.

Maple sugar fair - Schaumburg

March 19 - 20, 2016

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.

Brunch at Brookfield Zoo

March 19 - 27, 2016

14 miles SW

Breakfast with the Bunny is an all-you-can-eat buffet and a visit with the Easter bunny March 19, 20, and 26. The Easter Champagne Brunch is March 27.

Tattoo convention

March 22 - 24, 2016

16 miles NW

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

Science-fiction convention

March 2016 (undated)

1 mile south

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

Culture of China

March 2016 (undated)

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.

Taste of the Gold Coast

March 2016 (undated)

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 2016 (undated)

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.

Burlesque competition

March 2016 (undated)

4.7 miles north

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

Music festival

March 2016 (undated)

1 mile east

Wear white to Snowstorm Music Festival, which has 11 electronic music and artistic performances with a winter-wonderland theme and cash bar at Navy Pier.

Jazz

March 2016 (undated)

11 miles west

Hear nine jazz performances in different Oak Park restaurants during Jazz Thaw. Free.

Culture of Lithuania

March 2016 (undated)

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.

Small-town craft fair

March 2016 (undated)

21 miles south

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

Culture of the Philippines

March 2016 (undated)

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.

Festival of writers

March 2016 (undated)

Chicago locations

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

Pinot Noir tasting

March 2016 (undated)

1 mile east

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

Beer festival

March 2016 (undated)

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 2016 (undated)

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 2016 (undated)

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.

Youth poetry festival

March 2016 (undated)

4 miles south

Louder than a Bomb is an Olympic-style poetry competition that gives Chicago youth a platform to share their stories and learn about others. Team finals are at Arie Crown Theater.

Craft fair

March 2016 (undated)

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.

Greek parade

March 2016 (undated)

1.5 miles west

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

St. Patrick’s Festival

March 2016 (undated)

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.

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 2016 (undated)

17 miles south

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

Irish film festival

March 2016 (undated)

Chicago locations

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

Irish tasting

March 2016 (undated)

3.5 miles NW

A ticket to Chicago Irish Fire-ish includes a green Irish beanie hat, $5 in food-taste tickets, and drink specials at Wicker Park.

Easter for kids in Schaumburg

March 2016 (undated)

32 miles NW

Celebrate spring with egg hunts, games, crafts, moon bounce, concessions, pony rides, and a petting zoo at Bunny Bash at the Community Recreation Center.
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March 2016 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, entertainment, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.