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

Best events for 12 months
Best events for 12 months
March 2016
March 2016

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

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Free entertainment

March 1 - 4, 2016 (begins Feb. 19)

multiple locations

OnEdge is a series of experimental theater, modern dance, and performance art. Arrive early. Free.

Orchid Show

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

24 miles north

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

Irish film festival

March 3 - 6, 2016

Chicago locations

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

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.

St. Patrick’s parade (west)

March 5, 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.

Small-town craft fair

March 5, 2016

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.

Irish day in Oak Forest

March 5, 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.

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.

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.

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 Festival

March 12, 2016 (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.

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.

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.

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 13, 2016 (noon)

17 miles south

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

Whisky festival

March 18, 2016

0.2 miles SE

Taste 300 whiskeys, and learn from master distillers and blenders at WhiskyFest at Hyatt Regency Chicago. This event sells out early.

Tattoo convention

March 18 - 20, 2016

0.2 miles SE

Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention features live tattooing, sideshows, and entertainment at Rosemont convention center.

Comic and Entertainment Expo

March 18 - 20, 2016

3 miles south

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is a convention for fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and pop culture at McCormick Place.

Paper money expo

March 18 - 20, 2016

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.

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.

Flower show

March 20 - April 3, 2016

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.

Food festival

March 24 - 26, 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.

Local food fest

March 25, 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.

Easter at the arboretum

March 25 - 27, 2016

27 miles west

Enjoy Breakfast with the Bunny on Friday and Saturday, or a fine buffet Easter Brunch on Sunday at Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

Rockin’ race & egg hunt

March 26, 2016

Location uncertain

Bunny Rock features 1980s rock music, a 5K run/walk, a petting zoo, and a giant egg hunt for ages 2 to 8.

1/4 marathon

March 26, 2016 (9:15 a.m.)

2 miles south

Chicago Quarter Marathon begins at Soldier Field and goes south along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Kids’ dash and Easter egg hunt at 10:45 a.m. to age 10.

Easter fairy tales

March 26, 2016

2.5 miles north

Kids enjoy art, music, stories, snacks with Mother Goose, and an egg hunt with Peter Rabbit during Egg Hunt in Storyland at Bubbles Academy for $30.

Easter restaurants

March 27, 2016

Chicago locations

OpenTable lists restaurants offering special menus for Easter.

Burlesque competition

March 27, 2016 (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

4.7 miles north

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

Easter in the garden

March 27, 2016

24 miles north

Enjoy a festive Easter Egg Brunch and bring a basket for the Easter egg hunt at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Festival of writers

March 2016 (undated)

Chicago locations

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Music festival

March 2016 (undated)

1 mile east

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

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.

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.

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.

Greek parade

March 2016 (undated)

1.5 miles west

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


March 2016 (undated)

11 miles west

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

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.

Irish tasting

March 2016 (undated)

3.5 miles NW

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

Easter at Lincoln Park Zoo

March 2016 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Eat breakfast with the Easter Bunny; hunt for eggs; visit animals; and ride the train & carousel (if it’s dry) at the Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo.

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.