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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Chicago
Best events for 12 months
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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Italian opera

March 3 - 14, 2015

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.

Comedy improv

March 3 - 15, 2015

Chicago locations

We recommend these improvised comedy shows.

Pre-Broadway musical

March 3 - 29, 2015

0.5 miles SW

First Wives Club is about three wronged women who extract revenge on philandering spouses and bond in the process, at Oriental Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Basketball

March 3 - April 15, 2015

3 miles west

Join fans cheering on the Chicago Bulls when they play in United Center.

Discount tickets.

The Book of Mormon

March 3 - May 17, 2015

0.8 miles south

The Book of Mormon, winner of 9 Tony Awards, is a musical at Bank of America Theatre.

Taste of the Gold Coast

March 4, 2015 (sold out)

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.

Family drama

March 4 - 15, 2015

31 miles north

Other Desert Cities is about a family the NY Times called “balanced on a razor’s edge of affection and aggression” in Lake Forest.

Discount tickets.

Blue Man show

March 4 - April 5, 2015

4.5 miles north

Blue Man Group returns with a new stage show that combines comedy, art, and science with visual effects and music at Briar Street Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Addams Family

March 4 - April 5, 2015

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.

Discount tickets.

Magic show

March 4 - May 27, 2015 (Wednesdays)

3.3 miles north

The Magic Cabaret entertains with mind-boggling sleight of hand and audience participation in small Greenhouse Theater Center.

Discount tickets.

Rock legends concert

March 4 - Aug. 2, 2015

3.8 miles north

Million Dollar Quartet recreates the night Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins played together at Sun Records and includes 21 rock hits performed live at Apollo Theater.

Discount tickets.

Chicago schools play

March 5 - 8, 2015

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.

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.

Family theater

March 5 - 15, 2015

0.4 miles south

Based on an eco-conscious children’s book from Iceland, Blue Planet is a live play with elements of Peter Pan at Storefront Theater.

Discount tickets - 4 left.

A play about dating

March 5 - 15, 2015

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.

Thriller theater

March 5 - 28, 2015

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 5 - 28, 2015

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 5 - 29, 2015

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.

Hollywood political play

March 5 - 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.

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Docu-drama

March 5 - April 5, 2015

6 miles north

Witness a woman whose world is falling apart in The Other Place, a play that unfolds a mystery before your eyes at Profiles Theatre.

Discount tickets.

St. Patrick’s Day party

March 6, 2015 (6:30 to 11 p.m.)

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 6 - 8, 2015

Greater Chicago area

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

Chinese dance

March 6 - 8, 2015

0.7 miles SW

Shen Yun is colorful and elaborately staged Chinese folk dancing with live orchestra at Cadillace Palace.

Slapstick comedy

March 6 - 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.

African-American dance

March 6 - 15, 2015

1 mile south

Award-winning Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs three different programs, which vary by date, at Auditorium Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Historical drama

March 6 - 29, 2015

3 miles north

A woman painter challenges the authority of 16th-century Venice in Scenes from an Execution at the intimate Royal George Theatre.

Discount tickets.

Music festival

March 7, 2015 (6 p.m.)

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.

Shopping-cart race

March 7, 2015 (12:30 p.m.)

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.

Irish tasting

March 7, 2015

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. Promo code “events12” saves 50%.

Beer tasting

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

3.7 miles SW

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

Discount tickets.

Chorus with orchestra

March 7, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

9 miles south

The Apollo Chorus sings Choral Classics by Britten, Lauridsen, and Schubert with a symphony orchestra in Rockefeller Chapel at U. of C.

Discount tickets.

Jazz

March 7, 2015 (4 to 10 p.m.)

11 miles west

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

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.

Irish day in Oak Forest

March 7, 2015

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.

St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls

March 7 - 17, 2015

Chicago locations

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

African American play

March 7 - April 12, 2015

0.5 miles SW

Two Trains Running is August Wilson’s drama about Blacks in the ‘60s at Goodman Theatre.

Discount tix.

Campy burlesque

March 7 - April 18, 2015 (Saturdays 10:30 p.m.)

4.5 miles north

Burlesque is More gets high marks for its entertaining and funny combination of striptease & improvisation at Annoyance Theatre and Bar.

Discount tickets.

Magic show

March 7 - April 25, 2015 (Saturdays 1 p.m.)

4.8 miles north

The Magician and His Shadow is a very visual magic show by the talented Sean Masterson with audience participation at Theater Wit.

Discount tickets.

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.

Spectacular magic show

March 10 - 22, 2015

0.7 miles SW

Watch 7 magicians perform acts of grand illusion, levitation, mind-reading, and full-view water torture escape in The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Discount tickets.

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.

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 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.

Discount tickets.

Small-town craft fair

March 14, 2015

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.

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.

Anne of Green Gables

March 14 - April 19, 2015

2.8 miles SW

Based on a bestseller, Anne of Green Gables is about an adopted girl who grows up in rural Prince Edward Island, at the Provision Theater.

Discount tickets.

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 (noon)

17 miles south

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

Festival of writers

March 15 - 21, 2015

Chicago locations

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

Culinary fight club

March 19, 2015 (6 to 9 p.m.)

3.4 miles west

Taste Bud Challenge is a cooking competition with light bites and open beer and wine in West Town.

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.

Local food fest

March 20, 2015 (7 to 9:30 p.m.)

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.

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. Promo code WMZCH15 saves 15%.

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.

Food festival

March 21, 2015

2.7 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 for a $10 ticket.

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 McCormick Place.

Easter egg hunts

March 27 - April 5, 2015

Please confirm date, time, and rain policy.

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 Easter Champagne Brunch is April 5. Both are at Brookfield Zoo.

Greek parade

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

1.5 miles west

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

Museum party

March 31, 2015 (6 to 9:30 p.m.)

3 miles north

Adults wander the museum, join a nature & science trivia game, and visit the bar during Nature on Tap at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Discount tickets.

Next month:April 2015

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