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
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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.

Spirits tasting

March 1, 2016

6.3 miles NW

Meet distillers and sample their spirits at Distillinois, with live jazz, cocktail samples, and food for sale in Logan Square Auditorium for age 21+.

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.

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.

Irish film festival

March 3 - 6, 2016

5 miles NW

Chicago Irish Film Festival focuses films that exemplify the spirit of Irish culture at Logan Theatre and the Society for Arts.

St. Patrick’s Day party

March 4, 2016

2.5 miles north

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

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.

Beer tasting

March 5, 2016 (1 & 6 p.m.)

1.9 miles west

Taste beer from a dozen breweries at the annual Windy City Brewhaha at Revel Fulton Market.

Shopping-cart race

March 5, 2016 (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.

Whiskey Walk

March 5, 2016 (12 to 10 p.m.)

6 miles north

Taste 8 premium whiskeys with snacks at 8 bars during Whiskey Walk in and near Casey Moran’s.


March 5, 2016

11 miles west

Hear seven jazz performances in different Oak Park restaurants during Jazz Thaw. Mostly free.

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

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

St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls

March 5 - 17, 2016

Chicago locations

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

Easter egg hunts

March 5 - 27, 2016

Chicago area

Please confirm the date, time, and rain policy.

Culture of Italy

March 6, 2016

1 mile east

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

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

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 for $175.

Wine tasting

March 11 - 12, 2016

1.7 miles west

Choose from 250 wines to taste at Wine Riot at Venue One, and track your favorites on the free mobile app. Repeats Oct.

St. Patrick’s Day - green river

March 12, 2016 (9 a.m.)

0.4 miles east

Watch the Chicago River flow green at the Dyeing of the Chicago River [scroll down their page], best seen on the east side of the Columbus Drive Bridge or downtstream.

St. Patrick’s parade

March 12, 2016 (noon)

1.3 miles south

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade goes north on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Monroe, rain or shine. Free.

St. Patrick’s run

March 12, 2016

2.7 miles south

You’ll see plenty of costumes at the Get Lucky half marathon, 14K, and 7K that begin at Soldier Field South Parking Lot and go south along the lake.

St. Patrick’s run/walk

March 12, 2016 (9:30 a.m.)

2.8 miles north

Leprechaun Leap 5K/8K Run in Lincoln Park begins near N. Cannon Drive & W. Fullerton. It ends with Irish music, entertainment, and refreshments.

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 - Schaumburg

March 12 - 13, 2016 (9 a.m. to noon)

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 and hayride in Schaumburg.

Maple sugar fair - Naperville

March 12 - 13, 2016

33 miles west

Watch maple tree tapping, taste a maple treat, and do activities in historic buildings at Maple Sugaring Spring Fever at Naper Settlement.

Flower and garden show

March 12 - 20, 2016 (gala March 11)

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 Lithuania

March 13, 2016

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.

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 13, 2016 (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 13, 2016 (noon)

17 miles south

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

Modern dance

March 17 - 20, 2016

0.5 miles south

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs works by three inventive artists in the Spring Series at Harris Theater in Millennium Park.

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.

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.

Sports memorabilia

March 18 - 20, 2016

17 miles NW

Sports Spectacular is a sports collectibles convention with 300 vendors plus athletes selling autographs at Rosemont convention center. Repeats in Nov.

Tattoo convention

March 18 - 20, 2016

17 miles NW

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

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 beer run/walk

March 19, 2016 (11 a.m.)

23.8 miles NW

Shamrock 5K Beer Run includes a 3-ounce beer every kilometer and a pint at the finish in Arlington Heights.

Easter for kids in Schaumburg

March 19, 2016 (9 a.m. to noon)

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.

Easter brunch at the 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. Easter Champagne Brunch is bit more formal at Brookfield Zoo.

Ritzy bridal show

March 20, 2016 (5 to 8 p.m.)

0.8 miles north

Evening of Bridal Luxury includes a runway show by Vera Wang, vendors, cocktails, champagne, passed hors d’oeuvres, and desserts at the Ritz-Carlton.

Culture of the Philippines

March 20, 2016

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.

Flower show

March 20 - April 3, 2016

0.5 mile south

Macy’s Flower Show features flowers and exotic topiaries in landscapes, plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street. Free.

Easter at the arboretum

March 25 - 27, 2016

27 miles west

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

Easter brunch - Macys

March 26, 2016 (9 a.m.) nearly sold out

Chicago and Oak Brook

The Bunny Brunch buffet at Macy’s includes entertainment for the kids and requires pre-payment at 877-556-2297 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beer festival

March 26, 2016 (evening)

1.9 miles south

A ticket to The Chicago Beer Festival includes 40 tasting tickets, with live music and food for sale at The Field Museum. Repeats in Oct.

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. Easter Kids’ Hop at 10:45 a.m. to age 10.

Easter at Lincoln Park Zoo

March 26, 2016

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 fairy tales

March 26, 2016 (2 or 5 p.m.)

2.5 miles north

Kids to age 5 enjoy art, music, stories, snacks with Mother Goose, and an egg hunt with Peter Rabbit during Bubble Egg Hunt at Bubbles Academy for $30.

Food festival

March 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.

Rockin’ race & egg hunt

March 26, 2016

6.8 miles north

Bunny Rock at Montrose Harbor features 1980s rock music, a 5K run/walk at 9 a.m., a petting zoo, and a giant egg hunt for ages 2 to 10 at 10:15 a.m.

Swedish Easter buffet

March 26, 2016 (5 to 8 p.m.)

7.6 miles north

Påskmiddag is a family-friendly event with a smörgåsbord and indoor Easter egg hunt at the Swedish American Museum.

Easter restaurants

March 27, 2016

Chicago locations

OpenTable lists restaurants offering special menus for Easter. Also see recommendations by Chicago Eater and Chicago Tribune.

Easter brunch with a view

March 27, 2016 (10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

0.8 miles north

Adults get a free cocktail and kids get a visit from the Easter Bunny at Easter Brunch Buffet at The Signature Room at the 95th. Best availability is after 3 p.m.

Culture of Greece

March 27, 2016

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.

Adult egg hunt

March 27, 2016 (sign up 11 a.m.)

6.2 miles NW

Teams of two hunt for eggs to win prizes at the Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Longman & Eagle, which starts at noon. The $5 donation supports charity. RSVP.

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.
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© March 2016 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, entertainment, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.