Chicago events calendar for March 2018. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend fairs, shows, St. Patrick’s Day parade, discount tickets in Chicago, Illinois.

Best events for 12 months

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

Miles are from the Wrigley Building in Chicago.

Irish film festival

March 1 - 4, 2018

5 miles NW

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

Orchid Show

March 1 - 25, 2018 (begins Feb. 10)

24 miles north

See 10,000 blooming orchids at the Orchid Show, with morning music Tuesdays & Thursdays, orchid sales certain days, and an Evening with Orchids cocktail tasting at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Monster trucks

March 2 - 5, 2018

18 mile NW

Big trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam in Rosemont’s Allstate Arena.
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Eco film festival

March 2 - 11, 2018

Greater Chicago area

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

Beer festival

March 3, 2018

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 for age 21+.

Shopping-cart race

March 3, 2018

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 day in Oak Forest

March 3, 2018

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.

Children’s expo

March 3 - 4, 2018

27.4 miles NW

The Kids Expo features family-oriented vendors plus children’s activities (some ticketed) at Schaumburg Convention Center.

Polar Plunge

March 4, 2018

2 miles north

Join 5,000 fundraisers who wade into the cold waters of Lake Michigan to support charity at Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach, or watch from shore.

Female films

March 7 - 9, 2018

1.5 miles south

See films addressing issues of gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of inequality at Chicago Feminist Film Festival at 1104 S Wabash Avenue (floor 8). Free.

Film festival

March 8 - 10, 2018

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 party

March 9, 2018

0.4 miles south

Forever Green is a big event with a DJ, two Irish bands, Trinity Irish Dancers, and beverages at the Chicago Cultural Center for age 21+.

Peaceful film festival

March 9 - 11, 2018

7.8 miles north

Peace on Earth Film Festival (POEFF) features works that raise awareness of peace, non-violence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world, at Davis Theater in Lincoln Square.

Custom car show

March 9 - 11, 2018

17 miles NW

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

St. Patrick’s parade (west)

March 10, 2018 (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.

St. Patrick’s beer run/walk

March 10, 2018

23.8 miles NW

Your reward for participating in the Shamrock Chicago 5K Beer Run is a three-ounce beer each kilometer and a pint at the finish in Arlington Heights for age 21+.

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 11, 2018

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.

Flower and garden show

March 14 - 18, 2018

1 mile east

Chicago Flower & Garden Show features 24 gardens, 90 vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars, and a kids’ activity garden at Navy Pier. The theme in 2018 is “books and gardens.”

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

March 16, 2018

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.

Pet expo

March 16 - 18, 2018

27 miles NW

Chicagoland Family Pet Expo features entertainment, exhibitors, and demos at Arlington Park Racetrack. No pets.

St. Patrick’s Day - green river

March 17, 2018

0.4 miles east

Watch the Chicago River flow green at Dyeing of the Chicago River “best viewed from the east side of the bridge at Michigan Ave. or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive.”

St. Patrick’s parade

March 17, 2018

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 17, 2018

2.7 miles south

Wear green to the Get Lucky half marathon, 14K, and 7K that begin at Soldier Field Stadium Green and go south along the lake.

St. Patrick’s Festival

March 17, 2018

9 miles NW

After the big parade, enjoy Irish music, dance, food, activities, and Irish gifts for sale at St. Patrick’s Festival throughout the Irish American Heritage Center. Children age 12 and younger are free.

Maple sugar fair - Schaumburg

March 17 - 18, 2018

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, which includes a puppet show and a hayride in Schaumburg. [Sunday has its own page.]

Sportsman’s show

March 22 - 25, 2018

17 miles NW

Chicago Outdoor Sports Show has fishing and hunting seminars, kids’ activities, and hundreds of vendors at the Rosemont convention center.

War games convention

March 22 - 25, 2018

26.7 miles NW

AdeptiCon is a small event with tournaments, event games, pirate gaming, cosplay contests, and hobby seminars at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel.

Whisky festival

March 23, 2018

0.2 miles SE

Taste 300 whiskeys, and learn from master distillers and blenders at WhiskyFest at Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Food festival

March 23 - 24, 2018

3 miles SW

Good Food Expo is all about locally produced food, with speakers, micro workshops, chef demonstrations, vendors, and a kids’ corner.

Tattoo convention

March 23 - 25, 2018

17 miles NW

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

Easter for kids in Schaumburg

March 24, 2018 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

32 miles NW

Celebrate spring with egg hunts, games, crafts, moon bounce, concessions, and pony rides at Bunny Bash at the Community Recreation Center.

Craft fair

March 24 - 25, 2018

27 miles west

Browse handcrafted goods from 175 juried exhibitors at Shower of Crafts Craft & Art Fair at College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn.

Shamrock 8K race

March 25, 2018

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 at the arboretum

March 30 - April 1, 2018

27 miles west

Enjoy a breakfast buffet or a fine brunch, plus a visit with the Easter Button at Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

Easter at Lincoln Park Zoo

March 31, 2018

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.

Asian film festival

March 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles SW

Asian American Showcase screens independent dramas and documentaries, including selected screenings with filmmakers in person, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Films from Europe

March 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles SW

Chicago European Union Film Festival screens 62 new feature films from the 28 nations of the European Union at Gene Siskel Film Center.

Flower show

March 2018 (undated)

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.

Culture of Greece

March 2018 (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 Italy

March 2018 (undated)

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.

Culture of Lithuania

March 2018 (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 Mexico

March 2018 (undated)

1 mile east

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

Asian-American party

March 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles SW

Dress up for the Lunar Ball to enjoy music, dancing, food, drinks, and networking at Wintrust Bank on S. LaSalle Street to support charity.

Beer tasting

March 2018 (undated)

1.9 miles west

A ticket to Windy City Brewhaha gets you 15 samples of beer from the brewers at Revel Fulton Market.

Baconfest

March 2018 (undated)

3 miles SW

Chicago’s best chefs serve bacon dishes and drinks for lunch and dinner at Baconfest Chicago in UIC Forum.

Chicken wings festival

March 2018 (undated)

3 miles SW

Restaurants compete to win the “Best of Fest” award, you get to eat and hear music, and charity benefits at WingFest at UIC Pavilion.

Barrel-aged beer

March 2018 (undated)

6 miles NW

Festibarrel features dozens of beers aged in wood on tap at Riverview Tavern. Free entry. Bring cash.

Jazz

March 2018 (undated)

11 miles west

Choose from a dozen different jazz performances in Oak Park restaurants during Jazz Thaw, with the option of ordering food. Free.

Maple sugar fair - Naperville

March 2018 (undated)

33 miles west

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

St. Patrick’s run/walk

March 2018 (undated)

2.8 miles north

The best costumes get prizes at Leprechaun Leap 5K/8K Run, which begins in Lincoln Park and ends with Irish music, entertainment, and refreshments.

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 2018 (undated)

17 miles south

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

Swedish Easter buffet

March 2018 (undated)

7.6 miles north

Påskmiddag is a family-friendly event with a smorgasbord and indoor Easter egg hunt at the Swedish American Museum.
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© March 2018 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, entertainment, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-03