Join 5,000 fundraisers wading into the cold waters of Lake Michigan to support charity at Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach, or watch from shore and join the after party with music, food, and cash bar.
St. Patrick’s Day party
March 8, 2019
3.7 miles north
Forever Green is a big event with a DJ, Irish bands, Irish dancers, and beverages at Theater on the Lake for age 21+.
Watch the Chicago River flow green at Dyeing of the Chicago River, which is best viewed “from the east side of Michigan Avenue, the west side of Columbus Drive, or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.” Free.
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.
St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls
March 16 - 17, 2019
These events usually include drink specials and party souvenirs, with no cover charges at multiple bars.
The Kids Expo features family-oriented vendors plus children’s activities (some ticketed) at Schaumburg Convention Center.
March 21 - 24, 2019
29.4 miles NW
Chicago Sports Show offers fishing and hunting seminars, kids’ activities, and hundreds of vendors at Arlington Park Race Track.
Shamrock 8K race
March 22 - 24, 2019
1.5 miles SE
Billed as the world’s largest timed 8K race, the Sunday Shamrock Shuffle begins and ends in Grant Park and includes a post-race party. The free health and fitness expo is Friday and Saturday at McCormick Place.
Macy’s Flower Show features flowers and exotic topiaries in landscapes, plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street. Free.
Chinese New Year
1 mile south
Celebrate the end of Chinese Lunar New Year with Chinese storytelling and lantern making workshops, plus a visit of the new Chinese bronze exhibition. At sundown, lion dancers lead a procession of lanterns from the Art Institute of Chicago to Maggie Daley Park.
Festival of colors
1.3 miles east
Global Connections: Holi features Indian music and performances in the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Wear a white shirt to be permanently stained if you want to join the traditional throwing of color outdoors. Free admission and colored powder while it lasts.
Free children’s music
1.3 miles east
Stroller Grooves is a one-hour music series for kids in the Crystal Gardens on Navy Pier. Free.
Dinner supports refugees
1.5 miles SW
Your $75 ticket supports Chicago4Refugees and includes a reception, dinner, dessert baked by Syrian refugee bakers, and a fashion show of clothes made by refugee tailors at Pazzo’s at Three-Eleven
2.7 miles SW
Good Food Expo is all about locally produced food, with speakers, micro workshops, chef demonstrations, vendors, and a kids’ corner at UIC Forum.
Freaky carnival show
7 miles north
The Midnight Cabaret by Carnivale Delirium is a “neo-vintage circus sideshow extravaganza” with live music, DJs, and performers at Uptown Underground for age 21+. Optional open bar at 8 p.m.
International Game Night
7 miles north
Play traditional games and buy ice cream sundaes, German beer, and international food (German, Haitian, Chinese) at International Game Night on the fifth floor of Dank Haus German American Cultural Center.
7.5 miles SW
A ticket to Windy City Brewhaha gets you 15 samples of beer from two dozens brewers at The Geraghty.