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

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

Female films

March 1 – 3, 2017

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.

Orchid Show

March 1 – 26, 2017

24 miles north

See 10,000 blooming orchids at the Orchid Show, with morning music Tuesdays & Thursdays, orchid sales March 11 & 12 & 30, and an Evening with Orchidscocktail tasting March 16 at Chicago Botanic Garden.


March 1 – June 30, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Magic lounge

March 2, 2017 (8 p.m.)

7 miles north

Chicago Magic Lounge is an old-school magic show with close-up magic, bar magic, table-hopping magicians, and main stage acts at Uptown Underground for age 21+. Discount tickets $12.

Game of Thrones parody

March 2 – 5, 2017

3.8 miles north

Described as “darkly humorous and beautifully vulgar,” Thrones! The Musical features hilarious songs about six seasons of the HBO show at Apollo Theater for age 16+. Discount tickets $23.

Music of Tony Bennett

March 2 – 5, 2017

4.8 miles north

I Left My Heart is a salute to the music of Tony Bennett, including “Because of You” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” plus of course “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” at Mercury Theater. Discount tickets $23 to $65.

Irish film festival

March 2 – 5, 2017

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. Discount tickets $5.

Musical about South Side Chicago

March 2 – 12, 2017

3.6 miles north

Will two hair salon owners stay in their beloved South side neighborhood or relocate? A Wonder in My Soul sees a neighborhood’s evolution through the eyes of 2 best friends at Victory Gardens. Discount tickets $25.

Musical: Saturday Night Fever

March 2 – 19, 2017

18 miles west

Based on the 1970s film starring John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever is a coming of age musical set in Brooklyn and packed with Bee Gees disco hits, live at Drury Lane Theatre. Discount tickets $30 to $50.

Romantic comedy by Shakespeare

March 2 – 26, 2017

1 mile east

Love’s Labor’s Lost is a playful romantic comedy about young love with a surprising conclusion where real-life lessons are suddenly revealed at the Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier. Discount tickets $46 to $88.

Women perform Shakespeare

March 2 – 26, 2017

8.2 miles north

Woman play all the parts in Henry V, a war story about leadership in the face of adversity at City Lit Theater. Discount tickets $6 to $10.

Science-fiction saga

March 2 – April 9, 2017

10.2 miles north

A Wrinkle in Time is based on a popular book that follows Meg and her friends across the stars and into the heart of a terrible evil to rescue her father from the darkness, at Lifeline Theatre. Discount tickets $20.

Laser music show

March 3, 2017 (8 p.m.)

0.5 miles west

Brit Floyd is a new choreographed laser and light show featuring the music of Pink Floyd at House of Blues Chicago. Discount standing event tickets $21.

Dating comedy

March 3 & 5, 2017

2.1 miles north

Based on actual online-dating conversations, #DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment is a comic mix of original music, improvisation, and multimedia elements at Up Comedy Club. Discount tickets $16.

Sci-fi adventure

March 3 & 5, 2017

2.8 miles NW

Diamond Dogs follows a human team (with futurized body modifications) investigating a mysterious alien tower bent on brutally punishing intruders at Chopin Theatre for age 14+. Discount tickets $18.

Custom car show

March 3 – 5, 2017

17 miles NW

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

Green film festival

March 3 – 12, 2017

Greater Chicago area

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

Free entertainment

March 3 – 25, 2017

multiple locations

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

Film from Europe

March 3 – 30, 2017

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.

Adult variety show

March 3 – 31, 2017 (10 p.m.)

7 miles north

Kiss Kiss Cabaret is a fun mix of burlesque, off-color comedy, music, magic, and variety acts at Uptown Underground for age 21+. Discount tickets $14.

Magic show

March 4, 2017 (9:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles south

The Magic Parlour is an evening of close-up magic by an award-winning magician in the beautiful Palmer House Hilton Hotel. Discount tickets $49.

Beer festival

March 4, 2017 (8 p.m., VIP 7)

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+.

Beer tasting

March 4, 2017 (1 and 6 p.m.)

1.9 miles west

A ticket Windy City Brewhaha gets you 15 samples of beer from the brewers at Revel Fulton Market. Discount tickets $32.

Shopping-cart race

March 4, 2017 (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.

Comedy dinner show

March 4, 2017 (8:30 p.m.)

5.8 miles north

You’re invited to fictitious Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding at Resurrection Church, followed by a real Italian dinner at Chicago Theater Works, with plenty of comedy improv and audience interaction. Discount tickets $59.

Science-fiction films

March 4, 2017

6 miles north

See science-fiction and fantasy short films from around the world at Juggernaut Film Festival, an annual event at the swanky, art deco Music Box Theatre. Discount tickets $10.


March 4, 2017

11 miles west

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

St. Patrick’s parade (west)

March 4, 2017 (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 4, 2017

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 4 – 17, 2017

Chicago locations

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

Passionate opera

March 4 – 20, 2017

1 mile SW

Eugene Onegin is a tragic tale of unrequited love, set in Russia with dramatic music by Tchaikovsky at the Civic Opera House. Discount tickets $78 to $175.

Culture of Italy

March 5, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

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 5, 2017

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.

Chicken wings festival

March 5, 2017 (1 to 6 p.m.)

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 5, 2017 (noon)

6 miles NW

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

Blue Man show

March 5 – 22, 2017

4.5 miles north

The exciting show by Blue Man Group combines comedy, theater, music, and special effects at Briar Street Theatre. Discount tickets $56.

Romantic classical music

March 8, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

Love Sonnets includes works by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Berger, and Franck performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with a guest soprano at Harris Theater in Millennium Park. Discount tickets $12.

Magic show

March 8 – April 5, 2017 (8 p.m. 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 $13.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

March 10, 2017 (6 p.m.)

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.

Live art spectacular

March 10, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

46 miles west

Artrageous is a high-energy show featuring artists, musicians, singers, and dancers with exciting music and art created live onstage at Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Discount tickets $17.

Peaceful film festival

March 10 – 12, 2017

7 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 the Music Box Theatre.

St. Patrick’s Day – green river

March 11, 2017 (9 a.m.)

0.4 miles east

Watch the Chicago River flow green at Dyeing of the Chicago River “best viewed from the east side of Michigan Ave., west side of Columbus Dr., or upper & lower Wacker Dr. from Michigan Ave. to Columbus Dr.”

St. Patrick’s parade

March 11, 2017 (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 11, 2017

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 run/walk

March 11, 2017

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 Festival

March 11, 2017 (noon to midnight)

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. Discount tickets $15.

Maple sugar fair – Naperville

March 11 – 12, 2017

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 Day party cruise

March 11 – 18, 2017

1.6 miles SW

Take a St. Patrick’s Day booze cruise on Lake Michigan with views, DJ dance music, and a cash bar.

Culture of Lithuania

March 12, 2017 (12 to 4 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.

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 12, 2017 (noon)

13 miles NW

Northwest Side Irish Parade begins at Onahan School and is free. Buy a ticket for the optional after-partyfor dinner and family fun.

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 12, 2017 (noon)

17 miles south

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

St. Patrick’s Day party

March 17, 2017

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+.

Sports memorabilia

March 17 – 19, 2017

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 17 – 19, 2017

17 miles NW

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

Pet expo

March 17 – 19, 2017

27 miles NW

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

Free food festival

March 18, 2017 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

3 miles SW

Good Food Festival is all about locally produced food, with speakers, micro workshops, chef demonstrations, vendors, and a kids’ corner. Register free online and bring your confirmation.

St. Patrick’s beer run/walk

March 18, 2017 (11 a.m.)

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+.

Maple sugar fair – Schaumburg

March 18 – 19, 2017

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.

Flower and garden show

March 18 – 26, 2017

1 mile east

Chicago Flower & Garden Show features 20 gardens, 90 vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars, and a kids’ activity garden at Navy Pier. Discount tickets $22 for two people.

Culture of Mexico

March 19, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

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.

Science-fiction theater

March 24 – April 1, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

8.8 miles north

Filled with swordplay, elaborate costumes, and alien sets, A Princess of Mars transports a Confederate soldier to Mars, where he must take sides in a conflict between the planet’s races, at Berger Park. Discount tickets $10.

Superhero convention

March 25 – 26, 2017

17 miles NW

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest celebrates comics, sci-fi, TV, and movies with guest actors, panel discussions, costume contests, role-playing, and vendors in the Rosemont convention center. Discount tickets $10 (includes Walker Stalker Con).

Zombie, horror, sci-fi convention

March 25 – 26, 2017

17 miles NW

Zombie lovers unite at Walker Stalker Con for panels, celebrities, vendors, and a costume party at the convention center in Rosemont. Discount tickets $10 (includes Heroes & Villains Fan Fest).

Craft fair

March 25 – 26, 2017

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.

Monster trucks

March 25 – 26, 2017

35 miles NW

Big-wheeled trucks create big noise and excitement at Monster Truck Nationals in Sears Centre Arena.

Culture of Greece

March 26, 2017 (12 to 4 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 26 – April 9, 2017

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.

Improv festival

March 27 – April 2, 2017

Chicago locations

Billed as the world’s longest-running festival of improvisational theater, Chicago Improv Festival includes music, song, comedy, story, and puppetry performances.

Boston Pops & Bernadette Peters

March 31, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

1 mile south

Bernadette Peters sings jazz and show tunes, and the Boston Pops perform a tribute to George Gershwin at Auditorium Theatre. Discount balcony tickets $58.


March 31 – April 1, 2017

3 miles SW

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

Children’s expo

March 31 – April 2, 2017

27.4 miles NW

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

Tim Padavic