31 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This March

Everyone is a little Irish this month, and there is no shortage of festive events to celebrate. From the dyeing of the Chicago River to events that make you think spring, enjoy all that March has to offer (sunshine and snow included!).

Please check each event’s website for the latest updates on COVID-19 closures and cancellations.


All month: Charm’d: The Magical Pop-Up Bar

Charm'd Bar Chicago

Feeling lucky? Stop by the festive Wrigleyville pop-up for a pint of Guinness, St. Patrick’s Day themed food and green everything. 3505 N Clark St., Chicago

March 1: Chicago Polar Plunge

Freeze for a reason and take a dip in icy Lake Michigan, with proceeds benefiting the Special OlympicsNorth Avenue Beach, Chicago

March 1-7: Rosemont Restaurant Week

Participating restaurants include Bub City, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, Hofbräuhaus Chicago, and Park Tavern. Rosemont

March 5, 12, 19: Orchid After Hours

Chicago Botanic Orchid Evenings
Chicago Botanic Garden

Visit Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show after hours to enjoy tropical drinks and peruse the Garden Shop. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

March 6-8: Jurassic Quest

Jurassic Quest Navy Pier
Jurassic Quest

Dinosaurs #IRL? Count us in. Featuring a 50 foot long Megalondon, this event is sure to be fun for everyone in the family. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave., Chicago

March 8: International Women’s Day Edgewater Crawl

Celebrate International Women’s Day by exploring women-owned businesses, enjoying food and drink tastings, and more. Check-In Location: The Edge Off Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago

March 14: Chicago Beer Festival

Sip on seasonal beers from more than 70 breweries, sample food, listen to music, and explore the Field Museum during this festival. Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

March 14: St Paddy’s 5K and 8K Run/Walk

Chicago 5K St. Paddy's Run/Walk
Special Events Management

The lakefront race benefits The Greater Chicago Food Depository. One Cannon Drive at Fullerton Parkway, Chicago

March 14: Chicago River Dyeing

This Chicago St. Patrick’s Day tradition continues along with the St. Patrick’s Day parade the same day. Chicago River, Chicago

On March 11, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the river dyeing and parade is postponed, due to COVID-19 concerns.

March 14: Global Connections: Holi

Holi Navy Pier March 2020

The free event celebrates the colorful Holi tradition, a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, with dancing, music and food. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave., Chicago

March 15: South Side Parade

Officially the more family-friendly Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade, the South Side tradition is celebrating 41 years. Kicks off at noon. 103rd & Western, Chicago

On March 11, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the South Side Irish parade is postponed, due to COVID-19 concerns.

March 18-22: Focus on Flowers: Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Chicago Flower and Garden Show
Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Escape the cold and find gardening inspiration during this popular event that includes hands-on demonstrations, shopping, and more. Navy Pier, 600 W. Grand Ave., Chicago

March 21-22: The West Loop Spirits, Wine & Beer Festival

Sample artisan chocolate and gourmet wines from West Loop and Historic Randolph Street Market District businesses, with all proceeds from sales benefiting Chicago Canine RescueStephen M. Bailey Auditorium, 1340 W Washington Blvd., Chicago

March 22: Shamrock Shuffle

Shamrock Shuffle 2020
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

Ready for the perfect kick-off to Chicago’s running season? Grab your green and join the 8K run or 2-mile walk. Grant Park, Chicago

March 27: WhiskyFest Chicago

There is no better place for a whisky fan: enjoy grand tastings from around the world, meet the makers and learn from the experts. Hyatt Regency, 151 E Wacker Dr., Chicago

Art & Museums

Opens March 7: “El Greco: Ambition and Defiance”

The Art Institute debuts a new exhibit this month, showcasing more than 57 works by the artist simply known as El Greco. 11 South Michigan Ave., Chicago

March 18: Poets in the Field: Tara Betts

Poet Tara Betts will read her poetry, and host a Q&A session as part of the Poets in the Field series, co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago

Opens March 23: “Who Represents Us?”

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

The Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership opens a exhibition featuring Andy Warhol’s 1980 series of portraits memorializing ten luminaries of modern Jewish culture. 610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago


March 13: Steve Aoki

Electronic and dance fans will flock to the Aragon Ballroom to see the legendary DJ perform. 1106 W Lawrence Ave., Chicago

March 14: Hideout SXSW Send-Off

Before these Chicago-based bands take off for Austin’s SXSW, they have a live rehearsal send-off. This year’s event includes V.V. Lightbody, Fran, Waco Brothers, Roy Kinsey, Wyatt Waddell, James Swanberg and Faux Furs.V.V. Lightbody, Fran and the Waco Brothers.

March 24: Billie Eilish

Embed from Getty Images

After winning five Grammy awards, Eilish is returning to the United Center for her victory tour. 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago

March 28: One Night with Queen

Spend an evening inspired by the music of Queen, featuring Gary Mullen & The Works. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont


March 5-19: The Music Box 70mm Festival

The 6th Annual 70mm Festival features cult hits such as 2001: A Space OdysseyHello Dolly! and Tron3733 N Southport Ave., Chicago

March 6-15: One Earth Film Festival

The film festival features thought-provoking environmental films various locations around the city.

March 19-22: Chicago Comedy Film Festival

AS a nonprofit, the Chicago Comedy Film Festival’s mission is to champion strong voices in comedic storytelling. Columbia College Chicago, 1104 S Wabash Ave. Chicago

Theatre & Film

March 4-5: Madame Butterfly

The beloved production, sung in Italian, shines on Lyric Opera’s stage. 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago

Until March 8: Graveyard Shift

Goodman Theatre

A woman relocates to give love a chance, while a police officer wrestles with the harsh realities of change. Their worlds collide and both are forced to confront the consequences of an imbalance of power. 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago

March 14: “The Bachelor:” Live on Stage

Will you accept this rose? Fans of “The Bachelor” will delight to experience their guilty pleasure on stage. 151 W. Randolph, Chicago

Until March 14: Emma

This musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel is charming, romantic and entertaining. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago

Until March 28: Plano

Plano Steppenwolf Theatre Better Chicago
Steppenwolf Theatre

Praised by TimeOut NY as “experimental theater perfection,” this funny and powerful production revolves around three sisters stricken with a series of strange plagues. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Media Sponsorships

Better is a proud media sponsor of this event:

March 8: LAUNCH Spring Fashion Show

Shop trunk shows, sample appetizers and cocktails, see the season’s hottest designs on the runway during this fashion show and so much more in support of the Josselyn Center of Mental Health and Hope in Northfield. Autohaus on Edens, 1600 Frontage Road, Northbrook

Want More?

For even more fun things to do this month, check out Better Chicago’s Arts & Events section with ways to celebrate International Women’s Day, ideas for going green and more.

Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons, and covers the Weekend 101 and monthly Recommended Events features. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.



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