Whether you’re celebrating Women’s History Month; the traditions of St. Patrick’s Day; or merely the resurgence of spring, Chicagoland is blossoming with events and celebrations of community, food, art and more — for everyone. For those who patiently waited for the winter blues to pass, the time has come to explore the city once again. Read on for our roundup of the best things to do in Chicago and the suburbs this March.
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As global and social change continues to brew, one family learns what it means to fall apart and come back together again in Layalina. Running March 3 through April 2 at the Goodman Theatre, the story follows the family’s timeline as they immigrate from Iraq to Chicago, and how their lives fluctuate in the years to come. All details and tickets are available at Goodman Theatre online.
170 N. Dearborn St.
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Presented by the Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP), this exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center “explores the African-American philanthropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility and social justice.” On display through the end of April, this free experience features physical and digital aspects as well as various mediums of art — more information can be located on the Chicago Cultural Center website.
78 E. Washington St.
The intersection of Guy’s personal life and music career is explored in Once, a play at Writers Theatre running now through April 2. After a heartbreak, and with a discography full of love songs, can he — and his new found love interest — heal what has been broken? Find out by visiting Writers Theatre online for more information and tickets.
325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe, Illinois
Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh have already seen the spotlight of the Lighthouse Artspace Immersive Experience, now prepare for Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius — opening March 10. Through color, sound and moving image, explore the world of one of the greatest artists to ever live. Details on the Lighthouse Artspace website.
108 W. Germania Place
Broadway in Chicago is bringing the power and musical talents of Tina Turner to the big stage from March 14 to the end of April. Watch Turner’s comeback story “like no other” as she cements herself as the Queen of rock ‘n roll. This is especially suited for her fans, but lovers of music will enjoy it just as much. Logistics and tickets on the Broadway in Chicago website.
24 W Randolph St., Chicago
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This featured exhibit at Hyde Park Art Center kicks off March 17 and will be open to the public through early July. One part of a three part series, Surviving the Long Wars: Unlikely Entanglements “reveals the connections that emerge between personal and collective histories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities marked by the legacies of the two longest wars in US history—the ‘American Indian Wars’ and the ‘Global War on Terror.’” Visit Hyde Park Art Center for more in-depth details on how to see the exhibit and what to expect.
5020 S. Cornell Ave.
Three artists — Edwin Shelton, Toby Zallman and Ryan Zoghlin — take “ubiquitous, used and discarded materials” and turn them into something of beauty, albeit “foreboding beauty,” in this newest exhibit at the Evanston Art Center. On display from March 4-April 9, witness how each artist re-envisions the source material differently, as they encourage the audience to do the same.
1717 Central St., Evanston, Illinois
In this Steppenwolf production, “truth is lie; lie is truth.” In the 1920s, while serving in the war, Jewish writer Isaac Babel kept a journal; 90 years later, the journal is found in the wreckage of a plane crash. This production asks, what did Babel write and why does it matter in the modern age? To find the answers, and be moved by what you find, head over to Steppenwolf to secure your tickets before the show ends in April.
1650 N. Halsted St.
March 1-5: Lakeview Roscoe Village Restaurant Week
In the wake of the annual, ultra-successful Chicago Restaurant Week, neighborhoods across the city have adopted their own week to celebrate hyper-local cuisine. Lakeview Roscoe Village Restaurant Week is one of them — featuring prix fixe menus from 17 Chicagoan-loved restaurants. Also, when dining at any participating restaurant this week, you’re entered for the chance to win a $100 gift card, redeemable at over 50 businesses. For more information about where to dine, how to enter the contest and more, visit this Block Club Chicago article or the Lakeview Roscoe Village website.
March 1-5: Andersonville Restaurant Week
Hungry for more? Andersonville — known for its rich, varied dining scene — is hosting their own restaurant week. From the Salmon Davis Jr. at Kopi Cafe to the craft cocktails and games at Replay Andersonville, you’re sure to find a bite and atmosphere to your liking — and at a price point you can’t hate either. Details on the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce website.
The Book Stall and Family Action Network (FAN) have teamed up to bring the insightful words of Dr. Lisa Damour, Ph.D. — author of “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents” — to parents and guardians looking for an in-road to their child’s emotional development. Dr. Damour will present the keynote address, followed by book sales and signing. Registration is not required for this free event, but logistics can be found on The Book Stall website.
Loyola Academy Performing Arts Center, 1100 Laramie Ave, Wilmette, Illinois
March 2-4: Speak Easy Nights
Most of us love the concept of a speakeasy, whether for the atmosphere or the historical context. But in Oil Lamp Theater’s new series, Speak Easy Nights, they are putting a twist on a classic concept. Join them a few nights this month as they offer cocktails and a night of entertainment — whether that be music, comedy or more. Want to find out more? Check out the Oil Lamp Theater’s listings for this month.
1723 Glenview Rd., Glenview
March 3-5: Danceworks 2023: Nostalgia for the Night
“What do cabarets, 1960s surf movies, gritty partnering and flesh-centric activism have in common?” They are all combined to create the new show, Danceworks 2023: Nostalgia for the Night, presented by Northwestern. Memory, imagination and camaraderie — how do these elements move us through life and move us toward peace? Find out in the this short-run productiuon, deatals on the Northwestern website.
Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, Illinois
Grab your flapper dress and spats, the roaring ’20s have returned to Chicagoland in thanks to Celebrate Highwood. This 18+ event features timely jazz music, plenty of dancing and enough cocktails to go around — plus, costumes are more than encouraged! Held at 28 Mile Distilling Company, the event goes from 7-11pm — tickets available at Celebrate Highwood.
454 Sheridan Rd., Highwood, Illinois
March 7-19: Annie
Everyone knows the story of little orphan Annie, but many have not seen the story — the epitome of what it means to find your true family — played out on the theatrical stage. Broadway in Chicago brings this delight to Cadillac Palace and to theatre goers for one week only. Grab your tickets while they are available — more details on the Broadway in Chicago site.
March 8: Women’s History Month Mosaic Night
Looking for a way to celebrate Women’s History Month? This unique event combines the fun of mosaic art making with the deliciousness of cocktails and Mexican food — courtesy of event host Tatas Tacos. No mosaic making experience necessary, just bring yourself, a gal pal and enthusiasm to celebrate all women! Details on the Lakeview Roscoe Village website.
March 8-12: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Considered one of the most revolutionary American dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is returning to Auditorium Theatre with the iconic, groundbreaking program Revelations — among other shows. Witness Ailey’s masterpiece for yourself, tickets sell fast so grab them while you can. All details and buying options available at Auditorium Theatre online.
50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.
March 9-12: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
The fantastical world of Narnia comes to the suburbs, thanks to the Evanston Dance Ensemble. Between colorful costumes and the mystifying atmosphere, audiences are sure to be swept away in the magic of the performance. Tickets are on sale now at Evanston Dance Ensemble.
1934 Dempster St., Evanston, Illinois
March 11: Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Chicago’s favorite Irish tradition is back in full swing this year. Following the Chicago River dyeing at 10am, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 12:30pm — this year’s theme is “Recognizing Workers Rights.” The parade route follows Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Monroe Drive and will be lined with happy, shamrock-adorned Chicagoans. Head over to the official parade website for more information.
March 11 & 18: Official St. Patrick’s Bar Crawl Chicago
For many, St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with a day full of drinking and merriment. If you find yourself in that group, then you’ll love this premiere bar crawl experience. Find your greenest outfit, shamrock accessories and some friends to take on this day-long event. Food, music, contests and more are also sprinkled throughout the day as you and hundreds of other participants weave through a handful of bars in Chicago. Details and tickets on the Bar Crawl LIVE! website.
This free series — presented by Chicago International Film Festival and hosted by Nick Davis, a Northwestern professor and film critic — explores some of this year’s best international films that nearly made the Oscars cut. In this installation, Davis will be discussing the nuances of two films: All Quiet on the Western Front and Argentina, 1985. Tickets and specifics on this event can be found on the Cinema/Chicago website.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.
March 12: South Side Irish Parade
Go back to the roots of the Irish community in Chicago by visiting the South Side Irish Parade. This celebration of Irish heritage — and the largest community-based parade for the holiday outside of Ireland — will route through 103rd and Western Avenue, marching south to 115th and Western, starting at noon. More specifics and historical information on the South Side Irish Parade website.
March 12: “GameChangers” at New Trier West
The classic local rivalry of New Trier and Marshall High School — who met up nearly 60 years ago in the IHSA Basketball Supersectionals, two years in a row — is brought to the big screen. Join the community at New Trier High School for a showing of the film “GameChangers,” about all black Marshall and all white New Trier and their face off which led to plenty of pre-game and post-game drama and, later, altered race relations. The film starts at 4pm, followed by a panel discussion; details on the GameChangers webpage.
New Trier Township High School (West Campus) Cornog Auditorium, 7 N. Happ Rd., Northfield, Illinois
March 12: International Women’s Day Market
The Lincoln Square Ravenswood neighborhood is brimming with locally-owned businesses. On March 12, in honor of International Women’s Day — celebrated on March 8 — the community will be hosting their 2nd annual International Women’s Day Market. Local, women-owned vendors will congregate at Artifact Events for a day of shopping small and giving big, with booths that carry jewelry, home goods, beauty products, food, drink and much more. Details on the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce website.
March 12: PlayLab Story Time: Women in Science
Dr. Lesley de Souza will lead this event by reading a book about women in science to young, curious minds. She will also share from her own personal experience, as well as show various specimens from the Field Museum’s collection. This event is best suited for families with children 2-6 years old. Details on this unique, timely event can be located at the Field Museum.
1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr.
March 14: Get (Chick) Lit: Women Writers
Who says you can’t have fun while you learn? At the American Writers Museum, they know you can have the best of both, which is why they are hosting a happy hour within the museum. Guests will get to enjoy adult beverages while perusing the exhibits after hours. A perfect night out for you and your gals, as this event is in honor of Women’s History Month. Details on the event — including a book swap — are on the Get (Chick) Lit event page.
180 N. Michigan Ave.
March 16-19: Joffrey Academy’s Winning Works
The Joffrey Academy of Dance will premiere four new works, selected from a breadth of submissions from ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American) artists, as a part of the Academy’s Winning Works Choreographic Competition. This program is one element of their “Joffrey for All” mindset, and will be hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Tickets for these limited performances are available now, visit Joffrey Ballet Chicago online for more.
220 E. Chicago Ave.
March 18: Women’s History Month Celebration
From 5-9pm, join veterans and other community members as they celebrate Women’s History Month at Marz Community Brewing Co. This event promises food, drinks and camaraderie, held in the heart of Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood. Information is available on the McKinley Park website.
630 S. Iron St.
March 25: Ritmo del Mar at the Shedd
An evening of music, cuisine, culture and mesmerizing animals awaits at the inaugural Ritmo del Mar, held at Shedd Aquarium. “Dance to the sounds of salsa, cumbia, merengue and Latin jazz with special performances by Projecto 7 and Carpacho y Su Super Combo.” Food and drink available for purchase as well. This event is for ages 21+ and runs from 7-11pm; find out more on the Shedd Aquarium website.
1200 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr.
March 26: Greek Heritage Parade
In celebration of Greek Independence Day, the Greek Heritage Parade will be held once again this year — as it has been since its founding in the 1960s. Take in the rich, colorful culture of Chicago’s Greek community and witness the traditional costumes, music and performances they have to offer. Parade details are on the Greektown Chicago website.
March 26: Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle
Runners in Chicago know that with St. Patrick’s Day comes the annual Shamrock Shuffle — which features three tiers, the 8K Run, 2-Mile Walk and The Mile. Weave through the heart of Chicago’s beautiful downtown, ending at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park for a post-race party. Registration can be found on the Shamrock Shuffle homepage.
Attention Jurassic Park fans! In this Auditorium Theatre event, Dr. Beth Shapiro — National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a pioneer in ancient DNA research — will walk audiences through the concept and intriguing possibilities of bringing extinct animals back from the dead. After the presentation, a Q&A session will follow. Details and registration are available at Auditorium Theatre.
50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.
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Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based writer and editor with a passion for socio-political storytelling about their community. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.