Chicago in March: 11 Fantastic Things to Do During March in Chicago

Chicago is home to iconic museums, bold architecture and a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene. The city however, comes alive in March with festivals and sightseeing tours restarting after a long winter slump! Whether you want to get a history lesson at Illinois Holocaust Museum or you want to explore your crazy side at the St. Patrick's Day parade, there is something for everyone at ‘Windy City’ Chicago. Read ahead for our curated list on the best ways to spend time in Chicago in March ! 

Weather in Chicago in March

Just recovering from the cold clutches of winter, Chicagoland is chilly but pleasant in March. Visiting the city in early spring puts you ahead of the flock of summer tourists and the weather; while milder than December and January, is still cold, especially around the evenings. Temperature ranges from -2° C to 7° C and afternoons tend to be warmer and more suitable for outdoor activities. Check the weather forecast before venturing out and make sure you pack some warm clothes scarf, gloves, and a coat! 

11 Things to Do in Chicago in March


1. Scream Your Lungs out at a Concert

Chicago concert
March is the perfect time for concerts in Chicago. Many local bars and nightclubs have a variety of DJs and live music playing throughout the evening. You can also go to concert venues Rosemont Theatre or United Center and see some popular artists perform. Some famous artists and bands who have toured Chicago recently include Galantis, Sinead O’Connor, They Might Be Giants, Blake Shelton and Billie Eilish. 
Venues:  City Winery, Rosemont Theatre, Cadillac Palace, Thalia Hall, House of Blues Chicago

2. Celebrate All Things Irish at the St Patrick's Day Festivities

St Patrick's day
Celebrating St Patrick's day is a popular local tradition in Chicago in March. Every year thousands of green clad men and women take to the streets of Chicago and celebrate Irish heritage with parades, music, dance and merry! Check out the The Irish American Heritage Center for musical evenings throughout March and Chicago Shamrock Craw Chicago, St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl and Saint Paddy’s Pub Crawl for excellent Irish feats and a pint of beer!

Don’t miss seeing the river dyed green, a fifty year old tradition in Chicago! Join thousands of spectators as the river between Columbus and Wacker drives is dyed bright green in honour of Irish culture and heritage. 

3. Cheer for Your Favourite Team at a Sporting Event

Chicago is home to some great sports teams such as the Blackhawks, White Sox, and Bulls. March in Chicago is Basketball and Hockey season and you can head over to the United Center and cheer for your favourite team! You can also take your friends and family and go golfing at the Park District or at Harborside International Golf Center. Missed out on tickets? Watch the game from one of many sports bars in Chicago and enjoy some BBQ and craft beer while you’re at it!  

4. Go to the Theatre

Broadway Playhouse
If the weather is still too chilly for your liking, spend the day watching some of Chicago’s best theatre productions in and around downtown. Some of the most popular past annual productions include Emma, The Graveyard Shift, Day of Absence and What the Constitution Means To Me. The theatre seen in Chicago is vibrant and extensive, from small plays at regional theatres to broadway level productions, there’s a lot to explore in Chicago in March  
Venues: Briar Street Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre Looking Glass Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre , Broadway Playhouse. 

5. Attend the Beer Festival at the Field Museum

Beer Festival at the Field Museum
The Chicago beer festival is an annual event featuring over sixty crafts and breweries at the Field Museum. Every year, locals and tourists alike flock to South Chicago on 14th March to enjoy a pint of beer indoors. Try some skillfully brewed craft beer from  breweries such as Maplewood, Ravina, Exit Strategy, Shortfuse and Rogue. Explore the museum's exhibits while sampling beer from all over the Midwest and enjoy the live music. 
Address:  1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605. 
Timings: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM 
Price: USD 65 for VIP admission, USD 50 for general admission

6. Attend a Film Festival 

The European Union Film Festival
There are film festivals around each corner in March in Chicago. The European Union Film Festival, Geneva Film Festival, Irish Film Festival and the Jewish film festivals are the most popular. Featuring hundreds of feature films, independent filmmakers and international names there is something for everyone! So whether you’re an indie buff or you love retro movies from Eastern Europe, head over to downtown Chicago or Lincoln and spend a magical evening with like minded film enthusiasts. 
Venues: The Gene Siskel Film Center, Cinemark Theater in Evanston, CMX CineBistro and CMX Market at Old Orchard in Skokie, CMX Arlington Heights, the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, the Logan Theater in Logan Square, and the Renaissance Place Cinema in Highland Park.

7. Take a Stroll Across the City

With the weather slowly becoming warm, Chicago sees a lot of foot traffic in March. Layer up and head over to downtown Chicago and walk across Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Museum of Science and Industry and 360 Chicago. You can stop for a cup of coffee at Wormhole or Gaslight Cafe in the evenings and go shopping at Michigan Avenue boulevard! If you prefer an early morning walk and brunch head over to Lincoln Park near Lake Michigan and walk through Chicago Riverwalk and Lakefront Trail for beautiful views of the Chicago skyline. 
Places to Explore: Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, Millennium Park,  The 606,and Music Box Theatre at Hermann park 

8. Food Expos and Flowers Exhibitions

Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show,
March in Chicago is the best season for fresh produce and flower exhibits. There are several annual expos displaying colourful flowers and sustainably grown produce across the city. Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show, Good Food Festival and Macy’s Flower Show are some of the most popular exhibitions. Some of these shows have been around for decades and attract a variety of experts from across the country! 
Venues: Garfield Park Conservatory, Macy’s department store, downtown Chicago and various other locations across the city.

9. Brave the Cold at Chicago Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar Plunge
Held every March in Chicago on North Avenue Beach, the Chicago Polar Plunge is an annual fundraising event in support of the Chicago's Special Olympians charity organisation. If you think you can brave the cold, join hundreds of locals and tourists and jump into the icy waters of North Avenue Beach! If you don’t want to get cold, cheer on from the bleachers and take in the stunning views of the lakefront!

Raise USD 200 for the charity, take the plunge and stay back for the meltdown party for the perfect start to your day! 

10. Bikes, Bites & Brews- Chicago’s Signature Dishes Bike Tour

Bikes, Bites & Brews
Explore the city’s best restaurants and breweries on a four hour bike ride! Bikes, Bites & Brews is Chicago’s most popular bike tour of the city. Hosted by Bobby’s Bikes, the tour takes you around Streeterville, the Gold Coast, Lakeview, Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park neighborhoods with pit stops for pizza, snacks and beer! Want a history lesson while munching on lip smacking Chicago food, choose the 11:30 AM or the 5:30PM tour and explore the city on two wheels!
Address: 540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Timings: Monday to Thursday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Friday- Sunday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
Price: USD 79.99

11. Shamrock Shuffle

Shamrock Shuffle
The Shamrock Shuffle is a short race to kick off the marathon season in Chicago. With both the 10k and 5k races starting at the Kearney YMCA parking lot, show up in green and participate in this great tradition! Tickets cost between USD 23 and USD 30 and the race is spread over a weekend in the second week of March in Chicago. 

Visiting Chicago in March is the perfect way to explore the city while avoiding both the harsh winter as well as busy summer foot traffic. Early spring time in Chicago is a haven for film buffs, theatre and music enthusiasts and for light outdoor activities. Put on your explorer hat and travel around Windy city for an unforgettable experience!

This post was published by Anupama Manjunath

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