The good news: Winter is almost over. The even better news: This weekend will be so fun you won’t even think about the weather. Pencil in a St. Patrick’s Day parade, a concert or stage show or head to Navy Pier for one of their impossibly cool activities this weekend. Read on to hear more and get the planning started.

photo: Chicago Flower & Garden Show

IN THE CITY

Bucktown

Parents Night Out: Alien Encounters
While parents get their own night out, kids join The Laboratory for a pizza dinner where they design, build and launch indoor air-powered rockets and have their own chemistry-based gooey alien encounter. Fri. Event details.

Downtown

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
After you watch the Chicago River turn green, watch Chicago’s homage to the Irish make its way through Grant park with bagpipes, drum corps and Irish dancers taking the lead. Sat. Event details.

Irving Park

Irish American Heritage Center’s Family Festival
Whoop it up for St. Patrick’s day at a North Side institution. Dress up in green and head over for an arts and crafts fair, a mini Irish market, dancing, food, music, performances by Irish groups and other kinds of family fun. Sat. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical
Join in on the hunt for Knuffle Bunny in this comedic musical adaptation of the Caldecott Honor Book by Mo Willems! After losing the beloved toy rabbit at the laundromat, a desperate dad, a merry mom and toddler Trixie learn the power in communicating, even when there are no words. Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Heart & Seoul: Growing Up in Korea
Designed with input from real-life South Korean kids, visitors explore Korean food, music, martial arts and kids can compare their home and school lives with their Korean peers. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Just Dance LIVE!
This explosive 2-hour experience that’s part stage show, part audience involvement, makes Just Dance come alive like never before. Fans play an integral role in the show, from walking the red carpet to mingling with other dancers, to transforming their hair and makeup looks in the Get Ready Fri.-Sun. Event details.

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Prismatica
Brave the chill to experience a new immersive art installation comprised of 25 pivoting prisms more than 6-feet tall that reflect every color in the visible spectrum, varying with the position of the light source and the observer. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Chicago Flower and Garden Show
Flowers in March? Yes! There are thousands of them at this annual event. While the colorful sights, sweet smells and fish-filled ponds are for all ages, little gardeners can really dig into the fun at the Kid’s Activity Garden. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Roscoe Village

Boogie to Tunes from Miss Ann Band
The Little Miss Ann Band is bringing some supreme kindie rock jams to The Beat Kitchen. Bust a move and grab scrumptious munchies too. Sun. Event details.

IN THE ‘BURBS

Lisle

Go Gnome Hunting
Gnomes are invading Morton Arboretum for a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden. Can you find them all? You have all winter to give it a go! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Oak Park

Boogers in Concert
Pick your favorite friends and show The Boogers some love as they perform original and classic children’s music in their famous rock ‘n’ roll style. The whole gang will be there, including Crusty, Greenie and Sticky on drums. Sun. Event details.

Naperville

Spring Fling Bicentennial at Naper Settlement
Celebrate Illinois’ 200th birthday! Complete your Illinois passport by visiting historic buildings and learning about important events in our state’s history. Explore the meanings behind our flag and state symbols, discover important people in Illinois history, make a craft and even learn a historical dance. Sat. Event details.

Share your weekend plans in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers

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Sláinte! The Best St. Patrick’s Day Family Events. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.