While you wait to bid a sweet goodbye to winter, fill your days with the sugary goodness of maple syrup season events, cozy up next to animals or count stars at two very special sleepovers or start your St. Patrick’s Day celebrating early at the South Side Irish Parade. Read on to be in the know about these fab events and so much more!
photo: Lincoln Park Zoo
Chicago Kids Company Presents: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Chicago Kids Company presents live professional children’s theater with its production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale. All CKC performances feature audience participation and are fun for the whole family. Fri., 10:30 a.m. Beverly Arts Center. $12. Ages 2-8. Event details.
Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Chicago’s homage to the Irish is making its way through Grant park with bagpipes, drum corps and Irish dancers taking the lead. This year’s theme is Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. Sat., noon. Downtown, Columbus Dr., Balboa Dr. to Monroe Dr. Free. All ages. Event details.
Transcending Boundaries: Experience the Art of Anthony Quinn
The National Hellenic Museum pays tribute to the legendary actor and artist Anthony Quinn, who brought to life one of the greatest and most life-affirming literary characters of our time – the irrepressible Zorba the Greek. Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. National Hellenic Museum. $10/Adults; $7/children; free for ages 3 & under. All ages. Event details.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. Event details.
A Detective Game with Cat-titude
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens. Fri., 10 a.m.; Sat., 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. Sun., 10 a.m. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Groove to Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Through unforgettable songs such as Just a Bill and Conjunction Junction, a nervous schoolteacher must discover how to charm his students through imagination and music on the first day of class. Based on the entertaining animated series, Schoolhouse Rock Live! brings the treasured melodies of the ‘70s back in a hip new way. Fri. 10:15 a.m.; Sat., 1 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. Apollo Theater. $10-$20. Ages 3-13. Event details.
Release the Butterflies!
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Experience their beauty as new butterflies are released daily at the Peggy Notebaert Museum’s Butterfly Haven exhibit. Daily, 2 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Museum. $9/adults; $6/ages 3-12; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Skippyjon Jones in the Cirque de Ole
Based on the best-selling book series, this tale of the imaginative feline and his Chihuahua pals will capture your child’s attention and take them on an adventure complete with daring circus tricks and endearing storylines. Sat., 10:30 a.m. The Apollo Theater. $15 & up. Ages 3 & up. Event details.
Fam Jam: Sing With Your Child
Grab your friends and family to join Marsha’s Music for a Child Fam Jam. All proceeds support Marsha Music’s Scholarship Fund. Sat., 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Greenhouse Theater Center. $15/family in advance, $20 at the door. All ages. Event details.
Sleepover with the Animals at Lincoln Park Zoo
Interested in sleeping among Lincoln Park Zoo’s amazing animals? Grab your nighttime gear and join the zoo for an indoor overnight adventure! The evening begins with dinner and then it’s off to explore a few animal buildings after hours, checking in on some of the zoo’s residents during their nighttime routines. Sat., 6 p.m.-Sun., 8:30 a.m. Lincoln Park Zoo. $70, $60 for members. Ages 5-12 and their families. Event details.
Spend the Night Counting Stars
Look to the sky and be mesmerized by the stars during Adler’s Astro-Overnight. Kiddos can explore hands-on activities, like a space-themed scavenger hunt, or do damage control on a planet covered in slime. There is also telescope observing and two sky shows to watch during the evening. Fri., 5:30 p.m.-Sat., 8 a.m. Adler Planetarium. $60/non-members; $55/members. Ages 6-12. Event details.
Mathemania at Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is doing math BIG — and small. Join them everyday during the months of March and April for different math activities calculated to inspire a love of math in every child. Highlights include tangrams and making your own play dough. Daily, 11:15 a.m. & 2:15 p.m. Navy Pier. $14; free for children under 1. All ages. Event details.
Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
Fitting of it’s name, which means “nonsense”, the lack of structure of this improvised show makes it an absolute riot. Kids assist with costume selection and choose a location for the fully improvised story. Sat., 10:30 a.m.-noon. Bug House Theatre. $10/kids; free for adults. Ages 3-12. Event details.
Get ShamROCKED this St. Patrick’s Day at Hard Rock Chicago
As the city dies the river green in annual tradition, Hard Rock Cafe Chicago invites you to ring in the luck of the Irish for the eight annual Get ShamROCKED bash. This free St. Patrick’s Day celebration features live music, traditional Irish eats, heated tents and your little Leprechauns will love the face painting and balloon artists. Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe Chicago. Free, suggested donation of $5. All ages. Event details.
Celebrate St. Patty’s Day South Side Style
Enjoy some good old-fashioned fun with the whole fam at the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Don’t worry about rowdy shenanigans, the parade has a strict no alcohol policy. There will be plenty of bagpipers piping, jigs from Irish dancers and flamboyant floats to make this a rockin’ party. Sun., noon. Western Ave. from 103rd St. to 115th St. Free. All ages. Event details.
Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action
Kohl Children’s Museum is out to show kids that exercise is fun with their newest exhibit, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action. Visitors will engage in five different exercise simulations that include surfing, snowboarding, kung fu and rock climbing – all in a fun and immersive environment. Fri. & Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Kohl Children’s Museum. $11; free for children 1 & under. Ages 0-8. Event details.
Cinderella . . . After the Ball
Marriott Theatre presents Cinderella . . . After the Ball, which follows the story of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty as they join Cinderella on her quest for a real happily ever after. Girl power abounds as the friends work to save the kingdom from the wicked Pinocchio. Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m. Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences. $17.23. All ages. Event details.
Hunt for Gnomes and Build Them Sweet Homes
Gnomes are invading Morton Arboretum for a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden. Can you find them all? Search for them throughout the week and then come back on the weekend to continue the hunt and create a keepsake, light-up gnome home of your own. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Morton Arboretum. Hunt is free with general admission; home building is $7/member, $10/non-member. All ages. Event details.
Register Now! 360 Youth Services Fundraising Event
Who says golf can’t change the world? One afternoon of golf will provide opportunities for life. Throw on your favorite polo, pop the collar and head to Top Golf Naperville. Your donation benefits 360 Youth Services, who has a mission of providing life-changing services with substance abuse prevention education, counseling and housing. Admission provides for golf, sliders, slaw and soda (cash bar available for 21+ crowd). Sun., Mar. 13, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Top Golf Naperville. $125/adults; $35/kids. All ages. Event details.
Maple Sugaring Days
Try your hand at old-fashioned drills and tapping spouts, and lug a yoke and bucket the way the early Naperville settlers would have done. Your curious worker bee will be interested to know that maple syrup was the most important food sweetener in the U.S. until the end of the Civil War. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Naper Settlement. $12/adult; $8/youth (age 4-12). All ages. Event details.
Get Sticky & Trace Your History
Set off in search of sap on a 75-minute guided stroll through Fullersburg Woods. Journeying through the lowland woods and restored prairies, a guide will lead you on a stroll and explain the maple syrup making process. Make sure to register in advance online or by phone. The Maple Syrup Puppet Show has been an important part of the Fullersburg Woods’ Maple Education Program but your kiddos don’t have to miss out, as you can now watch it online. Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fullersburg Woods. $10/person. All ages. Event details.
Maple Syrup Hike
Take a one-hour hike through the woods to learn about maple trees and taste sweet sap in one of the pretty Lake County Forest Preserves. On the trails, you pass historic buildings and through a dense forest. You might just feel like your family has been transported to a woodland retreat. Sat. & Sun., noon-2 p.m. Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area. $6/person. All ages. Event details.
The Awesome Just Got Awesome-r
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center has tapped into that great Second City pride with their famous MINILAND Chicago and lucky us, they’ve added more marvel-worthy Windy City landmarks to their LEGO Kingdom. Pencil in a date to check out the all-new Soldier Field, O’Hare airport, City Builder attraction and 4D movie experience. Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago. $13.50+/person. All ages. Event details.
Welcome to the Hood: Giordano’s Schaumburg
Giordano’s is now bringing their famous deep-dish to Schaumburg with the opening of their newest location. The restaurant offers dine-in, carry-out and delivery services, as well as an expansive bar and a menu full of Giordano’s favorites Chicagoans can’t get enough of. Stop in and give them a warm welcome! Daily. Giordano’s Schaumburg. All ages. Event details.
Sugar Bush Fair
Be transported back to pioneer days at this annual romp, which celebrates maple tree tapping. It includes a pancake breakfast, maple syrup production demos, a puppet show and more. The best part: A wagon takes you from the entrance to the event area. Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-noon. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm. Free admission; $4-$6 for breakfast; All ages. Event details.
Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!