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, watch the Chicago River run green or check out new exhibits and stage shows. Read on to hear more and get the planning started.

photo: BN via Pexels


Grant Park

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Rain, shine, snow or sleet, since 1843 our fair city has been hosting the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade moves in a procession chock-full of colorful floats, bagpipes, Irish dancers, marching bands and more. Sat. Event details.

Irving Park

Free Irish Dance Lessons at Irish American Heritage Center
Join Trinity Irish Dancers for free dance lessons during its favorite time of year—St. Patrick’s Day. The community and aspiring young dancers are invited to meet Trinity’s exceptional dancers and teachers. The dancers will sign autographs, pose for selfies, teach guests Irish dance steps and more! Sat. Event details.


Revisit the Classic Story of Corduroy with Emerald City Theatre
A bear’s quest for a missing button leads to the friendship of a lifetime. The department store comes to life with circus elements and physical comedy as Corduroy must stay a step ahead of the Night Watchman to be ready for Lisa when she returns to the store. Kids will learn the importance of empathy and unconditional love alongside a young girl and her mother. Sat. Event details.

Lincoln Park

New! Get your Nature Fix at Peggy Notebaert’s Tree House
Explore the forest canopy—indoors! Set foot into an indoor tree house and explore who and what is living in the trees through stereoscopic viewfinders, tracking clues, natural artifacts and sounds. Roam from tree to tree to discover the many habitats that trees provide for animals large and small. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Watch the Chicago River Turn Green
The first Mayor Daley kicked off this tradition in 1962, and every year since the Chicago River has turned a bright green to kick off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Boats speed through dropping 40 pounds of a special eco-safe dye that starts out orange and miraculously turns green for a spectacle that lasts for a few magical hours. Sat. Event details.

Take Advantage of Willis Tower’s Extended Skydeck Hours
With busy family schedules, it can be difficult to get in even a smidgen of quality family time. . . or a date night. Skydeck wants Chicagoans to end their night on a high note—a 1,353-foot high note—with the best views of our beautiful city. Take your time and enjoy dinner and a show. Skydeck will be there to greet you when you stroll in to cap off the night. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Near Southside

Sing Your Heart Out with Miss Elli at Tiny Tunes Studio
Join Tiny Tunes for a fun and engaging music class with Elli. Elli’s passion for music and kids makes her the perfect Tiny Tunes rocker! Rock out to some tunes, shake some of those sillies out and get that positive energy flowing! Sat. Event details.



See a Tropical Orchid Show
See 10,000 orchids in bloom and get a closer look at orchids in the tropics, where you will find the greatest diversity of the species on earth. This show evokes the lush feel of rainforests, tropical islands and warm beaches. . . which sounds very nice right about now. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Get Creative at Build It! at Kohl Children’s Museum
Kohl Children’s Museum brought back their most popular temporary exhibit, Build It!, a larger than life collection of building blocks that encourages children to explore their creativity while learning about architecture, science and storytelling. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


New! Visit Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit brings to life the themes presented in the award-winning PBS Kids television series created by The Fred Rogers Company that follows the adventures of 4-year-old Daniel Tiger and his friends. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Celebrate at The LEGO Movie Days at LEGOLAND Discovery
LEGOLAND is celebrating the long-awaited The LEGO MOVIE™ 2 with movie-themed event days. Guests can work together to build a mystery LEGO mosaic throughout the weekend, enjoy character meet and greets and go on a scavenger hunt to help Emmet find his friends in Miniland. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

St. Charles

Huff and Puff with Three Little Pigs at Pheasant Run Resort
Meet Roxanne, Petunia, and Babe…three Sister Piggies who set out to build their own houses. Roxanne (the Rock’n Roll Pig) builds hers out of Sticks, Petunia (The Pretty Pig) builds hers out of Straw, and Babe (the sensible, smart Pig) builds hers out of bricks! Which house will the Big Bad Wolf “huff and puff and blow down?” Fri. Event details.


Little Leprechauns at Cantigny
If you’re in the mood for just a bit of shenanigans this year, gather your wee ones for a day of stories, crafts and Irish treats courtesy of the Cantigny Park in Wheaton. These St. Patrick’s Day festivities add up to just the right amount of fun. Fri. Event details.

— Maria Chambers


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. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.