Irish eyes are smiling. But as Mickey and his crew will tell you, this weekend’s action isn’t just of the jig and leprechaun variety. Disney’s putting on a spirited music festival, a storyteller is spinning yarns around a roaring fire, and maple syrup is being tapped (and devoured). Did we mention winter’s almost over? Now, that’s a big event.
Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival
You already know that Mickey can rock the clubhouse. Now see him, Minnie, Donald and Goofy tear up Akoo Theatre with a live musical mashup. You’ll hear greatest hits from Disney blockbusters, like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, remixed in the style of rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop, jazz and country. Also expect dizzying acrobatics and the occasional flying carpet. Fri.-Sun., multiple shows are held per day. Tickets $15-$35. Event details.
Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
You’re lucky. Like, four-leaf-clover lucky. One of the nation’s biggest St. Paddy’s Day processions travels through the heart of the city, and you can catch the action. Dance to the beat of the drums, watch traditional dancers twirl and wave to Bridget McMahon Fitzgerald (this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Queen). The Chicago River is dyed green in honor of it all. Held on Columbus Drive, from Balbo to Monroe drives. Sat., 12:00 pm. Free. Event details.
Breakfast With the Butterflies
See what’s aflutter at the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, where more than 75 winged species reside. This event is designed to support young children with developmental differences, including autism, Aspergers, sensory processing disorder and other special needs. At Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Sun., 8:00 am. $15-20, with online registration required. Event details.
Warm Stories on a Cold Winter’s Night
The fire is crackling. Gather ’round and hear storyteller Mark Kater spin heartwarming yarns. He mixes tales of hope and humor, and isn’t afraid to interact in a silly way with the crowd. Consider it chicken soup for the preschooler soul. At North Park Village Nature Center. Fri., 7:00 pm. Free. Event details.
Family Music Day
You give a toot about your child’s music education. That’s why you’ll head to E-town for an all-day blitz of live performances by students and prominent cultural institutions. Warm up to things at the “instrument petting zoo” (you can touch various horns, strings and drums) and stick around for a rhythmic rendition of Peter and the Wolf. At Music Institute of Chicago. Sat., 9:00 am. Most activities and performances are free; Peter and the Wolf costs $10. Event details.
Maple Syrup Tapping and Pancake Picnic
One order of flapjacks, coming right up. But first: Celebrate maple syrup season and watch trees get tapped for the sweet, sticky goodness. You’ll learn the history of the age-old tradition and taste samples. Wind things down with an outdoor pancake picnic around a fire. At The Morton Arboretum. Mar. 16 at 11 a.m. $25 ($18 for Arboretum members). Event details.
What’s on your kiddo’s to-do list this weekend?
— Kelly Aiglon