March madness? More like March madhouse. Easy, restless campers, there are just a few short weeks left until you can kick this cabin fever thing. To tide you over to warmer days, we’ve got a weekend’s worth of great family events. Pick your pleasure: There’s everything from hands-on gardening lessons to a pancake breakfast with a Swedish celebrity.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Mary, Mary, quite contrary: This event isn’t just for grownups. Anybody can learn how their gardens grow at the colorful annual expo, which features more than 20 floral landscapes, expert talks and cool gear for sale. Head to the Kids’ Activity Garden to tool around on the playground and join hands-on potting parties every day at 1:30 p.m. At Navy Pier. Mar. 9-17. Hours are Mon.-Sat., 10:00 am-8:00 pm.; Sun. 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Tickets $5-19. Event details.
MCA Family Day
Get those left brains ready. Budding artists will tour the museum’s William Kentridge exhibit and then create drawings and sculptures inspired by his charcoal sketches and films. The theme: memories from your life and imagination. At the Museum of Contemporary Art. Sat., 11:00 am. Free with museum admission of $12 for adults, and $7 for students and seniors. Event Details.
Drive-In Movie Night
Motor over to Little Beans Cafe for a fun evening of crafting and movie watching. Kids will make their own cardboard cars and then sit in them while everyone watches a family-friendly flick. Because little engines shouldn’t run on empty, pizza will be served. Fri., 5:00 pm. Admission $20 for one child, $35 for two children, and $50 for three children (adults included). Event Details.
Jeannie B! and the Jelly Beans
The Chicago guitar whisperer plucks her way through an exciting live gig of bluegrass, country and rock ‘n’ roll. Expect songs from her latest kindie album, Sugar Buzz, and get up and dance, already. At Beat Kitchen. Sun., 12:00 pm. Tickets $6. Event details.
Pancakes with Pippi
Ms. Longstocking is having breakfast — and you’re invited. Join the iconic Swedish character for traditional pancakes, crafts, singing and dancing. It’s open to all ages, so whoop it up and pose for photos. Just don’t pull her braids. At the Swedish American Museum. Sat., 9:00 am. Tickets $17 ($12 for museum members). Event details.
Maple Tree Tapping with the Family
Start a sweet family tradition and help the preservationists at North Park Nature Center tap a maple tree. You’ll get the whole story on how maple syrup is made, from the sappy beginning to the tasty end. Sat., 1:00 pm. Free. For children ages 6 and up. Event details.
South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The pipes are calling at the iconic procession, featuring floats, bands and enough green to make Kermit weep. Along Western Avenue, from 103rd Street to 115th Street. Sun., Noon. Free. Event details.
What is on your weekend bucket list?
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Courtesy of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show