Windy City, Second City, Chitown and City of Big Shoulders, whichever term of endearment you prefer, sweet home Chicago is our kind of town. March 4 marks the 180th birthday of the city we all love and we’ve rounded up ideas to help her celebrate. From a special museum tribute to permission to overindulge in a sweet treat, read on and celebrate!

CHICAGO’S 179TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONphoto: The Chicago History Museum

Pay Tribute at The Chicago History Museum
What better place than The Chicago History Museum to celebrate the big 180 of our great city? They’ll pay tribute with special remarks, family friendly story-telling, crafting and free birthday cake to follow. While you’re there, read historical fiction stories that illuminate Chicago’s past and use the interactive history map to look closer at artifacts from the collection and explore locations throughout the city from each story. Special certificates will be available for any visitor with a March 4 birthday.

Date: Sat., Mar. 4; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Lincoln Park

ILLINOIS -- Chicago -- Lou Malnati'sphoto: Lou Malnati’s

Grab a Big ‘Ole Pizza Pie at Lou Malnati’s
Any day is a great day for a big slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza, but it’s pretty much a must-do on Chicago’s birthday.

Find a location online:

margie'sphoto: Margie’s Candies

Dig Into a Sundae at Margie’s Candies
It’s not a proper birthday without a bit of sweetness on the menu, right? And what better place to indulge than at a venerable Chicago institution like Margie’s Candies? They’ve been serving up heaven in a white clamshell dish since they opened in 1921 and show no sign of hanging up their scoops anytime soon.  Their legendary sundaes come in larger-than-life portions and are made with homemade ice creams and sauces, all served in a cozy atmosphere that’ll take you right on back to grandma’s living room.

Hours: Daily; 9 a.m.-midnight
1960 N. Western Ave.

LEGOLAND Soldier Field Tatephoto: LEGOLAND® Discovery Soldier Field via Maria Chambers

Visit a Mini Chicago in the ‘Burbs
LEGOLAND® Discovery is chocked full of Windy City landmarks in their MINILAND Chicago, making it a great stop on the HBD Chi-town tour.  Take a trip to the ‘burbs to check out the mini O’Hare airport and Soldier Field, as well as a whole room of recognizable architectural favorites.

Hours: Mon.-Fri. noon-7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago
The Streets of Woodfield
601 N. Martingale Rd.

Navy Pier's Centennial Wheelphoto: Navy Pier’s Ferris Wheel via Maria Chambers

Take a Spin at Navy Pier
You might remember Navy Pier celebrated a big birthday in 2016, marking their 100th year. To commemorate the milestone, they constructed a brand new ferris wheel for all of Chicago to enjoy. Chicago’s celebratory weekend would be a great time to show this iconic landmark some belated birthday love.

Hours through Mar. 31: Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
600 E. Grand Ave.
Navy Pier
Online at:

How would you suggest we help Chicago celebrate its 180th birthday? Give us your ideas in the Comments below!

—Maria Chambers