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Best Things To Do in Chicago in March with Kids

Mommy Poppins logo Mommy Poppins 5/12/2022 Maureen Wilkey
© Provided by Mommy Poppins

Spring has (almost) sprung, and both kids and parents in Chicago are gearing up to go back out into the world.  Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Chicago in March. It's maple syrup season, and families can learn how it's made at events all over town. Flower shows also abound in the new spring air, with Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Conservatory, and Chicago Botanic Gardens all showing off their colors. Live shows are returning, so kids can see the characters they've been watching on TV the last two years come to life with Trolls Live! in Hoffman Estates and Winnie the Pooh in Lakeview.

St. Patrick's Day events are making a comeback after a 2021 hiatus—check out the dyeing of the Chicago river and St. Patrick's Day Parades downtown, on the South Side, or on the Northwest Side. If you're not Irish (and/or don't want to be "Chi-rish" for the day), you could also check out International Carnivale or Holi at Navy Pier, or Persian Norwuz in Hyde Park.

While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.

© Provided by Mommy Poppins

Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation, photo courtesy of the production

Best Things To Do in Chicago in March

March 2—Tinley Park

Celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday by reading his books, making wacky crafts, and playing games. The whole family is welcome! read more

Through May —Garfield Park

The Garfield Park Conservatory hosts its spring flower show "Knock Knock." The show features tulips, hydrangeas, daffodils, and hyacinth, as well as doors from the Rebuilding exchange hung among the flowers. This year's show also features knock knock jokes posted on signs throughout the exhibition to give families a fun break from Chicago winter. read more

Saturdays and Sundays through March 27—West Chicago

Kids can learn where the syrup on their pancakes comes from at this event at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Using tools from the 1890s, experts will demonstrate how to tap a tree, check collection buckets, and thicken sap over the fire. read more

Weekends through April 3—Addison, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Gurnee, Elgin, and Orland Park

Kids and kids at heart can enjoy a series of classic films for just $3 each at the Marcus Theatre chain in Addison, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Gurnee, Elgin, and Orland Park. Series passes are available for $10 and allow viewers to see all five films. read more

Daily through May—Lincoln Park

From the end of February to Mother's Day, North Side families can enjoy a flower show about the Pillars of Spring The Lincoln Park Conservatory will encourage families to look at flowers a new way-- vertically-- with pillars and walls of geranium, dianthus, larkspur and stock. read more

March 3-9—Oak Park, Downtown and online

Kids can learn more about the environment and threats to it through films. The One Earth Film Fest includes both in-person and virtual offerings for kids ages 3 and up. Animated and live action films provide education and entertainment for families. read more

March 12 and 20—River Forest

Learn about how Native Americans discovered how to use maple trees for sap, syrup, and sugar. After a short hike, families can tap a tree, taste some fresh sap, and enjoy finished maple syrup. read more

March 3-6—Lincoln Park

This family friendly musical based on the Nickelodeon cartoon centers around a sponge named Spongebob and his friends who save their hometown of Bikini Bottom from total annihilation through friendship, perseverance, and optimism. The score features songs from Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley. read more

March 11-12—Rosemont

This indoor custom car show pays tribute to the innovative workmanship that continuously re-invents and improves vehicles. read more

March 12—Hyde Park

The Oriental Institute Museum hosts a Persian Nowruz Celebration -- a celebration of the Persian New Year. Guests can enjoy coloring eggs, visiting a Haft-Seen table, hunting for artifacts in the galleries, and watching performances of Persian music and dance! read more

March 15- June 12—Lakeview

See the ever-popular Winnie the Pooh in this new stage adaptation from Jonathan Rockefeller at the Mercury Theater. Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and Owl (oh… and don't forget Tigger too!) sing and dance to songs written by A. A. Milne in a new story from the Hundred Acre Woods. read more

March 13—Highland Park

Kids can listen to folklore on how maple syrup was discovered, learn how to identify a maple tree, and see how to tap the tree to start the syrup production process. Afterward, kids can enjoy a pancake breakfast. read more

Tuesdays in March—Edgewater

Tuesdays are for the kids (plus a little something for the adults too). Coloring, board games, Nintendo switch AND even balloon animals and magic! Kids meals are only $4 and classic tequila cocktails are only $5. (no, the kids can not drink the tequila cocktails….) read more

March 13—Downtown

Join the Chicago Architecture Center for a special STEM festival designed just for girls ages 11-16! Girls will build, learn and network with professionals from more than 15 different STEM organizations. This year’s festival is all about the women (past and present) who have shaped the Chicago we know today. During Girls Build! Day, attendees can meet representatives from more than 15 museums, youth programs, design firms and pro-girl agencies to learn about opportunities for girls in the Chicago area. They'll also have the opportunity to make and test solutions at STEM activity... read more

March 5—Far South Side

Enjoy a day out in nature while helping restore the woods and making a craft. Meet at the north end of Beaubien Woods near Carver Academy. read more

March 6—Oak Park

Kids can learn more about plants and bees at the Oak Park Conservatory's annual Kids Fest. The event includes a celebration of bees and bee keeping, hands-on educational activities, a scavenger hunt, and crafts. read more

March 12—Downtown

The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) hosts a FREE family day the second Saturday of each month. The March event includes typewritten poems while you wait on a theme of your choice from Chicago artists. read more

March 19—Downtown

Navy Pier hosts Holi, the Hindu festival of colors! Live music, educational programming and food from Bombay Wraps will be available in the AON Grand Ballroom.Colored powder will be available while supplies last from 1pm-4pm in the Miller Lite Beer Garden. P read more

March 20—Schaumburg

Enjoy a hot pancake breakfast in the Merkle Log Cabin with real maple syrup. Then, head out on a wagon ride into Spring Valley Nature Center to see where maple syrup is tapped and how it is boiled down. read more

March 19—Lombard

Focus on little kids at this morning of fun from the Lombard Park District. Families can enjoy crafts, safety information, storytelling, bounce houses, balloon animals and more. read more

March 12-13—Hoffman Estates

When Poppy and Branch find Hug Time in danger, they do what trolls do best-- save the day with singing and dancing! This show is filled with epic music, glitter, and happiness as only the trolls can bring. read more

March 5—Oak Brook

Learn about Mary Anning, the first female fossilist, at this all ages event at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidiary Art. The presentation will include real fossils that kids can touch, puzzles, fossil making, and giveaway. read more

March 20—Wheaton

Might Con presents the very best new local comic artists along with special guests and deals from comic book and toy vendors at DuPage County Fairgrounds. Free comics, free parking and free admission for kids make this a great day for comic lovers. read more

March 5—Willow Springs

Families can learn the basics of how to cook over a campfire at this class from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Samples and materials will be provided. read more

March 26—Downtown

Join us at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library as we celebrate Month of the Military Child! In this family friendly workshop, led by arts educator Moki Tantoco, we will use mask-making as an expression of our inner and outer experiences. Participants will learn about color and design, express themselves by creating a mask, and write reflections about their artwork. All materials will be provided. Young artists will also have an opportunity to have finished pieces displayed as part of the WE ARE RESLIENCE: Masks of Hope Exhibit scheduled for Wednesday April 6, 2022. The... read more

Daily through March 27—Glencoe

The orchid show captures unexpected verve of wild orchids, with over 1,000 orchids on view. The orchids take over a secret garden and twine around pillars in our imagination. The color and fresh blooms break through Chicago winter. read more

March 26 and 27—Northbrook

Families can enjoy a walk through the sugar maple forest and learn how maple syrup is made. Registration is required and all participants must wear masks and practice social distancing. read more

March 5—Downtown

Navy Pier hosts an international carnivale celebration, including art, music, dance, food, and drinks from around the globe! Featured performers include Chicago Samba, Plena Project presented by Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and Four Star Brass Band. read more

March 27—Lincoln Park

Join Buddha Belly Kids Yoga for a family-friendly yoga class at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The class, designed for 2- to 8-year-old kids and their grownups, focuses on moving, breathing, and connecting. The yoga will follow the narrative of the story. read more

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St. Patrick's Day photo courtesy of Marta Sand (CC BY 2.0)

St. Patrick's Day Events

March 5—Elmhurst

More than 80 floats, Irish dancers and local team mascots will be on hand for Elmhurst's 25th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade starts on Spring Road at Wilson Street and continues north for about a mile. Local businesses and restaurants welcome merrymakers for the remainder of the day at this festive community event. read more

March 5—Oak Forest

Visit South Suburban Oak Forest for a variety of St. Patrick's Day festivities. This year's event will include a 5k, a parade, and crafts for kids. Families can hunt for a $1,000 golden ticket along the parade route. read more

March 5—Forest Park

Forest Park's St. Patrick's Day Parade along Madison Street includes more than 60 entries featuring Irish dancers, bagpipers, marching bands, local businesses, and Medinah Shriners parade units. Visitors can continue the celebration at local dining establishments along Madison Street. read more

March 5-—Lemont

This southwest suburb's annual Irish parade features the Chicago Stockyards Kilty Band, a performance from the Hughes School of Irish Dance, and Lemont's own Irish Queen. Visitors can continue the festivities after the parade is over at the Lemont VFW Hall. read more

March 12—Naperville

Families can watch more than 100 parade entries including floats, cars, bands, dancers, and singers make their way through downtown Naperville at this event sponsored by West Suburban Irish. The parade starts at Naperville North High School and proceeds south on Mill Street to Jefferson, east on Jefferson to Main, and south on Main, ending at Water Street. read more

March 12—Downtown

The Irish and Irish at heart can join the City of Chicago in the annual dyeing of the Chicago River in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The best place to see the dyeing is the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive, and the river. After a year off in 2021, the parade and river-dyeing promise to be even bigger in 2022. read more

March 12—Jefferson Park

Celebrate all things Irish at the Irish American Heritage Center following the downtown St. Patrick's Day parade. Activities include contemporary Irish music, Irish dance, arts and crafts, vendors, exhibits, Irish language lessons, genealogy workshops, and a book sale. read more

March 13—Beverly

The South Side Irish Parade will step off at noon from 103rd & Western and proceed south down Western Avenue to 115th Street. This year's parade honors Catholic elementary school teachers who have withstood the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic. read more

March 13—Norwood Park

The 19th Annual Northwest Side Irish Parade will kick off at noon at Onahan School. The parade will end around 1:30 pm at Harlem Ave. The official after-party will begin at 1 pm at St. Thecla Falcon Hall 6725 W. Devon Chicago 60631. More information about the after-party can be found here. read more

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Photo courtesy of Bigstock

Fun Virtual Events for Kids in March

Learn piano online with professional experts from the best music schools in the country. Pixical provides gamification, peer learning, and play, along with interaction for the best learning experience. The whole system is designed to make learning fun and interactive. read more

March 20

Kids can practice and improve their Spanish while learning Hispanic culture and traditions in this online program. ViLaCa offers bilingual programs for Spanish speaking children and bilingual students to immerse in the language and culture through activities, games, and crafts.  The 60 minute sessions are offered Monday through Thursday for little kids and big kids.  read more

March 21

Lebeor's curriculum is based on the idea that students can learn art through the practical development of their artistic skills. Students are already creative, but they often feel discouraged when they cannot draw what they imagine or hope to. That’s why one of Lebeor's main goals is to improve each student’s drawing and coloring abilities through a variety of mediums so they no longer feel limited in expressing their artistic vision. Based on the practice of realistic art with the addition of modern ideas, students are provided plenty of room to exercise creativity within... read more

March 5

Budding singers, and their families, are invited to this virtual, weekly sing-along series, featuring guests artists from around the world. Each week's episode inspires kids to move and sing to classic playtime songs and discover new music from cultures around the globe. read more

Mondays

In this weekly virtual class, students sing their favorite pop songs with an experienced vocal coach. Students are encouraged to join virtually from a stationary computer in a quiet space, bring headphones if applicable, and water. read more

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Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, photo courtesy of Mommy Poppins

More Things To Do in Chicago this Season

It may be called The Second City, but Chicago is second to none when it comes to urban vacation destinations for families. It's easy to get around using public transportation and taxis, and there are lots of kid-friendly activities in Chicago with the Loop, giving families the chance to visit multiple tourist attractions in Chicago in one day. For example, you can check out Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and the Art Institute without ever getting in a cab or train. Or, visit the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium all on foot.  There are also plenty of... read more

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