10 Events to visit in Chicago this March


With the winter chills subsiding but the summer crowds still at bay, March is a great time to visit Chicago, as the city once again prepares to host a top-notch roster of events this year.

A guest at Uncorked Chicago is poured a glass of wine (Photo: Uncorked)

Whether it’s live music, theatre, or a museum exhibition that takes your fancy, the Windy City has plenty to offer visitors this coming March. If you’re coming to Chicago in spring time and would like to keep tabs on what’s going on, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to and picked out 10 of the best, most exciting events set to take place across the city over the entire month.

Uncorked Wine Festival

Uncorked have grown to become one of the biggest names in the wine promotion sector, with their events taking place in cities all over the US. Now in its third year, the Chicago edition takes place at the Museum of Science and Industry and presents wine enthusiasts with the tantalising chance to sample over 100 wines hailing from around the world. As well as the diverse wines on offer, the event also features mouth-watering food, live DJ music, interactive exhibits, and after-hours access to the museum itself, ensuring that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re an avid wine aficionado or someone who enjoys a glass from time to time. Admission is restricted to guests aged 21 and over.

Museum of Science and Industry / 25 March 2023

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo 

The comic book scene has long since transitioned from sub-culture phenomenon to mainstream entertainment and each year major cities around the world play host to their own all-singing all-dancing comic expos. Chicago’s contribution to this event category returns this March, once again promising a weekend of celebrities, exhibitors, comic artists, and literary authors, who all come together to celebrate the enduring popularity of comics, pop culture, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, television and more. Inclusivity is prioritised, focusing on creating a fun atmosphere for everyone

McCormick Place / 31 March-2 April 2023

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Participants during Chicago’s St Patrick’s Day Parade (Photo: William Murphy via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

A time when everyone magically remembers their Irish ancestry, whatever you may think about the authenticity of St Patrick’s Day, there’s no denying that nowhere celebrates it quite like Chicago. Irish taverns are packed to the rafters with revellers, cultural events pop up in every nook and cranny of the city, and the Chicago River takes on a brilliant shade of emerald green thanks to being drenched in coloured dye. But the centrepiece occasion is the annual parade, featuring colourful floats waving their flags, troops of Irish step dancers, marching bands, bagpipers and a whole lot more.

Downtown Chicago / 11 March 2023

Brewsology Beer Fest

For one evening a year, Chicago’s usually straight-laced Chicago Museum of Science and Industry lets its hair down with a raucous celebration of all things booze. Featuring dozens of local craft breweries and cideries, visitors can sample a huge range of alcoholic offerings, as well as taking up the opportunity to meet and engage with brewery representatives to learn more about the industry. Entry to the festival also includes access to the entire museum and its collection of displays and exhibits.

Museum of Science and Industry / 4 March 2023

Chicago Polar Plunge

Intrepid participants splash around at the Chicago Polar Plunge (Photo: Scott via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

An event only for the hardiest of souls, the Chicago Polar Plunge has become a legendary annual tradition, attracting nearly 4,000 participants, plus friends, families and celebrities who assemble to raise money for local causes. The challenge? To brave the icy cold waters of Lake Michigan. The good news is that to complete the task, you only need to rush in and out again, with no obligation to take the full plunge. Among the notable names to brave the waters over the years are actor Vince Vaughn and singer and performer Lady Gaga.

North Avenue Beach / 5 March 2023

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

(Photo: Hafiz Issadeen via Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Founded all the way back in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is widely considered one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Commanding a vast repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary, in collaboration with the best conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, it performs well over one hundred concerts each year in Chicago and across the globe. Music fans who are in Chicago this March have the chance to see the orchestra in the flesh, with three seperate performances taking place at the distinguished Orchestra Hall. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center / 9, 11 & 12 March 2023

Human + Nature exhibition

The brainchild of internationally renowned South African-born artist Daniel Popper, this eye-catching exhibition features an assortment of large sculptures that have been dotted in various locations across the Morton Arboretum’s 1,700 expansive acres. Made of glass-reinforced concrete, wood, fibreglass and steel, the sculptures are designed to draw attention to the metaphysical connection that exists between all conscious beings and its relationship with nature, healing, growth and flourishing.

Morton Arboretum / Through March 2023

Shamrock Shuffle

Created to herald the beginning of running season in Chicago, the Shamrock Shuffle sees over 30,000 runners perform laps of Grant Park in front of a vast cheering crowd of spectators. There’s a gentle mile-long run on the Saturday and then an 8-mile run (and 2-mile walk) on the Sunday. Many runners participate in the name of charity, raising money to support causes that align with the event’s vision of bettering local communities. The fun extends into the evening and a post-race after-party at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park on Sunday, where you’ll find beer, food and live music.

Starting and ending in Grant Park / 26 March 2023

Orchid Show

The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanical Garden (Photo: Jonathan Kriz via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

For six weeks each year, the Chicago Botanical Garden hosts a dedicated Orchid Show, with a spectacular assortment of live orchids on display as well as to purchase. With a focus on wild orchids, visitors can soak up the colour and fresh blooms of these diverse flowering plans, seeing what happens when sweeps of orchids take over an old secret garden, twine around forgotten pillars, and breakthrough, in the words of its curators, “the whimsical spaces of our imagination”. On Thursday evenings, Orchids After Hours delivers a shift in atmosphere, with food and drink available.

Chicago Botanical Garden / 11 Februry-26 March 2023  

Chicago Tattoo Arts Festival

The world’s largest tattoo convention tour returns to Chicago for the 13th edition this March. As well as a whole host of vendors geared toward the tattoo enthusiast, the weekend event also features great sideshow entertainment including a breath-taking live human suspension show. Those wanting the ultimate memento from their visit can even get tattooed by some of the world’s best artists, including Kyle Dunbar from Ink Master Season 3 & 4, Trocon Talhouk from VH1, Charles Whitfield from VH1, Al Fliction and Team Fliction.

Donald E Stephens Convention Center / 17-19 March 2023

By Paul Joseph