14 Great Things to Do in Chicago This Weekend

Spend your days off tasting whiskey, petting cats and playing Plinko

March 1, 2024 9:19 am
stacked wooden barrels inside a distillery
Old Bushmills Distillery
Bushmills

We’re still a couple of weeks away from the Chicago River going green (mark your calendar for March 16 at 10 a.m.), but this weekend brings the first wave of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago. Also on the agenda: a couple of Restaurant Weeks, a convention on all things cats and the chance to try out your butchery skills. Here’s everything to do in the Windy City this weekend.

Friday, March 1

body of water, grass, and trees in front of distillery
Old Bushmills Distillery
Bushmills

Origins of Whiskey Tasting at Morgan Manufacturing 

Hey buddy, you’ve come too far to still be ordering “well” whiskey. At this immersive event hosted by Bushmills, you’ll have the opportunity to taste more than $3,000 in rare single malt whiskey while also hearing about the drink’s history and exploring the Irish coastal landscape via immersive technology. Tickets start at $35 per person, and the event runs at set times from Friday to Sunday.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox at Genesee Theatre 

For the past 10 years, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox has been racking up Internet fans with their videos of modern hits reimagined as vintage musical numbers (like this cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” that has a whopping 121 million views.) The show’s rotating cast will be heading to the Genesee Theatre this weekend, with covers that range from silly to mind-blowing. Your favorite pop songs will never sound the same.

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tables and chair inside a bright restaurant
Bar Roma
Neil John Burger

Northside Restaurant Week

Get that OpenTable account ready because northside neighborhoods Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Edgewater, Northcenter, Rogers Park and Uptown are coming together to offer up a bevy of deals at area restaurants — with many places offering a three-course meal for just $40. The event runs through March 15, so you have plenty of time to revisit old favorites and discover a few new go-to places. 

Greektown Restaurant Week 

Look, we’ll never complain about the bevy of Restaurant Weeks hitting Chicago, especially when there’s deals to be had at some of the best restaurants in Greektown. Many of the neighborhood’s spots are offering exclusive dishes and deals, like 20% off your bill at Artopolis Bakery and Cafe and a free order of saganaki per table with any entree at Athene Restaurant. Please note that you must mention “Greektown Restaurant Week” when ordering to snag these deals. The event runs through March 7.

Chicago Irish Film Festival at Venues Across the City

This St. Patrick’s Day season, celebrate Chicago’s Irish connection beyond just seeing the river dyed green. (Although we’re very in favor of that, too.) The Chicago Irish Film Festival has been bringing the works of Irish filmmakers to the city since 1999, with a wide-ranging representation of Irish cinema in both English and Gaelic. The festival has both in-person and virtual passes available, starting at $75. You can also snag one-off tickets for any of the festival’s individual movies. 

Saturday, March 2

Oscar Nominated Shorts at Music Box 

In less time than it takes you to make your way through one of the Oscars Best Picture nominees (looking at you, Oppenheimer), you can make your way through an entire category this weekend at the Music Box Theatre, with shows dedicated to the Best Animated Shorts, Best Live Action Shorts and Best Documentary Shorts

Aimee Mann at Cahn Auditorium

Aimee Mann, indie rock queen and one of the all-time great songwriters (don’t just take our word for it — NPR and Paste agree), is performing at the Cahn Auditorium this weekend, playing both new songs and fan favorites. The show is sold out, but StubHub has you covered

POP Cats at Artifact Events

Part festival, part art exhibit, part pet adoption space, part cat shopping extravaganza — whatever you’re looking for, POP Cats has it, as long as you’re okay with it being cat-themed. (And frankly, who isn’t?) This weekend-long event celebrates all things cats while also giving back. A portion of attendance tickets and exhibitor fees goes towards participating animal non-for-profits, and cat organizations receive a platform to keep giving back. Don’t leave your pet hair roller or your cat (seriously) at home. Tickets start at $15, and the event goes all weekend.  

The Price is Right Live at the Chicago Theatre

Come on down(town) because this weekend, The Price is Right Live is headed to Chicago and, most importantly, Plinko is coming with it. While the stage show isn’t televised, attendees can still win cash and amazing prizes. Contestants will be randomly selected from the audience with a celebrity host also joining. Tickets start at $39.50. 

Brewsology Beer Fest at Museum of Science Industry 

The only thing better than a beer fest is getting to attend that beer fest after hours at the Museum of Science and Industry. The fest is a “boozy hybrid of your middle school museum field trip,” combining tastings from dozens of craft breweries and cideries with access to exhibits throughout the museum. GA tickets start at $55. If only learning was always this fun. 

Greensky Bluegrass at Salt Shed

Greensky Bluegrass has earned acclaim from Billboard, Parade, NPR and Rolling Stone, and for good reason — the band’s self-described “own version of bluegrass music” combines rock and roll and acoustic stomp that will make even the most tepid bluegrass listener a fan. This Saturday, they’re playing at the beautiful Salt Shed venue. General admission tickets are $40. 

Sunday, March 3

dancers jumping in mid air in black clothes and face paint
Trinity Irish Dance Company
Lois Greenfield

Trinity Irish Dance Company at Auditorium Theater

Get a head start on the St. Patrick’s Day Season this weekend with Chicago’s own Trinity Irish Dance Company, an internationally-renowned group known as the “birthplace of progressive Irish Dance.” The group, led by founding artistic director/choreographer Mark Howard, combines traditional Irish dance with an American twist. They’ll be premiering two works at this weekend’s show, so don’t miss your chance to be the first to see them. 

Logan Square Makers Market and Bar Hop

Check out selections from three Logan Square bars — Revolution Brewing, Navigator Taproom and Pilot Project Brewing — while shopping more than 35 vendors, selling everything from art to woodwork to handmade candles. Families are welcome and the event is free to attend (but let’s be honest, you deserve to buy yourself a few dozen treats or so while you’re there). 

Beef Primal Series

There’s an old phrase about never seeing how the sausage is made, but that rule certainly doesn’t apply to beef primals. The Chicago Meat Collective is collaborating with Cut Once for a series on whole beef butchery, and this Sunday you can learn all about the rib primal (think skirt steaks, ribeyes and spinalis dorsi). During the class, you’ll learn about the breakdown of the meat and have a chance to cut some yourself. Refreshments and fresh-cut grilled steak bites will be served. Tickets are $150, and participants can take home a pound of ground beef and a cut to grill at home.

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