16 Great Things to Do in Chicago This Weekend

Celebrate the first official weekend of spring with flamenco, a dog-centric Easter egg hunt and a spicy chicken eating challenge

March 22, 2024 8:46 am
Sandy, Utah, USA; Utah Royals FC midfielder Agnes Nyberg (6) controls the ball against Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson (9) in the second half at America First Field
Mar 16, 2024; Sandy, Utah, USA; Utah Royals FC midfielder Agnes Nyberg (6) controls the ball against Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson (9) in the second half at America First Field
Isaac Hale-USA TODAY Sports/Imagn

It’s time to swap out that bulky North Face coat for a slightly lighter North Face coat because spring is officially in the air. There’s plenty to do this weekend in the city, with a series of Mitski concerts, a chance to catch the tail end of the Chicago Flamenco Festival, the Red Stars home opener, a dog Easter egg hunt and a tribute to the one and only Whitney Houston. If you’re still feeling a little chilly, you can warm up with a spicy chicken eating contest at Headquarters, where you’ll have a chance to take home $200. Read on for our top recommendations for the weekend ahead.

Friday, March 22 

Mitski at Auditorium Theatre

Whether you’ve been deep in your feelings lately or just want to listen to music that will make you feel like you are, Mitski is here for you. She and her full band will be showcasing their latest album The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We at the Auditorium Theater all weekend long. Tickets start at $45 and, while they’re sold out on the official website, there are still some available on SeatGeek for resale. 

Paella Dinner Party at Good Company

Good Company is hosting a communal-style dinner party inspired by Spanish food, with dishes like baked goat cheese in tomatoes, seafood paella, honey almond cake and much more. Walk away from the event with a full stomach, a deeper appreciation of Spanish food and a bunch of brand new friends at this unique social dining event. Tickets are $60 and the event is BYOB. 

Vino Camp: Chianti at Eataly Chicago

Forget the bug bites and homesickness — Eataly has a far superior camp experience for you this weekend. Learn all about Chianti wine with a series of events to dive into this versatile red. On Friday, there will be a walk-around food and wine tasting with the opportunity to sample more than 35 Chiantis, with a wine seminar held on Saturday. Tickets prices vary per event but start at $75. 

Chicago Flamenco Festival at Instituto Cervantes of Chicago

Enjoy the last weekend of the Chicago Flamenco Festival with a performance by Irene “La Chiqui de Málaga” Lozano, the recipient of Spain’s Premio Desplante at the Festival Internacional de Minas, one of the most prestigious flamenco awards in the world. Her new show — “Las Mujeres Que Habitan En Mi” — is a tribute to women and the possibilities that have influenced her life and art. Tickets are $40.

Saturday, March 23 

woman with piercings, silver jewelry, tattoo on collarbone and  frohawk, in a black shimmery dress laying down sideways while looking up, arm out
Sunny Haelstorm
Mariah J

House of Burlesque at House of Blues

See some of the city’s top burlesque performers show off their skills at House of Burlesque this Saturday. Each show features a unique line-up of incredible performers, demonstrating a wide range of burlesque styles. This weekend, check out burlesque stars Dahlia Fatale, Hot Tawdry, Lilly Rascal, Qween Quan, Zahradka Tonic, Kitten: Sunny Haelstrom and DJ Frail808. Tickets are $25 and the venue is standing room only. 

Dog Egg Hunt at Horner Park 

Why should kids get to have all the fun this Easter season? Grab your pup and join other Chicago dog lovers for a dog-centric Easter egg hunt in Horner Park. The event includes a pup-approved egg hunt, costume contest, photo area, lick painting, games and so much more. Your $20 general admission ticket includes access and a special bandana, with VIP $40 tickets also available. Bonus: it’s all for a good cause, with proceeds going to the dog park. 

Ali Wong Live at The Chicago Theatre 

From her groundbreaking stand-up specials to her voice acting on shows like Big Mouth and Tuca & Bertie to her Emmy-winning lead role in Beef, Ali Wong is everywhere these days, including the Chicago Theater. The star is performing three days of shows at the Chicago landmark, with tickets starting at $120. Go to a show, then spend the rest of the weekend binging her iconic works. 

female soccer player in red uniform holding ball, blond hair in the air. audience watching
Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper
Imagn

Chicago Red Stars Home Opener

Chicago’s professional women’s soccer team plays their home opener this Saturday against the Seattle Reign. The team got off to an incredible start a few days ago at their first away game versus the Utah Royals, which the Red Stars won 2-0 — so don’t miss your chance to see them repeat it this weekend. Tickets start at just $20, and the first 1,000 fans to enter the stadium get a free home opener scarf to show your team spirit all year long. 

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Global Connections: Holi at Aon Grand Ballroom

Navy Pier is going all out to celebrate Holi this weekend, with a free event featuring live music, dancing and interactive programming. The holiday’s iconic colorful powder throwing will take place in the (very much outdoor) Navy Pier Beer Garden, with powder available for purchase on-site. Food and drinks will also be available for sale at the event. 

Ritmo del Mar at Shedd Aquarium 

Head to the Shedd Aquarium for an after-hours event filled with music, cuisine, culture and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look fish right in the eye as you dance to the sounds of salsa, cumbia, merengue and Latin jazz. If you’re not so confident in your dance steps, the event also features a wide range of lessons. Admission includes exhibits and entertainment, with food and beverages available for purchase. Chicago resident pricing is just $19.95, and non-resident pricing is $39.95. 

people sitting at tables with colored table cloths and signs, people standing on other side
Volunteer Fair
Guild Row

The Volunteer Fair at Guild Row 

Looking for ways to help out the community? (No, respecting your neighbor’s parking dibs doesn’t count.) Meet with great local organizations and nonprofits at Guild Row’s Volunteer Fair. With a wide range of participating organizations — in fields like mutual aid, mentorship and the environment — and many different ways to get involved, you’ll be saving the world in no time. The event is free, and food and drinks are available for purchase. 

arcade games, tables with chairs, neon red sign that reads "don't grow up, it's a trap"
Headquarters Beercade
Headquarters Beercade

Hot Seat Invitational at Headquarters Beercade (River North)

In early celebration of National Hot Chicken Day (March 30, as if you didn’t already have that on your calendar), Headquarters Beercade in River North is hosting a spicy chicken wings competition. Participants will make their way through eight different levels of spicy chicken wings and beer pairings, with the winner taking home a refreshing $200. If you think you have what it takes to make it through, entry is $25 and, yes, there’s a waiver involved.

Sunday, March 24

Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

Don’t put away that St. Patrick’s Day green just yet! Bank of America’s annual Shamrock Shuffle is back this Sunday with an 8k run/2 mile walk. The race will make its way through downtown (street closure information is available here), and the event is followed by a post-race party for participants. Cheer on the runners or enter the race yourself — the entry fee ranges from $39 to $70. 

dancers in t-shirts or tank tops on their knees, some barefoot, others with socks on, audience watching, blue and purple glittery curtain
Queer Dance Freakout
Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival

Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival at Burning Bush Brewery 

Whatever kind of show you’re looking for — whether it’s sexy clowns, time traveling magic, Star Wars-themed burlesque or something else entirely — the Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival has a performance that’s up your alley (or maybe up an entirely new alley you didn’t even know about). The shows run all weekend, and tickets for most shows are $25. 

Queen of the Night: A Tribute to Whitney Houston at House of Blues

Don’t You Wanna Dance With Somebody? Well, this weekend you can at a one-of-a-kind tribute show to the one and only Whitney Houston. “The Voice” is one of the greatest singers of all time, and we Will Always Love Her. How Will You Know (the details for the show)? Head to the House of Blues website to get your tickets and learn more. Tickets are $25 and worth every penny because, as we all know, Whitney is the Greatest Love of All. (The fact that we couldn’t work more songs into this description is making us So Emotional.

Awesome Tapes from Africa at Sleeping Village

Brian Shimkovitz, a DJ and the writer behind the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog, has been helping connect folks with a wide range of music from Africa since 2006. This weekend, he’ll be doing a multi-hour set at Sleeping Village, playing music from some of the African cassettes he’s collected over the years. You’ll hear everything from folkloric pop to dance gems to hip-hop. Bonus: Chicago favorite DJ Shannon Harris will also be spinning. Admission is free. 

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