18 Great Things to Do in Chicago This Weekend

Spend the next three days with live comedy, an Espresso Martini Festival and hanging with dinosaurs

March 8, 2024 6:41 am
T-Rex dinosaur statue
Jurassic Quest 2024
Jurassic Quest

There’s no shortage of things to do in Chicago this weekend, with early St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Oscars viewing parties and your chance to attend Sausagefest. If you’re looking to get out of your house, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, so you have no excuse to be bored. Here’s what to do in Chicago Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, March 8

The Eagles at the United Center

It’s your last chance to see The Eagles perform live before they pack up and move into the Hotel California once and for all. (Assuming that “Hotel California” actually refers to a big, nice house for musicians who don’t tour anymore.) The band is on their final tour called “The Long Goodbye,” and they’ll bid adieu to Chicago this weekend with two nights at the United Center. Ticketmaster tickets start at $264.

The Penelopiad at The Goodman Theatre 

In this unique retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey, Margaret Atwood’s play tells the story of Penelope, Homer’s wife who waited 20 years for her husband to return home and the 12 maids who tended to her. The show is performed by an all-female cast and runs through the end of the month. Tickets start at $35. 

Brittany Carney at Color Club 

Comedian Brittany Carney returns to Chicago this weekend for two shows (featuring early and late sets) at the Color Club. Carney has been featured on Comedy Central and Don’t Tell and has written for shows on HBO and Adult Swim. See her now so that, in a few years, you can brag about how you saw her way back way back when. Tickets start at $18.54.

Stardew Valley Festival of the Seasons at The Vic

This Friday, finally take your love of Stardew Valley off your gaming console and into an intimate concert hall. A live chamber orchestra will perform some of the most beloved songs from the Stardew Valley soundtrack, taking attendees on a journey throughout the valley’s four seasons, its festivals and its most beloved characters. Tickets start at $49.

Shane Gillis at The Chicago Theatre 

Hot off a controversial SNL hosting gig (and, depending on who you ask, a controversial five years or so), Shane Gillis is taking his stand-up comedy to the Chicago Theatre all weekend. The outspoken comic has sold out all of his shows, but resale tickets are still available starting at $164. 

fish and chips with lemon and coleslaw on plate
Lady Gregory’s Fish N Chips
Neil John Burger

Northside Restaurant Week

You still have time to take advantage of Northside Restaurant Week where you can get deals from restaurants in Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Edgewater, Northcenter, Rogers Park and Uptown. Plus, with offerings like three courses for $40, we won’t blame you if you fire up the credit card and dine out for every meal this weekend. Northside Restaurant Week runs through March 15.

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There’s nothing like hot matzo ball soup on a cold Chicago day

Saturday, March 9

women holding three glasses of wine
Uncorked
Uncorked

Uncorked: Chicago Wine Festival at The Museum of Science and Industry

Whether you can tell your grenaches from your sangioveses on looks alone or if your fridge is stocked with Josh, Uncorked Wine Festival has something for you, including music, food trucks and generous wine samples, all in the beautiful Museum of Science and Industry. Your ticket covers all wine tastings — and with more than 150 wines from across the globe, it’s worth the hangover on Sunday. General admission is $65; early admission tickets ($85) get you an extra hour of tasting, and VIP tickets ($110) include extra time and a $30 food voucher card. Cheers! 

SXSW Send-Off at The Hideout

Support Chicago’s South By Southwest performers at their last local gig before they head south to Austin, Texas. The show is structured as a dress rehearsal for a typical day at SXSW, with bands performing a showcase set every hour. While GA tickets are sold out, Patron of the Arts tickets ($50) are still available. Bonus: funds from the event go towards helping keep artists afloat while they’re on the road.  

chopped up sausages
Sausagefest
Haymarket

Sausagefest at Haymarket Pub and Brewery

At Sausagefest, you can spend your Saturday in the most Chicago way imaginable — surrounded by encased meats, beers and both old and new friends. Haymarket Pub and Brewery’s annual event will feature 20+ sausages, 30+ beers and — to quote from their website — “some cheese,” with specialties both from Haymarket and from guest brewers and sausage masters. The event runs for four hours and tickets are $65. 

people sitting below a sign with brick wall
Saturday Show
Logan Square Improv

The Saturday Show at Logan Square Improv 

Each week The Saturday Show — one of the city’s top improv recurring shows — brings in a guest monologist to regale the audience with unique, true stories from their lives, while a team of improvisers perform a set based on the monologue afterward. This week, the monologist is Rod, one of Chicago’s most beloved Tiktokers. The event is BYOB and tickets are $5. Grab your tickets ahead of time because the show frequently sells out. 

Espresso Martini Fest at Hubbard Inn

Prefer your cocktails with enough caffeine to keep you awake until 2 a.m.? This Saturday at Hubbard Inn, you can sample a whole slew of them. Espresso Martini Fest attendees will get 15 Espresso Martini mini tastings, alongside a great night in a fun environment. General admission tickets are $59. 

Chi Town Jazz Fest at The Green Mill

Chicago commemorated its 187th birthday this week, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a celebration of some of the city’s best jazz. Chi Town Jazz Fest is a showcase of the Chicago Jazz Community that raises funds to end hunger. The festival’s Saturday Show will take place at The Green Mill and is $25 at the door. If you can’t make it Saturday, the Festival continues at The Jazz Showcase on March 11 and at St. Moses Ministry Center on March 14.  

St. Charles St. Patrick’s Day Parade

If you’re too antsy to wait another week to start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, head over to St. Charles, where the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is taking place this weekend. This weekend’s festivities include an opening ceremony, photo opportunities, a shamrock hunt and much more. 

90 Second Newbery Film Festival

This Oscars weekend, celebrate young filmmakers — like, really young filmmakers. Now in its 13th year, the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival invites kids to create movies that tell the entire story of Newbery-winning books in around 90 seconds. The Film Festival’s Chicago stop will screen some of this year’s submissions and is hosted by authors James Kennedy and Mary Winn Heider. The event is free. 

small dinosaur looking at pamphlet
Baby Trixie the Triceratops
Jurrasic Quest

Jurassic Quest 2024 at Navy Pier

How many times have you said to yourself, “Navy Pier is great, but I really wish it was filled with more life-size, animatronic dinosaurs?” Then good news, buddy — Jurassic Quest is here to help. Come by to see (practically) real dinosaurs, take part in crafts, check out fossils and so much more. The event is all ages, so bring the kids or bring a date, we won’t judge. General admission is $22.

Sunday, March 10 

Chicago Artisan Market at Morgan MFG

At the Chicago Artisan Market, you’ll have the chance to shop directly from some of the city’s best and most creative makers in food, fashion, home goods, art and much more. Buy yourself and everyone you know some gifts to celebrate any type of upcoming occasion. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. 

Oscar Nominated Shorts at Music Box: 

Power through an entire Oscars category this weekend at the Music Box Theatre, with shows dedicated to the Best Animated Shorts, Best Live Action Shorts and Best Documentary Shorts. (And bonus: you’ll look so cool at your Oscars party when you have hot takes on all the Shorts nominees.) 

Where to Watch the Oscars 

The Academy Awards are this weekend, and until you’re nominated yourself (we’re rooting for you for next year!), you’re probably stuck watching it on TV like the rest of us. Make a night of it with some of these fun watch parties across Chicago. 

  • Lark: Lark will be showing the Oscars on 10 big screens with free award ballots, popcorn and drink specials. 
  • Chicago Actors Studio: Watch the Oscars alongside industry professionals like actors, theatermakers, filmmakers and artists. For $10, you can enjoy food and beverages while swapping your predictions to win a prize.
  • The Logan Theater: At the Logan Theater’s event, you can watch the Oscars while taking part in trivia, Bingo and prediction ballots. Prizes will be awarded to ballot winners throughout the night, and the theme is “Dress to Impress,” complete with a red carpet. 
  • Time Out Market Chicago: Head upstairs to Tony’s rooftop for an Oscar’s viewing party, that has a red carpet-themed dress code. Admission is free and all guests receive a welcome glass of prosecco. 

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