27+ Awesome Things to Do in Chicago This Weekend

There’s more to this weekend than just St. Patrick’s Day parties (although there’s plenty of those too)

March 15, 2024 8:33 am
two men in a boat dyeing Chicago river green
Chicago River

Whether you’re Irish, Chi-Rish or just love the color green, it’s time to go all out for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. The weekend is jam-packed with parades, bar crawls, parties, the iconic Chicago River Dyeing and so much more. But if St. Patrick’s Day not your thing, there’s still plenty to do in the city this weekend, with a hands-on pastry class, a vintage fest and your chance to sing Happy Birthday to a Smashing Pumpkin. Read on for our top recommendations.

Friday, March 15

The Black Creativity Experience at Museum of Science and Industry

Celebrate Black creativity at the Museum of Science and Industry with an event that includes in-person talks with Chicago artists from across the African Diaspora, displays from Juried Art Exhibition participants, music performances, live painting and more. Food and cocktails are available for purchase, and the ability to roam the museum after-hours is included. Tickets are $35. 

The Kooks with The Vaccines and Daisy the Great at The Riviera Theatre

The Kooks, one of the most iconic bands of the mid-2000s indie scene, had a place on all of our iPod Shuffles. This weekend, they’re back in Chicago with The Vaccines and Daisy the Great as they celebrate both their classics and their new releases — like the beautiful 2022 album 10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark. Tickets start at $45. 

tiramisu on a plate
Eataly tiramisu

Hands-On Pastry Class: Tiramisu Della Nonna Make and Take Workshop at Eataly

Be the life of the St. Patrick’s Day party this weekend when you bring in a freshly-made tiramisu della nonna. Turn that dream into a reality at Eataly on Friday, where you’ll be trained by the space’s pastry chef on how to make the classic dish. In addition to making your own take-home dessert, you’ll also taste a finished dish while enjoying a glass of wine selected by Eataly’s beverage expert. Tickets are $85.

woman with red hair staring up. silver face piece, black lipstick, white necklace and white shirt
Adisa Williams
Adisa Williams

Adisa Williams: Ego Death 

Adisa Williams — who was recently announced as one of the cast members of Second City’s 112th Mainstage Revue — will bring her solo musical comedy act to the Annoyance Theater this weekend, with an energetic show featuring 14 songs and dances. Dance and laugh to a Broadway-level critique of capitalism, an R&B jam about unstable relationships and so much more. Tickets are $20. 

8 Black-Owned Restaurants in Chicago to Try, Stat
From a spot serving up four-course alligator dinners to quite possibly the best taco stand in the city

Saturday, March 16

Dyeing of the Chicago River

One of Chicago’s most beloved traditions — right up there with summer street festivals, hot dogs and our politicians getting raided by the FBI — is back this weekend. Join the Chicago Plumbers Local 130 as they yet again dye our otherwise crystal clear river water. The best views are from Upper Wacker Drive between Columbus and Fairbanks. The dyeing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. but get there early (like, early early) if you want a good viewing spot. (Looking for an even better viewing spot? Chicago’s First Lady is offering cruises for front-row, river dyeing action, plus food and drinks. Tickets start at $135.)  

The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Among the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be marching on Columbus Drive this weekend between Balbo Drive and Monroe Drive, with marching bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers and more in tow. So wear your green — and also wear your most comfortable shoes because this year’s parade will clock in at around three hours. 

Saint Patrick’s Day Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center

If you’re looking for family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, The Irish American Heritage Center has you covered. The organization’s two-day St. Patrick’s Day Fest features traditional and contemporary Irish music, dancing, performances, an arts and crafts fair and much more. Tickets are $15 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. (Stick around on Sunday night for a performance from Ireland’s own The Screaming Orphans. Tickets are $35 but include free access to Sunday’s festival.)

Top St. Patrick’s Day Bar Events 

Chicago Shamrock Bar Crawl in Wrigleyville

Whether you’re in your 20s or can just still drink like you are, 20+ Wrigleyville bars are participating in this year’s Shamrock Bar Crawl. 

Shamrock 2024! At House of Blues

Get your sleep on Friday because this House of Blues party starts at 8 a.m. (!) and features green beer, live entertainment, Irish food and more. 

Pilsen’s St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl

Don’t let all those Cubs fans in Wrigleyville have all the pub crawl fun this weekend. General admission to this event includes access to nine bars with a free drink at each one. (Maybe go ahead and call in sick on Monday right now.) 

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Bottomless Drag Brunch at Lark

Join Drag Queens Vivian O’Dejour (Saturday) and Lucky Pixel (Sunday) for a St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Bottomless Drag Brunch, with your choice of seven bottomless drinks to choose from. 

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Carol’s Pub

Get an all-inclusive food and beverage package at Chicago’s favorite honky tonk bar for just $55 online, $60 at the door.

St. Patrick’s Day at The Owl

In addition to the once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience The Owl during daylight hours (kidding, it’s always great), the Logan Square favorite is offering drink specials on Guiness, Jameson and more. 

Time Out Market Celebration

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Time Out Market, where there will be Irish food, green drinks and roving bagpipers. 

J. Parker Rooftop St. Patrick’s Celebration

Enjoy the frankly unsettlingly warm temperatures on the J. Parker’s rooftop with cocktail, Irish brunch and dinner specials. 

Chicago Vintage Fest at Artifact Events

Shop from more than 150+ vintage and handmade market vendors this weekend at Artifact Events in Ravenswood. And bonus — with half of the city out day-drinking, you’ll get first dibs on all the best things. The event is free with registration.

Trans Youth and Family Summit at Center on Halsted 

The sixth annual Trans Youth and Family Summit provides a day full of speakers, workshops, discussion groups, art activities, games and more for trans youth and their families. Tickets are $10 and include lunch, snacks and learning materials. 

La Femme Dance Festival at the Harris Theater

This festival — which also includes events on Thursday and Friday — is bringing choreographic works created by women of the Black/African Diaspora to Chicago. Saturday’s events include the Chicago premiere of Portraits in Red by Wanjiru Kamuyu, a Paris-based choreographer. There will also be two world premiers: Unconditional Love by Red Clay Dance Company’s Founder and Artistic Director Vershawn Sanders-Ward and HER WOMB: Crucified, Conceived, Crescent, Congo….The Gathering by guest Choreographer Michelle Gibson. Tickets start at $25. 

Sunday, March 17 

In-Brewery Irish Experience at Guinness Open Gate Brewing 

Chicago’s very own Guinness factory is going big for its first St. Patrick’s Day in the city. Your $10 ticket includes timed entry, access to the brewery, live musical entertainment, brewery pours, shopping, photo ops and much more. 

South Side Irish Parade at 103rd and Western Ave.

In 1981, a group of neighbors got together to plan a parade and help kids celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Since then, that parade has morphed into one of the largest in the city, with thousands of Irish (and Irish for the day) attendees, plus floats, bands, dancers, a parade queen and more. 

Northwest Side Irish Parade

Winding through the Norwood Park neighborhood, the Northwest Side Irish Parade has been running for more than 20 years, celebrating friends, families and Irish heritage. This year’s Grand Marshall is Jan Scruggs, who founded the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. 

And a Few More St. Patrick’s Day Bar Events

Chicago Official St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl in Wrigleyville

Another day, another Wrigleyville bar crawl. This one features four bars, drink specials, swag and more. 

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Old Crow

Tickets include a drink, a shot and access to a buffet. 

Lady Gregory’s St. Patrick’s Day Specials

If you’d rather leave Irish cooking up to the pros, Lady Gregory’s is your stop, with a large menu of specials and unique drinks for the holiday. 

Anti-St. Patrick’s Day and Billy’s Birthday Brunch at Madame Zuzu’s Tea Shop and Art Studio

Retaliate against St. Patrick’s Day at Madame Zuzu’s this weekend, where — in place of the holiday — there will be a celebration for owner Billy Corgan’s birthday (yes, that Billy Corgan). The party will feature green and gold kitchen sink cookies, drink specials, tarot card readings and live Irish music from The Hogmires. 

Big Gay Cabaret Presents Jai Rodriguez at The Mercury Theater 

Jai Rodriguez — the culture guy from the original Queer Eye, as well as a renowned actor and musician — will perform his unique cabaret show all weekend at the Mercury Theater, with tickets starting at $45. A Meet and Greet is available for just $25. 

Chicago BYO-Bubbe Mixer: Learn Canasta at In Good Spirits 

Learn to play Canasta at In Good Spirits this Sunday, a great non-alcoholic bar and bottleshop. The event — which is to open to everyone, bubbe or not — includes an open bar of non-alc options, canasta lessons, food from Schneider’s Deli and much more. Tickets are $36. 


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