BEST Things to Do in Chicago in March 2022 (From a Local!)

Searching for what to do in Chicago this March? Here are the best things to do in Chicago in March (from a local).

Things to Do in Chicago in March 2022

March is an interesting month to visit Chicago. The end of winter in Chicago is in sight and Chicagoans are looking forward to spring.  March is usually a popular month to visit Chicago due to spring break and St. Patrick’s Day festivities. 

I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I plan to update it regularly!

For out of town visitors, please note that the weather in Chicago in March is very unpredictable. Temperatures might start warming up a bit from February but you will likely still encounter winter temperatures (and even snow) especially earlier in the month.  Be prepared for both winter and spring weather, pack layers and make sure to check the weather right before your visit to know what to expect.

See the Chicago River Dyeing

Every year the Chicago River is dyed a shade of bright emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day.
This is a popular Chicago tradition since 1962, representatives of the Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130 pour environmentally friendly dye into the Chicago River.

When: Saturday morning before St. Patrick’s Day (March 12, 2022)

Where: Chicago River

Cost:  FREE

Attend a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Chicago. In addition, to the river being dyed green, Chicago has two big Saint Patrick’s Day parades. The South Side Irish Parade traditionally marches down Western Avenue in the Beverly neighborhood. The downtown parade traditionally takes place after the dying of the Chicago River from Balbo Drive to Monroe Street.

Where: The weekend before St. Patrick’s Day

Participate in the Chicago Polar Plunge

The annual Chicago Polar Plunge is fun winter tradition. All funds raised will benefit the Special Olympics Chicago and Special Children’s Charities programs. There is also a post-plunge Meltdown Party with music, food, a cash bar, and more. There will also be a virtual plunge option. Registration in now open.

When: March 6, 2022

Where: North Avenue Beach

Cost:  Plungers must raise $200, while High School Plungers (18 years and younger) must raise $100 to participate and take the plunge. Participants are encouraged to create a fundraising page to reach their fundraising goal.

Run the Shamrock Shuffle

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K race is a Chicago tradition for runners and kicks off the outdoor running season. The Shamrock Shuffle is one of Chicago’s best running events, with a one-of-a-kind course that weaves its way through Chicago’s Loop, starting and finishing in Grant Park. For those that are not runners, there is also a scenic 2-mile course along Chicago’s lakefront, starting and finishing in the same location as the 8K run. There is also an option to participate virtually. Registration for the 2022 event is now open.

When: March 20, 2022

Where: Starts and ends at Grant Park

Cost: The entry fee for the 8K Run will start $39 and will continue to increase in the lead up to the 2022 event. The next price increase will take place on October 26, 2021. The entry fee for the 2-Mile Walk is $35.

Outdoor Curling

Curling is a winter sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice or a lane towards a target. Two Chicago hotels have outdoor curling rinks on their rooftops.

Curling at The Gwen


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The Gwen Hotel, a luxury hotel, has custom-designed, an iceless curling rink on its outdoor rooftop terrace.

When:  See their website for times and to make a reservation.

Where: Upstairs at The Gwen, 521 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL, 60611

Curling at The Kennedy Rooftop
The Kennedy Rooftop, on top of the Hyatt Place Wicker Park, also offers outdoor curling with amazing skyline views.

When:  See their website for times and to make a reservation.

Where: The Kennedy Rooftop at Hyatt Place Chicago / Wicker Park, 1551 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Go Outdoor Ice Skating

Early March is your last chance to go outdoor ice skating in Chicago.

One of the best and instaworthy places to go ice skating is the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink right in front of The Bean (a must on any Chicago bucket list). The rink will be open until March 6, 2022 (weather permitting).

outdoor ice skating is one of the best things to do in Chicago in March 2022

Another picture perfect spot is the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park which has a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. The skating ribbon will be open until March 13, 2022 (weather permitting).

Admire Famous Works of Art at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the best things to do in Chicago Illinois in March

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States and is frequently found on lists of the top museums in the world. In addition to its large permanent collection of art from around the world, you can see the rotating temporary exhibits. (Click here to buy a skip the line ticket if you want to avoid long lines).

When: Hours are Monday and Thursday–Sunday from 11 a.m.– 6 p.m. (10–11 a.m. for members). Closed on Tuesday–Wednesday. Must purchase tickets online in advance.

Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Cost:  $25 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and teens (14-17); members and children under 14 are always free.


Enjoy the views from 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

360 CHICAGO, the observatory on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Building, has the best views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.

Where: 875 North Michigan Avenue, 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611

Cost:  $25 for adults, $15 youth.


Visit the Field Museum

The Field Museum is a natural history museum in Chicago, Illinois, and is one of the largest such museums in the world. Inside the museum you will see Maximo, the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur that ever lived. (Click here to purchase an Early Access VIP Tour if you want to avoid crowds).

When: Open daily 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm)

Where: Chicago’s Museum Campus, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

Cost:  Prices vary. Click here to see prices and purchase tickets online in advance.

Visit the Shedd Aquarium

Visit the Shedd Aquarium for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons.

When: Advance purchase of timed tickets is required.

Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

Cost: Admission is $39.95 ($19.95 for Chicago residents) for adults; $29.95 ($14.95 for Chicago residents) for children (3–11)

Tip:  If you are visiting a few museums and indoor attractions, consider purchasing a Chicago CityPASS or Go Chicago Card to save money on entrance fees.


Enjoy Tropical Temperatures Inside the Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the US. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the Garfield Park Conservatory showcases thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens.  Visitors can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors even if it is still cold outside.

Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60624

Hours: Wednesday 10am-8pm; Thursday – Sunday 10am-5pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday. Visitors are encouraged to make a reservation online in advance. Walk-ups are welcome if there is space available.

Cost: FREE (suggested donation)

READ: Best Indoor Things to Do in Chicago on a Cold or Rainy Day for more indoor Chicago attractions.

As you can see there are many things to do in Chicago this March.

Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:



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