BEST Things to Do in Chicago in March (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) – including the top attractions and best March events.

I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I will be updating it regularly with new events and activities.

Chicago in March

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.

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, a travel umbrella and make sure to check the weather right before your visit to know what to expect.

Best Things to Do in Chicago in March

Below are the top things to do in Chicago in March including all of the best March events.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a booking using my links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Outdoor Ice Skating

Early March is your last chance to go outdoor ice skating in Chicago before the rinks close for the season.

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).

outdoor ice skating is one of the best things to do in Chicago in March 2025

The skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park which has a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink.

Take an Architecture River Cruise

Taking an architecture river cruise is a must when visiting Chicago.

River cruises start up again by March (after being on pause in the winter when the water is frozen).

Disney100: The Exhibition

The Disney100: The Exhibition is in Chicago only for a limited time. This exhibition celebrates the magic of Disney with the Walt Disney Archives opening its vault of historical and special treasures, works of art, artifacts, costumes, and memorabilia. Wonder at more than 250 artifacts and props, see costumes from some of your favorite Disney classics, and explore enchanting galleries that bring the magic of Disney to life. Featuring the latest members of the Disney family (Pixar, Star Wars, and MARVEL) along with renowned classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and recent releases such as Encanto.

Where: Exhibition Hub Art Center Chicago, 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost: Price varies. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Check Out the New Flyover Chicago at Navy Pier

rides at Navy Pier Chicago

Flyover Chicago, an immersive flyover experience, is Chicago’s newest attraction and will be opening on March 1.

Other fun attractions at Navy Pier include a large Ferris wheel (click here to purchase a fast pass ticket and skip the long line) and other rides and games.

Navy Pier is also home to the Chicago Children’s Museum which is perfect for toddlers and younger kids.

From March 25-30, Navy Pier is hosting Spring Break at the Pier with one week of free interactive events, demonstrations, performances, family-friendly activities and artisan markets.

See the Chicago River Dyeing

green Chicago River for St. Patrick's Day
Every year on Saturday morning before St. Patrick’s Day (March 15, 2025), the Chicago River is dyed a shade of bright emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day. This is a popular Chicago tradition since 1962. The color is most vivid for a few hours after the dyeing but you can still see some green in the river for a few days.

The Chicago River dyeing takes place at 10 am between Columbus Drive and State Street. For the best views, head to the Michigan Avenue, Wabash Avenue or State Street bridges or find a spot along the Riverwalk.

You can also view the green water up close by joining an architecture river cruise any time after the river dyeing is over.

You can also join this St. Patricks Day Green River Afternoon Cruise or this St. Patty’s Green River Booze Cruise.

Attend a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Chicago with three St. Patrick’s Day parades taking place in Chicago during the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day.

The main St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place downtown after the river dyeing on Saturday, March 15, 2025.
The Southside Irish Parade and Northwest Side Irish Parade both take place on Sunday, March 16, 2025.

See the Spring Flower Show at 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 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 cold or rainy outside.

During the entire month of March, visitors can see this year’s Spring Flower Show, which explains the history and science of botanical nomenclature alongside a beautiful flower show full of blooms.

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

Hours: Wednesday 10am-8pm; Thursday – Sunday 10am-5pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday

Cost: FREE (suggested donation)

See the Spring Flower Show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory

Although not as large as Garfield Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Conservatory is worth a visit and is more conveniently located. Advance online reservations are required for entry.

During the entire month of March, visitors can see this year’s Spring Flower Show.

Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays from 10am-5pm.

Where: 2391 N Stockton Dr., Chicago, IL 60614

Cost: FREE

Admire Famous Works 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).

Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Hours: Thursday 11am–8pm; Friday to Monday from 11am– 5pm. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Cost:  Price varies. Admission is free for Illinois residents on weekdays (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays) through March 22.

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

(Click here to buy a skip the line ticket).

Visit the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere with 14 acres of hands-on exhibits including a 40-foot tornado, a World War II German submarine and a human-sized hamster wheel.

Where: 5700 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL

Cost: Click here to purchase a skip the line ticket. Illinois residents receive free museum entry on March 1, 6, 14.

Visit the Field Museum

The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history 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).

Where: Chicago’s Museum Campus, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

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

Cost:  Prices vary.

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

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.

Chicago March Events

In addition to the activities mentioned above, other Chicago March events include: Brewsology Beer Fest (March 2), Chicago Polar Plunge (March 3), Uncorked: Chicago Wine Festival (March 9), Chicago Irish Film Festival (March 1-10), Jurassic Quest (March 8-10), North Side Restaurant Week (March 1-15), Shamrock’n the Block (March 16), Savor Lincoln Park (March 20), Shamrock Shuffle (March 23, 2025) and Chicago White Sox home opener (March 28).

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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