Top 5 events for families in Chicago this weekend - 3/14, 3/15 and 3/16

This weekend is all about St. Patrick's Day. While the actual holiday is on Monday, March 17, most of the family-friendly events take place this weekend - from the northwest side to the south side. So, grab your green, your family, and your stamina, and head out for a weekend of St. Patrick's Day inspired fun - with a few other events thrown in for good measure!

Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five events for families in Chicago this weekend - Friday, March 14, Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16.

1. 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Grant Park
Parade route: Columbus Dr. between Balbo and Monroe Drives
Saturday, March 15 at 12 pm
Free event

After your view of the newly green Chicago River, you can head over to Grant Park to claim your spot for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The family-friendly parade kicks off at Columbus and Balbo Drives and then heads north on Columbus Dr. to Monroe Dr.  The salute to all things Irish will feature colorful floats, Irish dancers, marching bands, teams of bagpipers, and more. The parade is expected to last about three hours.

2. St. Patrick’s Festival
Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. (Irving Park)
Saturday, March 15, 1 pm – 12 am
$15 for adults ($12 in advance); Children 12 and under are free

The celebrations continue on Saturday at the Irish American Heritage Center located on the city's northwest side. Starting at 1 pm, you can head to the family-friendly event to enjoy Irish music, dance and food. The festival also features an Arts and Craft Fair with activities for children and vendors selling Irish gifts. Tickets can be purchased online.

3. Carnaval 2014: Bringing Brazil to Chicago
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
4046 W. Armitage Ave. (Belmont Central)
Saturday, March 15; Doors open at 6:30 pm
Tickets are $15 (cash payment at the door or purchase online)

The Carnaval celebration continues this weekend at Carnaval 2014: Bringing Brazil to Chicago at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center. The all-ages event will feature Brazilian percussion, dancing and more. The doors open at 6:30 pm and you can join in on a dance lesson at 7:30 pm. The show follows at 8 pm. The event is presented by the Evanston Escola de Samba in partnership with the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.

4. Good Food Festival
UIC Forum
725 W. Roosevelt Rd. (Little Village)
Saturday, March 15
Tickets range in price; the Saturday food festival pass is $10 in advance

The Good Food Festival opens today at UIC Forum. On Saturday, when the kids are off of school, you can bring them to the event to enjoy interactive activities in the Kids Corner, hosted by Purple Asparagus from 10 am - 5 pm. While you're at the end, you can check out the exhibit hall packed with representatives from more than 150 farms, local food artisans, restaurants and more. Chef demonstrations also will be given throughout the day.  You can purchase your tickets online in advance of the festival.

5. South Side Irish Parade and the Emerald Isle Mile
Parade route: Western Ave. between 103rd and 115th Streets
Sunday, March 16 at noon
Free event

The St. Patrick's Day parade fun continues on Sunday along the city's south side. Then South Side Irish Parade steps off at Western Ave. and 103rd St. and then continues down Western Ave. to 115th St. The parade will feature more than 90 participants, which will include colorful floats, marching bands, and much more. Feel like getting in some exercise before you watch the big parade? Then you'll want to sign up for the 2014 Emerald Isle Mile, which starts at 11 am - an hour before the start of the parade. The one-mile run starts at 112th St. and Western Ave. The finish line is at 104th St. (The race is limited to 15 minutes.) Registration for the run is $25 and can be done online.

Interested in checking out other family-friendly St. Patrick's Day events happening this weekend? You can find a few other ones here.

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Filed under: Weekend Planner

Tags: Weekend Planner

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