Spring Bucket List: Top Events, Festivals to Put on Your Calendar | NBC Chicago
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Spring Bucket List: Top Events, Festivals to Put on Your Calendar

Start planning your spring to-do list with some of the top events happening in Chicago and the suburbs

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    Flower shows, wine and beer festivals, and outdoor concerts are within reach as spring inches closer.

    Residents in the city and suburbs have a full list of events to celebrate the upcoming warmer weather. Here are some activities you may want to add to your Spring bucket list:

    Brick by Brick
    March 10, Museum of Science and Industry
    Visit MSI or call (773) 684-1414 for advanced tickets
    The exhibit will showcase LEGO versions of the Golden Gate Bridge, International Space Station, the Hoover Dam and the Roman Coliseum, created by a LEGO certified professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker.

    Chicago Flower & Garden Show
    March 12-20, Navy Pier
    Ticket Prices Vary
    This year’s show celebrates Chicago with “cutting-edge food fusions” along with more than 20 life-sized gardens, daily seminars, and DIY workshops.

    Chicago River Dyeing
    March 12, Chicago River
    Free
    Watch the river turn green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Crews will begin to dump a secret green concoction into the water at 9 a.m. One of the best locations to watch is at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

    2016 Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade
    March 12, Downtown Chicago
    Free
    The celebration continues after the river dyeing. Starting at noon, floats and marchers will step off at Balbo and Columbus and proceed north, rain or shine.

    South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade
    March 13
    Free
    The 2016 South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade has been a Chicago staple for more than three decades. The parade will step off at noon from 103rd and proceed along Western Avenue to 115th Street.

    C2E2: Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo
    March 18-20, McCormick Place Complex
    Ticket Prices Vary
    Considered one of the biggest pop culture shows, C2E2 brings out thousands of comic, movie, television, video game, and anime fans to McCormick Place for a three day event featuring comic book guests, autographs, and talks.

    Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Billboard Magazine

    Macy's Flower Show
    March 20-April 3
    Free
    “America the Beautiful”: Macy’s in the Loop will celebrate the colorful and diverse landscapes of the U.S. during this two week event.

    Let it Be: A Celebration of the Music of The Beatles
    April 2, Rosemont Theatre
    Ticket Prices Vary
    To honor the music of a generation, London’s West End and Broadway hit show comes to Rosemont in a one-night only concert, filled with more than 40 of The Beatles’ songs.

    Chicago Beer Festival
    March 26, The Field Museum
    Tickets: $45-$55; Tickets will NOT be sold at the door
    Attendees will receive 40 taste vouchers have the chance to sample dozens of beers from both local and domestic breweries. General admission starts from 8 p.m. - 11p.m., VIP admission begins an hour early at 7 p.m.

    Shower of Crafts
    April 2 - 3, College of DuPage, Glenn Ellyn
    Tickets: $5, free for children 16 and under
    For two days, visitors can peruse through 150 booths featuring a wide selection of hand-crafted pieces inside the College of DuPage. The arts and crafts fair runs from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. April 2, and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. April 3.

    Shamrock Shuffle

    April 3, Grant Park
    Registration: $50
    Kick off the running season with one of Chicago's favorite spring traditions. The route for this 8K race takes runners through Chicago's Loop, starting and finishing at Grant Park. Don't forget to wear green!

    Tinley Park Brew & Vine
    April 9, Tinley Park Convention Center
    Tickets: $29.99 - $60.00
    From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., attendees will be able to sample craft beers from Midwest brewers and unique wines from several regions. The event is considered "the only indoor beer, wine, and food festival of its kind in the Chicagoland area," according to its website.

    Holi, The Festival of Colors

    April 9, Grand Pavilion, Naperville
    Free, $2 for bag of dry colors
    Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, and guests will be able to welcome the upcoming season by throwing bright, organic, colorful flour at each other. Pro tip: Bring a ZipLock bag to carry anything you don't want splashed in color.

    Baconfest
    April 30 - May 1, UIC Forum
    Tickets: $100, VIP $200
    Try dozens of dishes dedicated to cured meat created by some of Chicago's hottest chefs. Both Saturday and Sunday have designated themes and sessions. The theme for Saturday lunch is sweet, dinner is smoke. The theme for Sunday brunch is heat.

    Elmhurst Art in the Park
    April 30 - May 1, Wilder Park
    Free
    More than 10,000 people are expected to peruse through the dozens of booths featuring artists of several mediums, including photography, jewelry, sculpture, and wood work. Art in the Park is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m both Saturday and Sunday.

    18th Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

    May 7, Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park
    Free
    Watch kites fill city's lakefront in this unique family-friendly event. The city will provide kite kits for kids to decorate their very own kite to fly. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Montrose Avenue.

    Ferris Fest
    May 20 - 22, various locations
    Ticket Prices Vary
    Relive Ferris, Sloan, and Cameron's high school hooky adventure through this three-day festival which celebrates the 30th anniversary of John Hughe's classic, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Attendees will be able to watch a screening, participate in a Q&A with some of the film's stars, and visit filming locations including Wrigley Field, Willis Tower, and Cameron's house. To cap off the weekend, there will also be a "Twist and Shout" parade live re-creation.

    Zombie Prom
    May 21, Cubby Bear
    Tickets: TBA
    The dead will come alive for one night to dance. Starting at 8 p.m., zombies will take over the Cubby Bear for a one-of-a-kind prom experience for those 21 and older. Zombie makeovers will be availble on site.

    Dash for the Dogs

    May 22, Citizens Park, Barrington
    Registration: $35
    Bring your dogs and children to this fun family event which raises money for the Animal House Shelter. Runners can participate in a 5K race which starts at 9 a.m., or a 1 mile family fun walk which steps off at 10:30 a.m. Dogs are welcome to participate in each event.

    Bike the Drive
    May 29, starting line at Columbus and Jackson Drives
    Registration Prices Vary
    Starting at 5:30 a.m., only bicyclists will be allowed to take Chicago's Lake Shore Drive during this one-of-a-kind event. Ride your bike on the 15-mile roadway, and celebrate your finish with a post-festival at Butler Field.

    Spring Awakening Music Festival
    June 10 - 12, Jackson Park
    Ticket Prices Vary
    Spring comes alive at Jackson Park as EDM fans descend to listen to the latest music mixes live. Festival lineup TBA.

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