February, as it does, has gone by in a flash. So now we find ourselves in the cold, frigid spring months of Chicago. But never fear, the neighborhood offers a wealth of excuses to get out from under your toasty covers and out of the house. From Fat Tuesday and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to just everyday fun things to do, here are our picks for the best events going on each week this month in Logan Square (plus a few nearby ‘hoods). Read on to keep March roaring all month long!
Tuesday, March 5: Fat Tuesday Party@ The Owl, 8 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Dial up an irrational desire for colorful plastic beads, because The Owl’s (2521 N Milwaukee Ave.) annual Mardi Gras party returns, with New Orleans-appropriate Abita beer and hurricane specials — and, of course, plenty of beads. What are you willing to do to get them?? Or, if you just want to dance, or drunkenly sway a little, there’s also Mardi Gras music, including a surprise horn-section performance from Chicago’s “future funkestra” Nasty Snacks sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight. Or, head down the Blue Line a bit to Wicker Park’s Estelle’s (2013 W North Ave.) whose party also features a Polish—and, therefore, Chicago—Fat Tuesday tradition of free paczki.
Wednesday, March 6: Record Release “Solos After Trios” @ Elastic Arts, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Experimental trio NbN presents a series of improvised solos from the Chicago triumvirate of Nora Barton on cello, Billie Howard on violin and Nomi Epstein on piano. The performance at Elastic Arts (3429 W Diversey Ave. #208) will announce the group’s new album, “Solos After Trios.” NbN’s improvisation also incorporates found percussive instruments, and the trio offers these listening instructions to audiences: “NbN’s improvisations encourage the listener to investigate subtle aspects of sonic movement where sensory details become heightened through concentrated and focused listening.” Explore a bit of the odd, ethereal soundscape these accomplished improvisers can create here.
Thursday, March 7: I Love Logan Square Kick-Off @ Cole’s Bar, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
This is not the party, but the planning party for the party. Still, if you want to get involved, here’s where to do it. “I love Logan Square” is the annual fundraiser for essential neighborhood institution the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (2840 N. Milwaukee Ave.). That group works to improve life for people in the ‘hood by increasing affordable housing, getting parents more involved in schools, investing in parks, boosting immigrants and more. At this kick-off at Cole’s (2338 N Milwaukee Ave.), you can get started on volunteering, helping plan “or just straight-up attending” the event. The actual fundraiser will likely offer a “live auction with ‘dozens and dozens of unique neighborhood-specific prizes,’ along with local food and beer,” as in past years.
Friday, March 8: Spirit of Revolt Art Show @ Revolution Kedzie Brewery (Avondale), 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Revolution celebrates International Women’s Day with an art show of work “from some of Chicago’s most exciting female artists.” The brewery will also have Spirit of Revolt on draft, an imperial IPA created by Revolution’s female employees. Proceeds will support the nonprofit Connections for Abused Women and Their Children. In addition to the art, you can get Spirit of Revolt merch, henna tattoos, and food from The Empanada Bike and more.
Sunday, March 10: St. Catrick’s Day Party @ Revolution Brewpub, 6 p.m.
Cats need our help, but they will never acknowledge it — nor will they ever thank us. That’s OK, we love the little fuzzy jerks in spite of—or maybe because of?—their aloofness. Give Chicago’s kitties some underappreciated love by attending the only St. Patrick’s Day event that matters: St. Catrick’s Day at Revolution (2323 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Proceeds benefit Avondale’s Harmony House for Cats (2914 N Elston Ave.). Your ticket ($30 before March 8, $35 at the door) gets you five Revolution beers (choose from Cross of Gold, Iron Fist Pale Ale, Bottom Up Wit, Eugene Porter and Anti-Hero IPA), vegan and nonvegan appetizers, and entry in a bag raffle. Plus, you can go home and tell your cat, “You’re welcome,” right before it stalks off to knock over a vase and show you its butthole.
Tuesday, March 12: Poetry Salon @ Uncharted Books, 7 p.m.
Dedicated neighborhood poet Carrie McGath, currently studying at UIC, hosts this “celebration of the local literary community” at Uncharted (2620 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The free poetry open mic and featured reading welcomes readers of all backgrounds and experience levels and offers refreshments. UIC Program for Writers poet Evan Reynolds performs as the featured reader, and sign-up for the open mic starts at 6:30 p.m. Bonus: Search for a rare find in Uncharted’s richly stocked shelves of used books and visit with Ramona, the store’s fluffy, white cloud of doggy friendliness.
Friday, March 15: Seances of Victorian Era @ Charnel House, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Atlas Obscura Chicago brings all sorts of cool, weird events to the Windy City that all seem to hearken back to some not-quite-defined classic era of exploration. This one comes to Logan Square’s Charnel House (3421 W. Fullerton Ave.) theater and event space. And I guess the era’s actually pretty well-defined in this case, as Atlas Obscura invites Thom Britton of FreakShow & Tell to put on a Victorian seance for Harry Houdini, before the magician’s March 24 birthday. The master escape artist was known for attending seances in disguise and debunking various forms of hokum of the time. So, this event will also demonstrate Houdini’s methods for exposing frauds, con-men and fake visitors from beyond.
Sunday, March 17: Pagans’ Revenge on St. Patrick! @ DMen Tap (Avondale), 1 a.m. – 5 p.m.
St. Patrick’s converted pagans get a chance to spit out that Communion wine like so much vomited green beer at this anti-St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Dungeons & Dragons-themed DMen Tap (2849 W Belmont Ave.) will offer oracle readings, tarot cards and other dark arts in lieu of the traditional, reverent Catholic celebrations we all engage in on St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, who am I kidding, we all just want to get drunker than an Irish stereotype, and you can do that here, with DMen’s excellent selection craft-beer selection. Be warned, there is a rumor of green Malort.
Sunday, March 17: Logan Square St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl @ Milwaukee Ave., 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
If DMen has the St. Patrick’s Day alternative, here’s the mainstream: a mob of green-clad 20-somethings getting sloshed by late afternoon on Logan’s Milwaukee Ave. corridor of bars. Legend has it that St. Patrick himself once terrified new converts with tales of eternal torment in the form of a Logan Square bar crawl. I kid, I kid (or DO I?). If you’re into it, though, this should be about as St. Patricky as Logan Square gets. This crawl, from Meet People Chicago, boasts that you’ll really feel like part of the group: “Don’t get lost going to a bar alone when you can crawl with HUNDREDS TOGETHER. That’s a real bar crawl!” Alternatively, you could just keep an eye on this event so you know which bars to avoid.
Tuesday, March 19: Case Oats + Brewster (Free) @ Crown Liquors, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Maybe your temples will still ache a few days after St. Patrick’s Day (especially if you bar crawl with HUNDREDS TOGETHER), so soothe that noggin with some gentle singer-songwriter action at Crown (2821 N Milwaukee Ave.). Case Oats, Chicago’s Casey Gomez Walker, describes herself as a “Midwest cowgirl” and she has the kind of indie warble that belongs on a Zooey Deschanel film’s soundtrack. Headliner Brewster, Mark Bucci of New Jersey, highlights the detailed storytelling of his lyrics.
Thursday, March 21: March Madness @ various locations.
After Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day exit, America’s real March holiday arrives, replete with your favorite “amateur” athletes and vaguely legal office-based gambling (or is that vaguely illegal?). It’s March Madness! With the first two rounds launching today, Logan Square sports bar TVs will be rich with pick ‘n’ rolls, dunks and hopefully non-exploding shoes. Catch some of the games at huge, TV-packed sports bars like Park & Field (3509 W. Fullerton Ave.), with its charming vintage sports decor, or the burger-centric Moonlighter (3204 W. Armitage Ave.). If you prefer old-school Logan dives, there’s still at least one of those left: the Whirlaway (3224 W. Fullerton Ave.), which has also stuffed a fair number of TV’s into its compact space (to the chagrin, I’m told, of some regulars when it happened). Harding Tavern’s (2732 N. Milwaukee Ave.) TVs-per-square-foot average is super high, and Rocking Horse (2535 N. Milwaukee Ave.) has a couple TVs that sometimes have sports on—I’ve found it’s a chill place to watch a game, because not many go there for that. Logan’s newest sports bar, Old Plank (in the old Parts and Labor space, 2700 N Milwaukee Ave.) says it’s opening this spring—maybe in time for the tournament?
Saturday, March 23: Logan Square House Party @ Logan Square Auditorium, 9 p.m. — 3 a.m.
Derrick Carter is a big name from Chicago’s ’90s house music scene—and possibly “the greatest DJ of all time.” The Chi-town DJ began spinning and mixing at age 9 and has kept up “a quarter-century career as one of the coolest and best DJs in the planet,” according to Fact Magazine. He’ll be on the tables for the latest Logan Square House Party at the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.) so hit this party up for a classic Chicago music experience. Also, the auditorium doesn’t have a ton of events, so this maybe a good excuse to visit.
Tuesday, March 26: “THX 1138” @ Logan Theatre, 10:30 p.m.
In the heady U.S. film scene of the 1970s, an unknown directory by the name of George Lucas hit the screen with an inventive sci-fi flick. Unfortunately, “THX 138” failed to land an audience, and Lucas was never heard from again. Just kidding—Lucas, of course, went on to achieve massive popular and critical acclaim as the creator of Jar Jar Binks, but before the “Star Wars” opening crawl first crawled, he debuted with this flick featuring underground cities and totalitarian control via psychotropic drugs. It didn’t do well in theaters (or “theatres,” even), but it went on to cult acclaim. Lucas’ pre-Force work stars Robert Duvall as a cog in the system who manages to fall in love, a la “1984’s” Winston Smith. “[T]his earnest directorial debut remains unique for its gorgeous alchemy of sight and sound,” said Reel Science. It’s part of Logan Theatre’s (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) March late-night shows.
Thursday, March 28: “Bad Times RIP” Closing Reception @ The Whistler, 7 p.m. — 2 a.m.
If you spend any time walking down Milwaukee around the Fullerton intersection, you’ve seen The Whistler’s (2421 N Milwaukee Ave.) rotating storefront art displays—right next to Foto Quetzal’s (2419 N. Milwaukee Ave.) equally memorable display, notably parodied a couple years ago at Whistler. In the current Whistler display, “Bad Times RIP,” artist and DJ Dave Mata created neon skull and tombstone imagery in an effort to dispel negativity. In the closing reception, that “storefront theme will bleed into the whole Whistler space for an immersive experience based around the idea of leaving bad energy in your past,” the Whistler says. Mata and other DJs will spin vinyl, and you can purchase limited-edition “Bad Times RIP” glassware.
Sunday, March 31: Free Easter Bunny Photos @ Farmers Market (Emporium), 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.
Make a family memory that will last a lifetime by photographing your terrified child on the lap of an adult human draped in a rabbit outfit. Oh, don’t worry, it’ll be really cute! Courtesy of the Kambs Jennings Group, the bringer of cream-filled eggs himself will visit this edition of the indoor Logan Square Farmers Market at Emporium (2363 N. Milwaukee Ave.). RSVP for free on the Facebook event page (for free) or just show up (also for free).
Sunday, March 31: Barks & Brews, Revolution Brewpub, 1 p.m. — 3 p.m.
St. Catrick’s Day was a must, of course, but March still has room for the doggos. Revolution (2323 N Milwaukee Ave.) will turn its fundraising efforts to those of the canine persuasion with another event offering your choice of five Rev beers, appetizers, a silent auction and a raffle. This one benefits Second City Canine Rescue. Tickets are $30 for monthly giving members and $50 for nonmembers from now until the event.
Remember we have a calendar with daily events happening around the neighborhood if you want more options and more days to keep you busy!
Featured image: Erik Island