PLEASE NOTE: Events may be postponed or simply canceled. Please call ahead to make sure they are still scheduled to take place.
Spring Flower Show: Saturation
After a long and cooped-up winter, get a taste of spring warmth at the Garfield Park Conservatory’s indoor flower show. For this year’s edition, flowers are grouped by color to show off a wide spectrum of tints and hues. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, advance reservations are required.
Through May 9. Garfield Park Conservatory. East Garfield Park. Free. garfieldconservatory.org
Chicago Polar Plunge
Organizers of this annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Chicago usually host a giant in-person dip into frigid Lake Michigan from North Avenue Beach. But this year, they’re asking participants to submit photos and videos of solo “plunges” — think snowbanks, kiddie pools, or bathtubs — which can be shared on social media and incorporated into a livestreamed “Virtual Meltdown Party” on March 7.
FREE Mar. 1–7. sochicago.org
Museum of Contemporary Art reopening
With the MCA’s reawakening comes a renewed opportunity to see The Long Dream, an exhibition featuring more than 70 Chicago-based working artists that opened shortly before the museum shut down operations in mid-November; it now runs through May 2. Later in the month, explore a solo exhibition of painter Christina Quarles’s intimate, abstract figurative portraits, on view from March 13 to August 29.
Mar. 2. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Streeterville. Free–$15. mcachicago.org
In Focus: The Chicago Freedom Movement and the Fight for Fair Housing
In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. moved his family to Chicago for several months to mount a campaign against unjust housing practices such as redlining. This exhibit centers on photographs by activist Bernard J. Kleina of the marches, rallies, and clashes that took place across the city that year, supplemented by maps, newspaper articles, and first-person accounts.
Mar. 4–June 10. Elmhurst Art Museum. Elmhurst. $15. elmhurstartmuseum.org
Lincoln Park Zoo reopening
Chicago’s 153-year-old animal kingdom on the lake welcomes visitors again, and admission is free as always, but reservations must be made in advance to limit capacity. Indoor exhibits like the Helen Brach Primate House and the Regenstein African Journey will remain closed for now.
FREE Mar. 5. Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park. lpzoo.org
Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes
If they could, comics fans would soar through the sky to this traveling exhibition devoted to the world of characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. The show is heavy on costumes and props featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but you’ll also get to inspect rare comic-book artifacts (like Gil Kane and Dave Cockrum’s original art for the cover of Giant-Size X-Men #1).
Mar. 7–Oct. 24. Museum of Science and Industry Chicago. Hyde Park. $9–$40. msichicago.org
The British chef and restaurateur gives a cooking demo using one of the plant-based recipes from his latest cookbook, Ottolenghi Flavor, in this Chicago Humanities Festival virtual program. He’ll be joined in conversation about the book and his approach to cooking by fellow author Claire Saffitz.
FREE Mar. 17. 7 p.m. chicagohumanities.org
Chicago Restaurant Week
If that newfound joy of cooking you found at the beginning of lockdown has withered and died 12 months on, how about treating yourself to a meal made by someone else? Participating restaurants — ranging from newer hot spots like Virtue and Galit to chestnuts like Gene & Georgetti — offer special prix fixe menus that are often more affordable than ordering à la carte. And due to ongoing capacity restrictions, this year’s edition will include delivery and takeout options for the first time.
Mar. 19–Apr. 4. Various locations. $25–$55. choosechicago.com/chicago-restaurant-week
Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway
Porchlight Music Theatre’s annual concert fundraiser goes streaming this year, with a slate of more than 40 performers set to shake, rattle, and roll in numbers from rock-flavored Broadway shows like Hair, Rent, and Jagged Little Pill. Following its premiere, the program will be available on-demand through April 18.
Mar. 20. 7 p.m. $25. porchlightmusictheatre.org
In Something to Write Home About, the Grammy-nominated local string ensemble plays pieces by five Chicago composers, interspersed with prompts to spark viewers at home to compose postcards to loved ones. The program features works by Samuel Adams, Eliza Brown, Tomeka Reid, Gene Knific, and Nathalie Joachim; it streams on the Harris Theater’s Virtual Stage platform.
FREE Mar. 30. harristheaterchicago.org