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The five best things to do this weekend in Chicago

Written by
Sara Freund

1. Get soulful

Yes, Chicago is dyeing the river green and hoards of people will migrate to the bars. That doesn't mean you have to be one of them. Put a little soul in your weekend with Leon Bridges at the Chicago Theatre. This dishwasher turned retro artist has a mastery of ’60s R&B that will stick with you. (Chicago Theatre, 175 N State St, Fri 7:30pm, $28.50-$45)

2. Sleep with the animals

Bring your kids (ages 5-12) to the zoo after hours for Sleepover with the Animals. At the Lincoln Park Zoo, families can sleep near the small reptiles or next to the apes and listen to zoo experts tell stories before bed. You don't have to stay the night but if you do there's breakfast in the morning. (Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, Fri 6pm, $70 for overnight, $60 members overnight, $42 nighttime only, $35 members nighttime only)

3. Choose red or white, not green
Taste hundreds of new wines at Wine Riot, where you can get a sommelier crash course with interactive stations and ensure you remember the night with pictures from the photo booth. The best part: Guests can track their favorite wines with the event app. (Venue One, 1044 W Randolph St, Fri 7pm, Sat 1pm and 7pm, $60)

4. Party at the parade(s)

In case you didn't know, there's this thing called the St. Patrick's Day Parade this weekend. Join the rest of the city as the Loop gets inundated with merrymakers and bagpipes, celebrating one of Chicago's favorite holidays of the year. And don't forget the South Side Irish Parade the next day! (Grant Park, Columbus Dr from Balbo Dr to Monroe Dr, noon. Free)

5. Save the world

Let's take a moment to honor the comic characters saving the world and creating trouble on your television screen at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest. This weekend convention celebrates shows like Arrow and Gotham by bringing in the cast for panels and signings. Fans can also enjoy a zip line, an inflatable obstacle course, a video game lounge and much more. (Donald E Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N River Road, Sat-Sun 10:30am, $35-$45, $70 weekend pass, VIP $200-$300)

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