17 Things to Do in March in Champaign-Urbana

Thanks to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for sponsoring 17 Things to Do in March in Champaign-Urbana. Do you have trouble getting to sleep? Perhaps you need your cuddly? Or a glass of milk? In Cressida Cowell and Neil Layton’s Emily Brown and the Thing, Emily has the same problem — or the Thing outside her window does anyway. Performing March 12 at Krannert, London’s Tall Stories is a charming theatrical company that uses puppetry and its unique style of physical storytelling to make warmhearted and witty productions for audiences of all ages.

March ushers in the Madness — and not just the basketball kind. Yes, there are basketball tournaments that tend to claim our attention on some days, but even if you’re not a hoops fan, you don’t need to look far to find things to do. In fact, between spring break and St. Patrick’s Day, you probably need help narrowing down what to do.

So we’re here to help. Here are our top picks for family friendly fun in March:

Daddy-Daughter Night at Illinois Women’s Gymnastics, March 1

It’s Senior Night for the Illini, and also a chance to acknowledge all dads and daughters! The first 200 fans will receive a bow and a picture frame they can customize. The fun also includes a photo booth for instant pictures. Free.

Tom Thumb Presents The Little Mermaid, March 1-3

For over 60 years, CUJWC’s Tom Thumb Theatre has been entertaining children with an annual production. Their musicals are short in length, always include audience participation, and are a great way to introduce young kids to theatre. Target audience is preschool- to grade school-aged children.

Free Morning Movies at Savoy 16, March 1-3

See movies for free if you’re a FMG rewards member at Savoy 16 during its Morning Spring Series ($1 for non-members). This weekend’s film: Teen Titans Go.

Read Across America Champaign-Urbana Celebration, March 2

The 19th annual Read Across America Celebration will be held at Lincoln Square Mall from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Professional storytellers, a free book and bag for children, activities and information from our partners and much more!

Day of the Drum at Krannert, March 2

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is the hot place to be in March, starting with Day of the Drum. An all-day, almost entirely free event includes a variety of performances, including a 4:30 p.m. free performance from C-U’s own Rocky Maffit, former drummer of the chart-topping band Champaign.

Illini Cat Club presents the All Breed Cat Show, March 2

OK, so some people aren’t “cat people.” But for those who are, this is an excellent outing. Check out cats competing against the clock in the custom obstacle course. And you’ll have the chance to observe a multitude of pedigreed cats. Meow!

Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration, March 2

There are a bunch of Dr. Seuss-related events this day, but this one is perhaps our favorite. For our full list, go here.

Hinamatsuri: Girls’ Day at Japan House, March 3

Free demonstrations and crafting are among the fun things going on at Japan House. See the full slate of activities here.

Engineering Open House, March 8-9

The free annual event is the largest student-run event at the University of Illinois. See hundreds of projects, displays, research and startups with this year’s theme “Dare to Defy.”

Beckman Institute Open House, March 8-9

This bi-annual event takes place in conjunction with the Engineering Open House and features open house exhibits that are sure to blow your mind!

Tall Stories: Emily Brown and The Thing, March 12

Recommended for ages 3 and up, this charming theatrical company encourages kids to wear their pajamas and bring a cuddly! See details above.

Illini Baseball Opening Weekend, March 15-17

Nothing says spring like baseball! The Illini open their home schedule — weather permitting, of course — against Southern Illinois. Admission is free.

Lego Building Contest, March 16

Urbana Free Library is the site of this popular event, which combines creativity with a traditional favorite pastime for kids. Details are here.

World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 17

It is — officially — St. Patrick’s Day, and the highlight is a one-block parade in downtown Urbana. There’s a pre- and post-parade party to go with it!

Illini Softball Opening Day, March 19

The Illini softball team has high expectations this season, and this is the first chance to get an up-close look as they take on IUPUI.

Insect Petting Zoo, March 23

Interact with and learn about a variety of interesting and amazing insects at Champaign Public Library. You might see Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa), Chilean rose hair tarantulas (Grammostola rosea), blue death feigning beetles (Asbolus verrucosus), Arizona hairy scorpions (Hadrurus arizonensis) and many more! For all ages.

Youth Literature Festival Community Day, March 30

The Youth Literature Festival brings award-winning authors of youth literature to area schools in a three-day event, culminating in a Community Day Celebration with author panels, activities for kids, and performances to share with the whole family. Free.

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17 Things to Do in March in Champaign-Urbana