Chicago events calendar for February 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, Valentine's Day shows & events, weekend fairs, free kids' activities in Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
February 2017
February 2017

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Groundhog Day

February 1 - 5, 2017

61.2 miles NW

Much of the movie “Groundhog Day” was filmed in Woodstock, which is no surprise because their events on Groundhog Days are picture perfect, including the groundhog’s prognostication (weather forecast) at 7:07 a.m. on Feb. 2.

Chicago Restaurant Week

February 1 - 9, 2017 (begins Jan. 27)

Chicago locations

Get a special deal on a fixed-price lunch or dinner at 350 restaurants during Chicago Restaurant Week.

Rhinofest fringe theater

February 1 - 26, 2017 (begins Jan. 20)

6.5 miles NW

Rhinoceros Theater Festival is billed as Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival at Prop Thtr.

Adult variety show

February 3 - 18, 2017 (from Dec.)

7 miles north

Kiss Kiss Cabaret is a fun mix of burlesque, off-color comedy, music, magic, and variety acts at Uptown Underground. Reviews.

Discount tickets $14.

Bar crawl

February 4, 2017

1.3 miles north

Retro Ski Lodge Block Party promises “crazy costumes, liquor luges, shot skis, and yeti sightings” at nine Gold Coast bars for age 21+.

Anime festival

February 4, 2017

9 miles south

Uchi-Con features gaming, cinema, Asian culture, vendors, speakers, panels, and workshops in the Ida Noyes Hall at University of Chicago. Free.

Molly Ringwald sings jazz

February 4, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

46 miles west

Actress Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) performs a sultry concert of jazz standards and songs from her jazz album at Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Discount tickets $10.

Improvised comedy

February 4 - 18, 2017 (begins Jan. 28)

2.3 miles north

See top contestants in the Improv Classic during the semi-finals (Jan. 28, Feb. 4 & 11) and the finals (Feb. 18) at The Second City.

Chinese New Year parade

February 5, 2017 (1 p.m.)

3 miles south

Lunar New Year Parade features lion and dragon dances, marching bands, and floats on S. Wentworth Avenue. Free.

Midwest film festival

February 7, 2017

4 miles north

Midwest Independent Film Festival shows films from eight Midwest states the first Tuesday of most months at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema. February may include a pre-show cocktail reception, a producer’s panel, and a post-screening reception.

Theater week

February 9 - 19, 2017

Chicago locations

Choose from more than 100 plays at affordable prices during Chicago Theatre Week.

Folk music festival

February 10 - 11, 2017

9 miles south

Celebrate traditional music from around the world in concerts and workshops at University of Chicago Folk Festival at Mandel Hall, 1131 E 57th St.

Motorcycle show

February 10 - 12, 2017

17 mile NW

Find sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, ATVs, expert advice, live entertainment, and family activities at the International Motorcycle Show [sound] in the Rosemont convention center.

Valentine’s Day dance class

February 10 - 14, 2017

6.4 miles NW

Take your sweetie to Valentine’s Day Dirty Dancing Party for a beginner’s class followed by open dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and BYOB at Duet Dance Studio for age 21+. Only one ticket is required per couple.

Valentine’s Day dinner dance

February 11, 2017

0.7 miles south

Valentine’s in Chicago is a formal affair with a three-course dinner, a quartet playing music, and dancing in the Empire Room at the Palmer House Hotel.

Cider tasting

February 11, 2017

1 mile east

Try 150 artisanal ciders from throughout the world during Cider Summit Chicago in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Requires age 21 ID due to alcohol content.

Run in your underwear

February 11, 2017

1.7 miles north

Cupid’s Undie Run includes a half-naked run through the streets and a party at John Barleycorn on N. Clark Street to support charity. Must be age 21+.

Valentine’s Day bar crawl

February 11, 2017 (uncertain)

4 miles north

Your ticket to Screw Cupid Pub Crawl includes drinks and food buffets at five bars, plus a transportation trolley in Lincoln Park for age 21+.

Valentine’s Day at the zoo

February 11 - 12, 2017

14 miles SW

Valentine’s Day Brunch is a Sun. buffet with eggs Benedict, omelettes, a carving station, seafood, salad, and desserts in Discovery Center at Brookfield Zoo. Valentine’s Dinner is Sat. Includes zoo admission.

Valentine’s Day for families

February 11 - 14, 2017

Chicago locations

Enjoy a Valentine’s dance, party, or craft-making project thanks to the Chicago Park District.

Valentine’s Day dance show

February 11 & 14, 2017 (8 p.m.)

5 miles north

Dances from the Heart has 13 acts (aerial, tap, jazz, urban fusion, contemporary, Mexican folkloric, and hip-hop) at Athenaeum Theatre.

Auto show

February 11 - 20, 2017

3 miles south

Admire nearly 1,000 new vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show, billed as the nation’s largest at McCormick Place convention center.

Orchid Show

February 11 - March 26, 2017

24 miles north

See 10,000 blooming orchids on display at the Orchid Show, which has weekend classes, Tuesday morning music, and an Evening with Orchids cocktail tasting at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Chamber music

February 12, 2017 (3 p.m.)

12.7 miles north

Romantic Duos by Rembrandt Chamber Players features works by Strauss, Debussy, Hindemith, and Wilson in Evanston.

Classical music

February 12, 2017 (3 p.m.)

16.8 miles north

Chicago Philharmonic plays music with the theme of “faithful friends and lovers” by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, and Gluck at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Discount tickets $25.

Valentine’s Day restaurants

February 14, 2017

Chicago area

OpenTable lists restaurants in greater Chicago that offer special menus for Valentine’s Day. Also see recommendations by the Chicago Tribune.

RV and camping show

February 16 - 19, 2017

17 mile NW

Check out 400 recreational vehicles and shop from 20 dealers at the Chicago RV & Camping Show at the Rosemont convention center.

Science fiction convention

February 16 - 19, 2017

30 miles NW

Capricorn celebrates fantasy and science fiction in art, music, games, theater, and film at the Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling.

Monster trucks

February 17 - 20, 2017

18 mile NW

Big trucks with big wheels create big noise and excitement at Monster Jam in Rosemont’s Allstate Arena.

Tasting event

February 18, 2017

3 miles NW

Whiskey Wine and Moonshine is a whiskey and wine tasting event at Joe’s Bar for age 21+. Repeats in June.

Mardi gras pub crawl

February 18, 2017

6 miles north

Wear colorful clothes and collect Mardi gras beads from bars at the annual BeadQuest in Wrigleyville.

Chicken wings festival

February 19, 2017 (uncertain)

2.5 miles west

Restaurants compete to win the “Best of Fest” award, you get to eat and hear music, and charity benefits at WingFest, 1340 W. Washington Blvd.

Spectacular magic show

February 21 - 26, 2017

0.5 miles SW

The Illusionists: Live from Broadway features master magicians performing acts of grand illusion, levitation, mind-reading, and full-view water torture escape at Oriental Theatre. Discount tickets $16 to $80.

Jazz festival

February 23 - 26, 2017

19 miles west

Hear the best college jazz bands and jazz greats at Elmhurst College Jazz Festival.

Diving expo

February 24 - 26, 2017

17 mile NW

Our World Underwater offers workshops for divers, films, diving equipment, travel services, and a kids’ area at the Rosemont convention center.

Golf show

February 24 - 26, 2017

17 mile NW

Hit balls with this year’s new clubs, take one-on-one full swing and putting lessons from pros, hear presentations, and shop for gear at the Chicago Golf Show at the Rosemont convention center.

Free entertainment

February 24 - March 25, 2017

multiple locations

OnEdge is a series of experimental theater, modern dance, and performance art. Arrive early. Free.

Mardi gras party

February 25, 2017

0.4 miles south

The New Orleans style Mardi Gras Bash at Chicago Cultural Center for age 21+ has a different theme every year. Requires advance ticket and costume or mask. Food and drink included.

Northerly Island adventure

February 25, 2017

3 miles south

See birds of prey and wolves, hear folk music and a storyteller, walk on snowshoes (if there’s snow), make a craft, and have cocoa (while it lasts) at Polar Adventure Days. Free except parking.

Ale festival

February 25, 2017

41 miles SW

Don a heavy winter parka to enjoy 150 craft beers and food-truck fare outdoors on the frozen tundra of Frontier Park at Naperville Ale Fest – Winter Edition.

Discount tickets $40.

Volunteer expo

February 26, 2017 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

3 miles north

Connect with 75 organizations that need your help at Chicago Volunteer Expo in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Free.

Dark beer festival

February 26, 2017

3.5 miles NW

Your ticket to Darkside includes 32 ounces of dark beer from a dozen breweries, with BBQ for sale at Emporium Arcade Bar.

Carmen opera

February 28, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

1 mile SW

Carmen is Bizet’s classic opera about a hot-tempered Spanish gypsy woman who seduces a corporal, at the Civic Opera House. Discount tickets $48.

Beer festival

February 2017 (undated)

0.6 miles NW

Bundle up to sample strong winter ales on the rooftop of Rock Bottom Brewery at Polar Beer Festival, age 21+.

Culture of Africa

February 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Africa at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Culture of China

February 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of China at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Mardi gras bar crawl

February 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Your ticket to the World’s Largest Indoor Bar Crawl includes drink specials and entertainment at 10 bars along Navy Pier for age 21+.

Bicycle swap

February 2017 (undated)

2 miles SW

Buy, sell, or trade a bike at the Winter Bike Swap, which also offers bike parts, clothing, gear, and representatives from bike groups at Jaks Tap.

Bicycle art & party

February 2017 (undated)

2.7 miles south

Chicago Bike Winter Art Show has an opening-day party with DJ music, drinks available, and bicycle art on display at Motor Row Gallery. Free.

French fry festival

February 2017 (undated)

4.1 miles NW

Eat French-Canadian french fries topped with brown gravy & cheese curds at the Poutine Fest competition at 1st Ward Events.

Beer festival

February 2017 (undated)

5.9 miles north

A ticket to Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival includes 15 samples of 3 ounces from 41 local brewers in a heated tent, plus live music, dancing, and food trucks at Halsted and Waveland.

Alternative bridal show

February 2017 (undated)

6 miles north

Indie Wed has 100 independent businesses offering handmade items and innovative services for unique weddings at Ravenswood Event Center.

Barrel-aged beer

February 2017 (undated)

6 miles NW

Beers aged in wood are on tap at Riverview Tavern during Festibarrel. Free entry. Bring cash.

Brazilian mardi gras

February 2017 (undated)

6.5 miles NW

Dance until 2 a.m. to Brazilian music and watch dancers in colorful costumes perform at Carnaval by Chicago Samba at Logan Square Auditorium for age 18+.

German dinner

February 2017 (undated)

7 miles north

Mad Regals Winter Madrigal Dinner is a multi-course dinner with music, vocalists, comedy, and historical costumes in the ballroom at Dank Haus.

Cowboy show

February 2017 (undated)

35 miles NW

Professional Championship Bull Riders take on bucking bulls at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

Adult art tour

February 2017 (undated)

1 mile south

Take an unblushing look at nudity in art on the Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt at the Art Institute of Chicago. No knowledge of art is required.

Valentine’s burlesque

February 2017 (undated)

1.3 miles north

Naughty Little Valentine’s Day Show has cabaret singers, burlesque performers, pole artists, and striptease at Original Mother’s.

Valentine’s Day bar crawl

February 2017 (undated)

4.9 miles north

Visit five bars with a Valentine’s Day theme and drink specials during Lovers or Haters in Lincoln Park, 21+.

Valentine’s Day improv

February 2017 (undated)

5.9 miles north

The Valentine’s Day Special at Under The Gun Theater is a double feature of funny scenes taken from romance novels and a parody of TV’s “The Bachelor.”

Valentine’s Day dance class

February 2017 (undated)

10.6 miles NW

Learn ballroom and slow dances with your sweetheart at Couples Romantic Dance Class, followed by a 30-minute mini dance party with chocolates and sparkling drinks at May I Have This Dance.
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© February 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-02