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.

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

Documentary film festival

February 1 - 2, 2017 (begins Jan. 6)

0.5 miles SW

See brand-new documentaries, some of which are followed by discussions with the directors, during Stranger Than Fiction at Gene Siskel Film Center.

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.

Fringe theater festival

February 1 - 26, 2017 (begins Jan. 21)

6.5 miles NW

Rhinoceros Theater Festival is billed as Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival at Prop Thtr. Choose from dozens of creative new shows for only $12.

Free science museum

February 1 - 28, 2017

8 miles south

Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days on February 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-21, 28, 2017.

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+.

Bicycle swap

February 4, 2017 (11 a.m.)

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.

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.

Iranian films

February 4 - 25, 2017

0.5 miles SW

The Festival of Films from Iran has a focus on women this year a the Gene Siskel Film Center.

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.

Chinese New Year dinner

February 9, 2017 (6 p.m.)

3 miles south

Wear red to the $75 Lunar New Year Dinner featuring traditional new year’s dishes, a lion dance, and Chinese singers at the Phoenix Restaurant.

Valentine’s Day humor

February 9, 2017 (7 p.m.)

7.5 miles south

Adults tell stories about their lives by sharing embarrassing childhood artifacts (diaries, letters, lyrics, poems, and home movies) at Mortified Doomed Valentine Show at The Promontory. May sell out.

Theater week

February 9 - 19, 2017

Chicago locations

Choose from more than 100 plays that have discount tickets available during Chicago Theatre Week.

Valentine’s Day for families

February 10, 2017

Chicago locations

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

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.

Valentine’s Day haunted house

February 10 - 11, 2017 (evening)

38 miles west

Valentine’s Day in Wonderland features scary characters like the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and Queen of Hearts at Basement of the Dead in Aurora.

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 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.

Beer festival

February 11, 2017 (noon)

0.6 miles NW

Bundle up to sample strong winter ales on the rooftop of Rock Bottom Brewery during Polar Beer Festival for age 21+. A warming area will be available.

Valentine’s Day dinner dance

February 11, 2017 (6:30 to 9 p.m.)

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. Bring age 21 ID.

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 pub crawl

February 11, 2017 (8 to 11 p.m.)

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 dance show

February 11, 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.

Bar crawl in pajamas

February 11, 2017 (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

7.2 miles north

Wear your favorite PJs to the The Pajama Bar Crawl, which includes a breakfast buffet and drink specials at five bars in Wrigleyville for age 21+.

Pizza party

February 11, 2017 (2 to 9 p.m.)

7.5 miles north

Chicago Pizza Party has a $20 cover charge, $2 pizza from 20 restaurants, $6 beer, $8 wine, fun games, and DJ music at Ravenswood Event Center for age 21+.

Valentine’s burlesque

February 11 & 14, 2017

1.3 miles north

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

Valentine’s Day dance class

February 11 - 14, 2017

7.5 miles north

Hot Miami Nights includes hors d’oeuvres, sparkling wine, a “romantic rumba & sexy salsa class” and dance time at Ballroom Dance Chicago on North Ravenswood Avenue. Beginners are welcome.

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 at the Orchid Show, with morning music Tuesdays & Thursdays, orchid sales certain days, and an Evening with Orchids cocktail tasting at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Adult art tour

February 12, 2017 (1 p.m.)

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.

Culture of China

February 12, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

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.

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.

Valentine’s Day restaurants

February 14, 2017

Chicago area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special menus for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s dinner/dessert show

February 14, 2017 (7 and 10 p.m.

1 mile NW

Celebrate Love is a cabaret show, which includes a bottle of champagne and either dinner at 7 p.m. or dessert at 10 p.m. at Flamingo Rum Club.

Valentine’s Day comedy

February 14, 2017 (10 p.m.)

5.2 miles north

My Funny Valentine promises an all-star lineup of six comedians at Laugh Factory.

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 (2 p.m., VIP 1)

3 miles NW

Whiskey & Wine Festival is a whiskey and wine tasting event at Joe’s Bar for age 21+.

Mardi gras pub crawl

February 18, 2017 (12:30 p.m.)

6 miles north

You get a T-shirt to wear and collect Mardi gras beads from bars at the annual BeadQuest in Wrigleyville.

Culture of Poland

February 19, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

1 mile east

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

World explorer

February 20 - 21, 2017

0.5 miles SW

National Geographic “explorer of the year” Dr. Kenny Broad talks about the science of exploration, including diving in Cuban underwater caves and chasing snakes in Vietnamese jungles, at Goodman Theatre.

Jazz festival

February 23 - 26, 2017

19 miles west

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

Free entertainment

February 23 - March 25, 2017

multiple locations

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

Museum party

February 24, 2017 (talk 8 p.m., party 9)

1 mile south

Mix and mingle, visit the bar, eat appetizers, and dance to a Brazilian band at After Dark in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago for age 21+.

Party for a cause

February 24, 2017 (8 p.m.)

1.7 miles west

Tickled Pink for Bright Pink feature chef stations from 50 restaurants, live music, dancing, and an open bar at Morgan MFG to help women with cancer.

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.

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.

Mardi gras bar crawl

February 25, 2017 (2 to 8 p.m.)

1.3 miles north

Your ticket to the World’s Largest Mardi Gras Bar Crawl includes drink specials and entertainment in the Rush & Division bar district.

Northerly Island adventure

February 25, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

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.

Beer festival

February 25, 2017 (1 and 6 p.m.)

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.

Brazilian mardi gras

February 25, 2017 (10 p.m.)

6.5 miles NW

Dance until 2:30 a.m. to Brazilian music and watch dancers in colorful costumes perform at Carnaval by Chicago Samba at Logan Square Auditorium.

Ale festival

February 25, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

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.

Culture of Brazil

February 26, 2017 (12 to 4 p.m.)

1 mile east

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

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 (12 to 5 p.m.)

3.5 miles NW

Your ticket to Darkside includes 40 ounces of dark beer from a dozen breweries, with BBQ for sale at Emporium Arcade Bar.

Soccer lunch

February 27, 2017 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

0.2 miles SE

The pricey Season Kickoff Luncheon “connects supporters, first team players and coaches, and club partners to celebrate a new season and support the award-winning youth development initiatives of the Chicago Fire Foundation” at Hyatt Regency Chicago.
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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