Chicago events, festivals, things to do – February 2018

February 2018
best events in Chicago

Documentary film festival

February 1, 2018 (begins Jan. 5)

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 - 4, 2018

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).

Chicago Restaurant Week

February 1 - 8, 2018 (begins Jan. 26)

Chicago locations

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

Fringe theater festival

February 1 - 25, 2018 (begins Jan. 13)

6.5 miles NW

Rhinoceros Theater Festival (Rhinofest) is billed as Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival at Prop Thtr. Choose from dozens of creative new shows for only $12 to $15. Closed Tuesdays.

Free science museum

February 1 - 27, 2018 (Monday to Thursday)

8 miles south

Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days. The museum is not free on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or Feb. 19.

Iranian films

February 2 - March 1, 2018

0.5 miles SW

The Festival of Films from Iran showcases new films by Iranians at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Mardi Gras party

February 3, 2018 (8 p.m.)

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.

Alternative bridal show

February 3, 2018

7.5 miles north

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

Midwest film festival

February 6, 2018

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 8 - 18, 2018

Chicago locations

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

Slapstick comedy

February 8 - March 17, 2018

26 miles NW

Boeing Boeing is a sexy, funny farce about a playboy dating three stewardesses at once, based on the 1965 movie with Tony Curtis & Jerry Lewis, at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

Discount tickets $20.

Folk music festival

February 9 - 10, 2018

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 9 - 10, 2018

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.

Chamber music

February 9 & 11, 2018

multiple locations

Trios from the Heart by Rembrandt Chamber Players features works by Dvorak, Janacek, and Panufnik.
  • Feb. 9 - Chicago
  • Feb. 11 - Evanston

Motorcycle show

February 9 - 11, 2018

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 9 & 14, 2018

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 10, 2018 (noon to 4 p.m.)

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.

Run in your underwear

February 10, 2018

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 10, 2018 (8 to 11 p.m.)

4 miles north

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

Brazilian Mardi Gras

February 10, 2018 (9 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.

Bar crawl in pajamas

February 10, 2018

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 10, 2018 (1 and 6 p.m.)

7.5 miles north

Chicago Pizza Party has a $20 cover charge, $2 pizza from 25 restaurants, beer, wine, fun games, and DJ music at Ravenswood Event Center. The evening session is for age 21+.

Adult art tour

February 10 - 11, 2018

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 Day at the zoo

February 10 - 11, 2018

14 miles SW

Both events are in the Discovery Center at Brookfield Zoo and include admission to the zoo.
  • Feb. 10 - Valentine’s Dinner is a four-course meal with a cocktail reception and live music.
  • Feb. 11 - Valentine’s Day Brunch is a buffet with eggs Benedict, omelettes, a carving station, seafood, salad, and desserts.

Auto show

February 10 - 19, 2018

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 10 - March 25, 2018

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.

Valentine’s Day restaurants

February 14, 2018

Chicago area

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

Valentine’s Day dance class

February 14, 16, 17, 2018

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.

Adult night at the planetarium

February 15, 2018 (6 to 10 p.m.)

2.5 miles SE

Adler After Dark offers open access, unlimited shows, entertainment, and no-host bars at Adler Planetarium for age 21+. The February theme is traveling to Mars.

RV and camping show

February 15 - 18, 2018

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 15 - 18, 2018

30 miles NW

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

Racy movies

February 16 - 17, 2018

6 miles north

Hump! is 18 five-minute movies by amateurs of all persuasions at Music Box Theatre.

Chocolate gala

February 17, 2018 (7 to 10 p.m.)

0.7 miles south

A ticket to For the Love of Chocolate includes food from 100 restaurants, 12 open bars, DJ music, and entertainment at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

Discount tickets $99.

Cider tasting

February 17, 2018

1 mile east

Try 150 artisanal ciders from throughout the world with food samples during Cider Summit Chicago in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Bring age 21 ID.

Mardi Gras pub crawl

February 17, 2018

6 miles north

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

Science-fiction films

February 17, 2018

6 miles north

See science-fiction and fantasy short films from around the world at Juggernaut Film Festival, an annual event at the swanky, art deco Music Box Theatre.

Diving expo

February 17 - 18, 2018

14.5 miles NW

Our World Underwater offers workshops for divers, films, diving equipment, travel services, and a kids’ area at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare.

Volunteer expo

February 18, 2018

3 miles north

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

Chinese New Year dinner

February 20, 2018 (6 p.m.)

2.7 miles south

Wear red to the $75 Lunar New Year Dinner featuring 12 courses of traditional new year’s dishes and a lion dance in Chinatown.

Party for a cause

February 23, 2018 (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.

Underground art show

February 23 - 24, 2018

3 miles south

The Chicago Pancakes & Booze Art Show is a traveling exhibition by 100 artists, with free pancakes, DJ music, live body painting, and a bar at Reggie’s Chicago for age 21+. Pay cash at the door or buy a line-jumper ticket online.

Irish Riverdance

February 23 - 24, 2018

16 miles NW

Riverdance is an exhilarating celebration of Irish music, song, and dance at Rosemont Theatre.

Discount tickets $45.

Golf show

February 23 - 25, 2018

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.

Northerly Island adventure

February 24, 2018 (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 on three dates: Dec. 16, 2017; Jan. 20, 2018; Feb. 24, 2018. Free except parking.

Tasting event

February 24, 2018 (12 and 3:30 p.m.)

3 miles NW

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

Craft beer tasting

February 24, 2018

32 miles south

A ticket to Winter Solstice Craft Beer Fest gets you 10 beer samples and 2 food samples, with 100 beers for sale and live music at Blarney Stone Pub, Oak Forest.

Beer festival

February 24 - 25, 2018

5.9 miles north

A ticket to Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival includes 15 samples of 3 ounces from among 40 craft beers in a heated tent, plus DJ music, dancing, and food trucks in a heated tent at Halsted and Waveland for age 21+.

Chinese New Year parade

February 25, 2018

3 miles south

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

Dark beer festival

February 25, 2018 (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 26, 2018

0.2 miles SE

The $150 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.

Valentine’s Day for families

February 2018 (undated)

Chicago locations

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