28 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This February

February might be a short month, but there are still plenty of events these 28 days, including Chicago Theatre Week, The Second City’s Black History Month Show, North Shore Restaurant Month, and Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show. Here are the best things to do in Chicago and beyond this February.


Opens Feb. 7: “Mamma Mia!

This production of ABBA hits will have you dancing in your seat. The show runs through April 14. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace

Feb. 7-17: Chicago Theatre Week 2019

Take advantage of $15 and $30 tickets (or less) to see more than 100 shows, including Broadway in Chicago’s “FRIENDS! The Musical Parody” and Goodman Theatre’s “How to Catch Creation.” Various

Feb. 13-24: “Anna Karenina

Things to Do in Chicago: "Anna Karenina" at Joffrey Ballet
Victoria Jaiani and Alberto Velazquez (Photo by Cheryl Mann.)

Joffrey Ballet, in collaboration with the Australian Ballet, presents the world premiere of this production based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy. This ballet marks the first time Joffrey has commissioned a full-length score. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago

Opens Feb. 16: “La traviata

This Verdi classic inspired plots in “Pretty Woman” and “Moulin Rouge!,” and is a great introductory production for those new to opera. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago


Opens Feb. 5: “The Second City’s Black History Month Show

The Second City presents this show of iconic sketches by African American alumni Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Feb. 27. The show stars Rich Alfonso, Jillian Ebanks, Jack Brian, Jordan Stafford, Shadee Vossoughi, and Kaye Winks. UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North, Chicago

Feb. 8: Big Laughs for Bright Futures

The Winnetka Board of Northwestern Settlement will host this evening of drink tastings, food, live music, magic, and comedy. Artifacts Events, 4325 Ravenswood Ave., Chicago


Feb. 3: The Virtuoso Piano

Evanston Symphony Orchestra welcomes Adam Neiman for this concert of pieces by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston


Opens Feb. 10: “Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865

Things to Do in Chicago: "Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865" at Illinois Holocaust Museum
Sale of Estates, Pictures and Slaves in the Rotunda, New Orleans; by William Henry Brooke, engraver; engraving with watercolor from The Slave States of America, vol. 1; London: Fisher and Son, 1842; The Historic New Orleans Collection, 1974.25.23.4 (Courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection.)

This new exhibit features more than 75 original artifacts, slave narratives, and oral histories as it “facilitates a broader conversation about the legacies of the American slave trade and their manifestations in today’s world.” The museum will also offer free admission on Feb. 9, 16, and 23 in honor of Black History Month and this new exhibit. Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie

Opens Feb. 12: “Build It!

Things to Do in Chicago: "Build It!" at Kohl Children's Museum
Photo courtesy of Kohl Children’s Museum.

This temporary exhibit returns to Kohl Children’s Museum to teach kids about architecture, science, and storytelling through building blocks. Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview


Feb. 1: “Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert

Join Katzie Guy-Hamilton, director of food and beverage for Equinox, for a discussion of her book “Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert” and a book signing. Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Ave., Highland Park

Feb. 1-28: North Shore Restaurant Month

Take advantage of deals and prix fixe menus at restaurants like The Barn, Glenview Grind, Hecky’s, Pinstripes, and Stacked & Folded all month long. Find a complete list of participants, deals, and restrictions here. Various

Feb. 1-3, 7-10: “Disney on Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party

January 2019 Events Around Chicago: Disney on Ice presents Mickey's Search Party
Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment.

This brand new “Disney on Ice” production, which debuted last month, will have you joining Mickey Mouse and friends on a search to find Tinker Bell using Captain Hook’s treasure map. The show moves to Allstate Arena Feb. 7-10. United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago

Feb. 2: Nature Discovery Day

Go sledding or cross country skiing, take part in arts and crafts, view live animals, roast marshmallows around the fire, and more. Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park

Feb. 2: Dance Center Evanston’s 25th Anniversary Performance

Dance Center Evanston faculty and alumni will present pieces for this celebration of the center’s 25 years in Evanston. Studio5, 1938 Dempster St., Evanston

Feb. 2-3: Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

Things to Do in Chicago: Lunar New Year Celebration at Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Photo courtesy of Fashion Outlets of Chicago.

Celebrate the Year of the Pig at Fashion Outlets of Chicago (Feb. 2) and The Shops at North Bridge (Feb. 3) with games, activities, and cultural performances. Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont; The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Feb. 4: Advocacy on Tap: Flights for Your Rights

Join Women Employed‘s Advocacy Council for an evening of beer and live music to support the organization’s work to advance gender equity in the workplace. Lagunitas Taproom, 2607 W. 17th St., Chicago

Opens Feb. 9: The Orchid Show

Things to Do in Chicago: The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

This favorite annual show opens just in time to cure the winter blues with a trip to the tropics. Special events include Morning Music with Orchids and Evening with Orchids. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Opens Feb. 16: “Thomas D. Mangelsen – A Life in the Wild

See award-winning photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen‘s awe-inspiring photos of wildlife and nature through June 2. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

Feb. 17: Skate with the Greats

Meet Alex DeBrincat of the Chicago Blackhawks and NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios during this event benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana. Other Chicago Blackhawks alumni scheduled to attend are Murray Bannerman, Denis Cyr, Eric Daze, Reggie Kerr, Steve Konroyd, Cliff Koroll, Grant Mulvey, Troy Murray, and Brian Noonan. Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont

Feb. 23: Winter Wine and Whiskey Fest

Visit Brookfield Zoo for an evening of wine and whiskey samples, small bites, and live music, and meet Animal Ambassadors. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield

Feb. 23: Dreams to Legacy Art Show

Philanthropy Award-winner BUILD, a gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organization, hosts its 4th Annual Youth Art Show, Dreams to Legacy, with an opening reception on Feb. 23 benefitting BUILD’s art program. 1133 W. Fulton Market St., Chicago

Media Sponsorships

Make It Better is a proud media sponsor of these events:

Feb. 1: Grand Chefs Experience

Things to Do in Chicago: Grand Chefs Experience
Grand Chefs Experience (Photo by Soda Fountain Photography.)

Join Chicago’s top chefs and mixologists for this evening of interactive dining to support the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Feb. 2: Mingle for Myeloma

Join the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Chicago Young Professionals for an evening of food, drinks, live music, and more to raise funds for multiple myeloma research. Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie, Chicago

Feb. 22: Harris Theater Founders Dinner

Harris Theater will honor Sandra P. Guthman, Joan W. Harris, and Sarah Solotaroff Mirkin as it celebrates its 15th anniversary season. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago

Additional events Make It Better is proud to support:

Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital







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