Events, Festivals

Molly Ringwald is in our Things to do in Chicago in February

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.

Music of Tony Bennett

February 1 – March 5, 2017 (begins Jan. 27)

4.8 miles north

I Left My Heart is a salute to the music of Tony Bennett, including “Because of You” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” plus of course “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” at Mercury Theater. Discount tickets $23 to $65.

Magic show

February 1 – April 5, 2017 (8 p.m. Wednesdays)

3.3 miles north

The Magic Cabaret entertains with mind-boggling sleight of hand and audience participation in small Greenhouse Theater Center. Discount tickets $13.

Attractions

February 1 – June 30, 2017 (also Jan.)

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Romantic play

February 2 – 4, 2017

3.4 miles north

Based on a film with Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan, Prelude to a Kisstests the love of newlyweds when a mysterious man comes between them at Greenhouse Theater Center. Discount tickets $10.

Game of Thrones parody

February 2 – 5, 2017 (also Jan.)

3.8 miles north

Described as “darkly humorous and beautifully vulgar,” Thrones! The Musical features hilarious songs about six seasons of the HBO show at Apollo Theater for age 16+. Discount tickets $23.

Magic show

February 2 – 12, 2017 (also Jan.)

3.1 miles NW

The Rosenkranz Mysteries is a “truly unusual and immensely likable magic show” [Chicago Tribune] by a local medical doctor who performs tricks and illusions at Royal George Theatre. Discount tickets $25.

Blue Man show

February 2 – 20, 2017 (8 p.m.)

4.5 miles north

The exciting show by Blue Man Group combines comedy, theater, music, and special effects at Briar Street Theatre. Discount weekday tickets $39.

Shakespeare romance

February 2 – 25, 2017 (also Jan.)

11 miles north

Cymbeline is the story of a brave princess: full of comedy, drama, action, and romance, at The Factory Theater on Howard St. Discount tickets $15.

If walls could talk

February 2 – 26, 2017 (also Jan.)

20.1 miles north

The Dining Room is a dramatic comedy that paints a vivid portrait of upper-class life in 18 overlapping vignettes set in a dining room at Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview. Discount tickets $18 (student price is less).

Magic lounge

February 2 – March 30, 2017

7 miles north

Chicago Magic Lounge is an old-school magic show with close-up magic, bar magic, table-hopping magicians, and main stage acts at Uptown Underground for age 21+. Discount tickets $10 – $14.

Country music – Martina McBride

February 3, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

0.4 miles SW

Martina McBride (This One’s For the Girls) performs at The Chicago Theatre. Discount tickets $33 to $43.

Cowboy show

February 3 – 4, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

35 miles NW

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

Classic comedy in Skokie

February 3 – 19, 2017

14 miles north

Based on the film starring Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch is a play about a young married man tempted by a pretty woman next door at Skokie Theatre. Discount tickets $17.

Dating comedy

February 3 – 24, 2017 (10 p.m. Fridays)

2.1 miles north

Based on actual online-dating conversations, #DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment is a comic mix of original music, improvisation, and multimedia elements at Up Comedy Club. Discount tickets $16.

Sci-fi adventure

February 3 – March 5, 2017

2.8 miles NW

Diamond Dogs follows a human team (with futurized body modifications) investigating a mysterious alien tower bent on brutally punishing intruders at Chopin Theatre for age 14+. Discount tickets $13 to $18.

Adult variety show

February 3 – March 31, 2017 (10 p.m.)

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 $10 to $14.

Kung Fu dance

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

1 mile south

11 Warriors is a mesmerizing program that combines elements of traditional kung fu, ballet, and modern dance at Auditorium Theatre.Discount tickets $40.

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.

Comedy dinner show

February 4, 2017 (4 and 8:30 p.m.)

5.8 miles north

You’re invited to fictitious Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding at Resurrection Church, followed by a real Italian dinner at Chicago Theater Works, with plenty of comedy improv and audience interaction. Discount tickets $54 to $75.

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.

Jazz dance

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

27 miles west

Watch jazz dance company Giordano Dance Chicago, known for exhilarating and emotional performances, at McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn. Discount tickets $20.

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.

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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.

Kids’ comedy

February 4 – 19, 2017 (also Jan.)

10.2 miles north

Fable-ous is a modern version of the “Tortoise and the Hare” with surprises around each turn in the footrace and a fortune in merchandise endorsements for the winner at Lifeline Theatre.Discount tickets $9 to $11.

Family musical

February 4 – 20, 2017

10 miles NW

Comic book characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Sally, and Schroeder come to life in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Windy City Music Theatre.

Discount tickets $13.

Valentine’s Day improv

February 4 – 25, 2017 (9 p.m. Saturdays)

5.9 miles north

Love Stories is an improvised comedy show based on true stories about love at Under The Gun Theater. Discount tickets $9.

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.

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 in the Rosemont convention center.

Valentine’s Day for families

February 10 – 14, 2017

Chicago locations

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

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.

Sherlock Holmes

February 10 – 25, 2017

11.4 miles SW

The Game’s Afoot is about a Broadway actor who plays Sherlock Holmes on stage and must prove he can solve a real crime when his Christmas dinner guest is murdered, in Cicero. Discount tickets $11.

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+.

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+.

Best of Elvis

February 11, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

16 miles NW

Elvis Lives features contest-winning performers as Elvis Presley at four points in his career, backed by a live orchestra, singers, and dancers at Rosemont Theatre. Discount tickets $49.

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 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 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.

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. Discount tickets $7 to $10.

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 on March 16 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 atNeighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Pirate show

February 12, 2017 (3 p.m.)

5 miles north

The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told is a musical comedy about misfit pirates, with audience input at Athenaeum Theatre for all ages.Discount tickets $14.

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 theChicago 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 (formerly Whiskey Wine and Moonshine) 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.

Midnight comedy

February 18 & 25, 2017 (11:59 p.m.)

2.1 miles north

Second City’s Improv All-Stars delivers an hour of hilarious improvised comedy with plenty of audience interaction at Up Comedy Club. The show begins at 15 minutes after midnight. Discount tickets $10.

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 atNeighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier.

World explorer

February 20 – 21, 2017

0.5 miles SW

Hear National Geographic “explorer of the year” Dr. Kenny Broad talk about the science of exploration, including diving in Cuban underwater caves and chasing venomous snakes in Vietnamese jungles, at Goodman Theatre. Discount Tuesday tickets $18.

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 $29.

Carmen opera

February 22 & 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 $78 to $153.

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.

Dance show

February 24, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

Some of a Thousand Words features Wendy Whelan of New York City Ballet and choreographer Brian Brooks, dancing solos and duets full of elegance and electricity with music by a string quartet at Harris Theater in Millennium Park. Discount tickets $14.

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 cruise

February 25, 2017 (8:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles east

Mardi Gras Booze Cruise aboard the Anita Dee II offers amazing views from the open top deck, dancing, and a cash bar, departing from 200 N Breakwater Access for age 21+. Discount tickets $25.

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. Discount tickets $49 for two.

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 atNeighborhoods 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 initi

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