Searching for what to do in Chicago this February? Here are the best things to do in Chicago in February (from a local) – from fun outdoor winter activities to the best indoor attractions.
Ok I admit that February is not the best month to be in Chicago as it tends to be cold and snowy. However, if you are willing to brave winter in Chicago, there are still many fun things to do in Chicago during the month of February – both outdoors and indoors. There are also tons of romantic things to do for Valentine’s Day weekend.
I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I plan to update it regularly with new events and activities.
Things to Do in Chicago in February
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Go Outdoor Ice Skating
Looking for a fun outdoor activity in Chicago? There are many places to go outdoor ice skating in the city for those willing to brave the cold temperatures.
One of the best and instaworthy places to go ice skating in downtown Chicago is the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink right in front of The Bean (a must on any Chicago bucket list).
Another picture perfect spot is the nearby skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park which has a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink.
Enjoy Tropical Temperatures Inside the Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the US. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the Garfield Park Conservatory showcases thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens. Visitors can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors on a cold February day.
The Garfield Park Conservatory’s Spring Flower Show returns February 15. This year’s show, “Bee’s Knees” is a peek into the wondrous relationship between bees and blooms and features beautiful blooming Spring bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, hydrangeas, and delphiniums.
Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave.
Hours: Wednesday 10am-8pm; Thursday – Sunday 10am-5pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday. Visitors are required to make a reservation online in advance.
Cost: FREE (suggested donation)
Admire Famous Works at the Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States and is frequently found on lists of the top museums in the world. In addition to its large permanent collection of art from around the world, you can see rotating exhibitions. (Click here to buy a skip the line ticket if you want to avoid long lines).
Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Hours: Monday and Thursday–Sunday from 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. (10–11 a.m. for members only). Closed on Tuesday–Wednesday.
Cost: $25 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and teens (14-17); members and children under 14 are always free. Admission will be free for Illinois residents on weekdays (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays) in February.
Visit the Field Museum
The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Inside the museum you will see Maximo, the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur that ever lived. (Click here to purchase an Early Access VIP Tour if you want to avoid crowds).
Where: Chicago’s Museum Campus, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)
Hours: Open daily 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm)
Cost: Admission varies. Admission will be free for Illinois residents on February 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 20.
Visit the Shedd Aquarium
Visit the Shedd Aquarium, one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums, for unforgettable encounters with aquatic animals including belugas and bluegills, stingrays, sturgeons and more.
Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)
Hours: Open 9 am – 5 pm. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required.
Cost: Price varies depending on day. Admission is free for Illinois residents on 10 select dates in February (must be reserved online in advance).
Enjoy the Views from 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck
360 CHICAGO is another must see attraction. The observatory on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Building has the best views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. The 360 Chicago observation deck is also home of TILT – Chicago’s highest thrill ride – an enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th Floor.
(Click here to buy a skip the line ticket).
Where: 875 North Michigan Avenue, 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611
Tip: If you are visiting a few museums and indoor attractions, consider purchasing a Chicago CityPASS or Go Chicago Card to save money on entrance fees.
Visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory
Although not as large as the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Conservatory is worth a visit and is more conveniently located for visitors. Advance online reservations are required for entry.
Their Spring Flower Show starts February 15 and will feature endless blooms of cinerarias, snapdragons, osteospermums and more.
Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays. 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, all guests must exit by 3:00 pm.
Where: 2391 N Stockton Dr., Chicago, IL 60614
If there is snow on the ground, sledding is a fun outdoor activity. There are several sledding hills found in parks and forest preserves in the Chicago area that are fun for kids or kids at heart!
Where: Various. See Best Sledding Hills in Chicago.
Go Outdoor Curling
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Curling is a winter sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice or a lane towards a target. Below is a list of places offering outdoor curling (along with drinks) in February:
Upstairs at The Gwen, 521 North Rush Street
Harry Caray’s Tavern – Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave
Kaiser Tiger, 1415 West Randolph St
Have Drinks in an Igloo
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Having dinner and drinks in an outdoor igloo has been trendy for a few years. Here are some of the best outdoor igloos in Chicago open this February (advance reservations are required).
Kennedy Rooftop, 1551 W North Ave
I|O at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, 127 West Huron Street
Hold and Feed a Bunny
Looking for a unique thing to do in Chicago? Visit the Cuddle Bunny in Chicago, where visitors can pet and feed bunnies. Cuddle Bunny also hosts special events like yoga and story time.
Where: Cuddle Bunny, 2901 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am – 08:00 pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Activities and bunny interaction after 6pm are by reservation ONLY.
Cost: Price varies.
Chicago February Events
In addition to the activities mentioned above, other Chicago February events include: Chicago Restaurant Week, Lantern Festival Celebration, University of Chicago Folk Festival, Lincoln Square Greek Fest, Chicago Auto Show (February 10-19, 2024), Chicago Black Restaurant Week, Chicago Theatre Week, Cupid’s Undie Run, and Winter Brew – Lincoln Square.
As you can see there are many things to do in Chicago this February.
Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:
- 36-48 Hours in Chicago Itinerary + Insider Travel Tips From a Local
- The Perfect Itinerary for One Day in Chicago (According to a Local)
- Free Things to Do in Chicago
- Most Instagrammable Places in Chicago