BEST Things to Do in Chicago in February (From a Local!)

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 top events and 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 will be updating it regularly with new events and activities.

Things to Do in Chicago in February

Below are the top things to do in Chicago in February including all of the best February events.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a booking using my links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

people ice skating in Chicago at Millenium Park in February

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).

outdoor ice skating is one of the best things to do in Chicago in February 2025

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.

READ: Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Chicago for more places to go ice skating in Chicago and the suburbs in February

Disney100: The Exhibition

The Disney100: The Exhibition is in Chicago only for a limited time. This exhibition celebrates the magic of Disney, with The Walt Disney Archives openin its vault of historical and special treasures, works of art, artifacts, costumes, and memorabilia. Wonder at more than 250 artifacts and props, see costumes from some of your favorite Disney classics, and explore enchanting galleries that bring the magic of Disney to life. Featuring the latest members of the Disney family (Pixar, Star Wars, and MARVEL) along with renowned classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and recent releases such as Encanto.

Where: Exhibition Hub Art Center Chicago, 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost: Price varies. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Join a Food Tour

Winter is a great time try some of the food that Chicago is known for. If your time in Chicago is short or you want to try a variety of dishes, consider a food tour like this Chicago favorites tasting tour. If you have a sweet tooth, you might like this underground donut tour.

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.

Starting February 14, visitors can see this year’s Spring Flower Show.

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: Thursday 11am–8pm; Friday to Monday from 11am– 5pm. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Cost:  Price varies. Admission will be free for Illinois residents on weekdays (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays) the entire month of February.

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

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 select dates in February (must be reserved online in advance).

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)

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 strongly recommended.

Starting February 14, visitors can see this year’s Spring Flower Show.

Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays from 10am-5pm.

Where: 2391 N Stockton Dr., Chicago, IL 60614

Cost: FREE

Have Fun at Navy Pier

rides at Navy Pier Chicago
Navy Pier is a must if you are visiting Chicago with toddlers or kids. Fun attractions include a large Ferris wheel (click here to purchase a fast pass ticket and skip the long line), rides and games, restaurants, shops and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

Celebrate Lunar New Year

Welcome the Year of the Dragon and celebrate Lunar New Year with parades and other events.

The Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration takes place in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The Lunar New Year Parade starts at 1:00pm at Argyle & Winthrop featuring local community groups, cultural institutions, dancers and performers. There will also be pop-ups with family-friendly activities between 10:00am-4:00pm.

The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade takes place on Sunday, February 9, 2025 with traditional dragon and lion dancing teams, colorful floats, marching bands and marching groups. The parade starts at 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue and travels north on Wentworth towards the viewing stand at Cermak and Wentworth.

Go Outdoor Curling


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A post shared by The Gwen Hotel (@thegwenchicago)

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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A post shared by IO Godfrey (@iogodfrey)

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

READ: Best Indoor Things to Do in Chicago on a Cold Day for more indoor Chicago attractions.

Chicago February Events

In addition to the activities mentioned above, other Chicago February events include: Chicago Restaurant Week, Chicago Theatre Week (February 8-18), Chicago Auto Show (February 10-19), Chicago Black Restaurant Week (February 11-25), Cupid’s Undie Run (February 24).

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:



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