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

Wandering 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 any new information or events.

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.

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 2023

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 this February

Go Sledding

February started with a lot of snow this year. 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.

Cost:  Free

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
Kennedy Rooftop, 1551 W North Ave
Harry Caray’s Tavern – Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave

If you want to learn how to play, you can sign up for curling lessons at the Ice Rink at Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville on select days in February, 2022.

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

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. 


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.

Where: 875 North Michigan Avenue, 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611

Cost:  $25 for adults, $15 youth.

 

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) all month.

 

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.

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)

Visit the Shedd Aquarium

Visit the Shedd Aquarium for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons.

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: Admission is $39.95 ($19.95 for Chicago residents) for adults; $29.95 ($14.95 for Chicago residents) for children (3–11)

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.

 

Experience the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

From the creators of the blockbuster show at Atelier des Lumières seen by over 2 million visitors in Paris and Toronto and featured in Emily in Paris (one of my favorite travel shows on Netflix), the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, is a massive indoor digital presentation of Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork. There are also yoga sessions which include a 35 minute Yoga class + 45 minutes thereafter to enjoy the exhibit.

Where: Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Place, 108 W. Germania Pl, Chicago, IL

Cost:  Tickets start at $39.99 plus fees for off peak times. See https://www.vangoghchicago.com/ for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

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.

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

February Events

In addition to the activities mentioned above, other February events include: Argyle Lunar New Year Celebration (February 5), Chicago Black Restaurant Week (February 6-20), University of Chicago Folk Festival (February 11-12), Chicago Artisan Market Ravenswood (February 12-13), Chicago Auto Show (February 11-20, 2023), and Chicago Theatre Week (February 17-27).

As you can see there are many things to do in Chicago this February.


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