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Best Things to Do in Chicago in February 2021

Wandering what to do in Chicago this February? Here are the best things to do in Chicago in February 2021 (from a local) – from fun outdoor winter activities to the best indoor attractions.

Things to Do in Chicago in February 2021

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.

Outdoor Ice Skating

outdoor ice skating is one of the best things to do in Chicago in February 2021

There are many outdoor ice skating rinks located in and around Chicago for those willing to brave the cold temperatures. One of the best and picture perfect spots to go ice skating in downtown Chicago is the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park which has a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. Maggie Daley Park is next to Millennium Park, so you can also check out the Bean before or after ice skating.

When: Hours vary. Reservations are required and can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. See the official website for hours and to make a reservation.

Where: 337 E Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

Cost:  Skating costs $5 if you bring your own skates. You can rent skates for $16-$20 depending on date.

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

Visit the Shedd Aquarium

Visit the Shedd Aquarium for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons. Illinois residents get FREE admission from February 22-26, 2021 with advance reservations.

When: Advance purchase of timed tickets is required.

Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

Cost: Admission is $39.95 ($19.95 for Chicago residents) for adults; $29.95 ($14.95 for Chicago residents) for children (3–11); free for IL residents with advance reservations on Illinois Resident Free Days (Monday – Friday, February 22-26, 2021)

See the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

Chicago will be the setting for the U.S. premiere of Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, a massive indoor digital presentation of Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork.  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).

When: Hours vary. Must purchase tickets online in advance.

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.

Outdoor Curling

Curling is a winter sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice or a lane towards a target. Two Chicago hotels have outdoor curling rinks on their rooftops.

Curling at The Gwen

 

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The Gwen Hotel, a luxury hotel, has custom-designed, an iceless Curling Rink on its outdoor rooftop terrace.

When:  See their website for times and to make a reservation.

Where: Upstairs at The Gwen, 521 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL, 60611

Cost:  Admission is $30 per person (for a minimum of 2 people), which includes a choice of one cocktail and 45 minutes of curling play time.

Curling at The Kennedy Rooftop
The Kennedy Rooftop, on top of the new Hyatt Place Wicker Park, also offers outdoor curling with amazing skyline views.

When:  See their website for times and to make a reservation.

Where: The Kennedy Rooftop at Hyatt Place Chicago / Wicker Park, 1551 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Cost:  $30 non-refundable deposit for 1 hour.

Have Drinks in an Igloo

 

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Having dinner and drinks in an outdoor igloo has been trendy for a few years but there are more igloos in Chicago this year now that indoor dining is suspended. Here are some of the best outdoor igloos in Chicago open this February (advance reservations are required).

Kennedy Rooftop: 1551 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Joy District: 112 West Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654
I|O at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago: 127 West Huron Street, Chicago

Get Some Culture at The Field Museum

The Field Museum is a natural history museum in Chicago, Illinois, and is one of the largest such museums in the world.

When: Open 9am to 5pm, Thursday through Monday. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Must purchase timed tickets to enter.

Where: Chicago’s Museum Campus, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

Cost:  Prices vary. Click here to see prices and purchase tickets online in advance.


Visit the New Museum of Illusions Chicago

The new Museum of Illusions Chicago offers an interactive, immersive and fun experience for both adults and kids. Visitors can engage in over 80 astonishing and mind-bending exhibits that will teach you about vision, perception, the human brain and science.

When: Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 8pm Friday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm

Where: 25 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Cost:  Adult (ages 18+): $21 Child (ages 5 – 12): $15 Child (ages 4 and under): FREE
Student (ages 13+), Teachers, Military / First responders and Senior Citizens (ages 60+): $18​ with ID
Family (2 adults + 2 children): $65

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.

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

Cost:  $25 for adults, $15 youth.

Admire Famous Works of Art at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. It has been closed for the last few months but will be reopening February 11, 2021. Two exhibitions, “Monet and Chicago” and “Bisa Butler: Portraits,” will be extended beyond their original closing dates.

When: Hours are Monday and Thursday–Sunday from 11 a.m.– 6 p.m. (10–11 a.m. for members). Closed on Tuesday–Wednesday. Must purchase tickets online in advance.

Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Cost:  $25 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and teens (14-17); members and children under 14 are always free. Visit their website to purchase tickets in advance.

See the Nom Nom: 40 Years of Pac-Man Design and History Exhibit at Chicago Gamespace


Are you a Pac-Man fan? Then you might want to check out the new Nom Nom: 40 Years of Pac-Man Design and History exhibit at Chicago Gamespace (a video game museum and gallery). Comprised of playable arcade cabinets and console titles, art and artifacts from its development and advertising, this exhibit explores the game’s development and evolution from its beginnings at Namco in Tokyo in the late 1970’s to its introduction in the U.S. market where it became a household name.

When: Open 1:00 – 5:00 pm on Sundays starting February 7, 2021. Advance ticket purchase is preferred, only limited walk ins available.

Where: Chicago Gamespace, 2418 W Bloomingdale Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost:  Admission is $5. Kids under 12 are free.

Go Sledding

February has been a month with a lot of snow. There are several sledding hills found in parks and forest preserves in Chicago that are fun for kids or kids at heart!

Where: Various. See Best Sledding Hills in Chicago.

Cost:  Free

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


Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:

savvyglobetrotter

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