February 2015 events calendar for Chicago

Plan out your February in Chicago with our calendar of the best things to do, including picks from theater, art and music

Photograph: Max Herman
The Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place shows off what's new and next in the world of automobiles.

How does the shortest month of the year always drag on the longest? February means shit's getting drastic—and we're not talking about Valentine's Day looming. The winter blues have settled into your bones and life starts to seem like an endless journey through the arctic tundra. Warm up with a hot cocktail and find something awesome to do this month with our February 2015 events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2015

Featured February 2015 events

Chicago Restaurant Week

Get a deal at your favorite restaurants or try a new spot during Chicago Restaurant Week, when restaurants are offering $22 prix fixe lunches and $33 or $44 prix fixe dinners.

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Various venues Friday January 30 2015 - Thursday February 12 2015

Sleater-Kinney

Critics' pick

Everyone reunites, so it's no surprise to have Sleater-Kinney back. But few comebacks are so welcome and needed. The trio trash and swing with a two guitar attack and offer a sound that is growing more uncommon—not just unfiltered rock but a headline act of all women. Corin, Carrie and Janet quietly recorded a noisy new album, No Cities to Love, due early in the new year.

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Riviera Theatre Tuesday February 17 2015

Walker Stalker Con

Walking Dead fans will enjoy two days of panels and meet-and-greets with talent from the AMC show. This year the convention moves to Navy Pier and includes appearances from notable guests including Steven Yeun, Emily Kinney and Michael Cudlitz.

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Navy Pier Saturday February 21 2015 - Sunday February 22 2015

The Book of Mormon

Critics' pick

Hello! The uproarious Broadway musical satire about Mormons on a mission, penned by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone and newly minted EGOTer Robert Lopez, returns to Chicago for a 12-week run after playing nearly a year in 2012 and ’13.

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Bank of America Theatre Wednesday February 25 2015 - Sunday May 17 2015

Free events in February 2015

"What Remains"

Exploring the connection between identity and place, What Remains features artworks made by artists who are physically displaced from their home or community. The photos build on the theme of isolation and separation, forming imagined realities perpetuated by the artist's feelings about a place that he or she may not entirely remember.

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Museum of Contemporary Photography Monday January 26 2015 - Sunday March 22 2015 Free

Soft Leather

The queering of Logan Square continues with this new monthly party at East Room.

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East Room Sunday December 21 2014 - Sunday June 21 2015 Free

Ice Skating in Millennium Park

Critics' pick

The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is open to the public for skating in the shadow of the downtown skyline. Experience one of the city's finest winter traditions from November 14–March 8. (Check the website for hours of operation.) Admission is free, but skate rentals are $10.

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Millennium Park, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink Until Sunday March 8 2015 Free
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Concerts in February 2015

Billy Idol

Critics' pick

The man with the iconic sneer (no, not Elvis) hits town. Dance in rockin' ’80s leather fashion to hits such as "White Wedding," "Rebel Yell" and "Hot in the City" from the Generation X punk. The Oklahoma garage rock bros of Broncho open, with a sweet scuzz that should tickle fans of FIDLAR and the Black Lips.

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Riviera Theatre Saturday February 7 2015

Fleetwood Mac

Critics' pick

Though the band has been touring heavily for the last couple years, there's new reason to shell out the bucks. Sixteen years after leaving the band, Christine McVie returns to the eternally great Mac. This means we can hear her again sing sunshine like "Everywhere," "Hold Me" and "Think About Me," which is a very, very good thing. Oh, and Lindsey Buckingham is still the coolest.

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Allstate Arena Saturday February 14 2015

Ariel Pink

Critics' pick

Weirdo pop scamp Ariel Pink approached maturity on, well, Mature Themes, a career peak performance that balanced the gross-out jokes with emotional sincerity. Now, with a public flashlight aimed at him, he is retreating into the dark recesses of the theater to craft his perverted B-movie bubblegum. Pom Pom, his new record, is all pink slime and poodle skirts, the sock-hop sounds of 1960 laced with LSD.

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Thalia Hall Tuesday February 17 2015

Swans

Critics' pick

Everyone knows that a swan can break a man’s arm with its wing, but did you know that New York noise rock band Swans were at one point capable of making entire audiences get spontaneously reacquainted their half-digested lunch? Swans never actually made anyone vomit through sheer force of sound, but since reforming in 2010, they’ve still had audience members spending the next few days suffering from not just ringing ears but full-blown aural flashbacks.

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Thalia Hall Saturday February 21 2015
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Festivals in February 2015

Cider Summit Chicago

Cider lovers converge at Navy Pier for the annual Cider Summit, which brings together cider producers from around the world for a big tasting event. Sessions are held 11am-3pm and 4-8pm.

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Navy Pier Saturday February 7 2015

Chicago Auto Show

Motorheads, here's your chance to check out what's new in the world of cars. At this annual showcase, close to 1,000 different vehicles will be on display, along with accessories, auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles and collector cars.

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McCormick Place Saturday February 14 2015 - Sunday February 22 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show

Critics' pick

Stave off the winter blues inside the Chicago Botanic Garden's Regenstein Center, where the greenhouses and gallery will be packed with more than 10,000 in-bloom orchids, featuring an array of hybrids. On Saturday and Sundays, the Orchid Marketplace allows you an opportunity to purchase the plants.

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Chicago Botanic Garden Saturday February 14 2015 - Sunday March 15 2015

Art and theater in February 2015

"Shatter Rupture Break"

Critics' pick

The Art Institute of Chicago launches the first exhibition in its Modern Series—a string of themed displays that will showcase pieces from the museum's collection of modern art. The first installment, Shatted Rupture Break, explores art produced during the early years of the 20th century by the likes of Salvador Dalí, Robert Delaunay and Kurt Schwitters. The exhibit demonstrates how advances in technology and the outbreak of World War I had a profound effect on artists living during the era.

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Art Institute of Chicago Sunday February 15 2015 - Sunday May 3 2015

"Doris Salcedo"

Bogotá sculptor Doris Salcedo is well known for her site-specific installations which make use of abandoned objects, including hospital furniture that has been filled in with concrete and stacks of white shirts. Salcedo's work is informed by the political and social turmoil present in her native country, seeking to evoke a sense of loss and fragility. The exhibition represents the first retrospective of her work and features a film documenting some of her ephemeral installations.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Saturday February 21 2015 - Sunday May 24 2015
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