For some, February is nothing more than a couple weeks spent worrying about how to plan the perfect Valentine's Day date. For the rest of us, it's a shorter-than-usual month packed with interesting events and openings. Hit the convention circuit and get your fill of new car smell at the Chicago Auto Show or mingle with Walking Dead fans at Walker Stalker Con. Catch the return of Fleetwood Mac at Allstate Arena or laugh your ass off when The Book of Mormon begins an encore 12-week run at the Bank of America Theatre. Make sure that your month is a memorable one with our guide to the most exciting openings in Chicago in February.
THINGS TO DO
Feb 7: Meet your new sweetheart at Cupid's Undie Run, where participants strip down and run through Wrigleyville to raise money for the Children's Tumor Foundation.
Feb 14: Lusting for something to keep you occupied on the most romantic night of the year? Tenderly scroll through our list of things to do on Valentine's Day.
Feb 14–Mar 15: Stave off the winter blues and scope out some beautiful flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show.
Feb 14–22: The Chicago Auto Show offers a chance to hang out with fellow motorheads and see the latest concept cars.
Feb 15: Analog synths and delicious beef and bean stews converge at the Empty Bottle's annual Chili Synthesizer Cook-Off.
Feb 21, 22: The zombified Walker Stalker Con shambles to Navy Pier for two days of undead fun, featuring stars of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.
Feb 22: Ring in the Year of the Sheep with dragon dancing and drumming at the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade.
Feb 22: Indulge in poultry gluttony at WingFest, where attendees can dig into piles of fried and sauced chicken cooked up by Chicago chefs.
Feb 25: Indie game developers show off eight new games at Itty Bitty Bash, a tropical-themed celebration of the DIY video games.
Feb 3: Luella's Southern Kitchen, from chef Darnell Reed (Hilton Hotels) brings southern fare to Lincoln Square.
Feb 18: Tapworks, a new Greektown spot from the owners of Randolph Tavern, will feature beer, burgers and whiskey.
Feb TBD: Shin Thompson and the Takito Kitchen team will sell ramen at Furious Spoon in Wicker Park.
Note: Restaurant openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.
Feb 6: Jupiter Ascending, the latest epic from the Wachowskis, brings crazy space battles to the streets of Chicago as normal girl Mila Kunis learns that she's the heir to a galactic throne.
Feb 13: The man that brought us Kick Ass and X-Men: First Class takes on another comic book property, Kingsman: The Secret Service, featuring a Bond-esque group of secret agents lead by the dapper and deadly Colin Firth.
Feb 20: John Cusack has bailed on Hot Tub Time Machine 2, but the rest of the cast is back for a series of adventures via the most relaxing of time machines.
Feb 7: The sketch comedy collective HIJINKS presents We're All Gonna Die, a 12-hour marathon of experimental comedy.
Feb 26: As an Iranian-American, Maz Jobrani has a talent for getting audiences in both the U.S. and the Middle East to laugh at their prejudices.
Feb 27: Chris Hardwick is a busy guy, but the host of @midnight, Talking Dead and the Nerdist podcast still finds time to tour his delightfully geeky stand-up routine.
Feb 8–Apr 30: Mana Contemporary's "American Comics" exhibition presents a selection of superhero-inspired paintings by Icelandic artist Erró.
Feb 12–Jun 14: The Smart Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary with "Objects and Voices: A Collection of Stories", a museum-wide exhibition curated by professors, students and artists.
Feb 15–May 3: "Shatter Rupture Break" launches the Art Institute's Modern Series, showcasing early 20th century work by Salvador Dalí, Robert Delaunay and more.
Feb 21–May 24: Bogotá sculptor "Doris Salcedo" showcases a selection of her site-specific installations and sculptures at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Feb 5–Mar 29: First Date, a musical rom-com, follows a couple on a blind date through 90 real-time minutes.
Feb 6–Mar 8: Victory Gardens premieres Samsara, Lauren Yee's comedy about American parents-to-be using an Indian surrogate.
Feb 3–Mar 15: Porchlight Music Theatre continues its all–Stephen Sondheim season with the the first Chicago production of Sondheim on Sondheim, a career-retrospective revue which bowed on Broadway in 2010.
Feb 13–Mar 28: Sam Guinan-Nyhart plays a P.I. making a cash grab, with Michaela Petro as a suburban housewife slash femme fatale in The Sweeter Option, a comic thriller set in and around 1971 Chicago.
Feb 19–Mar 28: Jackalope Theatre Company stages Four, a play about a quartet of strangers seeking out intimacy on the Fourth of July, 1996.
Feb 20–May 3: Find out what becomes of Casper Kent, July of the Seven Foxes and the land of New Plymouth in part three of The Hammer Trinity, the conclusion of Nathan Allen and Chris Matthews's Americana-infused fantasy trilogy.
Feb 24–May 31: In Writers Theatre's intimate bookstore space, director Kimberly Senior helms an appropriately claustrophobic staging of Wendy Kesselman's 1997 stage version of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Feb 25–May 17: The uproarious Broadway musical satire The Book of Mormon, penned by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone, returns to Chicago for a 12-week run.
Feb 6: The Peking Acrobats return for another stunning display of traditional Chinese gymnastics, juggling and tumbling with a modern twist.
Feb 11–21: See contemporary dance pieces by three different choreographers at the Joffrey Ballet's Unique Voices showcase.
Feb 13–15: Flamenco dancer Sònia Sánchez is accompanied by a live guitarist and vocalist during the North American debut of Le Ça (The Id).
Feb 1–3: Grizzled troubadour Steve Earle headlines the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival.
Feb 14: The Mac are back! Buckingham and Nicks welcome back Christine McVie to Fleetwood Mac on their endless tour.
Feb 17: Pop oddball Ariel Pink brings his kitschy, fuzzy rock & roll to Thalia Hall.
Feb 17: Sleater-Kinney brings its roaring comeback album No Cities to Love to the Riv.
Feb 18: British electronic duo Gorgon City fill the Disclosure-shaped hole in your heart with soulful house epics at Concord Music Hall.
Feb 26: Don your khaleesi costume a party like a Wildling when DJ Kristian "Hodor" Nairn (yes, Hodor from the TV show) hosts the Rave of Thrones at the Mid.
Feb 27: Human controversy Chris Brown dances into Allstate Arena with Trey Songz and Tyga in tow.
Feb 28: With a fancy, laser-ridden new stage show, Steve Aoki hits Aragon on his Neon Future tour.