February 2018 events calendar for Chicago

Pack your February with the best things to do in Chicago for Valentine's Day, the Chinese New Year and more
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
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February can be a rough month in Chicago. The magic of the holidays is long worn off, you’ve been buried in your winter coat for months, and to top it all of, you’ve got to deal with Valentine’s Day. Seems cruel, no? But as always, we’re looking out for you, Chicago. Whether you’re in the mood for ice skating under the skyline, or jonesing to cozy up with a hot cocktail at a bar with a fireplace, we’ve got dozens of ways make the shortest month of the year the sweetest. You’ve got no excuse to stay on the couch this month.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2018

Featured February 2018 events

Chinese New Year Parade
Photograph courtesy of Chicago Chinatown
Things to do

Chinese New Year parades and celebrations in Chicago

We're already a few weeks into 2018, but those of you looking for an excuse to get a fresh start on your resolutions are in luck. From Chinatown to Uptown, we've got a whole slate of fantastic ways to ring in the Year of the Dog.

candy hearts
Photograph: fly/Flickr
Things to do

The best things to do on Valentine's Day

Whether you’re single or all bae’d up, making plans on Valentine’s Day is a total pain. Well, we’re here to help. We’ve assembled a list of great things to do on V-Day, from nights out at comedy clubs to cozying up at the most romantic restaurants in the city. As for what happens after the date? Well, that’s on you.

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Shopping

Randolph Street Market Festival

icon-location-pin Plumbers Hall,
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More than 200 vendors hawk their antique housewares, furniture, ephemera, clothing and more at this indoor-outdoor festival. Stop in for vintage clothes and jewelry, a vinyl swap meet, a fancy food market and global goods bazaar or bring your own items for appraisal. 

Music in February 2018

Ólafur Arnalds
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Classical and opera

Ólafur Arnalds

icon-location-pin Thalia Hall | Chicago, IL, Lower West Side
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Making music fit for the sweeping vistas that grace Iceland's tourism advertisements, the grand neoclassical compositions of Ólafur Arnalds give Sigur Rós a run for its money. Joined by a string section and a drummer, the young Icelandic composer is aided by a pair of custom-made, self-playing pianos that help Arnalds create melodies that a single musician could never play.

Cher
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Pop

Cher + Niles Rodgers & Chic

icon-location-pin United Center | Chicago, IL, United Center
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In the time since Cher's last North American tour, the singer has scored a Las Vegas residency, returned to acting with a role in Mama Mia! Here We Go Again and become the subject of a jukebox musical, which premiered in Chicago ahead of a Broadway run. The pop diva is returning to the road behind Dancing Queen, an entire album of ABBA covers that was inspired by her experience singing in Mama Mia!, including renditions of "SOS" and "Fernando." And with five decades of hits to draw from, you better "Believe" that Cher won't neglect her own catalog. Famed producer Niles Rodgers and his disco act Chic will open the evening.

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Kamasi Washington
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Music festivals

Midwinter

icon-location-pin Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago, IL, Grant Park
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Building on the success of the Pitchfork Music Festival that takes place in Union Park each July, online publisher Pitchfork turns its attention to Chicago's colder months, teaming up with the Art Institute of Chicago to present a new festival. Midwinter takes place amid the museum's galleries and performances spaces, offering three days of live music, amazing exhibits, exclusive compositions commissioned for the event and live artist interviews. The festival's lineup features an array of interesting acts, including English shoegazers Slowdive, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and glitchy electronic producer Oneohtrix Point Never. Attendees can also see a special 21st anniversary performance of Tortoise's 1998 record TNT and witness avant-garde composer William Basinski play The Disintegration Loops with the Chicago Philharmonic. A base ticket to Midwinter includes access to five performances each night, with admission to additional concerts (including all of the acts mentioned above) available with the purchase of add-on tickets that cost $15–$30.

See more Chicago concerts in February 2015

Theater in February 2018

Trickery Chicago
Photograph: Peter Serocki
Theater, Circuses & magic

Trickery Chicago

icon-location-pin Trickery, Boystown
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Owner-illusionist Aaron Rabkin performs six hyperintimate shows each week at this BYOB Boystown storefront theater, where his tricks are visible by passersby on Halsted Street.

The Magic Penthouse
Photograph courtesy Nick Roy
Theater, Circuses & magic

The Magic Penthouse

icon-location-pin Penthouse 111, Loop
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Magician Nick Roy started this monthly magic-show-as-cocktail-party in 2016. Enjoy live music, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and penthouse views, and be entertained throughout the evening by four roaming illusionists.

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