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52 exciting openings in Chicago in February

Written by
Grace Perry
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February isn’t exactly the month that draws visitors to Chicago. But that just means that locals have the city all to ourselves, and more than four dozen new ways to enjoy it. Between a chance to do yoga at the top of the Hancock building, insane discounts on tickets to incredible theater performances and a brand-new venue dedicated to the art of illusion, you just might learn to love February. Take a look through 52 openings hitting Chicago that should make the shortest month of the year your favorite one, too.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete February events calendar

THINGS TO DO

Feb 3: Channel your inner Ron Swanson at the Chicago Whiskey Festival, where brown liquor lovers can sample from more than 30 varieties of whiskey.

Feb 10: Strip to your skivvies and run through Wrigleyville at Cupid’s Undie Run, which is sandwiched between two boozy parties at John Barlycorn.

Feb 10: Eat your way through 20 of the city’s tastiest pizza restaurants to determine the “Best Pie in Chi” at Chicago Pizza Party.

Feb 10: Smooch it up at the annual Hideout Makeout Party, the one night of the year that PDA is actually encouraged.

Feb 10, 11: Search for nude portraits, bathing beauties and more staples of art history at the Naked at the Art Museum Scavenger Hunt.

Feb 10–19: Gawk at nearly 1,000 vehicles at the annual Chicago Auto Show, the largest car show in the country.

Feb 11: Sample spicy stews while listening to scintillating sine waves at the Empty Bottle's annual Chili-Synth Cook Off

Feb 11–18: African-American owned restaurants citywide offer specials and deals during Chicago Black Restaurant Week.

Feb 17: Enjoy tastings of your favorite fruit-based booze at Cider Summit Chicago, which features more than 140 types of ciders.

Feb 21, 28: Fend off stir-craziness with a hike and heated outdoor yoga at the Morton Arboretum.

Feb 22: Stretch it out 1,000 feet in the air at Time Out Chicago’s Flow in the Dark Yoga at 360 Chicago.

Feb 22: After a few years at Uptown Underground, the Chicago Magic Lounge opens its very own venue in Andersonville.

Feb 22–28: Be a spectator at the city’s premier squash tournament, the Windy City Open, at the University Club of Chicago.

Feb 24: Venture to Uptown for the Argyle Street Lunar New Year parade, a more intimate gathering than its South Side counterpart.

Feb 24, 25: Frost Fest returns for another outdoor party, featuring samples of more than 50 craft beers under a gigantic heated tent.

Feb 25: Ring in the Year of the Dog at Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade, complete with traditional dances, a marching band and spectacular floats.

MUSIC

Feb 1: You can perhaps hear some of Jay Electronica's mythical debut record when the rapper comes to Park West.

Feb 2: The Swedish sisters of First Aid Kit present their latest collection of songs that explore the tropes of Nashville country and Americana.

Feb 2, 3: Bitchin Bajas, TALsounds and Matchess headline two days of mind-bending music during Chicago Psych Fest.

Feb 3: Septuagenarian gospel legend Mavis Staples hits the Vic behind her latest, Jeff Tweedy-produced record.

Feb 6: Shock rocker Marilyn Manson makes up his canceled Chicago concert, after getting pinned under a stage prop late last year.

Feb 10: Former Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore plays an intimate acoustic set at Constellation, accompanying a film projection.

Feb 12, 13: Rough-and-tumble troubadour Steve Earle brings his outlaw country anthems to life at City Winery.

Feb 13–15: Spend the days surrounding Valentine's Day with hometown rockers Whitney as the band headlines three romantic evenings at Thalia Hall.

Feb 16, 17: Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit perform their sophomore album The Midnight Organ Flight in its entirety.

Feb 17: Costumed rockers Mac Sabbath retrofit the classic hard rock riffs of Black Sabbath with hilarious McDonald's-themed lyrics.

Feb 17: The Empty Bottle's winter block party, Music Frozen Dancing, hits the streets outside the venue, with a lineup that includes Oh Sees and ADULT.

Feb 17: Take in an afternoon of traditional Chinese opera performed by the Chonqing Chuanju Opera Theatre at the Chinese New Year concert at Symphony Center.

Feb 18: Synth-pop crooner (and political science PhD) John Maus brings his catchy melodies to Lincoln Hall.

Feb 18, 19: 15-member hip-hop collective Brockhampton comes to House of Blues, performing behind the three albums it released last year.

Feb 20: Erstwhile Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant pays tribute to Celtic, folk and blues music at the head of his band, the Sensational Space Shifters.

Feb 21: Raunchy rapper Cupcakke brings her NSFW rhymes to Wicker Park for a hometown show at Subterranean.

Feb 23: Celebrating David Bowie gathers some of the musician's former bandmates and collaborators for an evening that pays homage to his work.

Feb 24: "Always on Time" collaborators Ashanti and Ja Rule join forces for a co-headlining show at the Riviera Theatre.

THEATER & DANCE

Through Mar 11: Steppenwolf’s Jonathan Berry directs You Got Older, about the difficulty of getting one’s own life underway when a parent suddenly needs a caregiver.

Feb 5–25: Underscore Theatre Company throws its annual Chicago Music Theatre Festival, which presents new works by emerging authors.

Feb 7–18: Joffrey Ballet’s winter program, Modern Masters, features a new work by company ballet master Nicolas Blanc and the late Jerome Robbins, set to music by Philip Glass.

Feb 7–Mar 18: Writers Theatre revives Eugene O’Neill’s melancholy drama, A Moon For The Misbegotten, about an attempt at romance between two lonely, lovelorn souls.

Feb 8–18: During Chicago Theatre Week, patrons can catch productions and deeply discounted rates of $15 or $30.

Feb 9–Mar 11: The new coming-of-age comedy, Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate, comes to Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre.

ART

Feb 1–June 24: Shanghai artist Xu Longsen presents a collection of his large-scale landscape paintings in "Light of Heaven."

Feb 2–24: Glassy eyes and street art designs fill the canvases of UK artist My Dog Sighs in his Vertical Gallery show "Days and Nights and the Places in-between.”

Feb 10–Aug 12: “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design” collects 37 chairs arranged in the rooms of the historic Driehaus Museum.

Feb 17–Apr 8: The Renaissance Society's latest group show, “Unthought Environments,” assembles work that highlights aspects of the natural world.

Feb 24–May 20: Using unconventional materials like glitter, talcum powder, and perfume, abstract artist Howard Pindell creates canvases filled with intricate details in "What Remains To Be Seen.”

Feb 24–Apr 28: Artist Beverly Fishman explores the complex visual language of the medical industry through the vibrant paintings of "Chemical Sublime."

COMEDY

Feb 2–10: Listen to some of Chicago’s best orators share stories on the theme of love at You’re Being Ridiculous’ winter show.

Feb 6–Mar 7: Laugh off your romantic and sexual foibles at Hooking Up with the Second City, the Old Town club’s Valentine’s Day show.

Feb 17: Erstwhile storytelling collective I Shit You Not returns for a one-day-only show and chili cook-off at Under The Gun Theater.

LGBTQ

Feb 16, 17: Savage Love columnist Dan Savage brings his amateur porn appreciation event, Hump! Film Fest to the Music Box Theatre.

Feb 24: Tart-tongued comedy queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio brings her insult-comic stylings to the Vic.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

Early Feb: The owners of mfk will debut Bar Biscay's crossover cuisine this month. Expect a seamless mix of bites from coastal Spain and southwest France.

Note: Restaurant and bar openings are subject to change and can be delayed; We recommend calling ahead.

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