February is jam-packed with exciting events for the new year! In addition to Valentine’s Day, people all over Chicagoland can celebrate everything from the orchid shows to beer festivals to cowboy bull riding. So pull on your parkas and boots, there’s a lot to enjoy this month!
The Chicago Theatre Week is an opportunity for the public to see performances at steeply discounted prices. People can choose from more than 100 plays at venues around the city. It takes place from Feb. 11-21 with tickets ranging from $15-$30. Check the website for specific dates, times and locations.
The Midwest Independent Film Festival will open 2016 with a screening of “For Grace,” a documentary about Chicago chef Curtis Duffy and his rise through the culinary world to open his own restaurant. It will screen Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 North Clark.
The Chicago Auto Show celebrates its 108th anniversary as the largest and longest-running auto show in the U.S. Check out some of the industry’s newest, swankiest car offerings Feb. 13-21 at the McCormick Place, Lake Shore Drive at 23rd St. Tickets are $12, $7 for seniors and children.
Celebrate the Year of the Monkey during Chinese New Year! It’s a time for feasting, fireworks and the iconic dragon dance. Enjoy the free event Feb. 14 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Chicago’s Chinatown on Archer and Wentworth Ave.
The renowned Hamburg Ballet will perform the “Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler” by legendary choreographer John Neumeier. The production is hailed as one of his most important works. See it Feb. 26-27 at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph Drive. Tickets start at $35.
There’s something for everyone at the Family Palooza at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. The weekend event will include indoor bungee jumping, a petting zoo, a rock wall, mini golf course, face painters, games, prizes and ton of other surprises. It takes place Feb. 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $8-$15.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the best date night show in town! “Hooking Up with the Second City” makes light of all the horrors and delights of searching for love. Each ticket includes chocolates and a champagne toast with the cast at the end of the show. Performances are Feb. 13 at 6 and 9 p.m. at the MAC at the College of DuPage on Fawell and Park Boulevards in Glen Ellyn. Tickets are $32-$46.
Grammy award-winning band Los Lobos joins the critically acclaimed dance group, Ballet Folklorico Mexicano for “Fiesta Mexico,” a performance that celebrates Mexican Americans through song, dance music and film. The event is Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the MAC at the College of DuPage on Fawell and Park Boulevards in Glen Ellyn. Tickets are $55-$75.
The Naperville Winter Ale Fest will showcase over 130 unique beers from craft breweries around the country. The event will also feature live music and food from some of Chicagoland’s best food trucks. Festivities take place Feb. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. at Frontier Park, 3380 Cedar Glade Road, Naperville. Tickets are $50 and include samples of all beers; $20 for designated drivers.
The Chicago Philharmonic will perform “Eight Seasons,” a compilation of works by Vivaldi and Argentinian composers Piazzolla and Golijov. Scott Peck conducts with acclaimed violinist Chee-Yun. The event is Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Tickets are $10-$75.
The Chicago Botanic Garden will showcase more than 10,000 varieties at its Orchid Show. Special orchid selections will also be on sale at the Garden shop. The show takes place Feb. 13-March 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the garden on 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe.
Check out the Peking Acrobats and their iconic balancing acts atop a pagoda of chairs, as well as precision tumbling and gymnastics. It’s Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. at the College of Lake County’s James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. Tickets are $38-$45.
Looking for a little more excitement this month? Check out the Professional Championship Bull Riders World Tour Finale. There will be two nights of awe-inspiring bull riding and barrel racing Feb. 5-6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. Tickets are $18, $10 for youth.
Mardi Gras Masquerade in Schaumburg! Party the night away at this event in celebration of the great New Orleans tradition. There will be Mardi Gras-inspired cocktails, like Hurricanes and Grenades, traditional creole food, prizes and a New Orleans jazz band. It’s Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. at Level 257, 2 Woodfield Mall, Unit A.
The Lynfred Winery in Roselle presents Barrel Tasting: Red Wine is For Lovers, just in time for Valentine’s Day. For this fantastic event, Lynfred winemakers will offer rich and romantic red wines from the cellar’s barrels to be paired with up some delicious bites. It’s Feb. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the winery, 15 S. Roselle Rd.
The Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills announces The All-Star Blues Bash. The show will be electrifying as hall-of-famers and some of the best blues artists in the world perform, including Bobby Rush, Joe Louis Walker, Wayne Baker Brooks and Shawn Holt. It’s Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.in the college’s Dorothy Menker Theater, 9000 College Pkwy, Palos Hills. Tickets are $40, $35 for seniors and students.
Prairie State College in Chicago Heights will hold its 28th Annual Jazz Fest. Performers include Orbert Davis on trumpet, Ed Petersen on tenor sax, Valerie Nicholsen on piano, Ernie Adams on drums, and Junius Paul on bass. The event is Feb. 18-19 at 6 p.m. at the college 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights.
To honor Black History Month, the Sand Ridge Nature Center will hold an Underground Railroad Hike. The event will feature an interactive history hike that will follow an Underground Railroad route used in Illinois in the mid-1800s. It takes place Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the nature center, 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland. Free.