Though the shortest month of the year, February can feel like the longest due to its frigid weather. It is, however, a month packed with events. Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, Lunar New Year, and Mardi Gras – with so much going on this month you’d think it’d be longer than 28 days!
Here is a list of fun February activities to keep your spirits up and your souls happy.
The massive Harry Potter™: Magic at Play experience is finally here in Chicago. Taking over three floors at the Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue, where guests of all ages can interact, explore, play, and climb their way through the most iconic moments at Hogwarts™.
There’s nothing more romantic than an incredible adventure for those obsessed with the Wizarding World™. Harry Potter™: Magic At Play is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a magical discount. From February 10th at 10:00 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on the 14th, buy one ticket and get another at 50% off. At checkout, apply the code LOVEPOTION and prepare for a magical adventure!
Another incredible winter activity can be found down at Navy Pier. Verse: The Art of the Future fuses art and technology allowing guests to step right into the metaverse in a digital art exhibition featuring augmented reality holograms and artwork by top-selling artists from the burgeoning world of NFTs.
With the help of an AR headset, smartphone, or tablet, each guest will experience their own reality in the same activation area (like a silent disco for holograms!). Verse provides an introduction to the people, technology, and stories that are shaping this disruptive evolution of the art world.
This February, engage your taste buds at a romantic night out as you indulge in a delicious three-course meal at the exclusive ‘Dining in The Dark’ dinner party coming to Chicago.
Take your date night to the next level, tempting your senses with dark surroundings to focus on more important things like the delicious three-course meal and wine pairing you’re about to have at Hubbard Inn.
Diners can choose vegan, seafood, or red meat options, enjoying a starter, main entree, and dessert.
4. Share a heart-shaped pizza at Chicago’s famous deep-dish restaurants
Talking of date nights, the most romantic night of the year is fast approaching and there are plenty of plans that will help forge the perfect Valentine’s memories!
One such memory comes in the form of heart-shaped, deep-dish pizza. The perfect way to literally eat your heart out, you can find delicious heart-shaped pizzas at Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, My Pi Pizza, Eataly, and many other pizza restaurants in Chicago.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day the Chicago way by slicing into cheesy heaven!
A Taylor Swift-themed pop-up bar will land in Chicago on February 3rd offering the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day plan for unfettered singles shaking off any forlorn feelings of heartache.
Taking over West Loop’s Electric Garden at 324 South Racine Street, the “Bad-Blood” pop-up (homage to her 2014 album 1989) will run from Friday, February 3rd through to Sunday, February 26th.More information can be found here.
Though Chicagoland has a wide range of ice rinks offering wonderful skating experiences during the winter months, there are none quite like the Maggie Daley Park ice rink.
One of Chicago’s best winter-time activities, the Maggie Daley ice rinks offers an “alpine in the city” experience skating down a quarter-mile rink in the heart of Chicago. The winding ribbon of ice curves up and down around a 40-foot climbing wall with the city’s stunning skyline in the backdrop.
In the heart of the West Loop, a huge outdoor bar has been erected offering those daring enough the chance to embrace the cold in style. After huge success in 2021, PB&J’s owners, The McCahill brothers, have once again turned the space outside their West Loop watering hole into an icy paradise where you can enjoy a few drinks that you certainly won’t forget.
This year “PB&J on Ice” features an ice bar of over 50,000 pounds of ice and an array of spectacular ice sculptures including ice thrones, a polar bear, an ice drink luge, and more.
Guests can enjoy the ice bar’s open-air experience every night 5 pm-10 pm from February 11th until the bar melts!
Of course, heading out into the wilderness is another way you can do something memorable without paying more than the cost of travel. If you’re one who enjoys being surrounded by nature then heading out to the quiet of Illinois’ natural beauty is a great February experience.
Though our state may not boast wonders with the universal magnitude of the Grand Canyon nor the grandiose reputation of Niagra Falls, Illinois is teeming with diverse ecological landscapes that transform into incredible winter wonderlands this time of the year. From monolithic marvels covered in snow to cascading waterfalls frozen in time, here are 7 natural wonders of Illinois that you can visit while they’re a different beast in winter:
- Garden Of The Gods: Saline County
- Wildcat Canyon In Starved Rock State Park: La Salle County
- Cache River State Natural Area: Johnson County
- Cave-In-Rock: Hardin County
- The Pomona Natural Bridge: Jackson County
- Cascade Falls In Matthiessen State Park: La Salle County
- Bork Falls In Ferne Clyffe State Park: Johnson County
For an even more prolonged experience in nature. Getaway House is a chain of tiny cabin hideaways helping people in big, bustling cities like Chicago, DC, LA and NYC, disconnect from their busy city lives with restorative stays in the middle of nature.
One of the aforementioned spots, Starved Rock State Park, has just opened a selection of minimalistic cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing guests to wake up fully immersed in the wilderness. Located in lush landscapes and with minimalistic yet comfortable designs, they offer the perfect escape for those wanting to disconnect from busy city lives with restorative stays in the middle of nature.
These months are some of the most strenuous of the year, and February is one of the worst of them all. It’s around this time of the year that we need anything to lift our minds, bodies and souls.
With Chicago’s unforgiving frostiness, you’ve got to take your well-being into consideration during these hostile months, especially if you’re spending time outdoors exploring nature or doing extreme sports.
Luckily Chicago is full of answers to combat both the Christmas chaos and the numbing chill that settles into your bones. There’s no better place to relax and unwind during these hostile months than at Chicago’s many serene spas and bathhouses.
From places like River North’s lavish AIRE Ancient Baths inspired by the traditional Roman, Greek, and Ottoman ancient experience of bathing to the unique PIVA Beer Spa offering huge larch wooden tubs filled with near 100-degree beer, herbs, and hops there are so many options in Chicago.
Head to our Secret Chicago list of Chicago’s best spas where you can for an informative breakdown of where to warm up and revitalize this winter.
[Featured Image from Instagram / @carolnrh]