What Should We Do This Weekend? Chicago, IL February 14th – 16th, 2020


Looking for things to do in Chicagoland for Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend?

Choose from over 40 family-friendly events happening in Chicago, and the suburbs this weekend!

Don’t miss our guide What To Do With Kids for Valentine’s Day for some extra suggestions!

 

 

Major Ongoing Events this Week:

 

 

Chicago Auto Show

  • McCormick Place, Museum Campus
  • Feb 8th – Feb 17th; 10 am – 10 pm
  • “This year marks the 112th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.”
  • “All Chicago Auto Show exhibits are held in the McCormick Place complex. Exhibitions include: multiple world and North American introductions; a complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks; sport utility vehicles; and experimental or concept cars. In total, nearly 1,000 different vehicles will be on display. Additionally, attendees will also have the opportunity to see numerous accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles and project, antique and collector cars.”

Chicago NBA Crossover 2020 at Navy Pier

  • “NBA Crossover will be the most immersive and engaging pop culture event during NBA All-Star.  Featuring exclusive product drops from top brands, NBA player appearances, Celebrities & Influencers, Music Performances and much more! Tickets start at $20.”

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live

  • Saturday & Sunday
  • Sears Centre, Hoffman Estates
  • “This event is filled with non-stop thrills and action that will entertain the whole family. You’ll remember your favorite moments and the legendary monster trucks that defied gravity long after the show is over.”

Chicago Black Restaurant Week

  • Feb 9th – 16th
  • “In 1926, Dr Carter G. Woodson founded “Negro History Week“, which fell on the second week of February. In 1976, February became Black History Month. While our Designer was busy creating Chicago Black Restaurant Week, she decided to honor Dr. Woodson’s initial legacy by placing CBRW during the second week of Black History Month…and it will be during the second week of Black History Month for years to come!”
  • 37 participating restaurants

The Orchid Show

  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Feb 8th – March 22nd
  • “We play with color in artistic installations and feature 10,000 brilliant blooms in unexpected ways: via a towering kaleidoscope, a floating carpet, and a dramatic chandelier, designed to be lit and transformed by the winter sun.”

NOTORIOUS RBG: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG

  • Feb 9th – Aug 16th
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum
  • “Based on the book and Tumblr page of the same name, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first-ever museum exhibition focused solely on this judicial icon, whose image graces mugs, t-shirts, posters, and bobbleheads. The exhibit is a vibrant exploration of Justice Ginsburg’s life and her numerous, often simultaneous roles as a student, wife, mother, lawyer, judge, women’s rights pioneer, and Internet phenomenon. Whether you’re a fangirl or a legal scholar, don’t miss this blockbuster exhibit!”

Explore Ice Castles

  • Lake Geneva, WI
  • Multiple dates and times
  • “Ice Castles is bringing fairy tales to life this season at Geneva National Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Let your imagination run wild as you explore caverns and tunnels made entirely from ice. Race down an ice-carved slide and squeeze through crawl spaces and slot canyons to discover new experiences around every corner. With fountains, thrones, wishing wells, and more, you’ll be mesmerized by this unique, and family-friendly attraction. Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic!”

Marcus Theatre Presents: The Enchanted Tales Film Series

  • “Have you ever wished (upon a star) that you could relive the magic of Disney movies on the big screen? This January and February, we’re giving you the chance! Marcus Theatres and Movie Tavern is proud to present Disney’s The Enchanted Tales Film Series. The perfect outing for families and friends of all ages, see these timeless classics in select theatres on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for only $6.”
  • Illinois-Addison, Bloomington, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Gurnee, OFallon, Orland Park
  • The $6 film lineup:
    • Pocahontas (1995) – February 14 – 17 (extended through Monday for President’s Day!)

WNDR Museum

  • “Home to Chicago’s first ever Infinity Mirror Room by iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, wndr places works from Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger, and Alex Israel in conversation with thought-provoking, innovative technologies and stunning interactive installations. Around every corner comes an opportunity to be creative, discover something unexpected, ask questions, and, most importantly, play.”
  • 1130 W. Monroe, Chicago
  • “Wake up with wndr! On the second and last Sunday of each month, wndr hosts Sunday Morning Cartoons from 10AM-12PM. Included with your ticket are classic cartoons projected in our Atrium, all-you-can-eat cereal from our cereal bar, and a tour of the museum to finish your morning. You won’t want to miss it! All ages welcome! Kids 10 and under get free admission.”

Jack Frost Winter Village

  • Goose Island
  • Monday-Friday — 4pm-10pm
  • Saturdays & Sundays — 11am-10pm
  • Runs through March!
  • “Pile on your favorite stylish parka, bundle up tight and grab your favorite cohorts and head off for some winter days full of cheer. Snack on festive treats from a rotating roster of food trucks and sip a warm hot chocolate or down your favorite boozy cocktail from any of Jack’s three full-service bars. Wander through the 2-acre outdoor site and test your aim at outdoor lumberjack Axe throwing or snap your Holiday Christmas card at one of Jack’s infamous Instagramable photo opps, then stop at one of three Holiday gypsy caravan to meet with a mystical fortune teller and discover your ghost of Christmas Past, Present & Yet to Come Future just like Ebenezer Scrooge!”
  • All ages.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

  • Chicago Kids Company
  • Stahl Family Theatre, Chicago: Jan 16th – Feb 21st
  • “Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a one-hour musical based on the original fairy tale. It features a hilarious script adapted by Jesus Perez, wit original songs composed by Paige Coffman. This show is one of the most popular Chicago Kids Company productions!”

FORTS! Build Your Own Adventure

  • Filament Theatre
  • November 30, 2019 – March 15, 2020: Saturday / Sunday @ 1pm & 3pm
  • “Enter a world of play and creation as Filament Theatre transforms into a play-space for children and parents to build new worlds. Using cardboard boxes, sheets, clotheslines, and more, build adventures of your own devising. With theatrical design elements working together to support creative play, your family is sure to be swept away in the adventure! Snacks and drinks will be available.”

Winterland at Gallagher Way

  • Wrigleyville’s Winterland event series has a host of family friendly activities for your family. Ice rink, curling & skating lessons, Santa Claus visits, and movie screenings.
  • “Skate all winter long underneath the twinkling lights of Winterland at Gallagher Way! The 8,000 square foot ice rink is open to skaters of all ages, every day of the week. Stop by for a couple of laps, check the schedule for a chance to skate with Clark the Cub, rent a skate aid, or arrive in time for select Wednesday figure skating performances.”

Ice Skate in Millennium Park

  • November 15th – March 8th, 2020
  • Millenium Park, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
  • “Skating is FREE and open to the public. Those skating with their own skates will need to pick up a FREE admission wristband.”
  • The Winter Workouts Program will offer free ice skating lessons for all ages and skill levels on select days.
  • “DJs spin the music while skaters spin on the ice on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 6-8pm (December 6 & 20, January 3 & 17, February 7 & 21, March 6). Admission is free. Skate rental rates apply.”

Ice Skate at Maggie Daley Park

  • The skating ribbon at Maggie Daley park is now open!
  • “In the heart of downtown Chicago, with the City’s skyline as a backdrop, a ribbon of ice winds through a rolling landscape providing an ice skating experience unlike any other. The skating ribbon is dramatically different from typical civic ice rinks, creating a multi-sensory activity that is integrated into the landscape. Skaters can experience “alpine in the city” as they lace up their ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. Complementing the ribbon are places to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and rent skates.”
  • Admission is free unless renting skates.

Ice Skate at The Peninsula Sky Rink:

  • “Surrounded by Chicago’s skyscrapers and twinkling lights, the rink is tucked into a pine tree winter wonderland and bathed in festive music and snowflake lighting.”

Parkway Bank Ice Skating

  • Rosemont
  • Bring your skates and skate for FREE! Rentals for $8!

Morton Arboretum Gnome Hunt

  • Daily November 2019 through March 2020
  • “The animals may be hibernating, but we still have gnomes. Can you find all of the gnomes hiding in the Children’s Garden?“

Morton Arboretum Winter Play

  • Daily from 11 am – 3 pm through March 2020
  • “Join us in the Children’s Garden for winter time fun! We’ll set out activities to complement the day. Activity may include painting snow or building a fort. Whatever it may be, you’ll find all the tools you need to have some frosty fun.” 

Enchanted Railroad at the Morton Arboretum

  • Friday, January 17 through Sunday, February 23, 2020
  • “Marvel at a world of tiny enchantment! Watch an intricate miniature model railroad wind through magnificent scenery that the whole family can enjoy.  Watch as more than 10 model trains wind through a two-level display of tree collections from around the world. The trains run at a child-friendly height to thrill even the littlest fan.”
  • Included with admission
  • “On the day of your visit, you will need to acquire free, timed tickets, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitor Center Information Desk.”

Wake Up, Brother Bear

  • Chicago Children’s Theatre
  • January 21st – February 16th
  • Saturdays & Sundays at 9:30 & 11:30 am
  • “Wake Up, Brother Bear! is a highly interactive show that will take you and your cubs on a fun-filled journey through the four seasons with a playful pair of bears. Full of music and physical activity, this intimate theatrical experience is the perfect way to see out the waning months of your family’s winter hibernation.”

Dragons Alive! The Science and Culture of Reptiles

  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • “The exhibit features 10 species of reptiles from around the world for you to see up close. Stare into the deep eyes of the bearded dragon, measure yourself against the mighty black-throated monitor, and wonder at the beauty of the colorful jeweled lacerta. The frilled dragon, blue-tongued skink, and the majestic uromastyx are ready to show you how these fierce creatures have inspired people throughout the ages. Through encounters with live collections and kid-friendly activities, the limited-time exhibit offers something for everyone. Let your imagination soar to new heights as you explore the exciting connections between dragons, people, and cultures!”

 

 

FRIDAY

 

 

9:00 AM: Valentine’s Day Event at Rockin’ Tots

  • Rockin’ Jump: Buffalo Grove & Carol Stream
  • 9 AM – Noon
  • “Come join us for a Valentine’s Day celebration! Valentine Arts & Crafts! Coffee & Sweet Treats! Tattoo Station! Jumping, Bouncing, playing all over the trampolines! If you haven’t been to one of our Rockin’ Tots Parties yet, please DO come join us!”

9:30 AM: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

  • Northbrook Park District
  • “In this musical adaptation of the Mo Willems book by the same name, a trip to the laundromat takes a turn when a favorite stuffed bunny “somebunny” is left behind. This family-friendly musical is full of songs, adventure and dancing laundry.”

10:00 AM: WonderPlay & Cafe Arts & Crafts

  • Algonquin
  • 10 AM – Noon
  • “Kids can design and dedicate a heart to someone that will then be a part of our Valentine’s Day wall decor!”

10:00 AM: Storytime in the Park with Tinkerbell

  • Fox Valley Mall, Aurora
  • “Join this magical fairy for storytime! The event is free and welcome to all ages. Light snack will be provided.”
  • Location: Level 1 in Center Park

10:30 AM: Broadway Storytime

  • HelloBaby
  • “Created by a professional performer turned an early childhood development specialist. Broadway & Me’s unique curriculum is both entertaining and developmentally appropriate.”
  • Feb 14th theme: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

10:30 AM: Goldilocks & The Three Bears

  • Stahl Family Theatre
  • “Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a one-hour musical based on the original fairy tale. It features a hilarious script adapted by Jesus Perez, wit original songs composed by Paige Coffman. This show is one of the most popular Chicago Kids Company productions!”

 

 

 

SATURDAY

 

 

10:00 AM: Sonic The Hedgehog Family Party

  • Marcus Addison Cinema
  • “Race to our Theatres for our FREE Sonic the Hedgehog Family Party! Enjoy fun activities, crafts, and snacks! Movie Tickets sold separately.”

10:00 AM: Spiderman Classic – Saturday Cartoon Brunch

  • Carbon Arc Bar
  • “Every weekend morning Carbon Arc Bar & Board takes over Theater 1 of the Davis Theater and shows cartoons! We serve brunch at the bar/restaurant. Using our direct-connect to the theater your children can hang and watch cartoons while you enjoy some delicious grub & drinks! The shows start by 10:00AM and end at 1:00PM on Saturdays and 12:00PM on Sundays. For anyone caught between end of cartoon and end of brunch they will continue to play in the Dining Room of the restaurant. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 2PM.”

10:00 AM: Oswego Chocolate Walk

  • Downtown Oswego
  • 10 am – 3 pm
  • “Tickets are $20 a person and include a  Heart shaped basket, a small ceramic mug, Hot Chocolate Tasting at every store, a chocolate treat to eat there or take home.”

10:00 & 10:45 AM: Center Stage Players

  • Dupage Children’s Museum, Naperville
  • “Introduce children to the arts in a family-friendly setting with a Tiny Great Performance™ at the Museum! Center Stage Players will perform Best of Broadway. Center Stage Players is a well-rounded theater education program that gives students a solid foundation of experience to help them perfect their craft as they prepare themselves for future professional acting careers. Center Stage Players is also committed to bringing the theater out into the community. They provide some of the most unique theater performances available in the Chicagoland area.”

11:00 AM: Free Family Fun Fair

  • Vaughan Athletic Center, Aurora
  • 11 am – 2 pm
  • “Join us for some family fun! We will have entertainment, games, program demos, inflatables, food and raffles!”

11:00 AM: Valentine for the Birds

  • The Morton Arboretum
  • “Celebrate your love for nature on Valentine’s Weekend  in the Children’s Garden!  We will make some tasty treats to hang on the trees for our favorite feathery friends!”

12:00 PM: Winterfest

  • Bartlett Nature Center
  • Noon – 4 PM
  • “Watch as teams of Siberian Huskies run our trail. Crafting, outdoor activities, and more. This event is free.”

12:00 PM: Spring Valley Winter Fest

  • Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg
  • “Bundle up and join in on some winter fun. Enjoy snowshoe walks through the prairie, horse-drawn wagon rides, winter themed crafts and games, marshmallow roasting over a bonfire and dog sledding demonstrations! Warm winter beverages and food will be available for purchase. Activities will take place both inside and outside the Nature Center.”

12:00 PM: Sweet Saturday 2020

  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Noon – 3 PM
  • “From chocolate and vanilla, to banana and papaya, your family will love this Valentine’s weekend event! Featured plants include: Coffee, Vanilla, Chocolate, Lemon, Papaya, Banana, Prickly Pear, Cinnamon, Ginger and more! There will be crafts and activities for children of all ages. Play games, make origami with the Chicago Area Origami Society, and create art with our nature education teachers. Member families will have access to the Member Lounge, where everyone can sit, have some coffee, and make a tasty treat!”

2:00 PM: We Love Reptiles!

  • Lemont Public Library
  • 2-3 PM
  • Pre-register
  • “Join us for a wild adventure with Coal Black Exotics! Get up close and personal with tortoises, snakes, lizards, and other fascinating creatures in this hands-on presentation.”

2:00 PM: Wintertime Stroll and Story

  • St. James Farm Forest Preserve, Warrenville
  • 2 PM – 3:30 PM
  • “Join a guided treasure hunt to look for signs of wildlife, including the tracks they leave behind. Warm up after the walk with a wintertime story and hot chocolate. Ages 5 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Register at 630-580-7025 or online.”

 

 

SUNDAY

 

 

10:00 AM: Spider-Woman Sunday Cartoon Brunch

  • Carbon Arc Bar
  • “Every weekend morning Carbon Arc Bar & Board takes over Theater 1 of the Davis Theater and shows cartoons! We serve brunch at the bar/restaurant. Using our direct-connect to the theater your children can hang and watch cartoons while you enjoy some delicious grub & drinks! The shows start by 10:00AM and end at 1:00PM on Saturdays and 12:00PM on Sundays. For anyone caught between end of cartoon and end of brunch they will continue to play in the Dining Room of the restaurant. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 2PM.”

11:00 AM: Paint The Ice

  • Gallagher Way Chicago
  • To celebrate the end of another fun-filled winter and holiday season in Gallagher Way, we’re bringing back Paint the Ice again this year! Neighbors, families and guests of all ages are invited to paint the ice! Benjamin Moore will provide the paint – you bring the creativity!
  • SCHEDULE:
    • Open Skate from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Paint the Ice from 2 to 5 p.m.

11:00 AM: Valentine for the Birds

  • The Morton Arboretum
  • “Celebrate your love for nature on Valentine’s Weekend  in the Children’s Garden!  We will make some tasty treats to hang on the trees for our favorite feathery friends!”

11:30 AM: The Boogers at Beat Kitchen

  • Beat Kitchen: Belmont Ave, Chicago’
  • “Get ready to ROCK!! The Boogers are back at the Beat Kitchen, bringing their award-winning punk rock for kids of all ages. Often compared to the Ramones, this power trio bashes out punk rock versions of classic kids songs as well as originals like Pandas are Dangerous, Gimme Some Pancakes, and The Self-Esteem Movement Let Me Down from their award-winning albums. But don’t worry, there’s a method to their madness…their leader Crusty Booger has a PhD in Developmental Psychology!”
  • Doors open at 11:30. Music starts at noon! Drinks and brunch are available at the bar.

12:00 PM: Spring Valley Winter Fest

  • Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg
  • “Bundle up and join in on some winter fun. Enjoy snowshoe walks through the prairie, horse-drawn wagon rides, winter themed crafts and games, marshmallow roasting over a bonfire and dog sledding demonstrations! Warm winter beverages and food will be available for purchase. Activities will take place both inside and outside the Nature Center.”

1:00 PM: Family Snowshoeing

  • Lincoln Marsh Natural Area, Wheaton
  • “Have you always wanted to try snowshoeing but didn’t know where to start? Bring the family and learn this new skill together as we explore the snowy trails of Lincoln Marsh. Snowshoes provided. Registration required.”

1:30 PM: Elgin Hot Chocolate Ride

  • Arabica Cafe, Douglas Ave in Elgin
  • “Let’s go for a chocolate rewarded slow roll. We’ll start and end at Arabica Cafe. We’ll have a slow roll pace for 4 to 5 miles through the core Elgin neighborhoods, quiet street routes. Bring a dollar for your special hot chocolate when we return to Arabica Cafe.”

2:00 PM: Fun With The Lincolns

  • Wilmette Historical Museum
  • “Bring your kids to the Museum to celebrate Presidents’ Day with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln on Sunday, February 16th at 2 p.m. President Lincoln will talk about growing up in a log cabin, how he got his beard, and the importance of never giving up on oneself.  Stay after to enjoy some birthday fun!  You can take your photo with the Lincolns and enjoy some birthday cake as well as presidential-themed activities.”

 

 

 

MONDAY

 

 

9:00 AM: President’s Day Adventure Quest

  • Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie
  • “On school holiday, this fun day for kids includes snow play, geocaching, log climbing, and/or animal tracking, depending on weather conditions. We will warm up indoors with games, map skills and trivia. Register for A.M. and/or P.M. sections; bring a packed lunch to the P.M. section. For kids ages 6-10.”
  • Fee per Section: $20 Res / $25 Non-res.
  • Pre-registration required. Call the Emily Oaks office at (847) 674-1500, ext. 2500

10:00 AM: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

  • Northbrook Park District
  • “In this musical adaptation of the Mo Willems book by the same name, a trip to the laundromat takes a turn when a favorite stuffed bunny “somebunny” is left behind. This family-friendly musical is full of songs, adventure and dancing laundry.”

10:00 AM: Presidents’ Day at the Chicago History Museum

  • Chicago History Museum
  • 10 am – 3 pm
  • “Discover the lives behind the legends of the American presidency through live music, family crafts, and storytelling for kids. Special events include a performance by the Chicago Brass Band as we honor the accomplishments of America’s presidents. Museum admission is FREE for Illinois residents on commemorative days! Special family-friendly activities and performances are designed to honor and celebrate significant moments and figures in history. No RSVP needed.”

 

Head to Springfield and visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site! 

  • Lincoln Home Visitor Center is open, daily, 8:30 am-5:00 pm. To tour the Lincoln Home, a visitor must obtain a free tour ticket at the Visitor Center. The first tour is at 9:00 am and the last tour begins at 4:30 pm.

 

Marcus Theatre Presents: The Enchanted Tales Film Series

  • “Have you ever wished (upon a star) that you could relive the magic of Disney movies on the big screen? This January and February, we’re giving you the chance! Marcus Theatres and Movie Tavern is proud to present Disney’s The Enchanted Tales Film Series. The perfect outing for families and friends of all ages, see these timeless classics in select theatres on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for only $6.”
  • Illinois-Addison, Bloomington, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Gurnee, OFallon, Orland Park
  • The $6 film lineup:
    • Pocahontas (1995) – February 14 – 17 (extended through Monday for President’s Day!)

 

The Adler Planetarium is free Feb 17th – 20th

The Museum of Science & Industry is free Feb 18th – 20th

The Field Museum is free all month long!

The Shedd Aquarium is free the 17th – 21st

The Chicago History Museum is free on President’s Day (the 17th)

 

 

 


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