Chicago in February: 13 Things to Do, Weather and Tips for the Windy City in February

Chicago is known for its lively events and atmosphere and even more well known for its winters. There’s a reason after all for the nickname ‘Windy City’! Even though February is a pretty cold month in Chicago, there is still a lot to see and experience in the city.

Our comprehensive guide to Chicago in February will cover all you need to fully experience the city without missing a thing. From the daily average weather to popular events, this guide will provide you all that you need to know.

Tourism in Chicago in February

As February tends to be cold and bitter, it is not a peak travel season. Tourists generally avoid the city during the cold February winter and hence flight tickets and hotel rooms are cheaper. Tourist attractions such as museums, malls, restaurants, monuments, parks, etc., are less crowded as well.

Seasonal activities specially catered for the winters are popular during this season. Activities such as skiing and ice skating are going on in full swing during February. There are many seasonal events are also to look out for, many of which be covered in this guide.

Weather in Chicago in February

The weather in Chicago during February is frigid. The winds are strong and it snows for about an average of 5.9 days a month. The average number of days with precipitation is 8.8. 

The average high temperature is 0oC and the average low temperature is -8oC. The overall average temperature in Chicago in February is-2.4oC. With just 3 hours of sunshine per day, the average wind speeds could be up to 21 miles per hour.

The weather is generally frigid and windy in Chicago during February.

What to carry in Chicago in February?

As mentioned above, winters are frigid in Chicago. It is advisable to carry multiple thick jackets, coats, etc. It is essential to layer in February to prevent catching a cold. Hence, carry warm sweaters, hoodies, overcoats, weighted jackets to combat the cold weather. For lower, one can carry jeans, sweatpants, warm trousers or pants. 

It is also advised to bring along mufflers, beanies, winter caps, gloves, mittens, and earmuffs. One should pack warm boots and sneakers so that you can travel comfortably.

13 Things to Do in Chicago in February

There is a lot to do and see in Chicago in February. Ice skating, food fests, expos, the list is endless! Our list of the top 13 events and things to do in Chicago during his month will help you plan out your itinerary.

1. Watch an NBA All-Stars Game

Is it even Chicago if the NBA isn’t mentioned? Each year during mid-February, an NBA All-Stars event is hosted in the city. It is one of the most iconic events of the year, eagerly looked forward to by sports fans. If you visit Chicago in February be sure to attend the NBA All-Stars game and catch basketball legends in action.
Address: Multiple venues such as the Navy Pier
Hours: Mid February each year (exact dates vary each year)

2. Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating is one of (if not THE) most popular winter activities, especially in Chicago. With the snow engulfing the entire city, Chicago locals and tourists hit up the ice rinks to truly appreciate the weather.

The Millenium Park Ice Rink is a favored ice skating destination. Maggie Daley Park is another ice skating rink located in Chicago, right next to Millenium Park. it is huge and has a path that is almost double the size of your average skating rink. Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at Rosemont's Parkway Bank Park is another great place to go ice skating. They also offer free ice skating lessons.
Hours: Mon to Thu 12:00-8:00 pm, Fri to Sun 10 am – 10 pm          
Entry fee:
Admission (with skates)-  USD 5         
Admission (with skate rentals)-  USD 16

3. Enjoy the Chicago Restaurant Week

Another great thing about Chicago in the winter is that you get to enjoy delicious gourmet, hot food at very affordable rates. The Chicago Restaurant Week is an annual festival held from January to February where hundreds of restaurants throughout Chicago offer huge discounts on meals.

They also have specially curated tasting menus solely for the Chicago Restaurant Week. It is a paradise for all foodies with exquisite mouth-watering dishes at a low price. This event is something that you simply cannot miss during your visit to Windy City in February.

4.Visit the DuSable Museum

February is also a historic month as it is the time of the year that is celebrated as Black History Month. The DuSable Museum of African American History, along with many other such institutions, hosts performances, presentations, displays, etc., depicting the African American community’s struggles and pride. 
Address:740 E 56th Pl, Chicago
Hours: Wednesday, 10 am - 5 pm
Entry fee: 5 USD- 15 USD

5. See the Chinese New Year Parade

February is the month of celebrations for many cultures. The Chinese Lunar New Year parade takes place during this month near Chicago’s China Town. The parade includes fleets of dancers adorned with cultural costumes, elaborate floats, choreographed dance sequences, and a marching band. It is truly a great spectacle.

The parade starts from 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue, continuing to Cermak Road.
Address: China Town, 24th street, Wentworth Avenue
Hours: February 21, noon-1:30 pm
Entry fee: free
Contact: EMAIL- [email protected]

6. See the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

The immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is a large-scale indoor exhibit at Lighthouse ArtSpace that showcases van Gigh’s works creatively. The massive 35-foot walls of the gallery are entirely covered up with digitally projected works of Van Gogh. It is like stepping inside the paintings! It is truly a magical experience and is recommended to anyone that travels to Chicago in February.
Address: Lighthouse ArtSpace, 108 W Germania Pl, Chicago
Hours: noon-6 pm (varying)
Entry fee: 40 USD- 50 USD

7. Try Curling

Curling is a popular enter sport enjoyed by the people of Chicago. It includes sliding stones skating rink-like sheets. It is a great thing to try in the winter. 

Many Chicago hotels have rooftop curling stations. You can go curling in Chicago at the Gwen, a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city. The Kennedy Rooftop is another hotel that offers curling.
THE GWEN- 521 North Rush Street, Chicago              
THE KENNEDY ROOFTOP- Wicker Park, 1551 W North Ave, Chicago

Entry fee:
THE GWEN- 30 USD per person for 45 minutes. Includes a cocktail of your choice                 
THE KENNEDY ROOFTOP- 30 USD for one hour

8. Dine-in in an outdoor igloo

Fitting in with the theme of winter, outdoor igloo dining has become popular in the winter season. Hotel rooftops and many outdoor restaurants offer dining services in an outdoor igloo of sorts. It is a unique and fun thing that you must do.

Places such as the Kennedy Rooftop and Joy District offer this service. 
Address: The Kennedy Rooftop-1551 W North Ave, Chicago                
                     Joy District- 112 West Hubbard Street, Chicago

 Entry fee: freeHours: 8 am -11 pm

9. Attend the Chicago Theatre Week

Chicago Theatre Week is an annual citywide event just like the Chicago Restaurant Week. One can stroll around the city and watch various types of plays, musicals, performances, etc. Theatres offer great discounts and a wide palette of plays to choose from. 
Average Cost: 15 USD- 30 USD.

10. Attend the Chill Fest at Wicker Park

The Chill Fest is a charged pop music festival held in Chicago in February. With over 120 musicians performing, the music festival has something to offer no matter what kind of music one likes. The fest has a shopping center that sells everything from band merchandise to souvenirs. There are also going to be restaurants and food stalls.
Address: Wicker Park Bucktown, west of Kennedy Expressway, Chicago
Dates: First week of February (exact dates vary every year), 2 pm- 6 pm

11.  Explore the Chicago Auto Expo

Chicago Auto Expo is the one-stop-shop for all car lovers. Dubbed America’s largest auto expo, the Chicago Auto Expo displays the most popular and exclusive cars, from convertibles to luxury sedans. This auto expo is also one of the oldest, hence attracting thousands of people each year it is held. There are not only cars at the Chicago Auto Expo but also some popular sports bike and driving simulation kiosks.
Address: McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago

Pricing: 13 USD per adult              
                    8 USD for seniors (aged 62 and older)              
                    8 USD for children between the ages of 7 and 12               
                     Free entry for children under 6 

12.  Shop at the Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market is a Chicagoan fleamarket hosted at Randolph Street. It sells antiques, jewelry, used books, and clothing items. It is United States’s largest urban antique market where one can find vintage furniture, art, vinyl records, etc. There are food stalls and live music as well to make the experience even more lively.
Address: Chicago’s Plumbers Hall, 1341 W Randolph St
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm, Sat- Sun
Pet friendly: Yes
Accessible: yes
Entry fee: 4 USD-6 USD

13. Visit the Orchid Flower Show

On over 385 acres of land are the Chicago Botanical Garden’s 27 gardens and four natural zones. Each year in February the garden hosts an Orchid Flower Show which displays beautiful varieties of flowers such as Bonsai flowers and special hybrids. With a view of six miles of Lake Cook’s shoreline and arrays of colorful flowers, the Orchid Flower Show is truly a treat to the eyes.
Address:1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Chicago
Hours: Mid February annually, 8 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: free
Contact: (847) 835-6801

What Are Some Things to Keep in Mind While Traveling to Chicago in February?

  • Since the weather in Chicago in February is windy and snowstorms are common, be sure to arrive for your flight early in case of delays or preponement.
  • Remember to bring along multiple jackets and coats.
  • Since February is not peak travel season in Chicago you can get hotel reservations at a steal. Be sure to be on the lookout for discounts and offers.
  • Book your hotel and flights beforehand as the prices would be cheaper. Call your hotel to enquire about prices, buffets, discounts, etc.
  • It would be advisable to use private transports instead of public ones such as subways, trains, etc., as their schedule might get changed at the last minute due to the snowy weather conditions.
  • Plan out your itinerary keeping in mind that some activities might get delayed due to the weather. Leave sufficient gaps of time between activities so you don’t miss anything.
  • It would be advisable to leave for your destinations in Chicago 30-45 minutes in advance to avoid getting stuck in the traffic.
  • Bring an extra pair of socks and boots with you as the pavements are muddy and your footwear might get drenched. It would also be wise to bring along an umbrella, gloves, etc.
  • Choosing the right hotel is essential. Make sure you take into consideration all factors such as location, room service, prices, your budget, etc.
There are many things to do in Chicago in February. We hope our guide to the Windy City in February helped you.

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