Are you ready to take advantage of the warmth in Chicago this weekend? We've got a great roundup of events and outdoor activities (how about a cruise... in Chicago... in February?!). Score a deal and see highly-anticipated plays to round out Chicago Theatre Week, watch a new-to-Chicago production of Carmen, or chow down on tacos from some of the best chefs. Not only that, see how you can celebrate National Engineers Week at a free annual festival. It's time to make weekend plans — here are 9 things to do in Chicago.
Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Carmen
February 11-March 25
Join Lyric Opera of Chicago for this production — never before seen in Chicago — and find out why it's the perfect work to see again and again, and the ideal opportunity to introduce new fans to the thrill of opera. You'll feel the heat as you're captivated by Bizet's bewitching melodies — the smoky Habanera, the playful Seguidilla, the provocative Gypsy Song. Every single melody in this ever-popular opera is a beloved hit, and each is brought to life by a cast of spectacular leading artists.
Ballet de Lorraine
February 18-19 // $30
Making their first-ever tour to the United States, CCN Ballet de Lorraine is one of the most important companies working in Europe. This interdisciplinary work combines dance and film in a performance-installation, searching for but never finding equilibrium between id and ego. Presented in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
For more, check out six February highlights on the dance calendar in Chicago.
February 18-19 // FREE
Celebrate National Engineers Week with Chicago Architecture Center's annual Engineering Fest. In 2017, we will explore Chicago's iconic movable bridges with FREE activities for ages 5-12. Join over 1,500 visitors for a weekend full of family-friendly engineering explorations.
Chicago Opera Theater presents The Invention of Morel
Now through February 26 // $39-$125
Head over to The Studebaker Theater (410 S Michigan Ave.) to see The Invention of Morel. This opera examines the triumph of time-bending love over convention in a story of adoration and desire. The story for this opera does not live within the classic constructs of time and space, but instead explores powerful driving forces of human emotion: love, desire, and sacrifice.
Shen Yun 2017 World Tour
Now through February 19 // $70-$180
Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty, purity, and tremendous energy leave audiences greatly uplifted and deeply inspired.
Taco Fest at Mago Grill & Cantina
February 21 //$30 | Children 12 and under $15
Chef Juan Luis Gonzalez will be inviting chefs from around the city to compete for awards and help a great cause! Join the Taco Fest to taste some of the best tacos Chicago has to offer while enjoying samples and giveaways from our partners. This event will be benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the belief that no one should go hungry. Purchasing a ticket will also provide you with a certificate that is good for a free margarita at participating MAGO Grill & Cantina locations.
+ 3 Outdoor Activities
Just in time for the beautiful weather this weekend, Shoreline Sightseeing will run guided Architecture River Tours and Classic Lake Tours this Friday through Sunday! Architecture Tours feature Shoreline's expert, entertaining guides while Lake Tours highlight Chicago's amazing and world-famous skyline. It's a great way to see the city by boat.
Maxwell Street Market
February 19 (Sunday Weekly) // FREE
The Maxwell Street Market is a Chicago tradition of bargains and bargaining with an international flavor. The market offers an eclectic mix of merchandise-from tools to tires, plus fresh produce, furniture, clothing, rare finds and collectibles-and some of the best Mexican and Latin street food in Chicago.
Skyline Vistas by Trolley Tour with Chicago Architecture Center
Fridays & Saturdays // $25
See Chicago's expansive downtown parks, emerging residential neighborhoods, and commercial developments on this introductory tour of Chicago. Learn how both man and nature impacted the development of the city and hear the stories of the architects, developers and leaders who played key roles in shaping the city. At the end of this tour you'll know Chicago far better than the casual observer and be ready to explore further on your own!
For more to do, see our Ultimate Guide to Chicago Festivals which breaks down the biggest events of 2017 by month.