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9 CAN’T-MISS CHICAGO EVENTS THIS WINTER 

Celebrate Chicago’s restaurants and theatre, plus ring in Chinese New Year.

Chicago heats up in the wintertime, with loads of fun things to see and do. We’ve got suggestions for must-do winter events that foodies and culture fans will love. Catch one (or all!) of them.

CHICAGO RESTAURANT WEEK

Spiaggia Chicago

Chicago’s biggest dining event of the year takes place from Jan. 25 – Feb. 7 in restaurants all around town. The 12th-annual Chicago Restaurant Week will be the largest ever, with nearly 400 local restaurants participating. Take advantage of two weeks of dining deals at award-winning spots and hidden gems throughout the city and suburbs. Special prix fixe menus start at $24 for brunch and lunch, and $36 or $48 for dinner. 

Kick things off at First Bites Bash on Jan. 24 at the Field Museum from 6 – 9 p.m. Enjoy food tastings from more than 70 of the city’s top chefs, along with beer, wine and spirits. Joe Flamm, executive chef of Chicago’s Michelin-starred Spiaggia and winner of Top Chef, serves as host of this year’s event, along with mixologist Jarmel Doss of The Aviary.

CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK

Dear Evan Hansen ©Matthew Murphy/MurphyMade

No visit to Chicago is complete without a night at the theatre. One of the best times to catch a play is during Chicago Theatre Week, presented by Choose Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatresfrom Feb. 7 – 17. Chicago celebrates its world-renowned theatre scene during this annual 10-day event, offering discounted tickets to more than 100 productions. See anything from musicals to dramas, presented everywhere from historic downtown stages to neighborhood storefront theaters.

Can’t visit in February? 2019 is the Year of Chicago Theatre, with hundreds of productions and special events throughout the year. You’ll also find half-price tickets for more than 200 theaters at Hot Tix all year round.

CHICAGO CHINESE NEW YEAR

Ring in the Year of the Pig at celebrations throughout the city from Feb. 4 – 17. Here are some of the major events to get your Chinese New Year festivities started. 

CHINESE NEW YEAR AT THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

Chinese New Year at the Art Institute of Chicago

Celebrate the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, when families and friends gather together to share mutual wishes for well-being and prosperity. On Feb. 2, from 1 – 4:30 p.m., enjoy music, storytelling, art-making, games and talks highlighting Chinese works in the Art Institute’s renowned collection. Head over to Maggie Daley Park after 5 p.m. for more family New Year's activities. 

CHINESE NEW YEAR KICKOFF CELEBRATION AT THE CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER

Celebrating its 35th year, the Chinese Fine Arts Society kicks off the Year of the Pig on Feb. 5 at 12 p.m. with a festive display of Chinese dance, music and martial arts in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center. In addition to featuring some of Chicago’s finest artists, the China National Peking Opera Company (here from China) will give a special sneak peek of their upcoming Feb. 10 performance at Symphony Center (see below for more details). Don’t forget to wear red for good fortune! 

CHICAGO BULLS CHINESE NEW YEAR GAME

Chinese New Year Game ©Chicago Bulls

Celebrate the Chinese New Year during a basketball game between the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans, held at the United Center on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. Pre-game and on-court entertainment throughout the night will feature a Chinese New Year theme. For this special game, purchase Chicago Bulls tickets at a discount using the code NEWYEAR.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT SYMPHONY CENTER

©China National Peking Opera Company

On Feb. 10 at 3 p.m., Symphony Center hosts its fifth-annual Chinese New Year concert with the internationally renowned China National Peking Opera Company and the spectacular Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra. With special appearances by Peking opera superstars Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu, the China National Peking Opera Company presents a dazzling combination of vocal artistry, costumes and acrobatics. Opening the concert is the Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra, presenting works that honor centuries-old musical traditions, performed on exact replicas of the ancient Imperial Bells of China.

CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE

Chinese Lunar New Year Parade

Drawing more than 30,000 attendees annually, the free Chinese Lunar New Year Parade takes place in the heart of Chinatown on Feb. 10 from 1 – 3 p.m. Join the crowds in celebration of the Year of the Pig as the procession travels north on Wentworth Avenue from 24th Place to Cermak Road. Along the way, cheer the marching bands, colorful floats, traditional dancing lions and dragon teams.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT NAVY PIER

Chinese New Year Celebration at Navy Pier ©James Richards IV

Free and open to the public, Navy Pier’s Chinese New Year Celebration will be held on Feb. 16 from 1 – 5 p.m. in the Aon Grand Ballroom. Join in a festive afternoon featuring live dance, music and other Chinese cultural performances, along with traditional food and crafts.

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