One month down, 11 to go in 2018 – let’s make it a year to remember! When you’re not building snowmen, ice skate with a historic view, take in a show on ice or watch a throwback movie at Adler. Read on to hear about these adventures and which kiddie shows and enchanted railroads our Editor picks for packing February full of fabulous.

photo: courtesy of Maria Chambers

(1) Baby, It’s Cold Outside . . . But, You Still Gotta Go to Morton Arboretum
Marvel at a world of tiny enchantment as an intricate mini model railroad winds through a magnificent scenery. This two-level interactive display of tree collections from around the world is specially designed for the kiddos because it’s meant to be viewed from just two feet off the ground. Also, watch out for gnomes playing a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden. Can you find them all?

When: Enchanted Railroad through Feb. 19, Gnomes hanging about all month long  
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rte. 53, Lisle
Cost: Free with admission; $14/adults, $9/ages 2-7 (discounts available on Wednesdays)
Online: mortonarb.org

(2) Dare to Dream with Disney on Ice
Five daring Disney heroines are coming to town to show you what’s possible when you Dare to Dream! Moana, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Belle and Cinderella bring the romance, humor and adventure to this fab skating spectacular. Hosted by Mickey and Minnie, discover why no dream is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny.

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When: Jan. 31-Feb. 4 (United Center) and Feb. 7-11 (Allstate Arena)
Hours: Showtimes vary, check website
Where: United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Near West Side & Allstate Arena, 6920, Mannheim Rd., Rosemont
Cost: $20+
Online: disneyonice.com

(3) Learn Reel Science at Adler Planetarium
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. Watch Wall-E and engage in conversation with a scientist about facts versus creative liberties taken in Hollywood with Adler’s REEL Science Film Series.

When: Feb. 9
Hours: 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus
Cost: $15/adults; $12/ages 12 & under
Online: adlerplanetarium.org

(4) Travel and Adventure Show
Dream about your next family vacation at this mega-expo, which has plenty of enticements for kids. Ride on Segways and Trikkes, ride a camel, rock climb, try scuba in a heated pool and have fun pretending to go adventuring with a little help from the World Photo Booth green screen.

When: Feb. 10 & 11
Hours: Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont
Cost: ; Tickets available online for a discounted rate of $11 (single-day) and $18 (two-day), available on-site for $15 (single-day) and $22 (two-day); Free for ages 16 & under
Online: travelshows.com

(5) Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
Remember Junie B. Jones? She’s back, and she’s on stage! In the theatrical world of Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook, Junie B.’s everyday life is packed with amazing discoveries, cool new kids and life-long lessons about being a good person and a good friend!

When: Through Feb. 17
Hours: Showtimes vary, check website
Where: Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Dr., South Loop
Cost: $5-$10
Online: theatre.depaul.edu

(6) Brave the Chill at Prismatica
Navy Pier’s temporary exhibit, Prismatica, is an immersive art installation comprised of 25 pivoting prisms more than 6-feet tall. The prisms transmit and reflect every color in the visible spectrum, varying with the position of the light source and the observer. As guests wander among and manipulate the prisms, they will enjoy an infinite interplay of lights and colorful reflections, as well as a variable-intensity soundtrack comprised of bell sounds.

When: Beginning Feb. 16
Hours:
Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 
Polk Bros. Park at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Cost: 
Free
Online: 
navypier.org

(7) PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure
It’s Pirate Day in Adventure Bay and Mayor Goodway is getting ready for a big celebration! But first, Ryder and his team of pirate pups must rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern. When they do, they also discover a secret pirate treasure map! The PAW Patrol must set out over land and sea to find the treasure for Mayor Goodway’s celebration before Mayor Humdinger finds it first! The pups will need all paws on deck for this pirate adventure, including some help from the newest pup . . . Tracker!

When: Feb. 17 & 18
Hours: Sat. & Sun., 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.
Where: The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Loop
Cost: $26.50+
Online:  msg.com

(8) Chicago Children’s Theatre Presents: My Wonderful Birthday Suit
Highly entertaining, with an important message, My Wonderful Birthday Suit will captivate with its festive birthday party atmosphere and help children, parents and teachers speak honestly about diversity and move from simply tolerating differences, to understanding, accepting and celebrating uniqueness.

When: Through Feb. 18
Hours: Sat., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. & 3 p.m.;  Sun., 9:30 a.m.. & 11:30 a.m. School matinees are Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.
Where: Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., West Loop
Cost: $35
Online: chicagochildrenstheatre.org

(9) Skate with a View of the “W”
Good news Cub fans, you get to skate with a view of your favorite ball park, the historic Wrigley Field. The Rink at the Park, an 8,000-square-foot ice rink illuminated by festive twinkle lights, is now open for public skating for all skill levels.

When: Through Feb. 25
Hours: Mon.,-Thurs., 3 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 3 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: The Rink at the Park, 3637 N. Clark St., Lakeview
Cost: $5/ages 13 & up; free for ages 12 & under; $10 skate rental
Online: parkatwrigley.com

(10) Enjoy Free Admission Day at Field Museum!
Illinois residents enjoy a free day at The Field Museum with valid proof of residency. Ticketed exhibitions and 3D films are also available at a special price.

When: Feb. 1-28
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus
Cost: Free
Online: fieldmuseum.org

Big plans for February? Shout about it in the Comments below!

—Maria Chambers

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