Valentines Day, the Chinese New Year and Black History Month? Get ready for a busy weekend of festivities. Pick and choose how to fill your time between museum exhibits and special events, a special LEGO event, a New Year parade and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Read on for our Editor’s picks for family time that will have your heart bursting.
photo: LEGOLAND Discovery Chicago
IN THE CITY
Ring in the Lunar New Year at the Chinese New Year Parade
The Chinatown arch is one of the most picturesque landmarks in Chicago, and this is a chance to catch it—and the neighborhood’s unwavering energy—in all its glory. Fireworks kick off the parade, which winds through the heart of the ‘hood with floats, bands, lion dancers and a 90-foot-long Mystical Dragon. Sun. Event details.
Be Inspired by MSI’s Juried Art Exhibition
The Museum of Science and Industry’s Juried Art Exhibition is the nation’s longest-running exhibition of African-American Art, presenting more than 100 works of art from emerging and established African American artists. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Celebrate Science with MSI’s Black Creativity Innovation Studio
Learn how African-Americans are remaking Chicago and inspiring the next generation by discovering leaders transforming our city. You’ll also have the chance to show your inventive genius when you turn everyday materials into solutions for bigger challenges using design thinking and the innovation process. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Dance the Day Away at Peggy Notebaert’s I Heart Birds
Put on your dancing shoes and join in on Peggy Notebaert’s Valentine’s dance—for the birds! Families are invited to celebrate the museum’s favorite feathered valentines. Meet live birds, learn all about their lives and habits, make a birdy valentine and then bust a move on the dance floor! Fri. Event details.
Let the Kids have a Night Out at The Paintbrush
Parents want a night out! Kids want KIDS’ NIGHT OUT! Drop off your kids for an evening of movies, pizza, art and playtime! The Paintbrush is getting ready for Valentine’s Day with a Charlie Brown movie, card-making and Valentine’s Day art. Sat. Event details.
Make it a Family Date Night at Adler After Dark: Family Edition
Avoid cabin fever with a night at the museum as Adler After Dark: Family Edition, Galactic Game Night! You get full access to all museum exhibits, unlimited sky shows, telescope viewing, and live entertainment. This family-friendly experience is the best way to see all the museum has to offer. Sat. Event details.
Play Like Kids at Forts: Build Your Own Adventure
Enter a world of play and creation as Filament Theatre transforms into a playspace to build new worlds. Using cardboard boxes, sheets, clotheslines and more, families build adventures of their own devising. With theatrical design elements of sound and lights working together to support creative play, families are swept away in the adventure! Sat. & Sun. Event details.
Spend a Family Day at MCA: Emoji
Every second Saturday MCA hosts Family Day, a free monthly program where Chicago artists transform the museum and you can take part in various activities. This week, talk with pictures and draw with words. Make speech bubbles with Andrew Barco, hide or share secret messages with Claire Arctander, draw comics inspired by Jessica Campbell and more. Sat. Event details.
Be Enchanted by Trains at Morton Arboretum
Head to Morton Arboretum to marvel at a world of tiny enchantment and watch on 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. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
New! Visit Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit brings to life the themes presented in the award-winning PBS Kids television series created by The Fred Rogers Company that follows the adventures of 4-year-old Daniel Tiger and his friends. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Celebrate at The LEGO Movie Days at LEGOLAND Discovery
LEGOLAND is celebrating the long-awaited The LEGO MOVIE™ 2 with movie-themed event days. Guests can work together to build a mystery LEGO mosaic throughout the weekend, enjoy character meet and greets and go on a scavenger hunt to help Emmet find his friends in Miniland. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Warm Your Bones at Winter Chilly Fest
Have winter fun under the stars and a cozy indoor chili dinner. The evening will include snow and ice games, skating on the pond, indoor chili dinner, glittering lights, wildlife treats, snowshoeing, ice carving, hayrides through the woodland and a campfire. Sun. Event details.
— Maria Chambers
. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.