4 celebrations to lift your spirits this month

The holidays are over and our spirits are most likely in need of some boosting. And while you might not think of February as being the most festive of months, there are still some reasons for merriment over these next 28 days.

Here are four celebrations that are worth getting out from under that cozy blanket.

Presidents Day

There are 45 presidents to choose from, but we tend to be partial to Illinois’ native son, Abraham Lincoln. You can Visit with the Lincolns (or some actors that portray them) as Abe and Mary Todd prepare to visit the Ford Theater on a fateful night more than 150 years ago. Free. 2-3 p.m. Feb. 11. Alsip-Merrionette Park Public Library, 11960 S. Pulaski Road, Alsip. (708) 371-5666.

National Ferris Wheel Day

This one’s probably not marked on your calendar in bright red ink, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of celebration. In fact, since the carnival staple was invented right here in our fair city, it would be downright un-Chicagoan to ignore this holiday. Head to the Centennial Wheel, whose heated gondolas provide some epic (and warm) views of the Windy City. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. (312) 595-7437, navypier.com.

Valentine’s Day

We’re all about the love at Chicago Parent (and the candy, flowers and homemade cards that come with it). Celebrate your crew’s unique brand of affection at the Family Valentine Dance, an evening packed with games, crafts and enough dancing to thoroughly embarrass your offspring. $5. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago. (312) 742-3918.

Groundhog Day

While Punxsutawney Phil is searching for his shadow over in Pennsylvania, Illinois kids can learn about these weather-forecasting rodents. The Grumpy Groundhogs program teaches kids 6-8 what the mammals are really doing this time of year—and whether they’ll be coming for Tom Skilling’s job anytime soon. $22, $15 resident. 10-11:30 a.m. Feb. 4. Knoch Knolls Nature Center, 320 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville. (630) 848-5000.

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