3 events to make your heart feel good in February

Move over, hearts n’ flowers, here are three Chicagoland picks for embracing the love of winter, of inclusiveness, and even of Sweet Home Chicago’s history. (Are you all a’flutter yet?)

Okee Dokee Brothers Concert

When: Feb. 16 (Two shows)

Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Believe it or not, there are those among us who actually revel in these blustery, occasionally blizzardy months. Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander—better known as the Grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers—are two such people. The childhood friends began writing music together in high school. “Winterland” is their latest nature-loving Americana folk album for the whole fam, and it celebrates the coziest (and coolest) things during this brisk, beautiful season. 

So what do these pals like best about winter? Justin likes the silence of a snowy walk in the woods, and Joe digs hitting a winter sauna and then rolling in the snow or jumping through a frozen lake. (“Then back to the sauna—quick! So invigorating.”)

Mark their Chicagoland concert on your calendar—and then get ready to dance, sing and make some warm winter memories of your own.

X-Marks the Spot: An X-Tra Sensory Xperience’

When: Through Feb. 24

Where: The Station, 100 S. Racine St., Chicago

Chicago Children’s Theatre often pushes the boundaries of physicality in really cool ways, but in ‘X-Marks the Spot,’ you won’t believe your eyes. (You may not even need ‘em.) Inspired and informed by Co-Founder and Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell’s work with visually impaired CPS students, this multi-sensory performance invites everyone to use hearing, speech, touch, scent and even taste to experience this work together.

It’s more than a sensory exercise, however; loosely based on Edith Nesbit’s Victorian-era “Five Children and It,” this is definitely an adventure story for the whole family and, especially given CCT’s reputation of inclusivity for all audience members, it’s also an opportunity to understand how live theater is experienced by visually impaired patrons. (Food for thought!)

‘Amplified: Chicago Blues’

When: Ongoing

Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago

Chicago and the blues go together like peanut butter and jelly, and now Chicagoans have a new way to immerse themselves in this powerful music at the Chicago History Museum. This exhibit begins with tales of the Great Migration—when Southern African-Americans traveled to the urban North to make new lives—and shares the musical traditions they brought through artist spotlights and photography from the streets and clubs of the ’50s and ’60s. Ready to howl like Howlin’ Wolf or wail like Koko Taylor? Whether you’re writing and singing a song of your creation, performing in your own blues club, or designing your own album cover, it’s easy for even the youngest member of the family to be tickled pink by the blues.


This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.

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