7 things to do in Chicago and the suburbs before February ends

February is the shortest month and it’s flown right by us, packed to the gills with tales of blizzard survival and mayoral TV ads. But before you flip the calendar page – and there’s plenty to be excited about in March – take advantage of the last of February’s event offerings.

There’s plenty to be jazzed about in March, but before you flip the calendar page, take advantage of the last of February’s event offerings.

Go cuckoo for cocoa at Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum packs February calendar with chocolate-themed events

February has always been a good month for chocoholics, butMorton Arboretum is raising the (milk chocolate) bar this year witha lineup of cocoa-themed events all month.

After all, it’s easy to forget that chocolate doesn’t actuallygrow in little shiny wrappers. It all starts with cocoa trees, andthe garden is putting that fact front and center with events fromits daily “Celebrating Chocolate” exhibit to a truffle-makingworkshop to a kids’ chocolate pizza party.

You can find more yummy details on Morton’s website, and
order tickets online.


Daily in Feb., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visitor Center

This small exhibit highlights the growing, harvesting, andproduction process of chocolate and its relationship totrees.


Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 5 & 6,10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visitor Center

Local vendors will showcase a variety of sweet treats anddelectable desserts.

Truffle Making Workshops

Saturday, Feb. 12,1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 p.m.

Thornhill Education Center

$20 ($25 non-member)

Design classic, hand-rolled truffles with Katherine Duncan ofChicago-based Katherine Anne Confections. Working in groups of fourto five, participants will create, design, melt, chill, scoop, androll truffles to completion. Each attendee will leave with asampling of the four truffles created that day.

Valentine’s Chocolate Brunch

Sunday, Feb. 13,9:30 a.m., noon & 2:30 p.m.

Visitor Center

$36 Adult ($42 non-member)

$25 Child ($30 non-member)

Children under 2 are free

Enjoy a Valentine’s brunch with a touch of chocolate throughoutthe whole meal. Eventincludes cash bar and live music.

Kids’ Chocolate Pizza Party

Sunday, February 20,1, 2 & 3 p.m.

Ginkgo Restaurant

$10 ($15 non-member, includes free admission for one child andadult)

Become achocolatier for a day! Create chocolate pizzas withcandy toppings, and take home chocolate in your very own”chocolatier” carry tote.

Beer & ChocolateTastings

Sunday, Feb. 27,3-5 p.m.

Ginkgo Restaurant

$25 ($30 non-member)

Enjoy artisan beers from Two Brother’s Brewing Company ofWarrenville, along with food and chocolate pairings from Graham’sFine Chocolates & Ice Cream of Geneva. Ages 21+

Feb. 26 is the last of Northerly Island’s three Polar Adventure Days.

Polar Adventure Days

Families can enjoy winter activities and meet live animals. Activities may include dog sledding demonsrations, live entertainment from the Old Town School of Folk Music, arts and crafts table, toddler zone with outdoor “ice fishing,” REI winter activity station, and free snowshoe rental if weather conditions allow. First 500 visitors receive hot cocoa.  Dress for the outdoors. Call to confirm scheduled activities.

A dozen plays have their final performances this weekend, including Rapunzel, Willy Wonka, Peter Pan and Les Miserables. Catch them before the curtain goes down for good!


Musical version of the fairy tale is performed at 10:30 a.m. and1 p.m. from Jan. 15-Feb. 26. Meet the cast after the show.

What better time to check out “One World One Sky,” Adler Planetarium’s Sesame Street-themed show that introduces kids to the night sky than in February, Elmo’s birthday month?

Ever been inside a proton-antiproton collider? Now’s your chance! The Fermilab opens its subatomically awesome doors on Feb. 27 for a family open house, including a cryogenics show from “Mr. Freeze” and the ever-popular “Ask-a-Scientist” panel.

The Chicago Park District’s nine outdoor ice rinks close Feb. 27, including Daley Plaza and Wrigley Field. Find a rink near you and lace up for the last time this winter!

Outdoor ice skating rinks around the Chicago area

…are you listening? This weekend is your last chance to enjoy a ride through the Danada Forest Preserve, a horse-drawn bobsled ride through Homestead or a snow-shoeing family adventure at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Soak up the last bit of winter magic before the slushy slog of March sets in.

Sleigh bells ring…

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