Escape to another time, culture, or perspective this month! There’s plenty to fill your calendar for the rest of February: see many of the gorgeous Edwardian-era costumes from Downton Abbey, celebrate Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, and engage with a variety of unique artistic perspectives at little-known Chicago museums. Since we are on the eve of a certain romantic holiday, though, we’ll kick this month’s round-up off with some ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day activities: Geek Bar is hosting the My Geeky Valentine event, serving up a gourmet meal and open tabletop gaming (Feb. 13). Many of the city’s top restaurants are hosting Valentine’s Day dinner specials, including Blackbird, Cafe des Architectes, Carnivale, The Gage, Longman and Eagle, and The Signature Room. The Music Box Theater invites you to spend Valentine’s Day with The Princess Bride. The Red Eye has a list of Valentine -themed events, including a single’s masquerade ball.
Events: The Chicago Auto Show opens this Saturday (Feb. 13) at McCormick Place. Louder than a Bomb, billed as the largest youth poetry festival in the world, starts Feb. 13. Free Museum Days in Chicago! Several of the cities top museums are free for the rest of the month, or else on specified days (thanks for the heads up, Julie Chin & Emily Barney!).
Activities: A must for fans of Downton Abbey, the Driehaus Museum is currently hosting Dressing Downton: changing fashion for changing times. More than 35 costumes will be on display in the lovely Gilded Age mansion. Navy Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World, a nine week event honoring the city’s cultural diversity, will kick off Feb. 21 with a tribute to Chicago’s vibrant Chinese community. Browse for unique jewelry, clothing and more at the Handmade Market (Feb. 13). Time Out Chicago offers several ideas for whiling away a freezing afternoon in the city.
Theater: Take advantage of discounted tickets to great shows at Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Second City, Drury Lane as well as an array of smaller, more intimate theaters during Chicago Theater Week (Feb. 11-21).
Art: The Art Institute’s new exhibit Van Gogh’s Bedrooms presents all three depictions of the artist’s famous “Yellow House” bedroom. Expand your horizons with Chicagoist’s list of the best Chicago museums you’ve (likely) never heard of, including places dedicated to veteran’s art, Outsider art, and Lapidary art.