5 Things to Do: Chicago Botanic Garden's Orchid Show

Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

This weekend marks the beginning of Chicago Theatre Week and The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanic Garden. Plus, don’t miss a free day at Brookfield Zoo, a pet adoption event at 360 Chicago, and a family-friendly Valentine’s Day party benefitting the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.

Chicago Theatre Week 2018

5 Things to Do: Chicago Theatre Week (Blind Date at Goodman Theatre)

Mary Beth Fisher (Raisa Gorbachev) and Deanna Dunagan (Nancy Reagan) in “Blind Date” by Rogelio Martinez, directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre (through Feb. 25, 2018). GoodmanTheatre.org/blinddate (Photo by Liz Lauren.)

Begins Feb. 8

Spend an evening at the theater while taking advantage of discounted tickets during the sixth annual Chicago Theatre Week. Participating theaters include Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Northlight Theatre. Find our picks for the best shows to see here.

The Orchid Show: Asia in Bloom

5 Things to Do: Orchid Show 2018

Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

Opens Feb. 10

This annual Chicago Botanic Show returns with more than 10,000 orchids on display. Plus, don’t miss events like Orchids After Hours on Thursdays with Asian beer, sake, sushi, poke, and more, and Evening with Orchids on March 7.

Brookfield Zoo’s FREEze Day Celebration

5 Things to Do: Brookfield Zoo FREEze Days

Photo courtesy of Brookfield Zoo.

Feb. 11

Take advantage of free admission at Brookfield Zoo and enjoy winter fun like dogsledding runs and Zoo Chats about polar bears, snow leopards, and more.

TILT and Tails

5 Things to Do: 360 CHICAGO's TILT and Tails

Photo courtesy of 360 CHICAGO.

Feb. 11

360 CHICAGO will host adoptable dogs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. on Sunday. Plus, proceeds from all general admission tickets that day will be donated to ALIVE Rescue, a nonprofit animal rescue.

Be My Valentine Family Event

5 Things to Do: Be My Valentine Family Event

Photo by Sheri Whitko Photography.

Feb. 11

The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation’s 11th annual Be My Valentine Family Event will feature a brunch buffet, performances by The Jesse White Tumblers and DJ Versage, a hair braiding bar, crafts, cookie decorating, and more. All proceeds will benefit breast cancer research, fellowships, and education programs at Northwestern Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.


  • The Chicago Auto Show, the largest in the country, returns Feb. 10-19 with more than 1,000 vehicles. Meet former Blackhawks Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, Bryan Bickell, Adam Burish, and more, the Bears’ Prince Amukamara, and former Cub Ryan Dempster. Plus, stop by for days like Women’s Day on Feb. 13 and Hispanic Heritage Day on Feb. 16.
  • If you haven’t caught the latest iteration of Disney on Ice, don’t miss your last chance to see Mickey and friends take to the ice alongside all your favorite princesses, including Moana, Elsa, Belle and Rapunzel, in “Dare to Dream” at Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Tickets are still available for multiple shows daily, now through Sunday, Feb. 11.


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Anna Carlson writes the weekly 5 Things to Do column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of Glenbrook South High School and the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital