We’ve hit the home stretch of winter! While we definitely see some chilly days in March and April, February signifies that the end of winter is near! We’ve gathered information about exciting, and FREE, ways for your family to spend time together this month during this chilly month. Whether you’re engulfed in a science demonstration courtesy of Fermilab, missing the holidays at one of the light displays, or popping into one of our amazing nature centers, we’ve got all you need to have fun without spending a penny this month!
Free February 2021 Fun in Chicagoland
February 2021 Free Winter Events
Below is a list of some of the free events running in February. Don’t forget to check our February calendar for more fun-filled activities.
Winter Lights at Central Park (Oak Brook)
February 1 – 28, 2021 | 4:30pm – 9:30pm
Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance.
Children’s Story Trail and Craft: Groundhog Day (Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest)
February 1 – 8, 2021 | 9:00am – 4:00pm
Nights of Lights (Wheaton)
February 1 – 10, 2021 | dusk – 10:00pm
Free Family Hike with a Naturalist (Knoch Knolls Nature Center, Naperville)
February 6, 2021 | 10:00am – 11:30am
Must register in advance.
Fermilab’s 2021 Virtual Family Open House
February 10 – 14, 2021 | times vary
Children’s Animal Valentine Card Craft Pick Up (Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest)
February 11 – 14, 2021 | 9:00am – 4:00pm
Ice Festival (Downers Grove)
February 13 and 14, 2021| all day
Stop through downtown Downers Grove for this socially distanced version of their annual event!
Children’s Story Trail: Ruby’s Birds (Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest)
February 15 – 21, 2021 | 9:00am – 4:00pm
37th Annual DuPage Area STEM Expo (Virtual)
February 21 – 27, 2021 | times vary
Farm Life in Winter (Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago)
Thursdays through Mondays in February, 2021 | 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Winter Story Trail (Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland)
Weekends in February, 2021 | 9:00am – 3:00pm
Open Nature Play Day (Trailside Nature Center, River Forest)
Select days in February, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm on Wednesdays and 12:00pm – 4:00pm on Fridays
Registration is required.
Storytime at the Conservatory (Oak Park Conservatory)
Wednesdays in February, 2021 | 10:00am or 11:00am
Must register in advance.
Free February Fun Thanks to Your Local Libraries
Almost all library events are free! Story times are nearly all virtual at this time, and many libraries are offering craft and activity kits to-go. Check out a new book, movie, or even board games!
Free February Fun in the Great Outdoors
Outdoor ice rinks are scattered all over the suburbs. Most outdoor ice rinks are free and offer no shortage of fun! (If you don’t own skates, rental fees may apply.) Check out our round-ups of Ice Rinks in the Western Suburbs for ideas.
February almost always sees a few good snow days. When that is the case, make sure you get out there and hit the Sledding Hills in the Western Suburbs.
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center is offering free snowshoe rentals! Here’s our list of other great places for snowshoe rentals if you don’t mind spending a small fee for rentals.
Free February Fun at Nature Centers
Almost all of the nature centers are usually free, but February is a great time to visit in particular because you can enjoy nature without braving the elements. As COVID-19 mitigation measures are frequently changing, check their websites for the most up-to-date information about visiting hours.
- Bartlett Nature Center
- Red Oaks Nature Center (Batavia)
- Hidden Oaks Conservation Area (Bolingbrook)
- Lyman Woods Nature Center (Downers Grove)
- Willowbrook Wildlife Center (Glen Ellyn)
- Knoch Knolls Nature Center (Naperville)
- Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center (Oak Brook)
- Lake Katherine Nature Center (Palos Heights)
- Hickory Knolls Discovery Center (St. Charles)
- Little Red School House Nature Center (Willow Springs)
Free February Fun at Local Museums
Many local museums typically offer free days in February. As COVID-19 mitigation measures are frequently changing, check their websites for the most up-to-date information about visiting hours.
- Adler Planetarium (Chicago)
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- Chicago Children’s Museum
- Chicago History Museum
- DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago)
- Elmhurst Art Museum
- Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Oak Brook)
- The Field Museum (Chicago)
- Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago)
- Loyola University Museum of Art
- Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)
- Shedd Aquarium (Chicago)
Free February Fun at the Zoo
While our local zoos usually offer free days in February, they’re all closed throughout February 2021. Check back for more fun in 2022!
Other Free Things to Do in Our Area
Check out our indoor activities page for more ideas to help your family enjoy the winter months.