28 Places for Free February Fun in Chicagoland

February is the shortest month of the year, but it does not have to be short on fun! If you are willing to brave the cold, the Chicagoland area is packed with places to have some free February fun. Our guide below features places all over the Chicagoland area that have FREE things to do during the month of February (and some all year long). Whether you are looking to fill an entire day, or kill an hour or two, there is something here for you!

Free February Fun in Chicagoland

Free February Fun at Local Museums

Adler Planetarium
Admission is free February 2, 5-9, 19-22.

The Art Institute of Chicago
Admission is free to all Illinois residents Thursdays from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Chicago Children’s Museum
Admission is free to all visitors Thursdays from 5:oo pm – 8:00 pm.
Admission is free to all visitors February 4.

Chicago History Museum
Admission is free to all visitors every Tuesday.

DuSable Museum of African American History
Admission is free to all visitors every Tuesday.

Elmhurst Art Museum
Admission is free February 2.

The Field Museum
Admission is free the entire month of February!

Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art
Admission is free to all visitors every Friday.

Loyola University Museum of Art
Admission is free for all visitors every Tuesday.

Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays.

Museum of Science and Industry
Admission is free February 1, 5–8, 12–15, 20–22, 26–27.

Shedd Aquarium
Admission is free February 2, 14.

Click here for a list of museum free days throughout the entire year!

Free February Fun at the Zoo

Brookfield Zoo and Free Admission Freeze Day 
Freeze Day, February 11: Dogsled demonstrations, sled runs, and other winter animal fun. There will also be some special winter animal Zoo Chats.

Free admission to all visitors Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout February.

Lincoln Park Zoo
Always free admission to all visitors.

Fermilab Family Open House

On Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 1 – 5 pm, Fermilab is open for children of all ages to learn about the world of physics (recommended for children in grades 3 and up). There will be hand-on activities, live physics demonstrations, and the opportunity to ask a scientist your physics questions. Fermilab will also be doing tours. Please note that registration is not needed for the open house, just the tours. Recommended for children in grade 3 and up.

Free February Fun at Nature Centers

Little Red School House Nature Center (Willow Springs)
Visitor center with live animals and exhibits, children’s activity room, and more.

Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center (Oak Brook)
Check out the treehouse, along with many hands-on activities.

Willowbrook Wildlife Center (Glen Ellyn)
View native wild species with windows to look in the kitchen and nursery. Classroom and indoor discovery area has games, puzzles and activities.

Lake Katherine Nature Center (Palos Heights)
Features a children’s play center, reptile and animal exhibits, and vast amount of books.

Hidden Oaks Conservation Area (Bolingbrook)
Interactive exhibits to include: habitat tree, animal sound and scent wall, and discovery rooms.

Free February Fun at Local Libraries

Almost all library events are free! Drop in to story time at your local library or visit the library to check out their games, puzzles, blocks, computers, and more.

Southwest Suburbs Library Story Times and Play Areas

Free February Fun at Outdoor Ice Rinks

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 and Ice Rinks in the Southwest Suburbs for ideas.

Free February Fun at Indoor Play Areas

There are tons of play areas if you know where to look. Fast food restaurants are super convenient, but many townships have play areas in their civic centers. Use our play area guides for more places! Check out Indoor Play Areas in the Western Suburbs and Indoor Play Areas in the Southwest Suburbs.

Unlikely Places for Free February Fun

Ikea (Bolingbrook)
Ikea isn’t just for meatballs and furniture! They have a small play area with toys and the kids meals are $2.49 each (except on Tuesdays when kids eat free!).

Bass Pro Shop (Bolingbrook)
Check out the 14,000 gallon aquarium which hosts over 200 species of salt water fish or try out all the kids-sized equipment.

Lakeshore Learning (Orland Park)
Toys are displayed throughout the entire store for practice and play.

Check out our indoor activities page for more ideas to help your family enjoy the winter months.

About the Author

Jill Kowalski
Jill is the mom of two energetic little girls, ages two and four, who keep her seriously busy. She and her husband grew up in Orland Park and are now raising their family there as well. When Jill and her family have free time, they love to check out local parks or drop-in at fests where their girls can take over a dance floor. She is always looking for cheap, yet entertaining and worthwhile things to do. When she is not wrangling her kids, Jill has a passion for starting, and sometimes finishing, do-it-yourself home improvement projects, trying out random recipes she finds on Pinterest, and organizing every nook and cranny of her life.

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