Need something to talk about other than Chicago’s ever-changing winter weather? Don’t worry, you’ve got options. February is stacked with plenty to keep you occupied. From discounted eats to bead-happy bar crawls to a roller skating party for grown-ups, here are 25 of our favorite things to do this month:
2: Garage Rep 2012
Steppenwolf Theatre Garage, 1624 N. Halsted
Catch a show by some upcoming theater companies in Chicago. Now through April 8, a rotating repertory includes LiveWire Chicago’s “Oohrah!,” The Inconvenience’s “Hit the Wall” and Theatre Zarko’s “He Who.” Times vary, $12-$20
4: Reggie’s SXSW Showdown and Fundraiser
Reggie’s Rock Club, 2109 S. State St.
Can’t make it to SXSW this year? Help one lucky Chicago band get there as Tracer Bullet, Yellow Jacket, The Welcome, Yer Mother Lovers, Gun, and Fates, Furies and Men compete for a slot in Reggie’s showcase in Austin. 8 p.m., $10
Berlin, 952 W. Belmont Ave.
This month’s Madonna-Rama just got uber-relevant. Think of this event as your Super Bowl halftime after party. 10 p.m.
7: ‘American Idiot’ opens
Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 24 W. Randolph St.
Green Day’s musical makes its way to our fair city for a two-week engagement. The show follows the story of three friends as they fight against the constraints of the suburbs. Rock on. Times vary, $27-$95
11: Stay Smooth XVI ‘Sweet Sixteen’
Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave.
The best way to rock to 1970s and ’80s rock and smooth jams? A roller rink, obvi. Stay Smooth is back and this time they’re taking partiers from a hosted bar at Schubas to Fleetwood Roller Rink in Summit for two-hours of skating. 8 p.m.-1 a.m., $40
12: Dose Market
River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois St.
Swing by this monthly market of food, fashion and other goodies to help cure the winter blahs. There for your browsing/purchasing pleasure: Bang Bang Pie’s baked goods, cheese from Zingerman’s Creamery, bags and shirts from Vintage Smith, fresh flowers from Sprout Home and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $10
14: Valentine’s Day
Scoop up your sweetie and head for a night on the town, or just a quick run for take-out. Single? Don’t worry, there are plenty of bars running counter-programming for the night. Check out chicago.metromix.com/vday for plenty of ideas.
17: Chicago Restaurant Week begins
If you don’t have reservations yet, get on it. More than 200 Chicago restaurants are offering discounted specials for lunch ($22) and dinner ($33-$44). For a full list of participating restaurants, head to eatitupchicago.com.
18: Beadquest Bar Crawl
Murphy’s Bleachers, 3655 N. Sheffield Ave.
It’s Mardi Gras, Wrigleyville-style. This crawl—from the same team behind TBOX—drew a crowd of more than 1,000 last year with more than 10,000 beads handed out. 1:30 p.m., $20
19: ‘The Interrupters’ screening
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.
Director Steve James will be on-hand during the screening of his film about Violence Interrupters trying to protect their Chicago neighborhoods. 5 p.m., $9.99-$26
23: BBU ‘Bell Hooks’ release show
Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave.
This Chicago-based hip hop group is back with their second release “Bell Hooks,” which includes features by Das Racist and more. VIP option includes ticket, T-shirt and copy of the album. 7 p.m., $5-$10 GA, $20 VIP
26: Chicago WingFest
Journeymen Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd.
Bring an extra napkin or two for this sauce-smothered extravaganza. Around 25 local spots serve up their best flavors an the event features and eating contest, live music and giveaways. 1 p.m.-6 p.m., $24-$50 (VIP)
1: Paul McGee’s last day at The Whistler
3: Salsa Congress Global Dance Party at Old Town School of Folk Music
8: Chicago Distillers night with North Shore, Hum and more at Jerry’s Wicker Park
9: Burlesque Tribute to Pink Floyd’s The Wall @ Stage 773
11: Handmade Market at Empty Bottle
11: Makeout Party at Hideout
12: Vintage Bazaar at Dank Haus
13: Showboat opens at Lyric Opera
14: Princess Bride screening at The Music Box Theatre
16: Adler After Dark at Adler Planetarium
18: Dr. Dog at The Vic
21: Zola Jesus at Lincoln Hall
24: Critical Mass Bike Ride