The weekend will be here before you know it, so start planning now to make sure you don’t miss out on delicious dining deals during Chicago Restaurant Week, a concert in the city or a film festival in the suburbs, or even a trip to Lake Geneva. Plus, find out which book the Wilmette Public Library has chosen for this year’s One Book Everybody Reads program.
Harris Theater will welcome Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas for its Mix at Six series. Guests will receive one free beer with their ticket purchase, and specialty cocktails and food will be available for purchase.
Telluride’s Mountainfilm Fest will return to Gorton Community Center with feature film “Return to Mount Kennedy,” family shorts, adrenaline shorts, an environmental expo, and more.
Begins Jan. 25
Now’s your chance to try that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to visit or dine at a favorite spot at a discount during two weeks of brunch, lunch, and dinner deals from hundreds of restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs. Before you make your reservations, read our top picks for this year’s event.
Begins Jan. 26
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Get away for a few days and enjoy Lake Geneva’s Winterfest, which will feature the United States National Snow Sculpting Championship, a hovercraft competition, human dog sled races, The Amazing Ice Castles, and more.
Now in its 22nd year, this annual event will have participants racing to the top of the 80-story Aon Center to benefit Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Register or donate online.
Begins Jan. 27
Starting this weekend, kids 10 and younger will be able to play ping pong for free on the last Sunday of each month at SPIN, a ping pong social club. Kids will also be able to play games like oversized Jenga and Connect 4 and enjoy kid-friendly food and dessert specials. Parents will also be able to play unlimited ping pong for $8.
Wilmette Public Library’s 2019 One Book Everybody Reads selection is “The Lake on Fire” by local author Rosellen Brown. Set in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the book centers around Jewish immigrant siblings Chaya and Asher as they move from rural Wisconsin to Chicago. Brown will discuss the book at Wilmette Junior High School on May 5, so start reading and stay tuned for an announcement about more events throughout the spring.
More Can’t-Miss Events:
- For one night only (and by popular demand), Evanston’s Studio5 will present Paul Marinaro performing arrangements from the album “Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim” on Jan. 25. The performance will be recorded for Chicago Jazz Live on WDCB.
- Evanston’s Ice House Gallery will host the Hannah Frank Folktet for a concert on Jan. 26 with opener whitewolfsonicprincess.
- North Shore Congregation Israel and Faith in Place will partner for a Winter Farmers Market on Jan. 27. Shop winter produce, honey, baked goods, preserves, and even beauty products at this market.
- If you’ve ever considered writing a memoir, or are interested in the writing process of different authors, The Book Stall in Winnetka will host So You Want to Write a Memoir…A Panel Discussion on Jan. 27 with local writers Nancy Chadwick, Annette Gendler, and Tammy Letherer.
- On Jan. 27, Gallagher Way will host a Paint the Ice event to end the Winterland season. Go ice skating outside Wrigley Field from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. before painting the ice until 6 p.m.
- If you have kids or grandkids who love the Disney Junior show “Puppy Dog Pals,” make sure they don’t miss the new episode this weekend. Set in Chicago and featuring some of the city’s most famous landmarks, it also includes a special guest star in a musical nod to the Blues Brothers.
Make a Difference:
- A. Perry Homes’ Winterfest: Monte Carlo Night on Jan. 26 will benefit Northwestern Settlement. Buy your tickets today for this evening of blackjack, poker, and more.
- The first installment of Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings, presented by Asian Improv Arts Midwest’s AA Arts Incubator, will take place Jan. 28 at Victory Gardens Theater. This is the first Asian American play reading series in the Midwest.
- Looking for your next date night spot? On Jan. 30, not only will Firefly Kitchen in Wilmette provide a delicious meal, but they’ll also provide childcare. As you dine, kids will enjoy dinner, activities, and a movie with professional babysitters in the restaurant’s private space upstairs. (PJs are encouraged!) Make reservations and complete child registration by calling 224-408-2494.
More from Make It Better:
- 31 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This January
- Lyric Celebrates Opera’s Brightest Star with a Gala to Match
- Disney Legend Alan Menken Dishes on Live-Action ‘Aladdin,’ ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and That Time Lin-Manuel Miranda Begged for His Autograph
Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of 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.