It’s a brand new year! Let’s kick off the first full weekend of 2023 with some fun events! While the start of the year is always a little slow, there is still plenty to do this weekend!
While it feels like the pandemic is behind us, you still need to be mindful when you go out this weekend and beyond. The winter season has seen a lot of colds, flu, RSV, and of course bouts of COVID. It’s better to be safe and wear a mask when you go out to big events. And if you’re still a little hesitant to go out, there are many events and things to do from home. So whether you’re staying in or going out, keep safe and stay healthy!
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- Support Local Venues
- Kingston Mines is open with some great lineups this weekend
- Fitzgerald’s is also back in full swing
- Evanston Space‘s shop is open and you should consider donating to help the venue during these weird times. They are also having lower capacity shows at the venue!
- Head over to the Hideout’s regular shop and get yourself some great merch! Their 2020 Holiday Sale page is also still up with links to great local artists!
- Metro shop is full of fantastic concert posters from yesteryear and cool merch
- Lincoln Hall/Schubas always has great items in their shop waiting for you! Plus Schubas/Tied House is open and events are on their way back!
- Same goes for Thalia Hall’s merch store (those holiday socks? *chef’s kiss*)
- Let’s not forget Empty Bottle’s fantastic merch shop! Plus they just added some new stuff designed by some awesome people that is sure to catch your eye! Shows are going on now as well, so head over to their venue site and go to some concerts if you’re comfortable
- Art Galleries and Special Events
- Chicago Gamespace is the perfect spot to check out the hairy present and future of the gaming realm!
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! Plus you can check out some of their prints from last year’s Vertical Gallery collab, which you can purchase here!! There is also a virtual gallery featuring all the works! You can see their previous show “Saturday Morning Fever” featuring the works of Griffin Goodman through their virtual gallery! And don’t forget to check out the virtual edition of JC Rivera’s new exhibition “Still Undefeated” !
- Galerie F has a fun stock of prints from concert posters, pop culture prints and more!
- Rotofugi is the perfect nexus of art and toys! Head over to see what new pieces of art they have in stocks and on display in their gallery space! They are currently showing The Sad & Horrible Show 2 Sadder & Horribler New Works by Sad Salesman & Horrible Adorables.
- WNDR Museum is an ever-evolving immersive art and technology experience designed to ignite your curiosity! See exhibits like the Light Floor, Try to Get Higher, and the Digital Gallery. Plus Keith Haring!
- Garfield Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Lincoln Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely
- SPECIAL EVENTS!
- Lightscape @ Chicago Botanic Garden
- “The Twenty-Sided Tavern” @ Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
- Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park
- Wicker Park Winter Market Series @ the Robey
- Tinseltown @ Pink Squirrel
THURSDAY, JANUARY 5th
Bric-a-Brac Fundraiser @ Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western, 8:00pm
WHAT: A little support for a great record and toy shop!
SO WHAT: Swing by the Bottle with some stuff for sale or aa donation to help out the wonderful folks over at Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, who tragically lost a good chunk of their inventory due to a pipe burst. Records and Toys are needed the most, so grab your things and help out this great shop. Plus have a drink and enjoy the Bric-a-Brac DJs spinning all night!
NOW WHAT: It’s free!
THURSDAY – SATURDAY, JANUARY 5th – 7th
Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas and Lincoln Hall!
SO WHAT: Lincoln Hall and Schubas are some of our favorite venues in the city and they always have something great going on. Check out what’s going this weekend at these great venues!
- January 5 – LHST Comedy Presents: Schubas Open Mic HOSTED BY NAOMI SPUNGEN, ADRIENNE STOUT, AND SUZ BALLOUT @ Schubas
- January 6 – The Weekend Run Club / Pinksqueeze / CalicoLoco @ Schubas
- January 7 – The Vulgar Boatmen / Darren Garvey @ Schubas
NOW WHAT: Head out to Schubas & Lincoln Hall and enjoy this great lineup of shows! Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry to all shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas in Chicago. Click here for more information on this policy.
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, JANUARY 6th – 8th
The Great American Dog Show @ Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, 1551 Thoreau Dr Schaumburg, 10:00am-5:00pm
WHAT: A perfect event for dog lovers!
SO WHAT:The inaugural Great American Dog Show is coming to Illinois this weekend for three full days of dog fun! You’ll have the opportunity to meet over 200 breeds, enjoy some amazing demonstrations and tricks, pick up some doggy giftd and product, and see all the wonderfully groomed pups in the Dog Grooming Competition!
NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $25 ($20 for seniors, $15 for children)!
The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Friday and Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm, 16+
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo-Futurists are back (JAN 6th)! Their Infinite Wrench is an ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends! Plan ahead as vaccination cards will be checked and booster will be required to be fully vaccinated.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo-Futurists this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7th
GCW Presents “Save Me” @ Thalia Hall, 1227 W 18th St, 7:00pm, 17+
WHAT: Some damn fine pro wrestling
SO WHAT: Game Changer Wrestling, or GCW, has been putting on some of the most intense and thrilling pro wrestling shows for years and are hitting another high-point this year. This evening will feature some incredible matches including Joey Janela vs. Tony Deppen, THRUSSY vs. Mason’s Mercenaries, Homicide v JWM, H8 CLub (Gage & Tremont) vs. Jordan/Wayne and so many more! Add the Thalia Hall atmosphere and you have yourself one hell of a night.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are still available and are $30.00 – $35.00. You cn also catch the show live of FITE+!
Speed Rack Season 11 Midwest @ Thalia Hall, 1227 W 18th St, 4:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Another year of this high speed event!
SO WHAT: Speed Rack is a women focused bartending contest that not only hands a fst paced intesity to your night, but also raises money for breast caner research! Speed Rack is back for their 11th season to crown a Midwest Champion at Thalia Hall. The Midwest Champion will then head to compete in national finals in New Orleans, July 2023
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $25 and 100% of money raised on January 8th, will be donated to their charity partners.
MOST OF THE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Winterland @ Gallagher’s Way, 3635 N Clark St, various times, All Ages
WHAT: Some more winter festivities
SO WHAT: Enjoy the return of Gallagher Way’s Winterland with the fun expanding into Wrigley Field itself!! Enjoy fun rides (Wintertube, Infield Express, Hot Cocoa Cups, and Winter Whirl), games (Chiney Toss, Tree Topper, & Snow Pitch), and of course the usual ice skating, ice bumper cars, and the Christkindlmarket will be on hand!
NOW WHAT: Entry to the Wrigley Field portion starts at $5 and attraction tickets are $4 (10 for $36 & 20 for $69)! Ice Skating + Skate Rental is 5 attraction tickets or $20, rink access only is 3 tickets or $12.
ZooLights @ Lincoln Park Zoo, pedestrian entrance at Stockton Drive and Webster Street, 4:30pm – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: One of the largest displays of the season’s lights!
SO WHAT: ZooLights, Presented By ComEd and Invesco QQQ, at Lincoln Park Zoo makes the most wonderful time of year even better with the most wonderful lighting event. The one-of-a-kind experience offers fun family-oriented holiday celebrations that feature beautiful displays and incredible seasonal activities all under the glow of millions of lights! Check out their event page for a full rundown of all the fun that is waiting for you at the annual ZooLights event!
NOW WHAT: Entry is free on Mondays and Tuesday, $5 every other day! Tickets for the Winter Experiences, including the carousel, Lionel Train Adventure, Ferris Wheel, Light Maze, and S’mores at Snowy’s will be available on site for $4 each, a package of 10 for $36, or a package of 20 for $69.
Light Up the Lake @ Navy Pier, 600 E Grand, Various times, All ages
WHAT: Winter festivities without all the cold!
SO WHAT: Navy Pier will be putting on Chicagoland’s biggest indoor, temperature-controlled winter celebration! Light Up the Lake will feature a light garden, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays; an Alpine ice rink, kiddie train rides, gift market—and, of course, a chance to visit with SANTA!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now and range from $15 to $26.
Threads art exhibit @ Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St, Chicago (enter at Racine/34th, north lot free parking), through January 6, 2023.
WHAT: Feed your spirit rather than consumerism in this often capitalist season.
SO WHAT: Threads refers to the connections bridging the diverse practices of these 12 Chicago artists: Alexis de Chaunac, Colin Fleck, Drew Reynolds, Eleonore Zurawski, Frank Vega, Ingrid Olson, Jeffrey Yard, Journie Cirdain, Kate Smith, Lisa Bjornstad, Maxwell Volkman, and Weiyang Gao. Through the use of traditional and non-traditional techniques in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media, each artist has developed their own mark-making process and visual language. Hushed palettes of earth tones and textured surfaces in these works bring the natural world into conversation with a rawness that exposes the human experience. Veins of abstraction, existentialism, and nuanced narration act as themes stitching together this quilted tapestry. This group exhibition is co-curated by Gao, and BAC curator Marci Rubin.
NOW WHAT: The event is free and the center is open Monday-Saturday from 8am-6pm, and Sunday from 8am-12noon. Consider taking or giving a class as a gift, with options including ceramics, yoga, “dancing brush creativity,” plus the Wine & Paint studio.
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave and at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is really to fill that art house need in you with some excellent movies including with Broker, The Pale Blue Eye, Women Talking, Ninotchka, midnight screenings of Total Recall, and more! But if you want to watch some first-run movies at home, you can still watch great movies and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There are also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!
ChiTown Movies @ Pilsen Neighborhood, 2343 S. Throop St, Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: An old school experience for the modern age
SO WHAT: Take a trip back in time and head out to a drive-in movie with ChiTown Movies. Ever since the pandemic started and shut down traditional movie screening, a few pop up drive-ins have arrived and ChiTown Movies has persevered, offering up modern movies in this retro setting. Check out their lineup below for showings this weekend and in the future!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $33 per car for these movies, so bring the family for a safe movie watching experience
New Talks and Video Archives @ Various Locations & Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival always brings some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for updates to the upcoming season as their website is constantly updated with new talks. Here is a taste of what coming in September!
NOW WHAT: Head over to take a look at their past events here! You should also sign up for their email list to get updates on upcoming talks in 2022
Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos