I feel like I should apologize in advance because January and February are not my best months. The sun is still setting early, you have to wear a million layers when you go outside, and my motivation to leave the house disappears entirely. Even though I have lived in Champaign for most of my life, every winter, without fail, I transform into a bear and stay indoors at all costs.
Luckily, Champaign-Urbana has some fun events that will motivate me to brave the elements. So this month, I rounded up the ones I think will be worth the herculean amount of motivation I’m going to need. And since winter probably does not have the same (dramatic) effect on most people, here are three things that look like they’ll be worth heading out for, from making space in your closet to testing your spelling skills.
Make book friends
I think it’s safe to say, the Literary Book Bar needs no introduction. The book store and restaurant has quickly become a hub for good food and great book and author events. There are plenty to chose from every month, but a “New Book Friend Mingle” stood out to me because it sounds like a really good time. Rather than going to listen to an author or chat at a book club, this mingle seems like it will encourage people to get to know each other with a little help from the staff. As a passionate reader myself, I am always looking for book friends to talk about books I love and maybe even attend a future event with me.
New Book Friend Mingle
122 N Neil St
W Jan 17th
7 to 8 p.m.
Free, but registration is encouraged
Trade or donate clothes
Since I spend winter indoors as much as I can and have five kiddos who refuse to stop growing, I am constantly adding to my “donate pile,” — basically just a giant clear box overflowing with clothes to donate. This clothing swap at Gallery Art Bar would be a great way to trade some of my clothes for something new to me. I’ve never been to a clothing swap, but I feel like being able to have a drink and wander the racks would be a really fun way to do it. The bar will also be accepting coat donations for the Cunningham township.
Pop-up Clothing Swap
Gallery Art Bar
119 W Main St
Sa Jan 20th
Noon to 3 p.m.
Free, but bring something to swap
Test your spelling skills
I have always been in awe of spelling bee contestants. Confession: even though I consider myself a writer, I have never been a great speller (prior to spell check I spent a lot of time looking up words in an actual dictionary; who remembers those days?). Some of my least favorite words to spell: definitely, thighs, and received. Obviously I would not do well in a spelling bee, but if you would, the Urbana Free Library is hosting a spelling bee for adults. There are still spots available to sign up and if you’re like me, you’ll agree that part of the fun is listening to people spell out complicated words. The winner gets bragging rights and an Urbana-themed gift basket. And for fun, here is an appendix of Scripps National Spelling Bee winning words from previous years.
Adult Spelling Bee
Urbana Free Library
210 West Green St
Sa Jan 27th, 2 to 4 p.m.
Free, but registration is required