Smile Politely

Weekender: April 11-14

The inside of a dimly lit space. A wood sign is hand painted to say "boneyard festival" with an arrow pointing up a staircase
Boneyard Arts Festival on Facebook

Thursday, April 11th

Explore the magic of film, Seibel Center for Design, 1208 S 4th Street, Champaign, 4 to 6 p.m., free

The opening of this event is Thursday evening, but you can explore the “symbiotic relationships among architecture, cinema, environment, and behavior” all weekend long as part of the 2024 Boneyard Arts Festival. From Backdrop to Stardom looks to be one of the most interesting and engaging events this year. (AP)

A coffee flight at The Literary in Champaign.
Coffee flight at The Literary; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Drink coffee and go to a book club, The Literary, 4 to 6 p.m., free to attend but bring money for a coffee flight

What’s more fun for book-lovers than going to a book club at a bookstore? The book up for discussion this Thursday is Building Community Food Webs by Ken Meter. No purchase is required to attend, but when at The Literary, I recommend the coffee flight. Though the flavors have rotated to new spring combinations, it’s still a deliciously fun way to enjoy time at the bookstore. Check out the event page here. (AB)

Learn about the history of Allerton Park, Allerton Park Mansion, 515 Old Timber Rd, Monticello, 5 to 6 p.m., $5

The penultimate History Happy Hour at Allerton park will showcase “in-depth look at the history of Allerton Park, the Allerton family and the artwork they collected.” Each happy hour focuses on something different, so if you’ve already attended, you’ll learn something new. This is bound to be informative; you can make an evening of it by grabbing food at the Brown Bag Deli afterwards. (JH)

See if the songwriting apple fell far from the tree, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $15

Tommy Prine, the son of the legendary John Prine, will be playing from and promoting his own new album, This Far South, as well as honoring the legacy of his father. (DP)

Friday, April 12th

Illini baseball team huddles together wearing orange jerseys before the game between the Indiana State Sycamores and the Illinois Fighting Illini at Illinois Field in Champaign, IL.
Craig Pessman

Support Illini spring sports, various locations, times vary, free

The Illini Spring Sports Fest happens all weekend. There will be 11 home events from April 12th through the 14th in men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, softball, and baseball. You can pick up a punch card at any of the home events and get them punched at each event. If you get four punches you get an Illinois Prize Pack, which might include waist bags, visors, or glasses, depending on the event. There will also be giveaways, autograph opportunities, and a sports clinic. (LKG)

An atrium with a wall of all windows, a slanted ceiling, and wood floors. Along one side is an information desk, and a doorway.
Parkland College

Check out Parkland’s Open House, Parkland College Student Union, 10 a.m. to noon, free, but registration required

Are you or your kids interested in attending Parkland, or wanting to learn more about potential programs? This open house will introduce you to many programs of study, as well as all the other extras Parkland offers. There will be a lot of reps on hand to answer your questions. Plus, the Student Union is a gorgeous building. (JH)

A bright orange poster with the words "Necessity" in big white capital letters. On the top right is a brown woman with black hair protesting with one arm in the air. On the bottom left is a white woman wearing glasses and a wool hat, holding a megaphone.
Spurlock Museum of World Cultures

Watch a film and discuss the climate emergency, Spurlock Museum of World Culture, 6 to 8 p.m., free

April at Spurlock will be focusing on climate, culture, and community action. They will be showing part two of the award-winning Necessity Film Series, Climate Justice and the Thin Green Line. The film focuses on the struggle Indigenous people are facing as they “navigate the encroachment of lethal chemicals onto their land brought by corporations.” After the film, join staff and guest facilitators to discuss the effects of the climate emergency. (LKG)

Band playing in front of an audience with blue lights on the stage.
Kansas on Facebook

Carry on to the Virginia Theatre for some rock and roll nostalgia, Virginia Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $59.50 to $304.50

The iconic rock band Kansas is set to commemorate their 50th anniversary with a special performance at the Virginia Theatre. Their 70s arena rock bombast is sure to take you back down memory lane. (DP)

Saturday, April 13th

A collection of black devices connected to yellow fiber optic cables.
The device in Loomis Laboratory used to send photons through the fiber network to The Urbana Free Library; Julie McClure

Learn about quantum stuff, Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, 306 North Wright Street, Urbana, 10 a.m., free

Saturday is World Quantum Day. In this lecture by Union College professor Chad Orzel, you will learn “how quantum physics manifests in the kind of situations you regularly encounter in the course of getting up and getting ready to face the day.” It’s part of the Engineering for Everyone lecture series, so you will, in fact, be able to keep up with the content. If you want to learn more about quantum stuff, you can read our interview with the folks at the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center. (JH)

Two beers from Riggs Beer Company sit on a weathered brown table at Riggs' beer garden in Urbana. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Grab your pup and head to Yappy Hour, Rigg’s, noon to 5 p.m., free, but there will be beer, food, and animals for adoption

This event is a U of I Recreation, Sport and Tourism class project, and will feature food trucks, adoptable animals, and, yes, beer. Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome. There will also be vendors selling pet-themed and -related goods. The weather is forecasted to be beautiful; bring your SPF! (JH)

Experience the poetic work of Dr. Meadow Jones, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 3 to 5 p.m., free

Dr. Meadow Jones will be hosting poetry and art from the participants in her Self-Care Writing Workshop. The poetry and art on display on Friday and Saturday will feature the community members’ collage, prints, and poetry on the theme of “coming home,” encompassing work about being unhoused, housed, welcomed and un-welcomed in our homes, bodies, and environment. Hear the poetry out loud on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. The works will be on display Friday and Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. (AP)

Fred Zwicky

Celebrate Mom’s Day with the University of Illinois Black Chorus, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $15

The University of Illinois Black Chorus and conductor Ollie Watts Davis celebrate Mom’s Weekend with their performance titled Mom…Simply the Best. Experience this uplifting music in the beautiful Foellinger Great Hall. (DP)

Sunday, April 14th

A picnic blanket of takeout Korean food and tres leches cake.
Alyssa Buckley

Have a picnic, your house with takeout, whenever you’re hungry, prices vary

It’s going to be freaking beautiful on Sunday. Spend it on a blanket under the sunny spring sun with takeout from favorite spots. Chicken wings may not be picnic food for everyone, but it is for me. I love the takeout from San Maru (the beef bulgogi is a must, too). And if I’m getting dessert, I want Rick’s Bakery tres leches, but you get whatever sounds delish to you and let’s all cheers to spring. (AB)

Loose Cobra is your go-to place to love, and buy, some cool art at the Outpost. Partake in parking lot margaritas, and jam to the musical talents of Matt Talbott and Nectar later in the afternoon. It’s going to be a wonderful Sunday afternoon and evening that might, as Talbott notes, turn into “a major rage-er.” (AP)

All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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