Smile Politely

Weekender: December 8-10

The front of Cafe Kopi, focused on the red sign with white letters.
Rebecca Wells

Friday, December 8th

Drink a Squint at the oldest bar in Champaign, Brass Rail, 11 a.m. to midnight, $4

Brass Rail is open once again in Downtown Champaign. Drink a Squint (Squirt soda and gin) at Champaign’s oldest bar. Bring cash — or not, under new ownership, the bar now accepts card payment (AB)

View from above of a beige ceramic bowl with a small amount of green matcha powder in the bottom. It is surrounded by other similar bowls.
Japan House on Facebook

Drink matcha and shop, Japan House, 12 to 4 p.m., prices vary

Japan House is inviting people in to enjoy some matcha or a matcha latte, have a treat, and browse the unique Asian-inspired items they have for purchase. You might find some cool gift options! If you are planning to eat and drink, it might be a good idea to pre-order those items. You can also just walk in and browse. It’s going to be sort of nice this weekend, so take some time to enjoy the grounds as well! They will be open on Saturday as well. (JM)

Celebrate Cafe Kopi’s 30th birthday, Cafe Kopi, all day, but cake is at 1 p.m., free, but buy drinks or snacks

Beloved Champaign coffee shop Cafe Kopi turns 30 on Friday. That’s some staying power! As all of you avid SP Food & Drink readers know, it’s hard to keep a food/drink business open in this town. So go celebrate Kopi, grab some cake, and throw a couple dollars in the tip jar for the staff. (JH)

Support student and community artisans, Centennial High School, 5:30 to 9 p.m., free to attend

Centennial and Central High Schools are hosting a big Community Artisan Festival in the North Gym at Centennial. There are nearly 60 vendors selling food, sweets, and handcrafted items, and there will be food trucks. Seems like a great place to get some shopping taken care of! (JM)

An image with multiple photos including a sign that says "The Space" and photos of 4 musicians performing.
Derailed Fest Night 1

Go off the rails on a crazy metaphorical train, The Space, 7 p.m., donations for the bands

Derailed Fest is a two-day festival and a homage to the former Rail Fest, the celebration of local music that used to happen annually at the original Brass Rail. Night one takes place at The Space and features local sonic treasures like Dirty Feathers, Colonel James Presents and Rory Book and the Volumes. Get there early and shove some delectable food in your pie-hole. Night two happens Saturday, December 9th, and will be at the legendary Loose Cobra, featuring bands like Terminus Victor, Sunwise and Sweetmelk as well as others. (DP)

Saturday, December 9th

Get some Central Illinois popcorn (and other fun gifts), Lincoln Square Mall, 8 a.m. to noon, prices vary

I love to buy local items to put in gifts for family who don’t live around here. Just to give a little taste of C-U! This year at The Land Connection’s C-U Winter Market, Sola Gratia Farm is selling jars of local popcorn, which is cute and fun. The market is generally a good one-stop shopping experience to get all sorts of foodie and other gift items. Check out the full list of this weekend’s vendors here. (JM)

A colorful cake by The Cake Artist's Studio
Alyssa Buckley

Put in a cake order, The Cake Artist’s Studio, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., $44

This holiday, treat yourself to a gorgeous cake by The Cake Artist before The Cake Artist’s Studio on Bloomington Road closes permanently. My interview with The Cake Artist herself published on Tuesday if you want to read more about it. The last day for the bakery is December 23rd. For the holiday, try one of the special cakes: chocolate and peppermint Oreo, oatmeal and brown sugar coconut, pink champagne with mixed berries, and more. Call 217-403-0900 to place an order. (AB)

Listen to holiday stories with Mrs. Claus, Prairie Gardens, 10 to 10:45 p.m., free

Did you know Mrs. Claus plays the accordion? Bring the kids in your life and listen to her reading stories, singing songs, and playing her accordion as part of their holiday story and music time. Then take some time to check out Prairie Gardens because it is all decked out for holiday decorating. (LKG)

A ceramic sculpture comprised of different colored shapes fused together.
Parkland College

Check out Bold exhibit, Giertz Gallery, noon to 2 p.m., free

Bold is a ceramics exhibition curated by rofessor of ceramics at the University of Montana, Missoula Julia Galloway and Jill Oberman, Curator and Gallery Coordinator at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana. It features contemporary ceramics from artists all over the U.S. Take a stroll through the gallery before it closes for winter break. (JM)

A black and tan goat with long ears is wearing a red and white Santa cap. It is looking as evergreen cuttings in a trough in a bar with white holiday lights on the walls.
Prairie Fruits Farm on Facebook

Grab a photo with cute goats, Prairie Fruits Farm, 1 to 4 p.m., prices vary

If I were the type of person to take and send holiday photo cards, this is what I would do: My family would take some photos with the goats at Prairie Fruits Farm. It would be so freaking adorable. Then, after the photos, I’d get a goat milk hot chocolate, maybe buy some cheese and other little snackies, and head home pleased with myself. Sound good? I’ll see you there on Saturday. (JH)

Champaign County Forest Preserve on Facebook

See some pretty lights, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden, 4 to 8 p.m., free

The botanical garden at Lake of the Woods is all decked out with lights for the holidays every Friday and Saturday night through December 24th. Take advantage of the mild temps this weekend and check it out! (JM)

Come for the bongos, but stay for the house music, Los Guapos with Meet Me at the Puddles, 8 p.m., free

Los Guapos hit the Gallery Art Bar, with their Latinesque rhythms and melodies that will have you playing air bongos in your seat if you’re not already up and dancing. Stick around for a dance party that’s a perfect fit for a venue like Gallery Art Bar. Meet Me at the Puddles brings the EDM/house music that will compel you to get on the dance floor and move your body. (DP)

Sunday, December 10th

Experience a classic movie in a historic theater, the Normal Theater, 4 p.m., $5-$7

This month you see all sorts of holiday movies at the the Normal Theater in Uptown Normal. Before Muppet Christmas Carol and Scrooged and numerous other adaptations of the Dickens story, there was the 1938 A Christmas Carol. Watch this holiday classic then try this grilled cheese at Fiala Brothers Brewery & Beer Hall, just down the road. (JM)

Rollerskates are lined up on blue and orange shelves at Skateland in Savoy.
Anna Longworth

Skate without the kids, Skateland Savoy, 7 to 10 p.m., $12

Skateland is a long-standing establishment that has been around for over 40 years. At this adult only skate, adults 18 and over can skate without fear of small children getting underfoot (or depending on your skill level, small children teasing you — maybe I know this from personal experience). Bring your skates or rent some for $3.50. This will be an alcohol free event but you can always hit up the snack bar

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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