Smile Politely

Weekender: March 28-31

Several individual slices of cake packaged to go at Neil St. Blues' Sunday brunch buffet.
Cake buffet at Neil St. Blues; Photo by Alyssa Buckley

Thursday, March 28th

Find out how Fly Girls take to the skies, Beckman Institute, 5:30 p.m., free

Finish out Women’s History Month with a free screening of Fly Girls: Breaking Barriers in the Sky. The short film will be followed by a panel discussion with University of Illinois women, both current students and graduates, in aerospace and aviation. (AP)

Five wine bottles on the bar at Analog Wine Bar. A white woman reaches out to touch the bottle on the left. They are five different types of wine.
Rashmi Tenneti

Read a book, alone, surrounded by other people, Analog, 7 to 8 p.m., free (but buy a glass of wine

Maybe you’re already a person who reads in public, but if you’re not, this is a chance to do it and feel less weird. Analog is hosting a silent book club, which means you can show up with your book and just read it, quietly, preferably while sipping a glass of wine. (JH)

Photo of a musical theatre stage including five white actors wearing 1980's era costumes on a set with a painted backdrop. The costumes are blues and oranges with a childlike drawing of a child with its hands in the air on one piece of the theatre flats. The other flat has a cityscape painted on it.
The Station Theatre on Facebook

Fall in love with Falsettos, The Station Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $18+

Weekend shows are sold out and next weekend is going fast. Thursday night is the perfect time to take in dinner and a show. The cast and crew have produced a delightful musical full of heart. (AP)

Hear from a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 7:30 p.m., free

If you love history and sports, this is an event for you. Author David Maraness will be delivering a keynote speech to kick off the Sporting Publics Symposium, two days of speakers that will “illuminate the ways sports at times facilitates public conversations on past and present societal conditions, whether it is how sports reveal broader issues about culture, identity, or history.” Maraness will be signing books after his talk. (JM)

6 band members on a stage lighted in red and blue with a banner that reads "Glory" at the back of the stage.
Derrick Philips

Rock out to the biggest rock band in Canada, The City Center, 8 p.m., $20 to $25

Award-winning Canadian powerhouse The Glorious Sons continue on their Glory Daze co-headlining tour with Southhall tonight, along with southern rockers Them Dirty Roses opening in support. You will not get more rock music entertainment for your dollar than at this show. (DP)

Friday, March 29th

A white utility truck is parked by a curb. There are several paper lawn bags on the grass, next to a mailbox.
City of Champaign on Facebook

Do some yard work, your house (or a neighbor’s if you’re really nice) all weekend, mostly free 

Spring is here, and it’s time for yard work. All those stupid branches that have been in your yard all winter? Time to round ‘em up. Get some yard waste bags and bag up the detritus for collections in Champaign and Urbana in just a couple of weeks. Once those dates are gone, that’s it for municipal collection — you’re on your own. At least the weather will be on Friday! (JH)

Hear from author and assistant professor Dr. Bobby J. Smith II, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 5 to 7 p.m., free

Dr. Bobby J. Smith II, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, will have a conversation about how food was used as a weapon against African Americans during the civil rights movement. The talk with cover the important topics of his new book Food Power Politics: The Food Story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. The event is free, and event information can be found here. (AB)

a clothing rack holds prom dresses in a rainbow of colors from dark blue to red.
Mike Ingram for Everyone on Facebook

Donate or take advantage of the C-U Prom Give Away, The City Center, 4 to 7 p.m., free 

Do you have some formalwear taking up space in your closet? Donate it to the C-U Prom Give Away, where young people can pick out prom gear for free all weekend. It’s a great way to recycle clothing you’re not going to wear again, and for prom-goers to look snazzy without having to shell out hundreds of dollars many of them cannot afford. Collect your dresses, suits, shoes, and purses. Check out the Facebook event page for more specifics on where you can donate. (JH)

Do an egg hunt for grown-ups, Dodds Park, 8:10 to 9:30 p.m., $10

Why should kids get all the egg hunts? The Nite Lite Egg Pursuit is for the adults, and it’s in the dark. Bring a flashlight and your competitive spirit. You’ll have a chance to win some sweet prizes! Register onsite from 7:15 to 8 p.m. and be ready at the start so you don’t miss out. (JM)

Saturday, March 30th

Mojo Retro, a thrift shop in Savoy, and 217 Thrift have organized a mini vintage fest. There will be seven clothing vendors, plus two home decor / craft vendors. The weather will be relatively warm but overcast, so thrifting will be a good way to spend an hour or two. Stop into Gallery Art Bar for very delicious cocktails. (JH)

A white vertical banner with a pink square and the words CUDO PLAYS in white block letters at the top. Underneath there are three figures, one blue, one pink, and one yellow.
Julie McClure

Play some games, Broadway Food Hall, noon, free (but bring money for food if you’re hungry)

CUDO Plays is all about “building the game you want to play.” They’ll be hosting their biggest event of the year with their annual open gaming event. Teams have worked all year to create new and creative games and they’ll be ready for playing all day. Participants simply need to show up, pick a table, and learn a new game. The games will be available to play from noon to 5 p.m., there will be a raffle for prizes (board games and accessories) at 5 p.m., and at 6 p.m., awards will be given out to exceptional games in eight different categories. (LKG) 

A light brown bunny with a green lettuce leaf in its mouth.
Miller Park Zoo on Facebook

Meet some bunnies, Miller Park Zoo, 1 to 3 p.m., $3-$7

Miller Park Zoo is hosting Bunny’s Spring Jubilee featuring the Easter bunny and the live rabbits living at the zoo. There will also be games, crafts, and cookie decorating (but no egg hunt). I’m not really interested in owning a bunny, but I think they are cute to visit with and pet! (JM)

The Allerton Park mansion viewed from the back. It is a huge red brick mansion with white windows and a gray roof. The are retaining walls and steps that lead to a pond, in which you can see the mansion reflected. It is a sunny day with a light blue sky.
Allerton Park on Facebook

Have a stay-cation, Allerton Park and Retreat Center, 3 p.m. til the next day, $110

Allerton is having one of their Weekend Wind Down deals this Saturday. Stay in the mansion and get two free drink tickets and enjoy a nice little cozy time, or get out and do some hiking. If you decide to spend some time in Monticello, check out some of the places I visited last summer. You can make your reservation here. (JM)

Dance, shake and groove with local hip-hop legends Trouble-Chasin’, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8:30 p.m., $10 cover

Rose Bowl Tavern is featuring a night of hip-hop, soul and R&B as Trouble Chasin’ headlines an incredible lineup also featuring Haki N’ Dem and Ms. Jones If You Nasty. (DP)

Sunday, March 31st

Eat all the foods, Neil St. Blues, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $40

Neil St. Blues always has a delicious smorgasbord of Southern dishes for Sunday brunch, but this Sunday, the soul food restaurant will offer a special Easter brunch for the fifth year in a row. There will be an omelette station in addition to fried chicken, sage cornbread dressing, Belgian waffles, honey glazed ham, hashbrowns, candied yams, and more. Be sure to grab the restaurant’s insanely delicious fried catfish, some of the greens, and try to save room for dessert because Neil St. Blues makes super yummy sweets. Call 217-531-1150 to make a reservation. Check out the event page here. (AB)

Do some crafts, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 1:00 pm, Free

Spurlock Museum of World Cultures is celebrating National Crafts Month by joining Ascend Art 360 to create mosaics from recycled paper. You can create images of the sun, animals, the ocean, or anything else that sparks your imagination. For ages 5 and up. (LKG)

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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