Smile Politely

Weekender: May 19-21

Three colorful rolls of sushi at Sakanaya on Green Street in Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Friday, May 19th

Dine in Campustown, Green Street restaurants, hours and prices vary

Most students have left for the summer, so it’s time for the townies to come out and play. Go for sushi at Sakanaya, nosh tasty salads at Forage, or enjoy Korean fried chicken at Yogi. Just wander down Green Street and see what restaurant strikes your fancy. Recently, we’ve reviewed these Campustown restaurants: Y Thai, Jerusalem Middle Eastern Cuisine, Bab Plus, Kimchi Factory, and Murphy’s Pub if you want to check those out. (AB)

Get serenaded while you paddleboat, The Lake House in Crystal Lake Park, 8:30 to 10 p.m. $20 per boat, $10 per person

Urbana Park District, City of Urbana Arts and Culture Program, and CU Symphony are coming together to create a night of romance. A string quartet will be playing, drinks from Analog Wine Library will be flowing, and hopefully the rain will stay away for this perfect late spring concert (rain date, Saturday). A ticket gets you a 30 minute boat ride for up to four people on a first come first serve basis. (LKG)

Five members of Merry Travelers standing in a half circle, all with one hand extended out in front of them. All of their hands are touching in the space in front. They are smiling, and most of them are looking at their drummer.
Anna Longworth-Singer

Celebrate 10 years of Triptych Brewing on the patio, Rose Bowl Tavern, 5 p.m., free

Triptych Brewing has been making great beer for over 10 years, now. Tip your cap and raise a toast with some great beer and soulful music. The lineup is filled with local favorites (Jeff Hegelsen and Friends, The Black Eyed Lillies, The Merry Travelers), and weather permitting, the celebration will take place on the patio. Tips in the bucket for the bands are welcome and encouraged. (DP)

Have your ears kissed by Sweetmelk and Vaudevileins in Downtown Champaign, The Space, 9 p.m., $10

Sweetmelk, a punk trio hailing from Champaign has been making waves with their catchy melodies, driving rhythms, and honest lyrics since their formation. Comprised of singer-songwriter Kenna Mae, musician/producer James Treichler, and drummer Stephen Emerson, Sweetmelk’s members bring their diverse talents as multi-instrumentalists, visual artists, sound engineers, and graphic designers, ensuring a promising future of great music from the band. For a shot of indie power pop with a punk pop edge, take in Vaudevileins, from Chicago. Vaudevileins have garnered attention for delivering catchy, upbeat songs with themes of love, loss, and redemption. Mars Hojilla, the pop-rock alter ego of Iowa City-based, transgender singer/songwriter Myles Evangelista, explores human emotion through his music, built upon a love for classic pop and rock (DP)

Saturday, May 20th

A view of a large brick building with large glass windows from the parking lot. It sits against a blue sky with white clouds. Tall grasses and flowers are planted in the front of the building.
Stephens Family YMCA

Moms, take care of your mental health, Stephens Family YMCA, 12 to 2 p.m., $5

To celebrate Maternal Mental Health Month, Real Life Families will be hosting Shades of Mental Health for Moms, a lunch and open discussion to hear real stories and struggles of a diverse group of moms. Participants will learn some healthy coping strategies and also ways to take care of themselves. While a minimum donation will be collected at the door, a scholarship can be requested to cover the cost and any additional donations will go toward tickets so that all who want to attend, can. Childcare will also be provided. (LKG)

Honor the Prairie Monk, Kalyx Center for Sustainability, 2 p.m., free

David Monk left a legacy of conservation and preservation of the prairie here in Central Illinois when he passed last year. The Friends of Heartland Pathways group is hosting a time of reflection, singing, walking in the woods, puppetry, art, and more at the Kalyx Center at Allerton Park to honor Monk’s life. The gathering will last throughout the afternoon, and culminate in a potluck and bonfire. (JM)

A purple cocktail is on the bar at Bentley's Pub in Downtown Champaign, Illinois. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

Sip a stratosphere, Bentley’s Pub, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., $8

This new drink is awesome. Made with gin, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice, the stratosphere cocktail was totally delicious, and it came with a little color-changing magic show, ooh, aah. The drinks are always strong and always good at Bentley’s. If you haven’t ever been, try out this seasonal cocktail inside the pub or out on the back patio this weekend. (AB)

A close up of a hole on a putting green, with a yellow flag pole sticking out of it. A person is holding a golf club alongside a bright blue golf ball.
Bloomington Parks and Recreation on Facebook

Play mini golf and raise money for conservation, Miller Park Zoo, 6 to 9 p.m., $7 per game

On a scale of 1 to 10, how good are you at mini golf? I’m gonna give myself about at 4.5. No matter what your skill level, take the short trip over to Bloomington and flex your miniature golf skills to support the zoo’s conservation efforts. It’s a ticketed event, so call 309-434-2250 to secure yours. If you go earlier in the day, you can spend some time at the zoo, and see King Julian, the random lemur they rescued from a garage in Bloomington, as well as other cut animals. (JM)

Five members of Modern Drugs in their recording studio, all smiling at the camera. In the background you can see a photo of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust hanging above the window to the control room
Modern Drugs on Facebook

Get sonically high with Modern Drugs and Squirrel Movement, The Space, 7 p.m., $10

Modern Drugs has quickly garnered attention for their unique fusion of classic rock, punk, and indie rock, delivering catchy melodies with a powerful, positive message. Check out our interview with them from earlier this week, which includes the video from their brand new single. Their energetic live shows, in particular, have been lauded as a testament to their infectious musical talent. Squirrel Movement, from Chicago, opens the night of festivities with their unique brand of psychedelic rock. (DP)

Step into a night of evocative melodies and soulful lyrics, The Recreation Club, 8 p.m., $10-$15 at the door

The Urbana Songwriter Showcase presents a special duo set featuring the seasoned songwriter Paul Kotheimer, a 30-year veteran in songwriting and recording who now operates Pillow Monster Home Studio, and Emily Anne, a folk and country singer known for her angelic voice and diverse repertoire. (DP)

Sunday, May 21st

Close up of a baby reindeer. It has brown fur, and is standing in a large grassy field.
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch on Facebook

Go see baby reindeer, Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $8

Yes really, baby reindeer. This weekend and next are your only opportunities to see these cute lil punkins before it gets too hot for them to be out and about. Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch is offering guided tours where you will get to see the babies, and also pet and feed the adult reindeer. Tickets must be purchased on site. (JM)

Enjoy a goth picnic, Prairie Park, 1 to 4 p.m., free, but bring a dish to share (it’s a picnic!)

Do you identify as goth, or as a child of darkness? Join your community at Prairie Park for a gothnic (a goth picnic). Bring a dish to share. This event is organized by The Darkness Underground to celebrate World Goth Day. Bring your sunscreen and make some new friends. (JH)

A brindle pit bull mix dog is standing in a living room staring into the camera. His mouth is open as if he is smiling. He has a white mark on his muzzle and up the middle of his face. He wears a red harness and there is a blue and orange toy on the floor next to him.
Hospice Hearts on Facebook

Drink some beer to help doggos (and cats), and bring your doggo, Pour Bros., 2 to 5 p.m., free entry, plus cost of beer and your donations

Pour Bros.’ annual summer patio series, Pups and Pints, returns this weekend to raise money for Hospice Hearts. Bring your well behaved pup to the Pour Bros. patio and enjoy some booze (and water for your pooch), giveaways, photo-ops, and dog merch vendors. You could also submit an application to take home Goofy, pictured above. (JH)

an outdoor shot of the urbana free library, a large white building with green doors, and a moss covered wall in the background
Urbana Free Library on Facebook

Attend a poetry reading, Urbana Free Library, 2 p.m., free

The Champaign-Urbana Quintessential Poets will be hosting guest poet Janice Harrington at their poetry reading this Sunday. Harrington, who is the author of multiple books of poetry and children’s books, will be joining published poets Frank Modica, Emily Kerlin, and John Palen for this event. The reading will be held in the Busey-Mills Reading Room on the first floor of The Urbana Free Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. (SSO)

Dance some Lindy-Hop, Hamilton Walker’s, 7 p.m., free

The Illini Swing Society is kicking off their summer series of events with Lindy Hoppers at Hamilton Walker’s this Sunday. There will be a DJ so you can put on your dance shoes and dance some swing, or just hang out and watch. The event is free, but food or drink purchases are encouraged. (SSO)

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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