Smile Politely

Weekender: December 18-20

FRIDAY, December 18th

Beer poached pork sausage, bacaro, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $15

Friday lunches at bacaro are just so damn delicious. This week’s pork sausage is served with bread and butter cabbage and spicy mustard on a poppy seed bun, with house fries and a fancy soda. (JH)



Holiday Wonderland, Lincoln Square, 3-7 p.m., free

Roberta Morris and American Cancer Society invite guests to view the biggest Christmas Village display in the Midwest of over 500 Department 56 lighted houses and accessories. Head out to Lincoln Square and walk through the Holiday Wonderland! There will be an interactive village for children and snacks too. (SL)

Macbeth, The Art Theater Co-op, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (and other times this weekend)

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard take on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in this new version directed by Justin Kurzel. It’s going to be bloody, it’s going to be Scottish, and it’s playing all weekend at the Art, so you can see it tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. (RP)




Drink rare whiskey, Miga, $12 a shot, anytime

Miga just got some rare Japanese whiskey in. But they only have a few bottles. So if you’re a whiskey fan, stop into Miga this weekend and drop $12 for some rare whiskey. The green bottle’d whiskey was named Malt of the Month 2014 and in my opinion is smoother than the other. That’s not to say the other is not tasty–it is. It’s just more in your face. (SL)



Motes, Spandrels, Windmills, We Have Ghosts, Mike N Molly’s, $7, 8 p.m.

In what is a selfless ICYMI moment — we just came out with our Top Albums of the year locally, which was topped by Motes’ Keep It In the Dark. True gem of an album from 2015 in the local scene, for sure. That plus a few others for this show at Mike N Molly’s on Friday evening. (PS)

SATURDAY, December 19th

CuppingColumbia Street Roastery, 24 E Columbia Ave, Champaign, 10 a.m., free

If you haven’t yet been to Columbia Street Roastery’s monthly coffee tasting, you’re in for a treat. After tasting a variety of coffee, you can buy a bag or two for yourself. Photo by Jessica Hammie. (JH)



Audacious Orchestra at the Holiday Market, Lincoln Square Mall, Urbana, 11 a.m.-noon, free. 

Thankfully for you last-minute shoppers, you can still get unique, handmade items to give to the special people in your lives by shopping the Urbana Holiday Market. To really drive home the fact that gift-finding minutes are running out, C4A’s orchestra for children will be playing carols for an hour. While you’re looking for something to give, maybe you’ll feel moved to give a little to area arts, as well. (RK)



Die Hard, Art Theatre Co-Op, 10 p.m., $8

The only Christmas movie endorsed by this Grinch, take the rare opportunity to see the original Die Hard on the big screen. Remember how incredible Alan Rickman has always been, even in his debut role. Let McClane and Gruber show you what a real company Christmas party looks like, and have their witty quips at the ready for when you have to face your own. (RK)

SUNDAY, December 20th

Christmas Harp Recital, Champaign Public Library, 3 – 4 p.m., free

Get your harp on this weekend with the Jubilee Harp Duo  (harpists Chen-Yu Huang and Molly Madden), who are performing arrangements of Christmas songs in a family-friendly recital. This event takes place in the Robeson Pavilion Room A, and refreshments will follow (RP)


Get your skate on, UIUC Ice Arena, $5 or free wth a UI ID, skate rental $2

If you’re missing the hazardous ice we typically have this time of year, pop by the University of Illinois Ice Arena to wiggle your bones on skates. There are a number of public skate times available over the university’s winter break; check out the calendar here. (RP)

Free-play days, Leonhard Rec Center 2307 West Sangamon Dr. in Champaign, December 29-30

As we recently reported, the new-ish indoor fitness center is a great way to stay active during the winter. As a holiday treat (and a way to spread the word), LRC is offering a chance to use the farm-themed indoor playground. Let the kids run off some steam, get the whole family out of the house, and they have a wrecking ball so you can have a subtly symbolic photo-op. (RK)


Take a walk, anytime, anywhere in C-U

You’ve just experienced 365 days of 2015, and I’m guessing a lot has happened. Take some time out this New Year’s Eve, preferably at dusk, to go on a solo walk and appreciate what has been. Recommended walking zones: in and around West Side Park in Champaign, in and around the Idea Garden in Urbana, and the campus quads, where it’s peaceful and quiet. (RP)



Speakeasy at the SaintsSeven Saints, Champaign, no cover? 

Going out for the Eve is a whippersnapper’s game, but when I was young, I once went to 7Sts Speakeasy event and managed to have a good time. By now a tradition, there’s not a lot of info on their website, but from what I remember: costumes are optional but encouraged, there are specialty cocktails, and you don’t have to pay to get in (but you should probably keep drinking). This year, I could go for a Cranberry Gimlet, since they’re advertising…they do have a great selection of gin (bathtub or otherwise). (RK)


Bones Jugs N Harmony, Kenna Mae, Hot Iron String Band, Paul Kotheimer, Dill Spears, The Iron Post, $10, 9 p.m.

If you’re going to be sticking around C-U, this is a solid option for NYE ringing in 2016 in Downtown Urbana. Plenty of music to be had, capped with the always entertaining Bones Jugs N Harmony, Kenna Mae, and tons of others — on the cheap. (PS)

New Year’s Eve Bash at The Canopy Club Featuring Sun Stereo, Flaccid, and Church Booty, The Canopy Club, $30 at the door, 8:30 PM

If Church Booty’s show at Cowboy Monkey last weekend wasn’t enough to convince you, these guys are for real. Their shows always are awesome, and they bring out one of the liveliest crowds in C-U. If there were one place to be this New Year’s Eve, let it be The Canopy Club. (BH)

New Year’s Eve w/ DJ Belly & Ideal DJs, Cowboy Monkey, $10, 9:00 PM

If you’ve lived in C-U any amount of time more than a week, you have to know that DJ Belly spins the hottest music in town – whether it be top 40 or hip-hop, this guy is one of the most educated and poignant DJs I’ve ever seen. Backing him up will be the crew of Ideal DJs, just to ensure you start your year off on the right foot. If dancing is your thing this NYE, there’s no better place to be than Cowboy Monkey. (BH)


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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