Smile Politely

Weekender: January 14-16

FRIDAY, January 14th

Register your kids for this Valentine’s Day-themed cooking class at Parkland College, online, $55

Parkland’s Community Education program is offering a Valentine’s Day-themed cooking class for kids ages 10 through 14. For $55, they’ll make miniature chocolate lava cakes, red velvet cupcakes, and zabaione. Sounds delicious. The class is from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 5th. (JH)

Go see the lights at Allerton GLOW, Allerton Park and Retreat Center, 5 to 9 p.m., $10 suggested donation

This is the last weekend for viewing the light features at Allerton. In my experience the crowds are a little lighter after the holidays. It really is kind of a magical experience, and worth bundling up and driving the 20-ish minutes for. (JM)

Photo by Carl Busch. 

Order some soup, various locations, hours vary, prices vary

In the world of takeout food, soup is a very easy item to order that will be hot and ready to eat when you get to your house. It makes great leftovers. This week, Carl did a round up of some good soup options in our area, and Alyssa featured some favorites last year, but they are by no means exhaustive. When I want something warm and comforting, my go to is the Pho Kai at Sticky Rice. (JM)

SATURDAY, January 15th

Try breakfast at Maize, Maize on Green Street, 8 to 11 a.m., prices vary

Maize on Green Street is now offering breakfast every morning, which is a wonderful development. Last week I picked some up for our household, and was pleasantly surprised with complimentary coffees with each order! (JM)

Acorn and other winter squash in big, blue, plastic crates. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Shop the Winter Farmers Market, Lincoln Square Mall, 8 a.m. to noon, free

Fresh veggies are still available this time of year. Find some at the Winter Farmers Market in Lincoln Square Mall. In addition to produce vendors, you can find all sorts of other things like sweets, pottery, and flowers. (JH)

Poster by Kurt Bielema.

Catch an early show with Kurt Bielema and Devin Frank, Rose Bowl, 4 p.m., free

Both of these musicians put out amazing albums in 2021. Devin Frank knows his way around a guitar, and brings some wonderfully entrancing instrumental songs, while Kurt Bielema brings his poetic and personal songwriting. The two will no doubt make for a beautiful afternoon of music that will leave you touched. (SW)

Listen to poet Frank Modica read from his new  book, The Literary, 6 p.m., free

Choose your favorite libation from the Lit’s bar and toast to Frank Modica as he reads from his new book of poetry, What We Harvest. (DD)

SUNDAY, January 16th

Image from City of Champaign Facebook page. 

Attend the annual MLK Jr. Countywide Celebration, Krannert Center, 5 p.m., free

Hear from Derek Barber King Sr., nephew of Dr. King, and celebrate the community members who are working to further King’s ideals: Janice Walker, James TYGAR Corbin, and the folks at Courage Connection. Masks and either proof of vaccination or negative PCR test is required to attend. If you would like a way to honor Dr. King without gathering indoors, there will be a peace walk Monday at Crestview Park in Urbana, beginning at 11 a.m. (JM)

Hear the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra, Smith Memorial Hall, 7 p.m., free

The East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra hasn’t performed an in-person concert in over a year and a half, and the students have no doubt worked incredibly hard on the music. The program ranges from Dvorak to Saint-Saens to Brahms. What better way to close out the week and go into a new week than with some classical music? Proof of vaccination or negative test required. (SW)

Circular metal sculpture at Meadowbrook Park. Photo from the Urbana Park District Facebook page.

Photo from the Urbana Park District.

Check out some new sculptures, Meadowbrook Park, anytime

Get outside for a brisk walk at Meadowbrook Park and take in the two recently installed sculptures, “Dream Traveler” and “Raptor” (pictured above), now on display at the Wandell Sculpture Garden. Find out more here. (DD)

Top image by Julie McClure


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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