Smile Politely

Weekender: January 28-30

Friday, January 28th

Celebrate Restaurant Week, all weekend, various restaurants, prices vary

It is Restaurant Week starting today, Friday, January 28th, and for the next nine days, 35 participating restaurants have special menus, special deals, and special prices for C-U diners. There are options for dine in and carryout. Read all the menus here and see what I think are the most exciting options for this year’s RW. (AB)

Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, IL. A sign says Urbana Park District Wandell Sculpture Garden. A paved path cuts diagonally through the picture. On the right is a scupture of colorful silhouetted people. Photo by Tim Bailey.

Photo by Tim Bailey.

Take a Happy Hour Hike, Meadowbrook Park, 5 p.m., free

Who doesn’t like a little evening stroll? Join Champaign County Climate Coalition – C4, Green Drinks Champaign County, and East Central Illinois Master Naturalists for this hike around Meadowbrook, the best park in C-U. It will be cold but lovely. (JH)

Play Online Trivia with CU Lockdown Trivia, your house, 7:30 p.m., free

Hosted by local C-U trivia host Julie Laut, and in conjuction with the Spurlock Museum’s temporary exhibit Blues Dancing and Its African American Roots, this event offers a chance for cultural education and fun. (DD) 

Four men, all wearing blue t-shirts, are standing in a line looking at the camera. The second man from the left has a beard and glasses is a step forward. Photo from The Brook and The Bluff's Facebook page.

Photo from The Brook and The Bluff’s Facebook page.

Head out for a night of movin’ and groovin’, The Canopy Club, 9 p.m., $14

Nashville-based band The Brook and The Bluff are stopping by The Canopy Club, providing a night of upbeat psychedelic, funk, and rock music. These guys are quickly rising in the charts and have over a million monthly listeners on Spotify. Come start your weekend with some dancing. (SW)

Saturday, January 29th

On the shelves of Maligaya's Filipino Grocery, there are colorful packets of ramen arranged neatly. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Wander around a small grocer, Maligaya, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you only shop at big box stores, maybe this weekend is a good time to check out one of the many small grocers we have in town like Maligaya’s on North Prospect. This Filipino grocery has pantry staples like rice, noodles, ramen, spices, and sauces in addition to meat, frozen food, produce, snacks, and desserts. My favorite buy from small grocers are seasonings, snacks, and new things to add to my cooking. Take this Saturday to wander around a grocery and see what jumps into your cart. (AB)

Learn how to identify trees in winter, Anita Purves Nature Center, 2 to 4 p.m., free

Let’s be honest. This time of year, the landscape around here start to blur into a boring backdrop of brown. Brown grass, brown plants, brown trees. Ryan Pankau from Illinois Extension wants to show you how to look at the finer details of trees in winter, and be able to recognize their uniqueness even without their showy leaves. Plus, there will be free hot cocoa and coffee! (JM)

Scene from a pop up event at the Rec Club in downtown Champaign

Photo from The Rec Club’s Instagram.

Pop into The Recreation Club’s pop-up, 2-6 p.m.

Stop by this great downtown Champaign spot and shop from amazing artists and makers like CarlyBenny Tattoo, FunAfraid, Glow By Lola, and more. Check out our article from this summer for a deep dive into the new multi-purpose space. (DD)

Sunday, January 30th

A close up of a quilt panel with a dark blue background. The words Fly Away are in white script. There are two white doves on one side, and a rainbow on the other. Photo by Julie McClure.

©Artist unknown. In memory of Devin Carrington. Property of GCAP, Urbana, IL. Photo by Julie McClure with permission from Spurlock Museum.

Attend the public opening of Sewn in Memory, Spurlock Museum, 1 to 3:30 p.m., free (suggested donation of $3 to support museum programs)

This powerful exhibit had a soft opening last semester, and is now fully developed with AIDS quilt pieces, accompanying stories, and oral histories taken by College of Media students. If you attend the opening you can participate in a community art project, creating a panel honoring someone lost because of illness. There will also be a preview of the oral histories. Seeing this is well worth your time (JM)

Have a classy-cal Sunday afternoon, Krannert Center, 3 p.m., $56

Sure the ticket price is hefty, but for a reason. Albert Cano Smit won the 2019 Young Concert Artists contest, as well as the Krannert Center performance prize. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, as well as all over the world. He has a large program prepared for Sunday, and it will be well worth the price. Tickets are available at Krannert’s website. (SW)

Top photo from Visit Champaign County website.


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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