Smile Politely

Weekender: June 28-30

Friday, June 28th

Go to a house show at Sandwich Life House, 6 p.m., $20 suggested donation

Adam and Chris Carroll are married singer/songwriters from Texas, and are playing a show in town tonight. If you’ve never heard of the Sandwich Life House, you’re not alone, I hadn’t either. Per Facebook, the place is known for: “Great shows, mostly Americana, in a slightly ramshackle but welcoming old house in Champaign. Join us! Ernie Blackwelder and Cynthia Voelkl.” They have a blog as well, which keeps you updated on shows happening in the house, among other things, which you can see here. The shows are potluck style; food is at 6 p.m., music to follow. Here’s a video of Adam and Chris performing, so you can check out their sound before you go. (NL) Photo from Facebook event page

Enjoy an affogato from Caffe Paradiso, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., about $4

Italians do a lot of things right when it comes to eating and drinking. Among my favorites is the affogato: espresso poured over some gelato or ice cream. It’s a wonderful little treat and pick me up. Treat yourself to one this weekend. (JH)

See Emma, A Pop Musical, SoDo Theatre, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., $15-18

This sure to be fun production is Twin City Theatre Company’s Stars of Tomorrow production, meaning the actors are all middle school and high school students, and the crew and production staff is too. The musical is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Emma, and the description is giving me all the Clueless vibes, but for 2019 instead of 1995 (OMG Clueless came out in NINETEEN NINETY FIVE). You can catch performances this weekend and next, and get your tickets here. Check out our interview with the director here. (JM)

Saturday, June 29th

Common Ground Ice Cream Social, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., give what you can

The annual Ice Cream Social is a fundraiser for Eastern Illinois Food Bank. You donate what you can, and you can enjoy an ice cream sundae of your own making. There will also be family-friendly activities like face painting, bubbles, and live music. (JH) Image from the Facebook event page

Sangria Saturdays, Everyday Kitchen, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., $7/glass or $24/pitcher

Nothing says delightfully summer quite like sangria. Everyday Kitchen offers red and white sangria, and before you poo-poo the white, I ask you give it a try. If the right kind of white wine is used, it’s not too sweet. Grab some friends and enjoy a cocktail on the patio. (JH) Top photo from the Facebook event page

Visit a local forest preserve, Champaign county, dusk ’til dawn, free

The area surrounding Champaign-Urbana boasts some excellent forest preserves, each with a variety of features such as lakes, trails, picnic shelters, boating, docks, and more. With over 4,000 acres in land, the Champaign County Forest Preserve maintains six different forest preserves. Here’s a list of each with a tidbit of information about it. Click on the names in bold for map location. (SP) Photo by Steven Pratten

Lake of the Woods (11 miles from Champaign)
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Hi-Tower, botanical gardens, golf course, hiking/bike trails, building rentals

Riverbend (15 miles from Champaign)
Fishing dock, boating (no gasoline engines), trails

Sangamon River (17 miles from Champaign)
River fishing, trails, groves of 200 + year-old oak trees

Homer Lake (21 miles from Champaign)
Homer Lake Interpretive Center, fishing, boating, trails, building rentals

Middle Fork River (30 miles from Champaign)
Swimming, fishing, trails, building rentals

Kickapoo Rail Trail (Begins in east Urbana)
Biking, running, walking

Make your Saturday night hot and spicy, Urbana Dance Company’s Latin Dance Night, 8 p.m., $8 student, $10 community members

Start the night with a beginner lesson with Yuri and Abby from 8 to 8:30 p.m., after that its open dance with DJ Luz spinning salsa, bachata, merengue, and cumbia. Post your special musical requests on the Facebook event page. (DD)

Sunday, June 30th

Have brunch, Clark Bar, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., prices vary

Known for its karaoke nights and neighborhood charm, Clark Bar in Champaign is trying to also be known for its food. According to their Facebook, the bar is planning to host brunch every Sunday beginning this weekend, after an initial brunch that took place on June 16th was successful. The simple brunch menu offers classic breakfast selections along with Bloody Mary and mimosa drink specials. With the homey indoor environment and the large outdoor seating area, a brunch at Clark Bar may be the best way to kickstart your Sunday! (SP) Photo by Steven Pratten

Try a new indoor activity, Urbana Boulders, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., $12 for a day pass

Well, summer showed up and it’s hot, meaning I start to look for ways to be active and have fun indoors, where there is ample air conditioning. Urbana Boulders is on my summer to-do list. Bouldering is an activity you can just jump in and do, as there’s no fussing with harnesses and such, and you don’t need a whole lot of instruction. You just get your climbing shoes and start climbing. Also did I mention air conditioning? (JM)

Show up for Pride in Paxton, Pells Park, 11 a.m., free

This weekend, today in fact, is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Since C-U won’t have it’s major Pride celebration until late September, how about being a part of the first one to happen in the small community of Paxton. It’s being organized by Tyger McClure, who grew up in Paxton, and will be a gathering that becomes a march to downtown, that becomes another gathering at Arcade Café. (JM) Image from Facebook event

Learn about camping, Champaign Outdoors, 2 to 4 p.m., free, but you may decide to buy stuff

Champaign Outdoors is offering a class they’re calling Camping 101, for all those looking to get out there in nature this summer, perhaps for the holiday weekend coming up. Maybe you feel not so confident about putting up a tent, knowing what to pack, etc, etc…well there will be experts on hand to teach those fundamentals and answer your specific questions, as well as give tips on where you can camp locally. (JM) 


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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