Smile Politely

Weekender: May 11-13

Friday, May 11th

Stay indoors and order delivery food, all weekend, prices vary

This is probably one of the most chaotic and clustered weekend of the entire year. With graduations and Mother’s Day and good weather, it’s probably best to avoid all crowds and long waits at restaurants. It’s the ultimate Netflix and Chill weekend — chill alone or with others, that’s your call. We don’t judge. With so many restaurants now on GrubHub, you’re likely to find something good enough. (JH) 

Ryan Groff (of Elsinore), Prevelance, Simpleton & Co., Sipyard, 7 p.m., free

As I made mention in my monthly scene column, Ryan Groff, lead man for Elsinore, has been all over the place lately. He’s performed a handful of times in as many weeks here in C-U, and doesn’t look like he is losing any steam anytime soon. Elsinore will probably play shows soon, eventually, but for now you can check out some of his performances in the coming weeks, starting with this free show at Sipyard on Friday night. (PS) Photo by Michael Heldebrandt

The Mountaintop, SoDo Theatre, 7 p.m., $12-15

The Twin City Theatre Company takes on this play that imagines the scene in Martin Luther King Jr’s motel room the night before his assassination. You can read our preview and interview with director Dustin Yocum here. There are shows this Friday through Sunday, as well as May 17 through 20. (JM)

Saturday, May 12th

Go get some plants, Lincoln Square Mall, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., prices vary

Stock up on plants and herbs for your yard and garden this weekend. The C-U Herb Society and the Grand Prairie Friends are having their respective annual sales. You’ll be able to find herbs as well as plants that are native to east central Illinois, and do it all in one swoop. (JM)

Brunch with the babies, Prairie Fruits Farm, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., prices vary

This is the last open house style brunch of the season. Hang out with baby goats and have a tasty brunch (menu is here). You can also do a little shopping for PFF themed goods and cheeses, as well as some local vendors who sell their wares. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Go on a food (bike) cruise, start at Red Bicycle Ice Cream, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., free plus cost of food

C-U Food Cruise is hosting a 16-mile bike ride through Champaign and Urbana. Starting at Red Bicycle, you’ll ride your own bike to Black Dog in Champaign, Portillo’s, Dancing Dog, and then back to Red Bicycle. Ride leaders will be on hand to take you through the “casual and appropriate for in town commuter riding” speed. More info is available on Facebook. (JH)

10th Annual Bird Migration Festival, Homer Lake Interpretive Center, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

Escape the crazy that will take over the town this weekend, and immerse yourself in nature out at Homer Lake. There will be storytelling, a “mist netting” demo, and see some birds. There will also be games and activities if you bring the kiddos along. While you’re out there, take advantage of the walking/biking trails and soak up the spring weather. (JM) Photo from Facebook

Sunday, May 13th


Go running/jogging/walking at Japan House, anytime, free

I got off my ass and exercised last Sunday at Japan House, and it is a really nice place to run/jog/walk if the weather cooperates. There usually aren’t a ton of people around, and it sure as hell beats running on a straight road the whole time. You can even walk over to the other gardens, or go check out the Aboretum, which are all within walking distance on the grounds. You might consider going really early or late, as to avoid graduation weekend photos. (PS) Photo by Patrick Singer

Know Your Muslim Neighbor, Champaign Public Library, 2 to 4 p.m., free

This event put on by the Muslim American Society was well received last year, and returns again to offer an opportunity to connect with the Muslim community. There will be food, art activities, henna, an exhibit on Ramadan, and short presentations. Bring the family and go try new things. (JM) Photo by Sam Logan

Cover photo by Jess Hammie


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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