Smile Politely

Weekender: May 24-27

Friday, May 24th

Grab some meat for grilling on Monday, U of I Meat Science Lab, Urbana’s Market at the Square, Old Time Meat & Deli, hours vary, prices vary

Just the other day I grilled for the first time this year (burgers), and I’m looking forward to more grilling. The aforementioned locations are excellent for acquiring grilling meats, and you can also grab a bunch of veggies for the grill, too. I’m partial to grilled broccolini and potatoes, but live your best life. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Go treasure hunting for a good cause, 214 S. Walnut, Champaign, 6 to 9 p.m., $5

Friday is the first day of the Champaign County Humane Society Annual Giant Garage Sale,  so therefore it’s the best time to find all the things. Whether you are looking for books, home decor, tools, gardening stuff, or just want to wander and see what speaks to you, you can shop with the knowledge that you are being environmentally friendly and supporting a wonderful cause. (JM)


Celebrate the DIY music scene in town, IMC, 7:30 p.m., $10

This weekend is official DIY weekend in Urbana, and there are a handful of music events that are showcasing this style that you can attend. Kick it off tonight at the IMC in Urbana with Malady Jane, Kakarala, Outlast, and Execution Day. The show is mixed-genre, and includes two bands (Outlast and Execution Day) that are here on tour, and two sets by local DIYers Malady Jane and Kakarala. Check this event and also this event for other DIY shows this weekend. (NL) Photo from Facebook event page

Saturday, May 25th

Find your zen at Miranda’s Loom’s Mellow Mandala Art workshop, Lincoln Square, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., free

As part of Urbana’s new event series Downtown Get Down, Miranda’s Loom will be offering free mandala art-making instruction. No previous experienc required and ages 4+ are welcome. Get your om on with the meditative magic of mandala-making. (DD)

It’s a Pop-Up, 122 W Main St, Urbana, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., bring $ to shop

Royel Bijou Designs will be featuring one-of-a-kind, recycled African dolls and jewelry.  Don’t miss this chance to see innovative art reuse at work.  I can’t begin to imagine how great these dolls are going to look IRL. So let’s go find out. (DD) Photo from the Facebook event page

Take a dip at Sholem’s Opening Day Celebration, Sholem Aquatic Center, Champaign, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., prices vary

Although much of the past few weeks haven’t felt like summer, high temperatures and oppressive humidity are undoubtedly on their way to Central Illinois. That means plenty of trips to the pool to stay cool while enjoying the sunshine. Join Sholem Aquatic Center this Saturday as they officially open their pool for the summer season. There are plenty of activities scheduled for the little ones and a complete schedule can be found on the Facebook event. Regular daily admission fees apply, except for military personnel who will receive free admission this Memorial Day weekend. (SP) Photo from Facebook event page

Plant container gardens with Sola Gratia Farm & Cunningham Township, Urbana, 4 to 7 p.m., free

Exercise your green thumb this Saturday at Cunningham Township Gets Down with Container Gardens at the Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office (205 W Green St Urbana). In this partnership with Sola Gratia Farm, guests will be planting their own container gardens (participants must bring container to plant in.) There will also be food from Wood N’ Hog Barbecue and music by Karena Tse. Find out more information on the Facebook event page. (SP) 

Get down in Downtown Urbana, Main Street, 5 to 8 p.m., free, but there will be artists there selling their wares

Downtown Get Down is Urbana’s new event series, and the first celebration is this weekend. Main Street will be filled with music (this time from DJ Medusa and Timbalú),provided by the Urbana Park District. Seems like a great way for the whole family to enjoy this first weekend of summer. (JM)

Help Po Boys celebrate 10 years, Po Boys, 202 E University, Urbana, 4 to 8 p.m., prices vary

The current iteration of Po Boys is turning 10 this month, and to celebrate the restaurant will have food and drink specials. Grab a friend and your appetite, and chow down on some Polish sausages, or pie, or whatever it is you like at Po Boys. (JH) Photo by AJ Taylor 

Spice up your weekend with Latin Dance Night, Urbana Dance Company, 8 p.m. to midnight, $8 for students, $10 for community members

Nothing says summer sizzle like dancing the salsa with friends (or friends+).  Come from 8 to 8:30 for beginner lessons with Yuri Sohn and stay until midnight moving to the sounds of DJ Kim/Luz/Lorriane. All ages welcome. (DD) 

Sunday, May 26th

Go to breakfast or brunch, OPH, Courier Cafe, Silvercreek, Sam’s Cafe, La Mixteca, Harvest Market, where ever you prefer, in the morning, prices vary

It’s a long weekend, so all that stuff you need to get done on Sunday can wait until Monday. Why not start a leisurely day with some brunch? Check our reviews for some of these places here. Then you can go home and nap a little, maybe watch a movie or read a book. Weather calls for rain, so there won’t be much opportunity for outdoor activities — take advantage of couch time. (JH) Photo by Jessica Hammie

Drink and listen to mellow tunes, Bentley’s Pub, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., no cover

Hopefully you don’t have to get up for work Monday morning, but even if you do, you can still enjoy an hour or two hanging out on the patio with a tasty beverage and the soothing sounds of Yacht Rock at Bentley’s 3rd Annual Smooth Sailin’ Yacht Rock Night. What is Yacht Rock? Well beyond it being my father-in-law’s preferred summer XM station, it’s a genre that encompasses the musical stylings of acts such as Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, and the Doobie Brothers. There are various drink specials, or you can try out their new summer drinks, and Chester’s BBQ will be there after 11 p.m. if you need a late night snack. (JM)

Monday, May 27th

Unplug for a day and get out in nature, locations vary, whenever, free

Lately I’ve felt an unhealthy attachment to my devices, particularly my phone, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. With the long weekend coming up, I’m feeling a pull to put the thing down and go out and take in the world around me. What better time to ignore whatever ridiculous thing 45 tweeted, or take a time out from online raging about the steady assault on a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, or even to look away from all of those endearing dog accounts I follow on Instagram, than this bonus weekend day we have before us. If you only have an hour or two, head to the trails at Meadowbrook Park with your dog or your bike or just you and your feet and get a small taste of the prairie and the woods. Have more time? Homer Lake and Allerton are my favorite places for a longer hike and escape from regular life. Champaign Outdoors has a great curated list of places that are farther away but still within day trip range if you want to be really adventurous. If you have the opportunity, make this day a reset day. It’ll be worth it. And don’t take your phone. Your followers will survive if you don’t Instagram that cool flower. (JM) Photo by Addison McClure

Play music with your friends or sing along with your favorite playlist, anywhere, any time

It’s a holiday weekend, and a lot of us are going to be hanging with our favorite people, eating good food, and enjoying the weather (maybe?) Today is a day for dusting off whatever instrument you used to play (or that you play all the time — I grew up with a guitar-playing father so I KNOW no one dusts their guitars enough), tuning up, and diving in to your setlist of best and/or worst hits. Don’t have holiday plans? Sing in the shower, or safely in the privacy of your car. Hate making music? You don’t have to! That’s the beauty of autonomous choice. (NL)


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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