Smile Politely

Weekender: Winter 2017 edition

We’re entering a bit of a break here at Smile Politely, though we’ll be publishing here and there through the end of 2017. For this edition of The Weekender, we compile some recommendations for the next couple of weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve — so this column doesn’t include those things. We’ll have a piece as a Guide to NYE soon enough for you to check out. — Patrick Singer

FRIDAY, December 15th

Our Landmark, We the Animals, Extremities, Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 p.m., $7

Our Landmark just put out their debut record, What the Silence Sayslast week — the band features members of New Ruins, Wicked Walls, The Chemicals, ZXO, and others. They’re joined by We the Animals, and Isaac Arms’ project Extremities. (PS)

Go look at Christmas lights all over C-U, after dark, cost of gas

Don’t you just hate those people who manage to work full-time jobs, take care of their families, and still manage to get holiday decorations up in a seemingly effortless, jubilant celebration of whatever the season is? Yeah, me neither. Jump in the car and go appreciate their hard work. ‘Tis the season! (DT)

SATURDAY, December 16th

Drink wine at Crudo, 4 p.m.-1 a.m., price varies

116 N Walnut is now host to Downtown Champaign’s newest attraction: Crudo, which is much more than a wine bar, as Seth points out in his SPlog last week (linked above). Crudo is owned and operated by the gents that run Nando Milano, so they are sure to do it up right. (PS)

Try beer from a new brewery, 25 O’Clock Brewing Company at Pizza M, 5 to 9 p.m., about $10 per person

25 O’Clock Brewing is a new brewery in Urbana, and has worked out a deal with Pizza M to present three draft beers at Bar M each Saturday through January 6th. This weekend’s brews include Pie Powder Pale Ale, 25001 Saison, Lord Buckethead ESB. It looks like brews will change each weekend, so follow this Facebook event for more information. Photo from Facebook (JH) 

Mottainai Bazaar, Japan House, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free

Mottainai means “don’t waste”, and Japan House has taken this concept and created a bazaar where the community can come and shop for unique goods and handmade crafts. What a great opportunity to finish up that last minute shopping. Admission is free, and offerings will include: Asian pottery, kimonos, origami, handmade crafts, traditional American quilts, scarves, scrolls, posters, scrolls, books, prints, tea equipment, jewelry, and more. (JM)

SUNDAY, December 17th

Wrap gifts for Habitat for Humanity, Market Place Mall, free to volunteer, donation suggested for wrapping your gifts

If you’re interested in giving back this holiday season, you can in a variety of ways, starting here with Habitat for Humanity’s gift wrapping event at Market Place Mall. You can volunteer as a wrapper, or go and have your gifts wrapped and throw in a few bucks per present that goes directly to Habitat. (PS)

Yoga and beer, Riggs Beer Company, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., $10 per person, in cash

The whole yoga and something not yoga-related combination is a very hot trend right now. Yoga and goats, yoga and laughter, yoga in museums, yoga and beer—it’s a thing. I’m not entirely convinced about drinking beer and doing yoga simultaneously, but if that’s your thing, I say live your best life. The yoga will be inside the brewery, for the record, so you don’t need to become a bundle of warm clothes. RSVP online, and check out more information here. Photo from Facebook (JH) 

Make a wreath, Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, 12:30 to 2 p.m., $50

For $50, Delight Flower Farm will give you the tools and the instruction to make a beautiful wreath to adorn your home (or give as a gift) for the holidays. The skills you learn in this workshop will last a lifetime; it’s an activity you can share with your friends and family for years to come. (DT)

MONDAY, December 18th

Beer Class with Triptych, Barrelhouse 34, $10, 10 p.m.

I posted a little while back about the beer classes that Barrelhouse 34 hosts with Virgil every Monday, and I realized that the 18th of December is the final one for 2017. It features our pals at Triptych Brewing — and though I have this photo here of the Parker Porter, I have no idea if that beer will be available for tasting at Barrelhouse on this particular evening. I just liked the photo — so here it is.

The rules? “A tasting class of 10 beers, $10, 10 o’clock. Every Monday.” (PS)


TUESDAY, December 19th

See Elf on the big screen, Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $6

Although I’m a bit offended that Christmas Vacation was left off the list, there are still several of the “Best Christmas Movies Ever” that you can enjoy at the Virginia this week. Watching my Christmas faves is a must do of the holiday season, and doing so on a big screen, in a beautiful historic theater, with free hot chocolate seems like a fun way to do it. And I just love Elf. It comes in second to Vacation as my most quoted Christmas movie. If you’re more of a traditionalist, you can check out It’s a Wonderful Life on the 15th and 16th or Miracle on 34th Street on the 21st. (JM)

WEDNESDAY, December 20th 

Holiday Cooking on a Budget, Common Ground, 6 p.m., $5

Have you already spent most of your paycheck trying to buy your loved ones all the things they want? Maybe there’s not much left over for big fancy dinner? Check out Common Ground’s Holiday Cooking on a Budget class, where all recipes are less than $2 per serving, but still plenty yummy. There’s a $5 registration fee (for both owners and non-owners) but you’ll receive a $5 voucher for your next purchase.  Learn some new recipes that won’t break the bank! (KF)

THURSDAY, December 21st 

Winter Solstice Walk, Allerton Park, 5 or 6 p.m., $5
Allerton Park is offering evening tours on the night of the Winter Solstice, “a unique and serene time to be at Allerton.” Tours will be 45 to 60 minutes and limited to 25 people (so get your $5 tickets here). After the tour, you can warm up by the fire, enjoy some hot chocolate, or continue walking throughout the illuminated Kirby Winter Wellness Walk. Get out of the house and enjoy some peace and quiet before the madness of the holidays. (KF)
Photo from Facebook.

FRIDAY, December 22nd

Take a free zumba class, Champaign Fitness Center, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., free,

The body shaming of the new year is arriving early, and there are a handful of fitness places trying to cash in on your self hate. Champaign Fitness Center is offering a FREE zumba class, in which you will wiggle and jiggle and dance up a sweat. I’m sure CFC would like for you to become member, which you can certainly do if you like this class. Otherwise, take this opportunity to try a new exercise trend and check out a potential new gym. Photo from Facebook (JH) 

ZXO (DJ Set), Bentley’s Pub, 8 p.m., free

ZXO will be participating in Bentley’s Bands on Deck series, where they’ll be DJing for you throughout the evening. Sadly, they won’t be playing anything from their awesome new record LP1, but that’s OK — they’ll play some good tunes for you, surely. $3 wells throughout will keep you warm. (PS)

SATURDAY, December 23rd

Shop local, super last minute, all over Champaign-Urbana, times and prices vary

OK, so you forgot someone on your list for Christmas — I get it. There’s still time, you fool! Get out there and snag the last second gift — here’s our Shop Local Guide to help you out. (PS)

Festivus for the rest of us, Triptych Brewing, 12 p.m.-11 p.m., prices vary

Take a few hours, or a whole day, to cut loose with friends in between the stress of December crazy and the stress of family togetherness. Try out this year’s batch of AJ’s Stout and Triptych’s other delightful beers, grab some Dragon Fire Pizza, and take home a t-shirt or hoodie pressed on site by Half Hazard Press. (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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