Smile Politely

Weekender: January 11-13

Friday, January 11th

Eat some ice cream, your place of choice, all weekend, about $5 per person

I have some people in my life who prefer to eat ice cream when it’s cold outside. Why? I’m not entirely sure — I’m up for eating ice cream in any season, at any temperature. It’s been just about two weeks since NYE, so your detox/clean eating/blah blah diet is due for a cheat day. (JH) Photo of ice cream at El Oasis by Jessica Hammie

Learn how to apply for a local arts grant, Common Ground Food Coop, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m

Got an idea for a creative project but need some funding? Stop by the CGFC and meet the folks from the Urbana Public Arts Program. They’ll help you with grant application guidelines and best practices. This workshop is one of several such opportunities, so if you can’t make this one, check here for the full workshop schedule. (DD) 

Start learning Latin dance, Urbana Dance Company, 8 to 11 p.m., $5 cover

UPDATE (7:00 pm): This event has been postponed until January 18th due to weather. (PS)

Take a 30-minute lesson from C-U’s salsa maestro Yuri Sohn and then get out on the dance floor and move to the sounds of DJ Sebastian, who’ll be spinning salsa, bachata, merengue, and cumbia. Lessons will be held from 8 to 8:30 p.m., open dancing starts at 8:30 and ends at 11 p.m. Learn something new, enjoy a fun way to get fit, and meet new people. This event hits the New Year’s resolution trifecta. (DD) Photo from Urbana Dance Company’s Facebook event 

Cole Bridges, Bobby Stevens, Neoga Blacksmith, Loose Cobra, 9 p.m., donations suggested

Cole Bridges head out on tour over the next week or so, and the alt-country/folk singer has some friends to do it with him. He’s been in post-The Fights era for quite a bit of time now, playing a variety of shows all around town over the years as just himself. He’s got a backing band, and he’s joined by Bobby Stevens and Neoga Blacksmith (they’ll be performing acoustic). (PS) Photo from the Facebook event

Saturday, January 12th

Go to the library, Champaign or Urbana (or elsewhere), 9 a.m.-6 p.m., free

Do you regularly use our public libraries? They’re incredible. Treat yourself to a good book or a movie; it’s free (mostly), and if nothing else, you’ll be able to to tell someone about the book/movie you just read/watched. It’s a conversation starter, and you might learn something. I’m a fan of checking out cookbooks and testing out a few recipes; maybe you could even start a cookbook club with some friends. If all else fails, stop by the cafe and treat yourself to a hot beverage or a sweet snack. (JH) Photo from UFL’s Facebook page

Try a new escape room, Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space, times vary, $20-25

C-U Adventures continues to expand their repertoire of escape rooms now that they’ve opened their new location on Broadway, and the latest one is The Wizard’s Curse. I feel like all you Harry Potter fans might get a kick out of this one. You can book here. (JM)

Create a single word letterpress poster, Lisa Kesler Studio, 12 to 2 p.m., or 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., $54.67

A chance to work with local letterpress guru Lisa Kesler is well worth the trip to her Tolono studio. Choose a word to set in letterpress type (an intention for the year, a reminder to have more fun) and Kesler will walk you through the rest. Sign up for either of these two-hour sessions and join the local maker movement.  (DD) Photo from Lisa Kesler Studio’s Facebook page

Sunday, January 13th

Go see If Beale Street Could Talk, The Art Theater, 5 p.m., $8.25-10

It’s awards season, and I like to make it a goal to try to see as many nominated films as I can. I have various levels of success with this endeavor. One film that is for sure on my list this time around is If Beale Street Could Talk, because it’s the same director as Moonlight and based on a James Baldwin novel sooo I’m feeling like it’s a must see. (JM) 

Play Parks and Recreation trivia, Barrelhouse 34, 7 to 9 p.m, $5

There are several trivia options around C-U nowadays, but this one stood out because I’ve recently discovered Parks and Rec (I know, really late). Whether you watched it in real time or you’re a Netflix binger, why not give it a shot. You can reserve a table by emailing (JM)

Jupiter Styles, Hit Like A Girl, Carly Beth, Overwork, Blips and Chitz, 8 p.m., $5-$7

Jupiter Styles is formerly known as Single Player, if you’re playing catch up, and Sean Neumann’s project is on tour with Hit Like A Girl. They’re performing at Blips and Chitz on Sunday night, and I made mention of this in the Overture this week, but read more about one of the support acts, locals Carly Beth, from a scene update last year. Listen up on Jupiter Styles’ record from last year, Be Goodover at their Bandcamp page. (PS)


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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