Smile Politely

Weekender: March 16-18

FRIDAY, March 16th

Make plans to have a meal near campus, all weekend (and next week), prices vary

Next week is the U of I’s Spring Break, which means kids will clear out, making space for the rest of us to visit some of the better Campustown restaurants. Sakanaya is always a favorite, but do also consider Mid Summer Lounge for dumplings and noodles. (JH) Photo by Jessica Wolff


Nunsense II: The Second Coming, SoDo Theatre, 7 p.m., $15/ticket

Twin City Theatre Company’s latest production is up this weekend, Nunsense II: The Second Coming, a fun musical featuring some zany nuns who “sing and dance their way across the Mount St. Helen’s stage.” The production is being directed by Chandra Gallway, the new artistic director of Twin City Theatre Company, who also directed the first Nunsense musical last fall. Singing nuns might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I definitely recommend it to those looking for a laugh! (KF)


VV Lightbody, The Merry Travelers, The Iron Post, cover, 9 p.m.

Vivian McConnell is no stranger to Champaign-Urbana (you might remember Santah and Grandkids), so it is wondeful she’s stopping back through from Chicago to perform at a very cozy spot in Urbana, The Iron Post. She’s lined up with the Merry Travelers, which is an outfit made up of Holly Curia, Charlie Harris, Cody Jensen (Jensen and Harris are both in Bones Jugs), and a few others. (PS)


Spandrels, Motes, Fiona Kimble, The Canopy Club, 9 p.m., $5-7

Spandrels is kicking off their eight date tour on Friday night at the Canopy Club with a couple of other locals — Motes and Fiona Kimble. Kimble just released an album of her own at the end of last year — read Sal’s review here. Another great option for live music (largely local, in addition to the show at Iron Post I mentioned above), for your Friday evening. (PS) Photo by Veronica Mullen

SATURDAY, March 17th

Vote, any early voting location, times vary, free

Yes, you can vote on a Saturday! We published our voting guide earlier this week with all the info you need to know about contested races, early voting, and more. Exercise your civic right and go decide who should be on the ballot in November. Do it. Especially if you are traveling for spring break. (JM)


Learn about the brain while playing games, Dr. G’s Brainworks (Marketplace Mall), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free

Dr. G’s is a fantastic game store. The selection is incredible, and the employees are really knowledgable about their products. If you’re looking for a new family game (for kids, adults, or kids and adults), this is where you need to go. The Brain and Cognitive Development Lab will be on hand to share information, games, crafts, and toys related to the developing brain. Who knew that learning could be fun? (JH) 


Star Wars paint party, Jupiter’s at the Crossing, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., $35 to $45

Lola’s Brush is hosting a Star Wars-themed painting party at Jupiter’s at the Crossing. This week’s theme: Rebel Princess. This family-friendly party invites all ages to come and paint the iconic Princess Leia and enjoy some pizza. If you don’t mind pizza twice in a day, after the party you can move to the downstairs game area and make a night of it! (DT) Photo from Lola’s Brush.



¡Ciencas! Hands-on Science, Champaign Public Library, 3 to 3:45 p.m., free

The UIUC chapter of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in the Sciences) is bringing fun science experiments and demos for kids of all ages to the CPL. What’s even cooler? Everything will be presented in English and Spanish. (JM) Photo from Facebook


Lonely Trailer, Bullnettle, The Dry Look, Col. James Presents, Loose Cobra, $5 suggested donation, 8 p.m.

I love the Cobra. It is one of the best places around. St. Paddy’s Day might be the best opportunity, or at least, one of the best opportunities, to fully embrace it with a rock show like this one. 

The Dry Look has been very active lately, releasing an EP not too long ago, and Col. James Presents is a new-ish local project made up of members of Penny Horses (RIP) and the Dirty Feathers. (PS)


Timbalú, Cowboy Monkey, $5, 9 p.m.

Usually, you’d have to pay $5 to see one set by Timbalu, and you’re in luck this weekend. They’re performing two sets at Cowboy Monkey on Saturday night, so this is a good opportunity to catch at least one, if not both of them. Read up on them from James’ review of their show last month at Iron Post. Salsa! (PS) Photo by James Scherer


SUNDAY, March 18th

Spring Succulent Wreath Making, Riggs Beer Company, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., $30/ticket

This Sunday afternoon, spend a few hours crafting your very own Spring wreath. The class will be led by Farmer Holly, who will guide the class in “crafting custom, gorgeous wreaths on grapevine frames.” There will be dried flowers, woody stems, ribbon, and fresh succulents cuttings to adorn your wreath with. With Spring just around the corner, it’ll be a great way to brighten up your weekend and home! (KF)


Do something outside, anywhere, all day

Not to depress anyone, but this Sunday is forecast to be the nicest day for the next couple of weeks, at least, so don’t waste it. Go outside, fix your yard, smell some flowers, take the kids to the park, play catch, look at clouds, hang out downtown, something. (DT)




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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