Smile Politely

Weekender: March 27-29

Well Smile Politely readers, times are strange. Ordinarily, we’d be using this space to encourage you to get out and enjoy all the C-U has to offer. That has become a difficult task. It’s important to maintain some sort of routine, some sort of normalcy in an abnormal situation, so we are going to continue publishing The Weekender. It’ll look different. We will have to put our collective creativity to the test, but hopefully it will be a weekly reminder of ways that you can make the best of these times, and stay connected with this amazing community we call home.

— The Editors

A pasta dish in a circle plate is centered in the image. The pasta is rigatoni noodles with a light sauce. A small red sign reading

Grab and go dinner kit from NAYA. Photo from NAYA’s Facebook page. 

Get your party on (with your housemates), any evening, prices vary

Keep practicing your social distancing, and order yourself some dinner delivered — with no contact delivery — to your house. No cooking, and no dishes. Treat yourself. You deserve it. Don’t forget a bottle of wine or margaritas to go with your dinner. (AB)

Listen to a local podcast, anytime, free

I was already a podcast person before all of this, particularly in the car and while making dinner. Now I have even more time to dig into them, and maybe you do too. If you want to try something local, I suggest the She Said Project podcast, which launched its second season today, or I Have to Ask, hosted by Elizabeth Hess. If you want to get real crazy, check out some episodes of the SP Radio Podcast from way back when. (JM)

Read a book by a local author, all weekend, potentially free

Even though the libraries are closed, you can still access electronic resources. Don’t have a library card? Champaign Public Library now has virtual cards available; sign up here. Take a look through our Arts section to read up on local authors and their books. You can find them at the libraries, or order actual copies online. (JH)

A bottle of brown whiskey sits next to four silver crowler cans with a sticker label reading

 Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Pick up craft beer, Collective Pour, Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., $18.99

Come in to Collective Pour, or order by phone at 217-607-5292 and have it delivered to your car curbside. Mix and match four 16 ounce cans for $18.99. There are many craft beer options for crowlers at 32 ounces, each individually priced. If you don’t know which to choose, the owner can make a recommendation for you. (AB)

Watch local poets on YouTube, all weekend, free

You can thank Urbana Poet Laureate Will Reger and the Urbana Arts & Culture Program for launching the “Poets on the Bench” series on YouTube.  A local branch of the national trend, these shows are a great way to enjoy spoken poetry and learn more about those who create it. (DD)

Image: Photo of crowds in the upper stands at London's Globe Theatre. Photo from Globe Theatre's website

Photo from Globe Theatre’s website.

Stream Shakespeare from the Globe Theatre, all weekend, some free content, some pay-per-view

If you’re craving the bard, you’re in luck. Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has shared the news that the a number of performances are now available for streaming at So take a break from the real-life drama and indulge in some timeless comedies and tragedies featuring some of your favorite actors. (DD)

A poster of the sun shining over the earth's horizon in space. The text says Earth Hour 2020 #illinoisgoesdark. Image from Facebook event page.

Image from Facebook event page. 

Participate in Illinois Earth Hour, Saturday, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., free

The U of I Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment is asking people to switch off the lights for one hour to generate energy savings. This is part of a global event. So why not light some candles, give Netflix a rest (it’s had a workout), and enjoy the stillness and quiet. Meditate, tell ghost stories, maybe watch and listen to the thunderstorms we’re supposed to have. (JM).

Exercise, all weekend, your house or outside, free

Do not misunderstand me here: I’m not saying go on some crazy exercise kick like these obnoxious people on the internet. If you can, make a point to move your body for a few minutes this weekend. It’ll feel good to do so. Do a little stretching, or go for a walk, or find an intense cardio something or other on the web. Your body, your pace. Do something that feels good to you. Need a little guidance? You’ll find some suggestions here. (JH)

Orange, yellow, and purple carrots in two rectangular containers. The containers are lined with a blue, yellow, purple, and orange striped fabric. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Sign up for a CSA, all weekend, about $500 for the season

Yes, I know you’re probably as sick of reading this as I am of writing it…but have you signed up for a CSA yet? With all the panic shopping around COVID-19, a CSA is the ultimate and perfect way to ensure you have fresh produce weekly while supporting local farmers who may or may not be able to sell their goods in another marketplace, and do you want to be shopping in a massive crowd of people anyway? Who knows what will happen in two months! I’m not trying to be alarmist; I’m just encouraging you to sign up for a CSA. (JH)

Top photo by Jessica Hammie. 

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