Smile Politely

Weekender: May 13-15

Friday, May 13th

Watch Illini baseball, Illinois Field, 6 p.m., free

It can be pretty costly to attend men’s basketball or football games, and they get a lot of attention, but there are tons of free fun Illinois sports to watch. It’s the last home baseball series of the season, and the Illini are going out with a bang…literally. In addition to post-game fireworks, there will be free Hickory River and free baseball shirts for the first 500 fans. There will also be a bounce house for the kids. (JM)

Silhouette of a young girl standing akimbo against a backdrop of books and letters.

Image from the Champaign Park District Facebook page.

Take a young theatre fan to see the opening of Matilda Jr: The Musical, the Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $12 

Roald Dahl’s story of a smart young heroine going up against evil, not so smart adults is only energized by addition of song and dance. Enjoy the return of live theatre and celebrate the talents of the Champaign Park District Youth Theatre. (DD)

Immerse yourself in light and sound, NOLA’s Rock Bar, 8 p.m., free

Soundscapes is throwing another immersive audio-visual experience, this time on the patio behind NOLA’s Rock Bar. There will be music from Bill Kirby, Joy Yang, DJ Lovenloops, and DJ Belly. Expect immersive projections from Harshpro and Soundscapes, as well as live illustrations from Stacey Robinson. (SW)

Portrait of musician Squirrel Flower. She is bathed in a red light, and looks into the distance.

Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

Hear some indie rock, Rose Bowl Tavern, 8 p.m., $13

Polyvinyl’s own Squirrel Flower stops by the Rose Bowl on the Planet (i) tour. The new album is stunning, so stop by and hear some live renditions of songs from the album. Opening the evening is Chicago’s Mia Joy and local DIY rockers Soft and Dumb. (SW)

Saturday, May 14th

Stock up on jewelry, The Idea Store, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $5 plus purchase

This is the last weekend for The Idea Store popular sale event, Jewelry Jackpot. Purchase a $5 ticket for your desired time slot, and you’ll have 45 minutes to shop. That $5 will be applied toward your purchase. They have a huge selection of fine jewelry, all donated, as well as all the jewerly making supplies you could possibly want. Check out their Instagram Story takeover with us to get a sneak peek. (JM)

In a styrofoam takeout container, there are pieces of fried chicken and fried fish over a bed of fries from Da Shark in Champaign. Photo by Julie McClure.

Photo by Julie McClure.

Order Da House Special, Da Shark, noon to midnight, $8.99

This weekend is graduation weekend for the U of I, so steer clear of the Campustown restaurants (and anywhere college grads might want to take their parents this weekend). Check out Da Shark, a neighborhood restaurant in West Champaign. Da Shark serves great fried food, gyros, wings, soul sides, and more. Not sure what to order? Check out Culture Editor Julie’s review of the lunch she ordered from Da Shark. (AB)

A bird’s eye view of a table with a red checkered table cloth, a measuring cup with salad dressing, and a large bowl with a salad in it. The salad has edible flowers in it. Photo from the Delight Flower Farm foraging event page.

Photo from the Delight Flower Farm foraging event page.

Learn about foraging, Delight Flower Farm, 1 to 2:30 p.m. $25

Delight Flower Farm is hosting an “Intro to Foraging” class, where you will learn about “edible ‘weeds’ and native food plants, as well as the safety and methodology of turning nature into food.” After a short presentation, you’ll make your way around the farm and hunt for edibles (no, not those edibles). Get your ticket to reserve your spot. (JH)

Sunday, May 15th

Two white hands hold open a sliced pastrami sandwich from Baldarotta's. The pastrami is red with light yellow baby Swiss cheese threads across and yellow mustard spread. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Get the Sunday special, Baldarotta’s, noon to 3 p.m., $15

I shared this delicious sandwich in my May foods to try list. The Sunday special sandwich is the pastrami and pepperonicini melt which comes with housemade pastrami, caramelized onions, baby Swiss cheese, spicy brown mustard, and pepperonicini on rye bread. The pastrami on this was amazing, and all the elements of the sandwich worked really well together. You can order online or order in person at the Lincoln Square restaurant. (AB)

Check out Prism’s inaugural exhibition, Urbana IMC, noon to 5 p.m., free

Prism Studios is holding its inaugural exhibition called Reclaim: Clarity in Community. The exhibition features the work of more than ten local artists; follow on Instagram for details. This exhibition’s opening reception is Sunday afternoon, so you can swing by after a nice brunch. You will also be able to paint your own work of art while you’re there. (JH)

Take your young writer to a poetry workshop with Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure, Urbana Free Library, 3 to 4 p.m., free

Artist, dancer, and poet Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure will be offering a workshop that “shows young poets how to unlock their voices and play with words.” Participants will create “descriptive lines” and learn how to build them into poems. All activities “will encourage creativity and having fun with words.” Register here. (DD)

Top photo from Illinois Baseball Facebook page.


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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