Friday, February 7th
Image: A large brown castle in a landscape of fallen snow and snow-covered trees are overlayed with and light blue, horizontal banner with white text reading, "Harry Potter Alliance Presents: The Annual Yule Ball." Photo from Facebook event page.
Escape to Hogwarts for a night of magic, Illini Union, 7 to 11 p.m., $17-20
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, I’m sure at some point you've wished you could experience just a small bit of the magical wizarding world. The Harry Potter Alliance UIUC is bringing a bit of that magic to the Illini Union main floor ballrooms this Friday. Along with dancing, the Annual Yule Ball will feature interactive booths, a cash bar, palm reading, and other magically-inspired attractions. Earlybird tickets can be purchased here and all proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood of Illinois, The National Alliance to End Homelessness, and CharityWater.org. (SP)
Learn about supermassive black holes, Staerkel Planetarium, 7 p.m., $2
Part of the Kaler Science Lecture Series, Dr. Xin Liu, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at U of I, will be sharing her knowledge of black holes that are found at the centers of galaxies. Black holes are a rather mind-bending concept, so you will either come away more knowledgeable or completely confused. Either way, you'll have had the opportunity to hear from a local expert. (JM)
Image: A group of men and women are gathered on a stage, some sitting, some standing. They are all clapping and singing. One is playing maracas. Photo from Facebook event page.
See Step Afrika!, Krannert Center, 7:30 p.m., $10-25
Step Afrika! is the "first professional organization dedicated to the African-American tradition of stepping," and they are bringing their latest show Drumfolk to KCPA, a celebration of early African-American percussive traditions and how they were interwoven into the experiences of African-Americans in the South. You can purchase tickets here. (JM)
Stick around for Latin Dance Night, Krannert Center, 9:30 to 11 p.m., free
Continue your evening with more cultural traditions, and this time you can join in the dancing. Join La Casa Cultural Latina for reggaeton, salsa, merengue, and more. It's always a party, so grab a drink from the Stage 6 bar and enjoy. (JM)
Saturday, February 8th
Image: Blue batik cloth with colorful stars and circles with a black and white cat lying in the lower right corner. Photo from Facebook event page.
Shop the Frabjous February Home Show, Hooey House, Urbana, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., prices vary
Give some love to our local artists and makers at this fun, fabulous, and Frabjous event. Featuring Hooey Batiks, Lydia Puddicombe, Kim Caisse Art, Crass Stitching, Red Ember Forge Jewelry, and more. (DD)
Create your own sustainable paper, Fresh Press, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $20-100
Fresh Press Paper, part of the School of Art +Design at Illinois and self-described as a “Microbrewery of Paper,” will be hosting a beginner's workshop on papermaking this Saturday. The three hour workshop will cover basic papermaking with recycled cotton. You will be able to make your own paper and learn about the sustainable and regenerative practices done by the organization. The overall mission of Fresh Press is to change the paper supply chain from the traditional harvesting of forests to utilizing agricultural fiber waste from regional sources. You can sign up for the workshop here. (SP)
Learn to brew your own ‘booch, Common Ground Food Co-op, 2 to 3:30 p.m., $10 members/$15 non members
Do you drink kombucha? If you do, you’ll know that buying it is expensive. Each bottle is at least $3, and if you’re having more than one a week…that’s money that could be spent elsewhere. Common Ground’s class will teach you how to brew your own without poisoning yourself. Sign up here. (JH)
Image: Light colored beer in a clear pint glass at Cafeteria & Company. The glass is on a dark table, and a small, white menu card is on the table behind and to the right of the glass. Photo by Jessica Hammie.
Drink beer, play board games, Cafeteria & Co, 5 to 8 p.m, free admission
CUDO is sponsoring another board game night at Cafeteria & Company, and let’s be honest — you don’t really have any other plans, do you? Stop by to meet some people, learn a new game, and have a drink. (JH)
Image: Photo of a hand holding a piece of art with green and gold diamond shapes throughout. Photo from Facebook event page
See the opening of "small works show" at Ivy House Studio and Gallery, Champaign, 4 to 7 p.m., free to attend, bring money if you plan to buy
If you love small lovely things as much as I do, you won't want to miss the opening of Ivy House Studio and Gallery's IttyBittyLittleTiny show. If you can't make opening night, fear not. The show will run through the 29th. Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Visit Sleepycreek Vineyard for wine and Dark Horse Theatre's production of Love Letters, 7 to 11 p.m.
Wine plus a local production of a great play makes for a great combo, one worth the trip to Fairmount. A.J. Gurney's play is a classic for a reason. Get ticket information and other details here. (DD)
Image: Four men are gathered around a piece of wood against a white background. Three of them sit, two facing front, and one in the background turning to face the camera. The fourth stands looking downward at the piece of wood. Image from the facebook event.
Work on your air-punch dancing at the Dogleg show, Blackbird, 8 p.m., $10
Detroit-based Dogleg will be performing with Power of Dusk (Champaign) and Long Birds (Schaumburg) this weekend. This will be a fast-paced, fist-pumping show and definitely one you won't want to miss if you're in need of some good, clean rocking out. (BH)
Check out Ernie Hendrickson and The Citizens of Love, Pour Bros. Craft Taproom, 8 p.m., free
Enjoy some live music from Hendrickson, an "independent Americana/folk/rock guitarist singer and songwriter from Chicago," according to his website. Pour Bros. also happens to be tapping a bunch of new beers from the Twelve Percent Beer Project, so you can try some new brews while you're there. (JM)
Sunday, February 9th
Image: At the Champaign Farmers Market, the Berries & Flour booth’s signage hangs from a pop up tent. In the foreground on the left are a white tent post and out of focus purple flowers on a green vine. Photo by Remington Rock.
Sign up for a cake and jam CSA from Berries & Flour, all weekend, prices vary
Berries & Flour is in the CSA business now, and we will all be better for it. You can sign up by season and select the number of months and the types and amounts of items you want. It’s pretty amazing. Among the selections are cakes, jams, shrub concentrates (for making shrubs), tea, and wild cocktail kits. You can even customize your cake to be vegan or gluten free. Learn more and sign up here. (JH)
Experience Myth and Legend with Les Délices, Chapel of St. John the Divine, 7:30 p.m., $10 Students, $20 general
The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana — or, BACH — will be hosting acclaimed chamber ensemble Les Délices for a concert of their 2012 album Myths and Allegories. This set will feature soprano Clara Rottsolk performing works by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and Thomas-Louis Bourgeois. This concert will be a fun way to experience the epics of Homer as told through music. (BH)
Top image: Hands hold a rectangular brown frame with a cream-colored pulpy substance filling the middle above a larger container filled with more of the same substance. Photo from Facebook event 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.