Friday, January 31st
Last chance for Restaurant Week, Champaign County, now through February 1st, prices vary
Visit Champaign County’s Restaurant Week is almost over, so get out there while you can. There are more than 30 participating restaurants offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prices range from $9 to $39. Read our preview for a sense of what we’re looking forward to, check out reviews from the last few days, or peruse the menus on the VCC website. (JH)
Explore the "Artfully Created in Champaign County" exhibit, Her Creative Collective, 6 to 9 p.m., free
Her Creative Collective has been on a roll with tons of wellness and arts offerings. This marks their first group art exhibit, and it promises to be worth the trip to Mahomet. There'll also be music by M K Nova and acai bowls by Just Bee Acai. (DD)
Dearie is DJing Bentley's Pub's Bands on Deck series, Bentley's Pub in Champaign, 8 p.m., free
Two of C-U's favorite daughters, Kayla Brown (We The Animals) and Carrie Chandler (The Bashful Youngens), form the duo Dearie. They are a great act to catch, but this weekend they will be DJing Bentley's Bands on Deck series, sharing their favorite tracks and the music that influences their own work. No cover for this event, so you'll only spend on what you consume. (BH)
Image: A poster with a light brown background scattered with snowflakes. There is a stylized image of a woman wearing a short strapless dress, decorative cuffs on the upper arms, and thigh high stockings. The text, in white, says "Ms. Tisabit Isn 'tit presents: The Bit O' Stravagance Variety Show."
Bit O'Stravagance Caberet, Rose Bowl Tavern, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., $10 cover
Head over to the Rose Bowl Friday night for a little bit of weird and wonderful. There will be a bit of burlesque, a bit of drag, and a lot of compelling performances. Please go check out the Facebook event for teasers about who will be taking the stage. Stick around after for DJ Strick and dancing. (JM)
Saturday, February 1st
Image: A close up of the top of Watson's Toucan Slam boozy slushie. A frozen, blended white beverage is served in a mason jar. Froot Loops™ cereal pieces garnish the drink. A pink straw and a purple straw stick out of the drink on opposite sides of the glass. The glass is on a wood table. Photo by Jessica Hammie.
Celebrate Watson’s 4th birthday, Watson’s Shack & Rail, all day, $4 drink specials
Watson’s is turning four, and to celebrate is hosting some live music by the Union Street Players. You can check out the music while you sip on some $4 slushies (that’s a super good deal), and enjoy $4 off Chelsea’s Shameless Plea, which is the chicken and waffles dish. Additional information is on the Facebook event page. (JH)
Image: A hand holds up a knitted, light blue head warmer featuring repeated upward triangles around the top circumference, similar to a crown. Photo from Facebook page.
Take care of your Valentine's Day shopping, Nifty Nook, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., prices vary
Get your sweetheart something truly unique at Nifty Nook, a handmade gift store featuring local artist such as FunAfraid and Steampunk Grub among many others. The store recently moved in with Enchantment Alley in downtown Urbana. (SP)
Attend a cooking demo, Strawberry Fields, noon to 2 p.m., free
Stop by Strawberry Fields to learn to make falafel-spiced chickpea flatbreads, red pepper alfredo over zoodles (zucchini noodles), and honey pistachio cake. The demo is free, and you’ll definitely learn a whole bunch from Blue Dragon Fly Catering. At the end, you’ll get to taste some samples and take home recipe cards. RSVP on Facebook to reserve your spot. (JH)
Image: Nyttu Chongo, dressed in shorts and a traditional white wrap with red and black patterns, performs a concert outdoors. He holds a traditional instrument while speaking or singing into a microphone. Several instruments sit at his feet. Image from the Facebook event.
Nyttu Chongo presents music from Mozambique, Spurlock Museum, 2 to 3:30 p.m., free
In an event jointly sponsored by the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Spurlock Museum is hosting Nyttu Chongo. Chongo, a recipient of the 2020 Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, will be performing music from Mozambique. This concert will highlight traditional instruments from Mozambique and southeastern Africa through Chongo's musical storytelling, a tradition based down to him from his grandfather. This concert is a great opportunity to expand your horizons and hear music and stories you've not yet encountered. (BH)
Image: A close up of a glass of beer in a glass that says Triptych Brewing. The beer is gold in color. The brewery is in the background and slightly blurred. Photo by Steven Pratten.
Do some hiking and drink some beers, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve and Triptych, 4 p.m., free (except the beers)
Join the folks at Champaign Outdoors for a sunset hike through Buffalo Trace Prairie then trek on over to Triptych to warm up with some beer and maybe play a round of shuffleboard. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening. Meet in the Buffalo Trace East parking lot across the street from Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens. (JM)
Enjoy some of CU's great talent while helping local charities, The Virginia Theatre, 6 to 9 p.m., $75/general admission
The annual CU’s Got Talent competition will take place Saturday evening and raise funds for local charities providing tangible relief to local residents. You can vote for your favorite performers by making a donation in advance via the event website and also during the performance with the audience ($5=1 vote.) The performer who raises the most money will be crowned winner. Charities benefitting from this event include: C-U at Home, Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Family Service, and Frances Nelson Health Center. (SP)
National Freedom Day Party, Urbana Dance Company, 7 to 9 p.m., free
Illinois Jewish Studies and Urbana Dance Company are inviting folks to a multicultural celebration of dance. You will have the opportunity to learn Yiddish, Indian, Israeli, and Latin dances. Don't worry, they are easy to follow and it promises to be a relaxed setting. Just show up and willing to try a new thing. (JM)
Sunday, February 2nd
Image: Six donuts are in a white cardboard box, five are mostly visible. They are all cake donuts, and have different toppings: Chocolate, pink icing with Fruity Pebbles, white icing with white chocolate chips, orange and blue sprinkles, crushed candy and nuts. Photo from Facebook event page.
Pay your respects to the groundhog with coffee flavored beer and donuts, Pour Bros. Craft Taproom, 12 to 10 p.m., prices vary
It's the weekend when we learn of our fate re: the length of winter. Okay, so we all know that's BS, but if it gives me an excuse to try a bunch of coffee flavored beers and eat doughnuts, so be it. Get a pour card for all of that tasting and you'll get a complimentary donut from Industrial Donut while supplies last. You can check out what's on tap here. (JM)
Take a tour of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 3 p.m., free
Have you ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at Krannert? Well now's your chance. Take a guided tour and see how the magic is made. You'll learn a little history, explore the performance spaces, and see what happens in the production areas. No reservation needed, just show up in the lobby. (DD)
Top image: Overhead view of a white plate with two pieces of white bread with two pieces of bone-in browned chicken on top. Top left of plate features rice, top right of plate is browned plantains. Two cups of brown sauce sit on top of the plate. Photo by Anna Longworth.
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.