5 Things to Do: Jan. 12-14

5 Things to Do: The Morton Arboretum's Enchanted Railroad

This weekend, see a show and make a difference for fellow Chicagoans, explore two new exhibits, and more. Plus, we’ll look ahead to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Enchanted Railroad

5 Things to Do: Enchanted Railroad
Photo courtesy of The Morton Arboretum.

Opens Jan. 13

The Morton Arboretum’s miniature model railroad exhibit opens this weekend with a two-level display of 10 model trains your kiddos will love.

Paint the Eyes Softer: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt

5 Things to Do: Block Museum's "Paint the Eyes Softer"
VIS-NIR-Fluorescence comparison of Mummy portrait. (Courtesy of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the Regents of the University of California and NU-ACCESS.)

Opens Jan. 13

The Block Museum of Art and Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering will present this “groundbreaking installation” of ancient artifacts from Egypt during the Roman period through April 22.

Red Rose Jazz

5 Things to Do: Red Rose Jazz
Photo courtesy of Gorton Community Center.

Jan. 14
Lake Forest

Red Rose Jazz Band, a favorite guest at Gorton Community Center, returns to perform the best of ragtime and early jazz.

A Subtle Beauty: The Landscape of Lake County, Illinois

5 Things to Do: A Subtle Beauty: The Landscape of Lake County, Illinois
Independence Grove by John Wylie (Photo courtesy of Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods.)

Opens Jan. 14

Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods will present this free exhibit of work by local photographer John Wylie through Feb. 21.

Medieval Times’ Fill the Pantry Campaign

5 Things to Do: Medieval Times
Photo courtesy of Medieval Times.

Through Feb. 4

Medieval Times is challenging patrons to provide 3,000 meals for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Now through Feb. 4, drop off three non-perishable food items at Medieval Times and you’ll receive 35 percent off an adult ticket and 20 percent off a child ticket. Learn more at medievaltimes.com/chicago.

Looking Ahead: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events

  • Chicago Sinfonietta’s 30th anniversary MLK Tribute Concert will feature Emmy Award winner Laura Karpman’s “Ask Your Mama.” The orchestra will perform the concert twice, on Jan. 14 at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville and Jan. 15 at Symphony Center in Chicago.
  • Writers Theatre will begin its 12th annual tour of “The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights,” a one-woman show of poetry and hip hop, at Chicago History Museum on Jan. 15. This event is free, plus audience members will receive free museum admission. You can also see the show at Writers Theatre on Jan. 27.
  • Chicago History Museum will also open “Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968,” an exhibit that looks at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work around the country and specifically his impact on Chicago, on Monday.
  • The Museum of Science and Industry will kick off its Black Creativity program on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Family Day; the Juried Art Exhibition, featuring more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and other works of art by African-American artists; and the Innovation Studio, where guests can become inventors. The Black Creativity program “honors the rich contributions and achievements made by African Americans while working to inspire children to develop their creativity in science, technology, engineering, and math to become the innovators of tomorrow.”
  • Make It Better Philanthropy Award winner BUILD will host a Martin Luther King Day of Service. Call BUILD at 773-227-2880 for more information.
  • Join the DuSable Museum of African American History for The Dream: 50 Years Later. The museum has also partnered with the Monarch Awards Foundation for the day.
  • Chicago Children’s Museum will offer four performances of “What Does It Mean, Dr. King?” throughout the day Jan. 15. “Talking about the Civil Rights Movement is an important family conversation,” says CCM President and CEO Jennifer Farrington. “Our production opens the door to manageable conversations for children to digest very grown-up topics like diversity, inclusion, and community.”


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Anna Carlson writes the weekly 5 Things to Do column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of Glenbrook South High School and the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital






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