Weekend 101: Jan. 18-20

Weekend 101: Jan. 18-20 (The Beach Chicago at Navy Pier)

Pretend it’s summer at Chicago’s newest interactive public art installation or dream of baseball season during an author event in Wrigleyville. Or if you love winter, celebrate the season with a family-friendly event at Kohl Children’s Museum. Families can also get an up-close look at the moon, learn about the Civil Rights Movement, and much more.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland at Kohl Children's Museum
Photo courtesy of Kohl Children’s Museum.

Jan. 18

This Kohl Children’s Museum event will feature a polar express kiddie train, dance party, appearances by Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” and Paddington, a snow dough craft, and more.

Tinker to Evers David Rapp Meet & Greet

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Tinker to Evers David Rapp Meet & Greet
Image courtesy of Tinker to Evers.

Jan. 18

New Wrigleyville cocktail lounge Tinker to Evers and Detroit-style pizzeria Union Full Board will welcome David Rapp, author of “Tinker to Evers to Chance: The Chicago Cubs and the Dawn of Modern America,” for a book reading and signing.

The Beach Chicago

Weekend 101 (Chicago): The Beach Chicago at Navy Pier
Photo by Noah Kalina.

Opens Jan. 19

Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom will transform into Chicago’s newest “beach” during this interactive public art installation featuring lounge deck chairs, umbrellas, inflatables, and 1 million antimicrobial and recyclable plastic spheres mimicking sand. The Beach Chicago, an EXPO CHICAGO program, is free and will be open through Feb. 3.

Music Institute’s Evanston Open House

Weekend 101 (Chicago): Music Institute of Chicago's Evanston Open House
Photo courtesy of Music Institute of Chicago.

Jan. 20

Parents and kids will learn more about everything the Music Institute of Chicago has to offer during this open house, when kids will have a chance to play instruments during a musical “petting zoo,” receive special discounts and offers, and more.


Weekend 101 (Chicago): Lunapalooza at Adler Planetarium
Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium.

Jan. 20

Alder Planetarium will host this observation of the total lunar eclipse in a semi-heated outdoor area with complimentary hot chocolate. Guests will also be able to watch Adler’s newest sky show, “Imagine the Moon;” touch a piece of the moon; take part in the Family Zone’s glow-in-the-dark pajama party; and more. The event is free, but passes must be reserved.

What Does It Mean, Dr. King?

Weekend 101 (Chicago): "What Does It Mean, Dr. King?" at Chicago Children's Museum
Photo courtesy of Chicago Children’s Museum.

Jan. 20-21

This annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day performance at Chicago Children’s Museum will return to share the history of the Civil Rights Movement in a way that’s perfect for children in preschool through elementary school.

More Can’t-Miss Events

  • Black Ensemble Theater and Northeastern Illinois University will partner for “The Jackie Taylor Anti-Racism Drama Series” running January to March 2019. The first play of the series, “National Anthem” by Ervin Gardner and directed by Jackie Taylor, will run Jan. 17-19 and focus on a college athlete deciding if he should take a political stand if it might affect his chances of a professional career.
  • The Morton Arboretum’s annual Enchanted Railroad will return Ja. 18 to Feb. 24 with more than 10 model trains.
  • Hofbräuhaus Chicago will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Jan. 18 with a keg tapping by the owners, raffle prizes, and more.
  • Executive Chef Ross Henke of Logan Square’s Quiote is giving his kitchen staff the chance to create their own tasting menus during the Off the Record Test Kitchen series. On Jan. 19, Chef Ben Blum will create a 14-person tasting menu “focusing on the Eastern coast of Mexico’s cuisine.” Buy tickets.

Looking Ahead

  • On Jan. 21, Writers Theatre will open their 2019 tour of “The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights” at the Chicago History Museum.
  • City Winery will host Let Freedom Ring, Chicago! A Musical Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 21. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
  • Buy tickets now for Publican Anker’s Jan. 22 Oyster Dinner, which will feature seafood from Island Creek Oysters and “a selection of wines so rare they’re basically unicorns.”
  • Award show season is here, so it’s the perfect time to hear what Chicago film critics have to say about the best and worst movies of 2018. CMX Cinemas Old Orchard will host a panel featuring Dean Richards (WGN TV & Radio), Patrick McDonald (Hollywood Chicago), Pamela Powell (The Daily Journal), and Brandon Pope (WCIU) on Jan. 22, and guests will enjoy food samples and cocktails.
  • Sip some wine and create a shadow box with sea glass and driftwood during the Park District of Highland Park’s Nature Art Scapes class, which will take place at Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center on Jan. 24.
  • The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago will offer a five-session Italian cooking and language class at Eataly starting Jan. 24. Each week, attendees will learn about the language and food of a specific region of Italy before watching a live cooking demonstration and enjoying a delicious meal.

Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of 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