Weekend 101: 9 Things to Do Around Chicago Jan. 10-12

2020 has arrived and with it comes annual winter events like the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival and Northwestern’s Winter Chamber Music Festival. Plus, say goodbye to the holiday season during a traditional Swedish event and meet the future of theater.

33rd Annual Young Playwrights Festival

Jan. 8-25

Pegasus Theatre Chicago Young Playwrights Festival
The Playwrights for this year’s Young Playwrights Festival: Angelina Davila, Reba Brennan, and Henry Williams. (Photo by Anthony La Penna.)

Pegasus Theatre Chicago presents three professionally produced plays by local high school students who won the theater’s annual playwriting competition.

19th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

Jan. 9-19

Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival
Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena (©Elisabeth Caren)

This annual festival features almost 120 shows over two weeks. Headliners include the two-man show Parv and Pudi with Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena.

Winter Chamber Music Festival

Jan. 10-26

Aizuri Quartet at Northwestern's Winter Chamber Music Festival
Aizuri Quartet (Photo by Shervin Lainez.)

The 24th annual version of this Northwestern event features the festival debuts of the Aizuri Quartet, American String Quartet, and Stephanie Blythe.


Jan. 12

Julgransplundring at Chicago's Swedish American Museum
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash.

Celebrate this Swedish tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree one last time to officially end the holiday season. Enjoy games and hot dogs as well at this Swedish American Museum event.

Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest

Closes Jan. 12

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier
Photo by Nick Ulivieri Photography.

This annual Navy Pier event continues through the weekend with attractions like the Xfinity Ice Skating Rink, Polar Extreme Obstacle Course, Cliff Hanger, Polar Ice Peaks Climbing Walls, Winter WonderWhirl, and much more. Discounted four packs of tickets are available Jan. 6-12, and Sensory Friendly Hours are scheduled for Jan. 9 from 4-8 p.m.

More Can’t Miss Events:

  • Park District of Highland Park’s Winter Fest on Jan. 11 offers indoor ice skating, gymnastics, food, and more family fun.
  • At Highland Park Public Library’s Kid Lit Fest on Jan. 11, kids can meet authors, make their own bookmark, take pictures in the book cover photo booth, and more.
  • The 31st Annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival, the longest-running fringe theater festival in Chicago, begins Jan. 11 and runs through Feb. 23.

Make a Difference:

  • Sons of the Silent Age, a David Bowie tribute band, performs on Jan. 11 at Metro Chicago to benefit NorthShore University HealthSystem Kellogg Cancer Center’s integrative medicine therapies.

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