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Dolly Parton turns 72 this Friday. Also, earlier this week Guinness World Records presented her with record title certificates honoring her as the artist with the most hits on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart by a female and the most decades with a Top 20 hit on that same chart. Also, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sends more than one million books each month to children around the world. Also, she’s Miley Cyrus’ godmother. Dolly Parton rules. So she’s this week’s Best Weekend Bets guide.

Also, tell all your friends to subscribe to the Chicago mailing list. We gave away tickets to Chicago mailing list subscribers.



We write stuff. Here’s some of that stuff from the last week that may be applicable to your preferences



ACTIVE: Rogers Park dance studio Synapse Arts is offering $5 modern dance classes if you’re looking pop in and maybe to explore world of movement and stuff. Make 2018 about trying new things, you know?

CULTURE: Celebrate the release of the latest issue of Chicago-based progressive populist magazine In These Times at their main offices in Wicker Park today. Free copies of the new issue, plus snacks, beverages, and a discussion from the new issue’s cover story author Theo Anderson.

FILM: Doc Films at the University of Chicago is screening a 4k restoration copy of the classic horror film Suspiria. Haven’t seen it before? Here’s your chance! Big Argento fan already? Check out this new restored edition, it’s a beaut!

FOOD + DRINK: Emporium Arcade Bar’s latest popup bar is The Light Times Club, a collaboration with local geurilla artists Don’t Fret. Not a ton of info out just yet about this his “conceptual watering hole” but it’s definitely worth checking out!

FREE: The OPEN Center for the Arts team up with the Field Museum for a special exploration of the natural world entitled Collecting Nature. Expect live music, as well as a discussion about the Field Museum’s Monarch Restoration Project!

MUSIC: Sonny Smith, of the garage-poppers Sonny & The Sunsets, headlines Schubas tonight as a part of the Northside indoor music festival Tomorrow Never Knows! Cut Worms, Okey Dokey, and Cafe Racer round out the bill.

OUTSIDE: Did you know there was an ice skating rink set up outside of Wrigley Field at their recently renovated (and still in progress) Park at Wrigley? Well, there is and it’s pretty nice, too.

STAGE: Wham City Comedy is responsible for some of the most innovative Adult Swim-adjacent work of the last 5 years. Their limited series The Cry of Mann was one of the most intriguing and beguiling things online last year, and their beguiling short films Unedited Footage of a Bear and This House Has People In It helped win them tons of fans c/o a series of context-free broadcasts on Adult Swim. They team up with the equally visionary freaks at Helltrap Nightmare for an unforgettable evening of weird ass comedy stuff at the Hideout.

STAY IN: Were you aware that A Serious Man is on Netflix now? It’s one of the best Coen Brothers movies, for sure, and it’s almost certainly been too long since you watched it. It’s seriously so good. Consider staying home tonight and getting yr skull cracked open by its weirdo mysticism.



ACTIVE: Get real mellow and stretchy at Candlelight Yoga at the Bloom Yoga Studio. No experience is necessary, just a yearning to get vibed out doing some relaxing poses while listening to live tunes.

CULTURE: The Chicago Maritime Museum hosts a talk with Dr. Phil Willink, chatting about Chicago’s Forgotten “Coral Reef,” the Morgan Shoal just off the coast of the shores of Lake Michigan. Who knew??

FILM: The Raid: Redemption is know as one of the most exciting/over-the-top action movies of the 21st century. Check it out at a midnight screening at the Music Box!

FOOD + DRINK: Try out a slew of Chinese medicinal herbal teas, accompanied by a brief acupuncture treatment at the offices of Khadijah Kysia, L.A on Belmont! What a unique experience for you to try out.

FREE: The Shedd Aquarium is offering free admission to Illinois residents all day long today. What a perfectly aquatic way to start the weekend.

MUSIC: Celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the acclaimed Nick Mazzarella Trio at the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Local experimental/jazz label International Anthems hosts the proceedings, which will also feature a solo performance by cellist Katinka Kleijn and DJ sets from Wayne Montana.

OUTSIDE: Netflix is putting up some new animated Trolls series and to celebrate Maggie Daley Park is hosting a Trollerskating party, a themed ice skating thing featuring costumed characters and stuff. This will be weird and goofy, I bet!

STAGE: You may recognize Josh Fadem from 30 Rock, Better Call Saul, or Twin Peaks. Or from being very good at standup comedy, which is what he’ll be doing at the Hideout, alongside two great local performers, Grace Thomas and Nicky Martin.

STAY IN: Happy Birthday, Dolly. Maybe throw on one (or more?) or the full-length concerts from across her five decade-plus career available on YouTube and take in her raw talent? Start here or here or here.


ACTIVE: The Chicago Park District’s Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island is giving you the chance to traipse around the park exploring and doing fun activities!

CULTURE: Carrie Secrist Gallery hosts the opening reception for Andrew Holmquist’s new solo exhibition Alter Ego. This looks great!

FILM: Immerse yourself in the world of The Shining at the Room 237 Pop Up Bar upstairs at The Rookery. Don’t just watch a movie… Drink in one!

FOOD + DRINK: The 2018 Chicago Ale Fest: Winter Edition takes over the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier today. Expect over 150 brews, food from a bevvy of food trucks, and more!

FREE: The Chicago Cultural Center hosts a screening of A Legacy of Hope, an inspiring documentary about a community-based touch football league, followed by a discussion session after the screening ends!

MUSIC: Go see Destroyer at the Metro tonight. They’re an incredible live band and Dan Bejar is one of the most incredible lyricists in the game.

OUTSIDE: Take to the streets for the 1st anniversary of the Women’s March, for a March to the Polls. Meet Downtown to make yourself seen and show the world that Chicago is a decent fucking place.

STAGE: There’s no better improv team in Chicago than Sand. This is not hyperbole. They’re performing at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre in order to raise funds for a Summertime tour of Europe and you should go see them.

STAY IN: Planet Earth’s underwater sibling, Blue Planet, returns with a second installation, Blue Planet II, and apparently it’s just incredible. Catch the premiere episode on BBC America tonight!


ACTIVE: Hamlin Park in Lakeview hosts their weekly North Side African Dance Classes, open to anyone of any experience level open to learn the art of African dance. What a way to shake off the Winter doldrums!

CULTURE: The Japanese Culture Center in Lakeview hosts a New Year Manifestation Vibrational Cleanse, featuring a slew of spiritual sounds from gongs, didgeridoo, flutes, and more. Set your positive intentions and visualize your best self, soundtracked by the vibe-y-est vibes out there.

FILM: I feel like not enough people saw Jane when it was in theaters last year. It’s a really beautiful and thoughtful biographical documentary about Jane Goodall’s early years as a primate researcher, featuring a ton of never-before-seen footage. It’s good, folks!

FOOD + DRINK: Range hosts a fundraiser for the Illinois Choice Action Team, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision. 25% from all food and liquor sales are going direct to the ICAT! Hell yeah, happy anniversary, everybody.

FREE: Long-running, formerly Chicago-based (and member of the BYT extended family) chat show/live podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody takes over the Whistler. Expect guests like writer/artist Sophie Lucido Johnson and comedian Chelsea Hood.

MUSIC: The Tomorrow Never Knows music fest continues on at Lincoln Hall, with an extremely strong bill featuring Hinds, Slotface, and Peel. Really good stuff, here.

OUTSIDE:  Bring the OUTSIDE back INSIDE with a BYOB Terrarium Making Class at the Color Cocktail Factory. So like, those drink wine and paint a hacky painting things are played out, make yourself a damn terrarium, baby!

STAGE: The first annual Miss Hamburger Mary’s Chicago Pageant comes to Mary’s Attic in Andersonville, featuring some of the city’s best drag queens competing for the title of Miss Hamburger Mary’s. Categories include Solo Talent, Evening Gown, and On Stage Question, show up early and pick your fav!

STAY IN: Netflix’s new thriller/horror movie The Open House looks like an agreeably creepy if a bit bland piece of genre cinema, a totally inoffensive way to close out your weekend by half paying attention to whatever weirdness unfolds onscreen!