10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 25-29

Chicago Restaurant Week includes dinner and brunch menus at the California-influenced Presidio, where pancakes like these are up for grabs. (Courtesy of Presidio)Chicago Restaurant Week includes dinner and brunch menus at the California-influenced Presidio, where pancakes like these are up for grabs. (Courtesy of Presidio)

1. Eat

The 10th annual Chicago Restaurant Week kicks off with more than 300 participating restaurants throughout the city and suburbs. Get deals this year on brunch for the first time ($22), in addition to lunch ($22) and dinner ($33-$44). The two-week food fest includes upscale options such as the Michelin-rated Dos Urban Cantina to laid-back picks like Home Run Inn Pizza.

Details: Friday through Feb. 9 at more than 300 locations from Naperville to Chinatown. Prices exclude beverages, tax and gratuity. 

2. Absorb

Head to Logan Square to soak up knowledge shared by spirited local columnists from the Chicago Tribune, The A.V. Club and other media outlets during Drunk TED Talks (not affiliated with the real thing, we're told). After creating a presentation on a subject they’re passion about, the participants have a few drinks and present their findings. 

Details: 8 p.m. Thursday at The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave. Events are non-ticketed and include free admission on a first-come, first-served basis. | MAP

Drunk TED talks return to Chicago for the first time since 2012.Drunk TED talks return to Chicago for the first time since 2012.

3. Celebrate

With the Year of the Rooster upon us, it's time to ring in the Chinese Lunar New Year with a day of performances at the Art Institute from the China National Peking Opera, plus a lion dance, calligraphy demonstrations, tours of the Asian collection, food specials and more. Related festivities continue at the museum through Feb. 11.

Details: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave. Free with museum admission: $20-$25. | MAP

4. Party

WBEZ’s annual Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip Hop Artists features this year a U.N.I.T.Y theme highlighting female artists through mediums ranging from written word to dance. The all-ages party includes dance performances and a dance workshop, hands-on activities, graffiti art displays, DJ Ayana Contreras and free haircuts for kids.

Details: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. Free | MAP 

5. Engage

A local gallery addresses homelessness in its new exhibition House.” In what gallery director Kasia Houlihan describes as “a radical decision” for the project, a bulk of the budget is being used to provide housing to two homeless Chicagoans for a year. At the gallery, materials depict stories from Chicago's homeless community, including apartment leases and keys, and offer interactive ways to donate to homeless individuals. In lieu of a traditional unveiling, Friday’s opening features a potluck-style event that is open to everyone “regardless of their housing status.”

Details: Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery, 300 W. Superior St., Suite 203. Free. Exhibit continues through March 25. | MAP

6. Plunge

It won't be as warm as last Saturday, but as far as swimming in Lake Michigan goes, the weather could be worse. Some 700 participants are expected to join the 16th Annual Chicago Polar Bear Club Polar Plunge to raise funds for two families in need. An after-party takes place at Old Town Social (1:30-4:30 p.m.) and includes drinks and appetizers.

Details: Noon Saturday at Oak Street Beach, 1000 N. Lakeshore Drive. $30; $35 for after-party. | MAP

Last year’s plunge saw mild temperatures and plenty of sun. (Courtesy of the Lakeview Polar Bear Club)Last year’s plunge saw mild temperatures and plenty of sun. (Courtesy of the Lakeview Polar Bear Club)

7. Sip

Expand your beer IQ at the 2017 Chicago Ale Fest. The event includes two sessions featuring more than 150 craft beers from around the country, plus food trucks and a DJ setting the mood with an all-vinyl playlist.

Details: 1-4 p.m., 7-10 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. $50; $60 early entry tickets include entry at noon (first session) or 6 p.m. (second session). | MAP 

Sample more than 150 craft beers at the Chicago Ale Festival, if you can handle it. (Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr)Sample more than 150 craft beers at the Chicago Ale Festival, if you can handle it. (Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr)

8. Laugh

Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy stop in the windy city on their We’ve Been Thinking” tour. Each comedian performs a 45-minute set before they team up for a team joint segment.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Rosemont Theater, 5400 N. River Road. Tickets start at $27.50. | MAP 

9. Watch

Back for its third year, the Palace Film Festival brings contemporary works from local, national and international artists at the intersection of film, music and art. Beyond what’s implied in its title, this is not your traditional film festival. Rather, the event features a mash-up of photography, new media, video and performance.

Details: 2:30-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St. $20; $30 for a two-day pass. | MAP 

10. Meet

While the White Sox may have been, ahem, overshadowed by their North Side counterparts in 2016, you can help the team start the year on the right foot at SoxFest. Score signatures from Jose Abreau and Melky Cabrera, meet the prospects and reminisce about the old days with Frank Thomas.  

Details: 4-8:45 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Sunday at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. Friday tickets no longer available; $75 for two-day Saturday-Sunday pass; $50 for Saturday pass; $40 for Sunday pass. MAP 

SoxFest gives fans a chance to sit back with their favorite players, old and new. (Geoff Livingston / Flickr)SoxFest gives fans a chance to sit back with their favorite players, old and new. (Geoff Livingston / Flickr)

Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.