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Things to do in Chicago in January

Magic show

January 25, 2017 (8 p.m.)

3.3 miles north

The Magic Cabaret entertains with mind-boggling sleight of hand and audience participation in small Greenhouse Theater Center. Discount tickets $13.

Dark drama

January 25 – 26, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles SW

Gloria is a “whip-smart satire” [NY Times] about young workers in a toxic New York office at Goodman Theatre for mature audiences.Discount tickets $32.

Historical drama about Harlem

January 25 – 27, 2017

8.3 miles south

Blues for an Alabama Sky is a play about hopeful African-American artists struggling to survive as the golden years of the Harlem Renaissance change to the hopeless 1930s at Court Theatre. Discount tickets $29.

Puppet festival

January 25 – 29, 2017

Chicago locations

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival features 22 different shows with marionettes, shadow puppets, Bunraku puppets, and tiny toy puppets. Schedule.

Live storytelling

January 25 – 29, 2017

10 miles north

Fillet of Solo Festival makes literature come alive with solo performances and storytelling at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio Theatre. Discount full pass $25.

Free science museum

January 25 – 31, 2017 (see dates below)

8 miles south

Show Illinois ID to enter the Museum of Science and Industry free during Free Days on January 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31, 2017.

Documentary film festival

January 25 – Feb. 2, 2017

0.5 miles SW

See brand-new documentaries, some of which are followed by discussions with the directors, during Stranger Than Fiction at Gene Siskel Film Center.

Fringe theater festival

January 25 – Feb. 25, 2017

6.5 miles NW

Rhinoceros Theater Festival is billed as Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival at Prop Thtr. Choose from dozens of creative new shows for only $12.

Attractions

January 25 – June 30, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Restaurant tasting

January 26, 2017 (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles SW

Taste samples from 60 restaurants, cocktails, and beer at First Bites Bash, a kick-off gala for Restaurant Week at Navy Pier. Bring age 21 ID. Discount tickets $89.

Fishing show

January 26 – 29, 2017

28 miles NW

Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo offers expert seminars, fishing boats, fishing supplies, and exhibitors at the Schaumburg Convention Center.

Game of Thrones parody

January 26 – Feb. 5, 2017

3.8 miles north

Described as “darkly humorous and beautifully vulgar,” Thrones! The Musical features hilarious songs about six seasons of the HBO show at Apollo Theater for age 16+. Discount tickets $23.

Poor in America

January 26 – Feb. 12, 2017

4.8 miles north

What of the Night? is the stark story of a runaway teenager in search of a better life and her estranged family, but it’s also a strong indictment of soulless capitalist institutions and our complicit involvement in social inequality, at Theater Wit. Discount tickets $10 to $15.

Shakespeare romance

January 26 – Feb. 25, 2017

11 miles north

Cymbeline is the story of a brave princess: full of comedy, drama, action, and romance, at The Factory Theater on Howard St. Discount tickets $15.

If walls could talk

January 26 – Feb. 26, 2017

20.1 miles north

The Dining Room is a dramatic comedy that paints a vivid portrait of upper-class life in 18 overlapping vignettes set in a dining room at Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview. Discount tickets $18 (student price is less).

Magic lounge

January 26 – March 30, 2017

7 miles north

Chicago Magic Lounge is an old-school magic show with close-up magic, bar magic, table-hopping magicians, and main stage acts at Uptown Underground for age 21+. Discount tickets $10 – $14.

Taste of Oak Park

January 27, 2017 (5:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

11.6 miles west

A ticket to Bite Nite gets you tastes from 50 restaurants, with live music and drinks for sale at 19th Century Club in Oak Park.

Contemporary dance

January 27 – 28, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, known for vibrant energy, hungry physicality, and world-influenced style, performs its “Last Works” at Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park. Discount tickets $28.

Winter beer festival

January 27 – 28, 2017

8 miles north

Winter Brew is a Lincoln Square & Ravenswood beer fest that features local brew and food for age 21+.

  • Jan. 27 (7 p.m.) – Artifact Events
  • Jan. 28 (2 and 7 p.m.) – Dank Haus

Home show

January 27 – 29, 2017

1 mile east

See home improvement products, services, and demos at Ideal Home Show at Navy Pier. Discount tickets $4.

Murder mystery

January 27 – 29, 2017

21 miles NW

Based on a book by Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap is a whodunit involving strangers trapped in a quaint boarding house during a snowstorm at Big Noise Theatre at Prairie Lakes. Discount tickets $15.

Contemporary “Little Women”

January 27 – Feb. 4, 2017

4 miles NW

Women is a fast-paced comedy that sees girls of 1800s New England through the lens of HBO’s series “Girls” at Collaboraction Theatre Company. Discount tickets $10.

Chicago Restaurant Week

January 27 – Feb. 9, 2017

Chicago locations

Get a special deal on a fixed-price lunch or dinner at 350 restaurants during Chicago Restaurant Week.

Music of Tony Bennett

January 27 – Feb. 9, 2017

4.8 miles north

I Left My Heart is a salute to the music of Tony Bennett, including “Because of You” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” plus of course “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” at Mercury Theater. Discount tickets $23 to $65.

Ale festival

January 28, 2017

1 mile east

Sample 150 American craft beers at Chicago Ale Fest, with DJ music and food vendors in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Repeats June.

Chinese New Year

January 28, 2017 (10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

1 mile south

Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with music, dancers, calligraphy demonstrations, art tours, and a performance by the National Peking Opera Company at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Polar Bear Plunge

January 28, 2017

1 mile north

Register to join the Chicago Polar Bear Club, and then take the Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan for charity at Oak Street Beach, followed by an optional after party. Free to watch.

Comedy dinner show

January 28, 2017 (4 and 8:30 p.m.)

5.8 miles north

You’re invited to fictitious Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding at Resurrection Church, followed by a real Italian dinner at Chicago Theater Works, with plenty of comedy improv and audience interaction. Discount tickets $54 to $75.

Alternative bridal show

January 28, 2017

7.5 miles north

Indie Wed has 100 independent businesses offering handmade items and innovative services for unique weddings at Ravenswood Event Center.

African dance

January 28, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

14 miles west

Step Afrika is energetic percussive dance using kicks, stomps, claps, and chants while integrating songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation at Lund Auditorium in River Forest. Discount tickets $12.

The Mikado

January 28 – 29, 2017

27 miles west

Sung in English, The Mikado is Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic masterpiece set in Japan and filled with jilted lovers, arranged marriages, disguises, and inept bureaucrats at McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn. Discount tickets $20.

Motorcycle show

January 28 – 29, 2017

41 miles west

Chicago Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet features bikes, parts, demonstrations, food, beer, and live music at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Eagle weekend

January 28 – 29, 2017

96 miles SW

Learn about raptors and birds of prey, meet falcons and an eagle, take an eagle-watching hike, and try kids’ activities at Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock Lodge & Illinois Waterway Visitor Center.

Magic show

January 28 – Feb. 12, 2017

3.1 miles NW

The Rosenkranz Mysteries is a “truly unusual and immensely likable magic show” [Chicago Tribune] by a local medical doctor who performs tricks and illusions at Royal George Theatre. Discount tickets $25.

Improvised comedy

January 28 – Feb. 18, 2017

2.3 miles north

See top contestants in the Improv Classic during the semi-finals (Jan. 28, Feb. 4 & 11) and the finals (Feb. 18) at The Second City.

Kids’ comedy

January 28 – Feb. 19, 2017

10.2 miles north

Fable-ous is a modern version of the “Tortoise and the Hare” with surprises around each turn in the footrace and a fortune in merchandise endorsements for the winner at Lifeline Theatre.Discount tickets $9 to $11.

Comedy

January 29, 2017 (7 p.m.)

2.1 miles north

Second City’s Improv All-Stars delivers an hour of hilarious improvised comedy with plenty of audience interaction at Up Comedy Club. Discount tickets $13.

Bicycle swap

January 29, 2017

28 miles NW

Buy or sell a bike, and find parts and gear, at the Chicago Winter Bike Swap at Harper College in Palatine. Children 12 and under are free.

Baseball hero

January 31, 2017 (10 a.m.)

49 miles NW

Everybody’s Hero is the story of Jackie Robinson, the events that shaped his character, his struggle to gain acceptance, and the obstacles he overcame to become the first black man to play in Major League Baseball, in Crystal Lake. Discount tickets $10.

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