Show Me Chicago's top things to do this weekend

Here are Show Me Chicago’s top picks for this holiday weekend today through MLK Day on Monday, January 16, 2017 (and some beyond):

Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.mlktributeconcert

Monday, January 16, Symphony Center

A cherished Sinfonietta tradition since its beginning in 1987 is the 2017 MLK tribute concert that celebrates the life, legacy and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King. This year’s Annual MLK Tribute concert will be lead by Sinfonietta Music Director Mei-Ann Chen. It will feature young musicians from Roosevelt University Conservatory Choir, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, The People’s Music School, Merit School of Music and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra playing and singing side by side with Sinfonietta members.  Monday, January 16, 7:30 pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

*This program will also be performed on Sunday, January 15 at 3 pm, Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College, Naperville.

Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show


Free paddle sports demos will be offered throughout the show on an indoor pool. Attendees can get out on the water and experience the fun of stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking and other paddle sports.

January 11 through January 15, McCormick Place South

Don’t miss the boat on this one if you are a fan of anything outdoors. The Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show offers boats for every activity, lifestyle and budget, the latest in RV’s, campers, fifth wheels, motorhomes and trailers, sailboats, sailing gear, rigging, Marine engines, electronics, camping and fishing gear. See them all, try them and fish for them with activities including the Huck Finn Trout Pond (fishing for kids 12 and under) and Paddlefest pictured above.

Fillet of Solo Festival

Sweat Girls will be performing at the Fillet of Sole Festival

Sweat Girls will be performing at the Fillet of Sole Festival

January 13–29, Lifeline Theatre

The 20th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival, running January 13–29, 2017 celebrates the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene at Lifeline Theatre.

The fest features 15 storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers together for a multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories. Tickets required.

Handmade Markethandmademarket

Saturday, January 14, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, noon to 4 pm.

Grab a mimosa or your drink of choice (or not) and shop local for one of a kind handmade items at this monthly market held at the Empty Bottle–called Chicago’s most consistent punk-and-indie-rock club by none other than “Rolling Stone.”

You’ll find a variety of naturally made and crafty products at Handmade Market.

Tomorrow Never Knows Festival

Siblings Elliott and Natalie Bergman performed at Lincoln Hall as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival in 2013. Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

Siblings Elliott and Natalie Bergman performed at Lincoln Hall as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival in 2013. Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

January 11 – 15,  five venues around town

The indie rock and comedy fest Tomorrow Never Knows brings an awesome musical lineup including Tortoise, BadBadNotGood, Beth Stelling, Title Fight, and others to Schubas, Lincoln Hall, Smart Bar, The Hideout and Metro.

Museum Campus Free Admission

Monday, January 16, Museum Campus

Three of Chicago’s world class museums the Adler Planetarium, The Shedd Aquarium and The Field Museum all located on the Museum Campus will be offering free general admission to all Illinois residents on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 16. All Access Passes will almost be discounted for the day for Illinois residents.

Legoland Swap


January 14 – 16, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Woodfield

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is holding a LEGO collection swap on MLK weekend. LEGO fans can bring in their LEGO minifigures and trade them for new ones at the Minifigure Swap Weekend.

Kids can swap with another guest a trading posts or team members at any of the Center’s ten attractions at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago, Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Rd. in Schaumburg.

No Bull…the best of the best competebull

January 13, 14 and 15, Allstate Arena

Top Bull Riders from around the world will compete Friday, January 13 at 7:45 pm, Saturday, January 14 at 6:45 pm and Sunday, January 15 at 1:45 pm in the “The Toughest Sport on Dirt” PBR (Professional Bull Riding) at Allstate Arena (6920 N. Mannheim Road in Rosemont. Tickets are available here.

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah

January 14 and 15,  Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah take on Handel’s Messiah, returns to the Auditorium Theatre for year 12, on January 14 and 15 (just before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).  The show, that commemorates the life of Martin Luther King Jr., features 100 voices including Rodrick Dixon (known for his work with the legendary Three Mo’ Tenors and a 45-piece orchestra. Tickets range from $29 to $78.

Chicago Cubs Convention


Hi, I’m Clark.

January 13 – 15, Sheraton Grand Chicago

This year’s Chicago Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, promises to be the biggest and best in its 32 year history. Most of the World Series Championship team along with staff and alumni and Clark will be on hand for this year’s celebration featuring photo opps with players and the trophy, panel discussion, activities, merchandise and more.

Chili fest

Tomatillo and ancho chili peppers add a bit of heat to a cold January day. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Tomatillo and ancho chili peppers add a bit of heat to a cold January day. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

January 15, Fitzgeralds, 6615 W Roosevelt Rd, Rd., Berwyn

Guests can taste 20 chili entries, appetizers and desserts at Fitzgeralds 8th Annual Opportunity Knocks Chili Cook-Off benefit while watching the NFL playoff games (sans the Bears)–plus there’s special activities for the kids. Noon to 5 pm. Tickets are $25 in advance online, $30 at the door, 12 and under free.

Grilled Cheese Meltdown

Another winter comfort food, grilled cheese, will be at the center of Time Out’s Grilled Cheese Meltdown featuring some of Chicago’s best vying for the title of Chicago’s best grilled cheese sandwich. Check out what Chicago Eats thinks about the competition and grilled cheese in general.

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