Show Me Chicago's 5 top picks for weekend fun

Show Me Chicago's 5 top picks for weekend fun
The Beach Chicago Navy Pier. Credit: Noah Kalina

Spend a Day at The Beach

Beat the winter blues by hitting The Beach Chicago – a free, public art installation on display at Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom from Saturday, January 19 through Sunday, February 3.  The public art installation is an interactive exhibit that transforms the Pier’s iconic 18,000-square-foot space into an indoor beach inviting Chicagoans and visitors to “dive” in.

Escape Chicago’s coldest time of the year “at the beach” that comes complete with lounge deck chairs, lifeguard chairs, umbrellas, inflatables and signage that mimic the sensation of a day at the beach.

Cendrillon (Cinderella)

Cinderella Elizabeth-Bishop_Emily-Pogorelc_Kayleigh-Decker ©†Todd Rosenberg 2018

Cinderella Elizabeth-Bishop_Emily-Pogorelc_Kayleigh-Decker ©†Todd Rosenberg 2018

Cendrillon (Cinderella), the age old Cinderella story of unjust oppression and triumphant reward will be putting on its final performance this weekend at the Lyric Opera.

This seldom performed opera is definitely worth seeing, even if you are not an opera lover. The production is top notch from its wickedly amusing costumes and hilariously satiric acting to the magical lighting and superb singing. 

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s premiere of Jules Massenet’s charming fairytale opera Cendrillon’s (Cinderella) final performance will be January 20 at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago. Tickets start at $49 for adults and $20 for children, and are available at or at 312-827-5600.

Bar Roma BarRomaCacioepepe

In winter, especially around this time of the year, I crave comfort food. My latest search for the perfect comfort food brought me to Bar Roma (5101 N. Clark Street) in Andersonville.

Not only is Executive Chef Fred Ramos’ menu loaded with comfort worthy choices but the space is the perfect cocoon for a winter escape.

The Polpette (Balls) menu alone will bring me back–again and again. Who knew there could be so many ways to prepare meatballs with such a wide variety of spices, sauces and meats from Spicy pork belly, with garlic, rapini and Calabrian pepper to Vitello (Veal) sweetbreads, caramelized onions, wild mushroom Marsala cream. Three large balls come in a serving priced from $8 to $12 and $1 extra to add a fried egg. 773-942-7572 (Read my full review, next week on Chicago Eats).

Best Book Awardbookcellertinker

One of my favorite independent book stores, The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square is hosting the Chicago Writers Association’s 8th annual Best Book awards on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 7 to 9 pm. 

The Book Cellar is much more than a book store. It is a destination. Arrive early, grab a glass of wine or a cup of joe and some snacks and settle in with friends or a good read in this cozy, comfortable space.

Then stick around to see the winners of the best books of 2018. Authors will read excerpts from their books and sign their books. 

Address: 4736-38 N Lincoln, Chicago, IL
Time: 7-9 p.m. 

GO Ski

If you are a snow lover, get out there. You’ve had a long wait this winter for some decent snow. The city and suburbs have a number of amazing places to Cross Country ski at area Forest Preserves and a variety of golf courses and nature preserves.  Plus, you can find a number of downhill ski hills from the western suburbs to Wisconsin. No skis, no worries. Rent downhill, cross country and snowboards. Enjoy!

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