Things To Do This Weekend In And Around Chicago: Jan. 24-26

Shannon Blum
January 24, 2020 - 7:49 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It is the last full weekend in January and there are a ton of events this weekend to keep you busy and entertained! From Chicago Restaurant Week, SoxFest, and the Chicago Polar Bear Plunge to beer tastings, donut tastings, dog sledding, and a lot in between, there is something to keep you going this weekend.

In addition to those events, Chinese New Year officially begins Saturday and there are a variety of cultural events and restaurants offering special menus to celebrate! 

And, the Chicago Bulls play at home this weekend, so head to the United Center to cheer on Chicago!

Here's a look at things to do this weekend in and around Chicago.

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Chicago Restaurant Week

The 17-day celebration of the city’s award-winning culinary scene kicks off Friday. The 13th annual event brings together hundreds of the city’s top restaurants, representing a near-endless array of cuisines and making it the largest restaurant week in the nation. During Chicago Restaurant Week, diners can enjoy special prix fixe menus at more than 430 restaurants throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs. These multi-course meals are $24 for brunch or lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity). More info.

Where: Varies

When: Friday, Jan. 24 – Feb. 9

Cost: Varies


Join the Chicago White Sox this weekend at SoxFest at McCormick Place. The 28th annual fan event is the unofficial start for the 2020 Chicago White Sox season, providing more opportunities than ever before for autographs, photos and unique experiences with past, current and futures stars of the Chicago White Sox. More info.

Where: McCormick Place West, 2301 S. Indiana Ave.

When: Friday, 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cost: Varies

Street Market

Randolph Street Market Festival Pop-Up

The beloved vintage bazaar Randolph Street Market will host a pop-up installation at Time Out Market on Jan. 25, offering guests a curated designer showcase packed with amazing finds—just in time for Valentine’s Day. Get some shopping done with a mimosa in hand before heading downstairs for lunch. Randolph Street Market returns to its usual outpost with 125 vendors at 1341 W Randolph Street on Feb. 8 and 9. More info.

Where: Time Out Market Chicago, 916 W. Fulton Market

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Chicago Polar Bear Plunge
Chicago Polar Bear Club, NFP/Facebook

Chicago Polar Bear Plunge

Not to be confused with the Chicago Polar Plunge, which takes place in March, this frigid tradition is organized by the Chicago Polar Bear Club and challenges participants to take a dip in Lake Michigan to raise money for local families in need. No matter how much time you spend on the beach during the summer, you're probably not going to be prepared for just how cold the lake gets in January, so make sure that you bring something warm to wear (even if you're just there to watch). More info.

Where: Oak Street Beach, 1000 N. Lake Shore Dr.

When: Saturday, noon

Cost: Free to attend, $30-40 to plunge


Winter Brew

Each winter the LSRCC takes the Chicago street festival scene indoors with Winter Brew!  On Saturday, local breweries and cideries from around Chicago will be setting up shop in the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center's 5th floor Ballroom and 6th floor Skyline Lounge.  Each will showcase up to two different craft beers or ciders, and rare, specialty tappings throughout the day.  Come in from the cold and warm up! More info.

Where: DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, 4740 N. Western Ave.

When: Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-10 p.m.

Cost: $10-30

Donut Fest

Lovers of fried dough, should head to Donut Fest on Sunday! The annual Donut Fest brings together some of the city's best shops (Roeser's Bakery, Stan's, Firecakes and Doughnut Vault) for an afternoon of sampling, accompanied by coffee from Dark Matter and La Colombe. With two sessions to choose from, you'll have to decide if you want an early-morning sugar rush or doughnuts for lunch. More info. 

Where: The Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave.

When: Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cost: $35, VIP $45

Dog sled

Husky Heroes at the Morton Arboretum

Visitors of all ages will enjoy interacting with Siberian sled dogs when Husky Heroes returns to The Morton Arboretum, Jan. 25 and 26. Guests can watch demonstrations of husky sled-pulling and skijoring, a winter sport where the dogs pull a person on skis. Children and adults can visit the dogs and sled teams, inspect equipment, and have their pictures taken with the rigs. In addition, information will be available about husky adoption for those who fall in love with these canine champions. More info.

Where: Morton Arboretum, 410 Illinois Route 53, Lisle

When: Saturday & Sunday

Cost: Included in arboretum admission


Australia Day With Starward Australian Whisky 

Starward Australian Whisky is partnering with four local bars to celebrate Australia Day, on Sunday, to raise funds for the Australian bushfires through the World Wildlife Fund Australia. King of Cups, 2238 N. Lincoln Ave., on Sunday will have Starward cocktails for $11; Duseks Board and Beer, 1227 W 18th St., through Jan. 31 with offer Brunch Punch for $8; The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee Ave., on Tuesday, Jan. 28 will host a live jazz event and Starward cocktails will be served for $12, with $3 being donated to the World Wildlife Fund; and, Good Measure, 226 W Chicago Ave., will have Steward highball dirnk specials for $8 from Sunday, Jan.26 through Feb. 5.

Where: Various locations (King of Cups, Duseks Board and Beers, The Whistler, and Good Measure)

When: Sunday

Cost: Varies

Teddy Bears

Naperville Doll & Teddy Bear Show

Naperville Doll & Teddy Bear Show will showcase product like dolls and doll related items, teddy bears, miniature and much more. More info.

Where: Chicago Marriott Naperville, 1801 N. Naper Blvd. Naperville

When: Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cost: Early Bird $15 (8AM-9AM); Adults $5; Children 12 & under, free

Jack Frost Winter Village & Christmas Tree Farm
Jack Frost Winter Village & Christmas Tree Farm

Jack Frost Winter Village & Christmas Tree Farm

There’s no need to head inside when the weather turns cold. The dropping temperatures, first snowfalls, and icy ambience awakens your need to go outside and play. And that's why winter is the best time to throw a massive, outdoor festival in downtown Chicago! The creative mastermind team behind Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up and Frosty’s Christmas Pop-Up Bar, are back for the first time ever, larger-than-life, multi-sensory spectacle of Holiday lights, unique winter Instagram photo opportunities, an Christmas Tree Farm and S-now much more! More info.

Where: 1455 N. Elston Ave.

When: Now through March; Monday-Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cost: Varies

Millennium Park Ice Rink
Ice-skating at the Millennium Park ice rink (Mike Ramsey/WBBM Newsradio)

Ice Skating in Millennium Park

Skate under the Chicago skyline and within eyeshot of the Chicago Christmas Tree at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Admission to the rink is free, and you can rent skates for $13–$15. The most popular time to hit the rink is in the evening, so show up earlier if you don't feel like waiting in line for your chance to slide around. Take advantage of free skating lessons on Fridays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. If it seems too warm to skate, call ahead—this rink is open through March 8, weather permitting. More info.

Where: Millennium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave. 

When: Friday, Nov. 15-March 8 (weather permitting)

Cost: Free, skate rentals $13–$15

WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park

Situated in the heart of downtown Chicago, with the city's sweeping skyline as a backdrop, the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is a winter attraction unlike any other. The skating ribbon is dramatically different from typical civic ice rinks, creating a multi-sensory activity that is integrated into the landscape. Skaters can experience “alpine in the city” as they lace up their ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. More info.

Where: Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St. 

When: Friday, Nov. 15-March (weather permitting)

Cost: Free, skate rentals $13–$15

Winterland at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way Chicago/Facebook

Winterland at Gallagher Way

The Cubs may be hibernating for the winter, but Gallagher Way provides some excellent reasons to hang out in Wrigleyville during baseball's off-season. The public square's Winterland event series offers an array of seasonal, family-friendly activities, including an 8,000-square-foot ice rink, curling and skating lessons, holiday movie screenings and more. More info

Where: Gallagher Way, 3637 N. Clark St.  

When: Wednesday, Jan. 15-Sunday, Feb. 16

Cost: Free, event/activity pricing varies

United Center
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Bulls v. Sacramento Kings

Head to the United Center on Friday to cheer on the Chicago Bulls as they take the court to play the Sacramento Kings! More info.

Where: United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Cost: Varies

Fortune Cookie Martini
WBBM Newsradio

Cocktail of the Week:

Chinese New Year officially begins Saturday and if you are wanting to celebrate at home, why not make a Fortune Cookie Martini for good luck?

Amaretto and flavored vodka with Irish cream makes for a cocktail that tastes just like a cookie - and most specifically, a fortune cookie!

For an added bonus, you can garnish your cocktail with a fortune cookie on the side. 

Sip on this drink throughout the Chinese New Year and feel like the luckiest human alive!


  • 1 oz vanilla vodka 
  • 1 oz amaretto liqueur
  • 1 oz Irish cream liqueur
  • Fortune cookie for garnish


  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 1/2 cup ice. Shake for 60 seconds.
  2. Pour into a martini or champagne glass.
  3. Garnish with a fortune cookie on the side of the glass.
  4. Serve immediately.