Blue Man Group: Various dates and times at the Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Masks are encouraged but optional. Show is recommended for kids 3 and older. $49-$69. briarstreetbroadway.com.
“Little Women”: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11; 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12; 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. World premiere of an adaptation written by First Folio Artistic Associate Heather Chrisler. $29-$59. firstfolio.org.
Winter Bryn Marwkets: 3-7 p.m. Fridays and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 12 at the Bryn Mawr Historic District, 1052 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. Features local vendors, makers and artists. Kids’ activities, hands-on demonstrations and more. Free admission. edgewater.org/events/winterbrynmawrkets.
Friday, Jan. 13
Winter Night’s Family Fun: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at Hennen Conservation Area, 4622 Dean St., Woodstock. Enjoy a wintry night in the woods complete with bonfires, night hikes and a sheltered area with hot cocoa. Free; registration requested. conservemc.org.
Winterfest: 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at the Sycamore Public Library, 103 E. State St., Sycamore. Live music by Wild Blue Ukulele and activities. For all ages. Registration required. sycamorelibrary.org.
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36th Annual Young Playwrights Festival: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays through Jan. 28 at Pegasus Theatre at Chicago Dramatists, 773 N. Aberdeen, Chicago. The 36th Young Playwrights Festival features three one-act plays by Chicago teens exploring the impact of isolation, technology and the future: “Dead Boy Walking” by Elliott Valadez, “Terms and Conditions” by Lucas Bigos, and “Another Star in the Sky” by Jonathan Soco. Adults: $30, seniors: $25, students: $15. pegasustheatrechicago.org.
Runners make a hairpin turn during a run at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake. The Frozen Gnome Trail Races offer 10K and 50K runs through Veteran Acres and Sterne’s Woods Saturday, Jan. 14. – John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2014 Saturday, Jan. 14
Frozen Gnome Trail Races: 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at 431 Walkup Ave., Crystal Lake. The single-track course will take runners through Veteran Acres and Sterne’s Woods. Choose either the 10K race or the 50K ultra run. Hot food, coffee and heat at the Gnome Depot Aid Station. $30-$50. trailrunner.com/event/frozen-gnome-trail-races.
Olaf’s Winter Wonderland … of Golf: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at McCarthy Park, 16801 S. 80th Ave., Tinley Park. A wintry wonderland of mini-golf. Everyone on the course must register. Kids 12 and younger will receive a goody bag upon completion of the course. Each golfer receives a mini sundae, hot cocoa and other surprises. Enjoy the bonfire pit for roasting marshmallows. $10-$13. webtrac.tpdistrict.org.
YMCA Historical Tours: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Historic Former Wabash YMCA, 3757 S. Wabash, Chicago. The Wabash Y was the heart of cultural and economic progress for African Americans in the Bronzeville region of Chicago for over half a century and is hailed as the birthplace of Black History Month. Guests will experience a guided tour of the building as well as see historical images and newspapers. Tours are held the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. Donation of $20 is encouraged. RSVP on Eventbrite by 4 p.m. Jan. 13. choosechicago.com.
A sled dog team gives a demonstration at a previous Vernon Hills Winter Fest, which returns Saturday, Jan. 14, at Century Park in Vernon Hills. – Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer
Vernon Hills Winterfest: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Century Park, 1400 Indianwood Drive, Vernon Hills. Winter activities for all ages, including carriage rides, sled dog demos, and toast s’mores over a fire. Free ice skate rentals. The sled hill will be open, weather permitting. Free. vhparkdistrict.org.
Winter Plunge: 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Recreation Center of Highland Park, 1207 Park Ave. West, Highland Park. Swim and gather toys and treats. The winter plunge will be broken into three separate age groups. Participants can stay afterward and enjoy open swim. Coast Guard-approved flotation devices may be used. $12 for residents, $15 for nonresidents. pdhp.org.
Light in the Night: 6-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park. Find the beauty of the night with several activities that celebrate light and dark. Explore caves, make shadows, watch fireflies, see stars and more. All participants must register. For ages 6 to adult. $12. .pdhp.org.
Sunday, Jan. 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. The Music Institute of Chicago and the Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre will present a free musical celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship students from the Music Institute, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative and Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play program join with Evanston musicians and actors for this annual tribute celebration. Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss will deliver remarks about Evanston’s groundbreaking reparations initiative. nichols-concert-hall.ticketleap.com/mlk2023/details.
The Campanella Children’s Choir will sing songs in different languages at “Let us sing! Let it Snow!” at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at St. Giles Church in Northbrook. – Courtesy of Ingrid Armstrong
” Let us sing! Let it Snow!”: 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at St. Giles Church, 3025 Walters Ave., Northbrook. Campanella Children’s Choir sings holiday songs plus songs in different languages. $15 at the door, $10 for kids 3-12, free for kids younger than 3. wngchamber.com.
Lake County Folk Concert: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at the village of Grayslake, 10 S. Seymour Ave., Grayslake. The Lake County Folk Club will host The Wildwoods, a folk/Americana duo based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The concert opener features Wattle & Daub. $18 for the general public, $15 for seniors, $13 for Folk Club members. thelakecountyfolkclub.org.
Monday, Jan. 16
FaithBridge MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at Holiday Inn Crystal Lake, 800 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake. Join a discussion exploring the relationship between health, wealth and social justice with keynote speaker Venoncia M. Bate-Ambrus, Ph.D., executive director, Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County. $25 for adults, $15 for kids. faithbridgeinterfaith.org.
Annual Dr. King Freedom Ride: 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Lawndale Christian Health Center, 3860 W. Ogden Ave., Chicago. Bike to the locations Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. engaged with in North Lawndale. Register at eventnoire.com.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Recreation Center of Highland Park, 1207 Park Avenue West, Highland Park. Features a keynote address on “Unity in the Community” by Gabrielle Cummings, president of Highland Park Hospital, and a dance performance by Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. Guests are invited to participate in a variety of service projects facilitated by local organizations, including making valentines for veterans, bookmarks for books, friendship pins, dignity bags for the homeless, thank you notes for first responders and more. Following the in-person event, there will be a drive-through donation event from 12:30-2 p.m. cityhpil.com/mlk.
The First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights will host a service day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, Jan. 16. – Daily Herald File Photo
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with FUMCAH: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights, 1903 E. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights. FUMCAH will be hosting a service day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Everyone in the community is welcome. fumcah.com.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Dreamers Breakfast: Virtually at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16. Join the Waukegan Township and guest speakers and local entertainers for a virtual program including entertainment and awards for local leaders. $25. waukegantownship.com.
Helping Hands Care Kit Assembly: 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 16, at the Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Assist in putting together care kits for the Elmhurst Walk-in Assistance Network as part of MLK’s Day of Service. Activities available for all ages. Registration required. elmhurstpubliclibrary.org.
MLK Day of Service: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Evanston Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston. Help create reusable sanitary pads for the Girls 4 Girls Ghana organization. epl.org.
MLK National Day of Service Project: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien. Complete a project for National Day of Service. For all ages. ippl.libcal.com/event/9542496.
Walk for Warmth: 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the First United Methodist Church, 516 Church St., Evanston. The two-mile Walk for Warmth brings volunteers together to walk a circuit of downtown Evanston churches, each of which serves as a host to the IAE Overnight Shelter. Walkers raise money through donations and sponsorships. Advance registration is encouraged. tinyurl.com/IAE2023W4W.
Service Project: 1-3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Glenview Public Library, 1930 Glenview Road, Glenview. Teens can spend a day off earning service hours and making no-sew fleece blankets for older adults. All finished blankets will be donated to The Citadel in Glenview. Registration required. glenviewpl.org.
Celebration of MLK Day, featuring the Rev. Eddie Reeves: 1:30-3:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Evanston Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston. Join in for crafts, short films based on children’s books: “Martin’s Big Words” shown at 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. and “March On!” shown at 1:45 and 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. there will be a re-enactment of a part of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech performed by the Rev. Eddie Reeves. epl.org.
MLK Family Project: 2-4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at The Bridge Teen Center, 15555 S. 71st Court, Orland Park. Ages 10 and older are welcome to help sort, organize, clean and stock donated items. Sign up in advance. thebridgeteencenter.org.
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Lunar New Year Celebration: 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge Road, Highland Park. Kids 7-10 can ring in The Year of the Rabbit by creating a traditional snack and a New Year craft. Participants are encouraged to wear red, gold or other brightly colored clothes. $15 per resident, $20 per nonresident. pdhp.org.
Celebrate The Chinese New Year of the Hare: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Infinity Foundation, 1280 Old Skokie Road, Highland Park. Join Yvonne Lui Wolf to experience some of the rites, activities, symbols and foods associated with this festive occasion. $25-$30. infinityfoundation.org.
Chinese Lunar New Year Concert: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Join The Old Town School of Folk Music and the Chinese Fine Arts Society for an evening concert in celebration of Chinese New Year featuring performances by Chinese Zhong Ruan player Tzu-Tsen Wu, The University of Chicago’s Jade Chinese Music Ensemble and more. $10 suggested donation. oldtownschool.org.
Thursday, Jan. 19
Experts and Insights: 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at McHenry County College, 8900 Hwy. 14, Crystal Lake. MCC Faculty Speaker Series presents “Plants, Gardens, The Forest and Shinrin Yoku.” Free. Register at brownpapertickets.com.
History Happy Hour: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at Oswego Brewing Company, 61 Main St., Oswego. Come to Oswego Brewing Co. to learn about the “Who’s Who” of Oswego, featuring stories of some of the most famous people to come out of Oswego. Admission includes one beer ticket to enjoy during the lecture. For ages 21 and older. $15 for residents, $20 for nonresidents. Register in advance. oswegolandparkdistrict.org.