Before moving on to the usual hustle and bustle of another holiday season, Chicagoans can enjoy a brief lull in the action this weekend at a variety of events!

If you haven’t had your fill of Halloween yet, you’re still in luck.  The Poe – A Chicago Premiere by Christina Lepri wraps up this weekend at The Mckaw Theater (1439 W. Jarvis Ave.) in the Rogers Park neighborhood.  Guests are welcomed to the Mystic Moon, a cabaret bar where the denizens of Edgar Allen Poe’s most frightful and delightful tales gather night after night.  Let the lost Lenore and her cast of ghouls lead you through four of Poe’s classic stories – Fall of the House of Usher, Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, and of course The Raven!  It’s an adventure of creepy comedy!!

Celebrating 10 years of heartburn, the Arts of Life Annual Chili Cook-Off takes place at Chicago Studio (2010 W. Carroll Ave.) on the Near West Side Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Join celebrity guests Doug Sohn (aka Hot Doug), David Eigenberg (of Sex in the City and Chicago Fire), and Maggie Hennessey (food critic for Time Out Chicago) as 20+ teams compete to claim the prize for the most delicious chili!  Beer from Middle Brow Beer Co. and Black Dog Gelato await your taste buds as well!!

Literacenter (641 W. Lake St.) in the West Loop will be hosting their annual fundraiser SCRABBLE for Literacy Challenge this Saturday by adding a “Casino Night” to the day of events.  SCRABBLE registration begins at 3:30 p.m. with two-game play beginning at 4:00 p.m. and prizes & awards at 6:45 p.m.  Casino Night doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Tables (including Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, and Craps) open at 7:30 p.m. with play ending at 10:30 p.m. and prizes at 10:45 p.m.  There will also be complimentary food and drink and a silent auction!  Two events; one great price!!

Sunday (7:00 a.m.) brings us the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K to Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop.  All participants receive a super sweet goodie bag and a full-zip hooded jacket to commemorate your race experience.  All 15K finishers will receive an official Hot Chocolate Chicago medal to commemorate their awesome achievement.  And get ready for the best chocolate you’ll ever taste!  They’ll be serving up delicious dark chocolate that is gluten free, has no compounds, and is nut free.  And you don’t have to wait until the finish line to enjoy the chocolate!  Sweet stations will be set up along the course with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and M&Ms to enjoy along the way!!

This will be the final year for The Grove Holiday Arts and Craft Faire located at 1421 Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview (suburb of Chicago).  Their last day is Sunday, November 11th.  Browse through the charming historic homes and buildings of The Grove, and choose gifts from a magnificent selection of American handmade items from more than 50 juried artisans!  Experience the seasonal charm by visiting the Holiday House, Grannie’s Cottage, Artisan Lodge, Snowflake Chalet, and Mistletoe Cabin.  Pause for a snack or meal at the Sugar Plum Café.  Most of all, don’t leave empty-handed – stock up on delicious home-baked goodies and gourmet items at the Gingerbread House!!

Finally, the Wilder Mansion Holiday Market takes place Saturday (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) at 211 S. Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst (suburb of Chicago).  This event features unique artisan and seasonal gifts from over 60 artisans and gourmet food vendors with products like jewelry, pottery, wood, mixed media, gourmet food items, and much more!

BTW, Don’t Forget to Set Your Clocks Back One Hour on Sunday for an Extra Hour of Lull Time!!