THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Going Indoors as Cold Weather Arrives!

Time to pull out those scarves and heavy sweaters as “the other shoe drops” this weekend in Chicago! Much colder temps are arriving after a string of mild weather kept us outdoors. But that’s okay because we’ll just take our fun indoors! Who’s with me?

North America’s largest and most prestigious barrel-aged beer festival and competition returns to Chicago this Friday and Saturday with the 19th annual Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers. If you missed Friday’s tasting Session 1, Session 2 takes place Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Credit Union 1 Arena at UIC (525 S. Racine Ave.) (not the UIC Forum) in the Little Italy neighborhood. Plus, this year, you can experience this festival either in-person or at home. In-person attendees will be able to sample beer from over 125 breweries while those who opt to stay at home will receive a six-pack of hard-to-find beers which are selected randomly. And this year’s competition brings over 180 craft breweries from across the country submitting 330+ of their best wood and barrel-aged beer, cider, mead and perry for judging and tasting of course! The award ceremony will be hosted during Session 2 and live streamed for folks at home!

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? Impress your family and friends with your culinary skill by attending a Thanksgiving Class with Soul & Smoke’s Chef D’Andre Carter this Sunday (6 p.m.) at Timeout Market Chicago (916 W. Fulton Market) in the West Loop. Learn how to make dishes such as herb-roasted turkey, traditional herb stuffing, mac and cheese, herb gravy, cornbread and more. You’ll also enjoy plenty of tastings along the way!  Each participant will receive some useful swag which includes a recipe card for each of the dishes, Soul & Smoke’s herb seasoning mix, a $25 gift certificate for a Soul & Smoke Thanksgiving catering order and a bottle of Soul & Smoke’s signature BBQ sauce. Heck, I’m impressed by the swag alone!

Returning to the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood for its 7th year this Saturday and Sunday is the Chicago Critics Film Festival. Here’s your chance to see buzzed about unreleased films and overlooked movies deserving to be seen on the big screen. This year’s lineup includes the 40th anniversary screening of the Chicago-set Michael Mann film “Thief,” the new Netflix western “Power of the Dog,” and many others!  Check out the complete festival lineup on the Music Box Theatre’s website.

Taking over 25,000 square feet on the street level of Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan Ave.) is The Dr. Seuss Experience now through January 2, 2022 (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.).  From “The Cat in the Hat” to “Horton Hears a Who!” and “The Lorax,” along with six other timeless Dr. Seuss favorites, visitors will encounter and enjoy these classic treasures by magically stepping into the pages of each of the books and interacting with the characters! Not only is this experience great for kids, but also for adults who still embrace their inner child!

Extended through February 6, 2022, due to popular demand, Immersive Van Gogh was custom designed for Old Town’s 14,000 square foot historical Germania Club Building (which goes by the name Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago) to offer a look into the mind of the world’s most iconic impressionist artist. Visitors are transported into Van Gogh’s most famous masterpieces such as Starry Night, Sunflowers and The Bedroom Arles with large scale projections, music, storytelling, and even an opportunity to lay down in a socially distant circle with a pillow to take it all in!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago