Chicago's been feeling a little jilted this week; our neighbors to the west stole a lot of the attention, and our rep as blizzard-survivors is at stake in this low-snow winter. If you've fallen behind on your resolutions already this week, then you might have more than your share of sorrows to drown this weekend. Luckily, the Second City is rolling out first-rate events through Monday to help you max out on the sunshine.
Free Fitness Week
Got a resolution you've been meaning to kick off? Figure out where and how to do it with the Chicago Park District's Free Fitness Week. Tour your nearest facility and take advantage of special packages and perks with a new membership.
Where: Chicago Park District Fitness Centers
When: Friday, Jan. 6 - Monday, Jan. 9 (hours vary)
As Chicago gets chillier, leaving the house becomes a daunting task; make it count by packing a season's worth of comedy into a single venture out. In its 11th year, Chicago SketchFest is bringing out 162 performances by more than 138 local, national and international comedy groups.
Where: Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
When: Friday, Jan. 6 - Sunday, Jan. 8 (see schedule)
You may have spotted a Hedwig-lookalike in the Loop, but to truly appreciate Illinois' owls, take a trek to their natural habitat. Tour the woods at dusk on the lookout for the sights and sounds of the nocturnal creatures, then cozy up at the River Trail Nature Center with hot chocolate for stories about the birds.
Where: River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6
Price: $2, registration required
El Stories: Holiday Train
Happen to catch the Holiday Train this year? Did you leave with any memorable stories to tell? Commiserate with your fellow commuters at the Greenhouse Theater's special Holiday Train edition of El Stories.
Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
When: 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6
Murder at the Museum
Museums can be creepy in their own right, but add a murdered curator into the mix and you're in for an evening that would make Colonel Mustard jealous. Help crack the case with a murder mystery scavenger hunt that will lead you from miniatures to Impressionists while flexing the skills you picked up from all those CSI marathons.
Where: Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7
Glitter Guts Fourth Anniversary
If you've been out on the town in the past four years, chances are you've been snapped in a Glitter Guts booth. Celebrate the traveling photographers' anniversary with a celebration of all things glittery, booze-drenched and festive. Jam to DJ sets from BBU and Gant man and peruse pop-up shops featuring food, music, art and clothes at Lincoln Hall.
Where: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
When: 10 p.m. - 3 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7
Price: $3 before 8 p.m., $8 after
Elvis Fest 2012
Elvis would surely "thank you very much" for celebrating what would be his 77th birthday in style at the Original Mothers. Revel in the King's favorite things, from All Shook Up cocktails to a free peanut butter and banana buffet, while swinging your hips to the tunes. Help fund future superstars by donating to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic at the door.
Where: Original Mothers, 26 W. Division St., Chicago
When: 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8
Price: $5 suggested donation
Dating For Nerds
Looking for that perfect soulmate who can finish your sentences...in Klingon? Flaunt your brains along with your beauty at Nerds @ Heart's singles event. Cocktails, prizes and giveaways guaranteed; string theory debates more than likely.
Where: 404 Wine Bar, 2852 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
When: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8
Price: $30 with RSVP