As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block is on indefinite hiatus. The site will remain up in archive form while we evaluate our options, which may include a redesign or sale.
✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
Monday, February 8
Learn how to give your Thanksgiving dinner some class at this morning's cooking class, which runs 10:00am-1:00pm at Alliance Francaise, 54 W Chicago. You'll learn how to "French-ify" turkey, along with butternut squash soup, a root vegetable gratin and an apple pie. C'est magnifique! Admission $70-80 plus a $15 materials fee.
The Chicago Fine Chocolate Show runs Nov. 16-18 on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Sample confections from more than 100 vendors. Admission is $25 for adults (including 15 sample tickets), $10 for children (including five sample tickets). VIP tastings are also available. The festival runs from 10am to 10pm today.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's annual Holiday Art Sale is today and tomorrow, Nov. 18 & 19, in the MacLean Center Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave. Shop for student-made original paintings, sculptures, photography, prints, jewelry, fashion and more from 10am to 5pm today. Free.
The 10th annual DIY Trunk Show is today from 10am to 5pm at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway. Shop more than 150 vendors selling handmade art, clothing, jewelry, accessories and more. Wishbone will be on hand to serve food, and CHIRP will spin records. Look for the Gapers Block booth and come say hi! Admission is free.
Today is Bookamania at the Harold Washington Library. The annual children's literature festival that kicks off the holiday season will feature characters including Olivia the pig and the Very Hungry Caterpillar, authors and illustrators including Tad Hills and live storytelling. Local institution The Puppet Bike will be stationed at the State Street entrance. Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State Street, 11am-3pm.
Vintage Garage Chicago holds its annual Holiday Trunk Show today and Sunday at 1134 W. Granville Ave., from 11am to 6pm. Browse through clothing, jewelry, furniture, memorabilia, appliances, glassware, electronics and more. Admission is $5.
Celebrate all things avocado as part of the Chicago Food Film Festival. Your $45 tickets gets you an array of snacks--pizza, doughnuts, and macarons--paired with films that star them (can you get pizza's autograph afterward?). Plus, you'll be treated to the entries for Matt Timms' Avocado Takedown (1-3pm) in which chefs battle for a $500 prize for the best avocado-laden dish (no guac allowed!).
This celebration of beer in casks takes flight today at the Bridgeport Art Center (1200 West 35th Street) in two sessions: 1-5pm and 6-10pm. Drink, drink and be merry.
The Paper Machete "live magazine" holds its last edition at the Horseshoe, 4115 N. Lincoln Ave., before moving permanently to the Green Mill today at 3pm. Guests include Chad Briggs, Adam Burke, Stephanie Douglass and Joe Janes, Nancy Friedrich, Kyle Kinane, Arnie Niekamp and Whit Nelson. Bethany Thomas and the Two Johns are the musical guest, and Christopher Piatt hosts. Free.
The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, presented by BMO Harris Bank, brings its annual spectacle back to the city's best stretch of shopping. There are holiday festivities throughout the day, but the real magic happens when 200 trees are illuminated on the Mag Mile as Minnie and Mickey Mouse lead the lighting parade at 5:30pm. More than 40 floats will travel down the parade's route on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive. Fireworks will be launched over the Chicago River at 6:57pm to end the parade with a bang. Free, all ages.
Local improv company pH Productions is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, coinciding with the grand opening of its new theater in Andersonville at 1515 W. Berwyn Ave. Tickets for Thursday and Friday shows are $30 and include food from neighborhood restaurants such as George's Ice Cream and Sweets and Hamburger Mary's. Saturday night's gala features scenes from the company's history of sketch and musical shows, an improv performance by some of its veteran players and food from Ranalli's. Tickets for Saturday will be $50. Shows start at 8pm, with complimentary drinks starting at 7pm.
The final event of the Chicago Food Film Festival gives a spotlight to whisky, with a premiere showing of Whisky: The Inlay Edition, along with several other films, the awards ceremony for the entire film fest, and a full-on Scottish meal prepared by Pleasant House Bakery.and other delights. Tickets $65-85; 7pm VIP admission, 7:30pm everyone else.
Tonight at 7pm, the DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., presents 7 Shades of Man, a musical narrative that explores the lives and relationships of seven different men. Tickets are $25; for more information, call 708-714-2050.
Tonight at 7pm, Quimby's, 1854 W. North Ave., presents All The Writers I Know, a queer reading co-produced by Mar Curran and Patrick Gill. The theme for the night is "Things Already Said" and features H. Melt, Ali Scott and Jayson Brooks (three other performers TBA).
The Book Cellar, 4736-38 N Lincoln Ave., holds a release party for Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck: Stories from 2nd Story is tonight at 7pm. Contributors Matt Miller, Julie Ganey and Kim Morris read. Free.
The Old Town School of Folk Music presents Henry Rollins in a three-night "The Long March" tour series of spoken word shows. The shows take place each night at 8pm in the school's main performance hall at 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets are $26, $24 for members and $22 for seniors and children, available in advance from the school's website, or call 773-728-6000.