Jan 4, 2024 - Things to Do

Chicago weekend events: Young Playwrights Festival, Bowie Ball and more

Two actors on stage during the Young Playwright's Festival in Chicago.

Two actors perform at the Young Playwrights Festival. Photo: Pegasus Theatre

This weekend in Chicago, support student playwrights, party to David Bowie hits or see Willy Wonka on stage.

🎭 1. Young Playwrights Festival

See a play written by local students.

Why it matters: This event is the oldest of its kind in the U.S. and supports the next generation of artists.

What's happening: This 37-year-old festival pairs Chicago high school students with industry professionals to produce one-act plays.

  • Out of 300 submissions, only four students are chosen to participate.

Dates: Previews 7pm Thursday–Saturday, opening ceremony 2:30pm Sunday

When: Performances will be 7pm Fridays, 2:30 and 7pm Saturdays until Jan. 27.

Location: Chicago Dramatists

Cost: $30 adults, $25 seniors, $15 students. Tickets.

🍸 2. Dry January Mocktail Class

  • Seedlip is helping Chicagoans keep their January dry with a non-alcoholic mocktail class where you'll learn to make three different drinks with a small group. Tickets are $45.
  • When: 3–4:30pm Saturday
  • Location: Eataly Chicago (second floor)

🪩 3. Bowie Ball

  • Celebrate the late David Bowie's 77th birthday with a dance party featuring drag and burlesque performances, specialty cocktails and a Bowie-themed DJ set by Heaven Malone. Tickets.
  • Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door
  • When: 9pm–2am Saturday
  • Location: Metro
  • Of note: This is an 18+ event. ID is required for entry.

🍫 4. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

  • The intrigue: "Wonka," a prequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" starring Timothée Chalamet, Keegan-Michael Key and Hugh Grant, is still in theaters.

❄️ 5. Sue's Snow Globe Pop-Up

  • You still have time to see the Field Museum's snow globe installation featuring Sue the T. rex. The pop-up includes a hot chocolate bar. Free.
  • Dates: Daily until Monday, Jan. 8
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