January’s Top 8 Cultural Happenings

The best things to do in Chicago in January

JANUARY 2017 – After the excitement and rush of the holidays, where parties and travel and get-togethers with family and friends seemed to take up all of our time, you might think January has nothing to offer. Sure, we could all hole up inside and stay warm as Arctic blasts make us huddle together, but why give up and retreat indoors all by yourself? Chicago has plenty to do in January and here are some of our top picks for helping you get through the post-holiday doldrums of the New Year.

Luftwerk at the 606
What it is: A light installation along the Milwaukee Avenue bridge by art duo Luftwerk (Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero) that changes color and patterns based on adjustments in the weather and other data collected through the Array of Things project.
Where: The 606 trail at Milwaukee Avenue

Soul Food Week at Big Jones
What it is: The Southern-styled restaurant that prides itself on cooking heritage recipes will host its third-annual Soul Food Week between Jan. 13 and Jan. 26. Head to the Far North Side for dishes like black eye pea fritters; beer-batter shrimp with hush puppies; and cornmeal-crusted, Alabama fried catfish with creamy grits and voodoo greens.
When: Jan 13-26
Where: 5347 N. Clark, Andersonville

Alkaline Trio
What it is:
Current Blink-182 frontman Matt Skiba rejoins Chicago punks Alkaline Trio for a three-night stint. Expect a mix of music from their first eight albums and likely some sneak peeks off their upcoming album.
When: Jan 18-20
Where: Metro, 3730 N. Clark, Wrigleyville

Blues For an Alabama Sky
What it is:
As part of the Harlem Renaissance Celebration, this play, set in Harlem during the Great Depression, focuses on a group of artists holding onto hope for a better life while facing hardships head on.
Through Feb. 12
Court Theater, 5535 S. Ellis, Hyde Park

Master Drawings Unveiled: 25 Years of Major Acquisitions
What is it:
Explore drawings from the Masters, displayed in chronological order from the 17th century through the mid-20th.
Through Jan. 29
Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, Loop

The Christians
What it is:
An exploration of faith and changing opinions, this play on Steppenwolf’s main stage looks at what happens when the pastor of a megachurch starts questioning his beliefs.
Through Jan. 29
Steppenwolf Theater, 1650 N. Halsted, Lincoln Park

Kings of Leon
What it is:
The Southern rockers return to Chicago’s United Center with openers Deerhunter. Expect a mix of songs with an emphasis on newer arena rock material off their latest release, Walls.
When: Jan. 23
Where: United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Near West Side

Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kurt Elling
What it is:
One of the best jazz pairings in modern time, acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis brings his world-renowned quartet to Chicago and Kurt Elling, one of the best modern jazz vocalists, joins them on stage.
Jan. 27
Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, Loop

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