1. Geek out
Obsessed with the latest Star Wars film? So are the belly dancers of Raks Geek who pay homage to the latest flick in (Not) The Last Jedi. The hour-long performance features a fire spinning Rey, belly dancing Wookiee and shimmying Stormtroopers. A portion of the proceeds will benefit hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.
Details: Doors open 7:30 p.m. Friday at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway St., $19-$39 / MAP
Chase away any post-holiday blues with the sound of music at the Midwest Young Artists 25th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Concert. More than 300 students will perform audience favorites from the past quarter century, including Beethoven, Brahms, Ellington and more.
Details: 6 p.m. Friday at Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., $25-$100 / MAP
Don’t Drop the Ball: 10 Things to Do This New Year’s Eve
3. Lace up
Get 2018 started off on the right foot (and stay true to your resolution to exercise more). The New Year’s Day 5K Run & Walk, now in its 33rd year, includes 5K walk, 5K fun run and 5K chip-timed options. After the race, gather at Select Cut Steakhouse for the awarding of trophies and raffle prizes, and a complimentary drink to those over 21. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hope for the Day, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention education programs and initiatives.
Details: 11 a.m. Monday at 1600 Stockton Drive; $30-45 for advance registration; $45-50 for on-site registration / MAP
Escape the elements and bleak winter landscape and surround yourself with greenery at the Garfield Park Conservatory’s Holiday Show ‘Fire and Ice,’ featuring poinsettias in fiery colors, conifers and other plants that evoke both fire and ice. The show educates visitors about the regenerative power fire and frost can provide ecosystems, according to the conservatory’s website.
Details: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily except Wednesday, when it’s open until 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave. Free (donation suggested) / MAP
5. Chow down
Refuel after a night of celebrating without getting out of your jammies at Slurping Turtle’s New Year’s Day Pajama Party. Brunch will be served all day. Guests who wear their PJs will get 50-percent off their next visit.
Details: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday at Slurping Turtle, 116 W. Hubbard St. / MAP
Just because Christmas has passed doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the decorations a little bit longer. Get all the holiday feels at the Community Trees exhibit featuring seven trees, each decorated by a different local nonprofit.
Details: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through Saturday at Cantigny Park, 1 S 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton / MAP
Wizards and muggles are invited to seek out flying owls, dragons, centaurs, unicorns and Hagrid-like giants among the pieces at the Art Institute of Chicago at The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt. The objective of the two-hour hunt is to find “art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies.” Watson Adventures, the organizers of the hunt, say “the hunt is not an addition or variation on Harry’s adventures.”
Details: 1 p.m. Saturday at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave. $14.50 for children; $26 for adults / MAP
Get into gear in 2018 with a 15-mile bike ride on New Year’s Day. The sixth annual event will take place snow or shine, according to the event’s Facebook page. (Organizers have different routes in mind, pending the weather.)
Details: 8 a.m. Monday at The Bike Haven, 3318 Pearl St., McHenry / MAP
Channel your inner child and start a pillow fight at the New Year’s Day Blanket Fort Party. Don your best PJs (or don’t change out of the ones you wore to bed) and get ready for an afternoon of arcade games, pillow fights and dancing. All of the blankets used to create the fort will be donated to charity. BYO blanket to donate.
Details: noon-4 p.m. Monday at Headquarters Beercade River North, 213 W. Institute Place. $5-25 (plus taxes) / MAP
Jump-start NYE celebrations a day early at the Eve of the Eve, a black-tie optional event featuring live music, dancing, a DJ and raffles. All proceeds from the event will fund scholarship programs for HighSight, which provides academic and social support to Chicago high school students.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday at The Merchandise Mart Chicago, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza. $160 / MAP
Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.