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What's On Tap In Chicago This Weekend: January 15-18, 2021

As you settle into the new year, enjoy all the events, shows, concerts, and sports contests that Chicago has to offer this weekend.
Chicago Events This Weekend

Welcome to the sixth edition of What’s On Tap in Chicago This Weekend. This article series aims to bring you the best of Chicago entertainment on a weekly basis. For further background on the inspiration behind this endeavor, check out the introduction at the link below.

All caught up? Good. A few reminders before we start:

Please follow COVID-19 protocols for each event. Do only what you feel is most comfortable during the ongoing pandemic.

As restrictions become more relaxed, this article series should get more selective and focused as the variety and volume of events add up.

Let’s dive right into the new year with everything that’s going on in the Chicagoland area for the weekend of January 15-17, 2021.


Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating

Photo: Maggie Daley Park

While the ice skating at the “Bean” is closed, the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is open. It does require a non-transferable reservation. Skate rental is $16 and using your own skates is $5.

Ice Skating at Rosemont

Skating at the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at Parkway Bank Park is also happening this year. Admission to the rink is FREE, however, a credit card is required to hold a reservation. Guests who fail to appear for their skate time will be charged $8 per person. Skate rental is $8.

  • Location: 5501 Park Pl, Rosemont, IL 60018
  • Details

Wilmot Mountain Snow Tubing and Brewery Trip

Wilmot Mountain


While you can go up to Wilmot for skiing, snowboarding, or tubing, there is another way to make it a more convenient weekend trip. There is a package that includes a coach bus that departs downtown Chicago and drives you straight to and from Wilmot, where you enjoy snow tubing for two hours. The trip package costs $149 and includes dinner plus one free beer along with the tubing session and round-trip bus ticket. Tickets are sold out for this weekend, but weekends the rest of January and February are available.

  • Pick-up Location: 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601
  • Wilmot Mountain Location: 11931 Fox River Rd, Wilmot, WI 53192
  • Details and Reservations

Fire and Ice Pop-up Bar

While most winter/holiday pop-ups are in the month of December, this one opens open in December at Recess in the West Loop. This patio will have ice sculptures, fire pits, s'mores and a cocktail included in the cost of the ticket.


Dennis Watkins


The Magic Parlour at Home - Illusionist Dennis Watkins

Dennis Watkins typically does a residency at the Palmer House, but it is a virtual event this time around due to COVID-19. His magic and illusions will take place via the internet. Some of his tricks require a deck of cards while you are watching. Watkins' show is ranked number one on TripAdvisor.

ChiTown Movies Drive-In

This drive-in screens some classic movies all weekend. Check out the movie listings and full details below.


Isaiah Collier and the Chosen Few

Isaiah Collier

Photo: Timeout Chicago

Isaiah Collier is one of Chicago's upcoming Jazz artists rising to fame. Collier and his band are putting on a performance based on the numbers 3-6-9. It is a project dealing with corresponding trios.

Sporting Events

Here are all the sporting events involving Chicago-affiliated teams taking place this weekend. There will be no fans in attendance at any games in the state, so please enjoy them from your couch. Additionally, if you are gambling, be sure to check back frequently for gambling articles and follow us on Twitter for even more #OnTapBets. The highlights include NFL Playoffs, NHL opening weekend, NBA games, and NCAA men’s basketball.


Zach LaVine Bulls

Photo: ChicagoBulls/Twitter

Bulls (4-7) at Thunder (5-6), at Mavericks (6-4)

  • at Thunder: Friday 1/15 at 7:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago
  • at Mavericks: Sunday 1/17 at 2:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bulls head south this weekend when they visit both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks. While the Bulls have hung close in their last three games, they are still on a losing streak. Hopefully they will right the ship this weekend. Check out the Bulls On Tap podcast to get ready for the weekend of games and head to the Bulls tab here at On Tap Sports Net for further analysis throughout the NBA season.

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Dylan Strome Blackahwks Lineup

Photo: NHLBlackhawks/Twitter

Blackhawks (0-1) at Lightning (1-0), at Panthers (0-0)

  • at Lightning: Friday 1/15 at 6:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago
  • at Panthers: Sunday 1/17 at 6:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks begin the 2021 season on the road in Florida. While Stan Bowman did offer Jeremy Colliton a new extension, fans are skeptical that this season will be nothing more than a developmental year for the young players on the roster. The Blackhawks are coming off a 5-1 loss in their first battle against the Lightning. Check out the Blackhawks tab here at On Tap Sports Net and tune in to the Four Feathers Podcast to stay up to date on the Blackhawks this year.

NCAA Men’s Basketball

Ayo Dosunmu Illinois

Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

 12 Illinois (9-4) vs. 21 Ohio State (10-3)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 11:00 PM on FOX

Illinois last played on Sunday night when the Maryland Terripans pulled off an upset over them in Champaign. Brad Underwood's team was scheduled to visit Nebraska on Wednesday, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns within the Huskers' program. The Illini will have a chance to get back in the win column on Saturday when the Ohio State Buckeyes visit the State Farm Center.

Northwestern (6-5) vs. Iowa (11-2)

  • Saturday 1/17 at 8 PM on Big Ten Network

Notre Dame (3-8) vs. Boston College (3-9)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 3:00 PM
DePaul Basketball

Photo: SBNation

DePaul (1-4) vs. Valparaiso (3-7)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 3:00 PM on Fox Sports 1

Loyola (8-3) vs. Northern Iowa (3-8)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 5:00 PM

UIC (5-4) vs. Robert Morris (3-3)

  • Friday 1/15 at 7:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Saturday 1/16 at 4:00 PM on ESPN3

NIU (2-9) at Ball State (5-5)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 12:00 PM
Darius Beane NIU

Photo: NIU Athletics

After notching their first MAC win against Akron on Tuesday, the Huskies travel to Muncie to take on Ball State. For Huskies basketball and football coverage, follow Huskies On Tap on Twitter and tune in to the podcast.

Illinois State (4-6) at Indiana State (4-7)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Sunday 1/17 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3

SIU (7-3) - OFF

  • Next game: at Missouri State Thursday 1/21 at 7:00 PM on ESPN3

Bradley (7-4) vs. Evansville (6-6)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Sunday 1/17 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3

Valparaiso (3-5) at DePaul (1-4)

  • Saturday 1/16 at 3:00 PM on Fox Sports 1

Chicago State (0-7) – SEASON CANCELED


NFL Playoffs

Photo: Sporting News

  • Packers (13-3) vs. Rams (10-6) Saturday 1/16 at 3:35 PM on FOX
  • Bills (13-3) vs. Ravens (11-5) Saturday 1/16 at 7:15 PM on FOX
  • Chiefs (14-2) vs. Browns (11-5) Sunday 1/17 at 2:05 PM on CBS
  • Saints (12-4) vs. Buccaneers (11-5) Sunday 1/17 at 5:40 PM on FOX

While the Bears have been eliminated from the NFL Playoffs, the Divisional Round takes place this weekend. If you want to stay up to date on the dumpster fire that is the Bears management, the Bears On Tap crew has you covered. Tune in to their latest episode to hear them rant about how Ted Phillips and George McCaskey handled their end-of-season presser.

NFL Gambling and DFS for Playoffs

While Fantasy Football is over, the NFL Divisional Round is one of the biggest gambling weekends in sports. There are also DFS pools and countless other bets out there for the postseason. The crew at Fantasy Hour On Tap has you covered on DFS plays and additional advice for this week, so check out the podcast to hear their picks and make some money.

That will wrap things up for the sixth edition of What’s On Tap in Chicago This Weekend. As you can see, there’s plenty to do in and around Chicago, so don’t let the ongoing pandemic get you down! Be sure to check back weekly for future events.

As always, drop a comment if there is something you think we should add to the list for this weekend or any upcoming ones!