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What's On Tap in Chicago This Weekend: January 29-31, 2021

Not sure what to do this weekend? We've got you covered on all the happenings in Chicago.
Chicago Events

Welcome to the eighth 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 29-31, 2021.


Lake Geneva Ice Castles

Lake Geneva Ice Castles


Up in Wisconsin, Lake Geneva hosts one of the best spectacles of the winter. Artists come in and create amazing art and castles out of ice. This includes breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, fountains, and much more.

  • When: Now through February 15th
  • Location: 11091 Hidden Cottage Cir Lake Geneva, WI, 53147, United States
  • Details and Tickets

Plunge Where You Are

The Polar Plunge put on by the Chicago Polar Bear Club would be this weekend, but COVID-19 will prohibit the frigid dip into Lake Michigan this year. Organizers are asking participants to plunge remotely in a cold shower, bathtub, or some other means outside. The purpose of this event is to raise money for local families in need. Check out the link below for more information.

  • When: Now until January 30th
  • Location: Online
  • Details

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 in 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 January 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.

Virtual Gin Tasting with Sonat (KOVAL)

Koval is doing an interactive gin tasting with KOVAL founder Sonat Birnecker Hart. KOVAL is one of the few distilleries in Chicago.


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.


Piece Pizza fundraising for the Chicago Independent Venue League

While there are no notable concerts this week due to the pandemic, Piece Pizza is doing a fundraiser for Chicago’s Independent music venues. It’s a $27 pizza with $5 going to the music venues. The pizza was created by Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar. We will definitely be ordering from there this weekend to help out with such a great cause. Check out the post below for more details.

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  • When: Now through January 31st
  • Location: Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, 1927 W. North Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
  • Cost: $27

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 the third weekend of NHL regular-season action, NBA games, and NCAA men’s basketball.


Lauri Markkanen Bulls

Photo: Chicago Bulls/Twitter

Bulls (7-10) vs. Trailblazers (9-7)

  • vs. Trailblazers: Saturday 1/30 at 7:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bulls haven't played since Monday and are looking to get back in the win column. Damian Lillard and company also are coming to avenge their 111-108 defeat at the hands of the Bulls from earlier this year. 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.


Blackhawks Red Wings

Photo: NHLBlackhawks/Twitter

Blackhawks (2-3-2) vs. Blue Jackets (2-2-3)

  • vs. Blue Jackets: Friday 1/29 at 7:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago
  • vs. Blue Jackets: Sunday 1/31 at 6:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks picked up a point in each of their mid-week games against the Predators but failed to add a tally to the win column. They'll be back on home ice to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Central Division weekend series starting on Friday. 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

Illinois Basketball

Photo: IlliniMBB/Twitter

 19 Illinois (10-5) vs. 7 Iowa (12-3)

  • Friday 1/29 at 8:00 PM FS1

One of the most anticipated Big Ten matchups of the season will take place on Friday night in Champaign. Illinois last played on Tuesday, January 19th when they handled Penn State at home. Iowa, on the other hand, suffered an 81-69 upset against Indiana on Thursday, January 21st. Luka Garza and the Hawkeyes will look to bounce back against Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn, and the Illini in what should be a hard-fought affair.

Northwestern (6-8) vs. Rutgers (8-6)

  • Sunday 1/31 at 6:30 PM on Big Ten Network

Notre Dame (5-9) at Pittsburgh (8-4)

  • Saturday 1/30 at 7:00 PM ACCN
DePaul Basketball

Photo: SBNation

DePaul (3-5) vs. Creighton (12-4)

  • Saturday 1/30 at 7:00 PM

Loyola (13-3) at Missouri State (9-2)

  • Sunday 1/31 at 2:00 PM on CBSSN

UIC (8-5) vs. N. Kentucky (7-8)

  • Friday 1/29 at 5:00 PM on ESPN+
  • Saturday 1/30 at 4:00 PM on ESPN+

NIU (2-10) – OFF

  • Next game: vs. Central Michigan on Saturday 2/6 at 1:30 PM on ESPN3
Darius Beane NIU

Photo: NIU Athletics

To stay up to date on all things Northern Illinois athletics, tune in to the Huskies On Tap podcast.

Illinois State (5-10) at Drake (15-0)

  • Sunday 1/31 at 2:00 PM on ESPN3

SIU (7-5) vs. Northern Iowa (4-10)

  • Saturday 1/30 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Sunday 1/31 at 5:00 PM on ESPNU

Bradley (9-7) at Indiana St. (8-7)

  • Sunday 1/31 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3

Valparaiso (5-9) at Evansville (6-8)

  • Sunday 1/31 at 3:00 PM on ESPN3

Chicago State (0-7) – SEASON CANCELED


  • Super Bowl: Chiefs (14-2) vs. Buccaneers (11-5) Sunday 2/7 at 5:30 PM on CBS

There's no NFL action this weekend as the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare for their Super Bowl matchup. Stay up to date on all Bears offseason news by tuning in to the Bears On Tap podcast and checking out the Bears tab here at On Tap Sports Net.

That will wrap things up for the eighth 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!