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What's On Tap in Chicago This Weekend: January 8-10, 2021

There are plenty of Chicago events, shows, and sports contests to take in this weekend.
Chicago Events

Welcome to the fifth 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 8-10, 2021.

Christmas Lights

Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is putting on a drive-in light show full of lights, music, and other forms of Christmas fun. It lasts about 20 to 30 minutes in duration. Tickets are available for this weekend.

  • Location: 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532
  • Details

Santa’s Rock N Lights at the Lake County Fairgrounds

Santa's Rock N Lights

Photo: Matt Berklan/On Tap Sports Net

The Lake County Fairgrounds is hosting a drive-in light show that lasts about 20-30 minutes. The lights are all synced to music. A ticket reservation is required.

  • Location: 1060 E. Peterson Rd. Grayslake, IL
  • Details

Let It Shine Drive Thru - Jan 9th is the Last Day

  • Location: 1515 Lake Cook Rd. Northbrook, IL
  • Details

Other Events

Winter Flower Show at the Garfield Park Conservatory - Virtual

Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Conservatory hosts an annual Winter Flower show. While the pandemic currently prevents visitors from being there in person, you can still attend virtually. This may be a solid alternative option if you are over Christmas lights and want to see some different scenery.

  • Location: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624
  • When: Saturday, January 9th at 10:30 AM
  • Details

Ice Skating at 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

Rosemont Ice Skating

Photo: Edward Marshall

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

Walnut Room

Walnut Room Macy's Chicago

Photo: Jaclyn Rivas

Get a look at the Macy’s Christmas tree while you grab some take-out from the Walnut Room.

Wilmot Mountain Snow Tubing and Brewery Trip

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


ChiTown Movies Drive-In

This drive-in screens some classic movies all weekend. One of the films will be Jaws. Check out the full details below.

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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 Wild Card Weekend, a full slate of NBA games, and NCAA men's basketball.


Chicago Bulls

Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Bulls (4-5) at Lakers (6-3), at Clippers (6-3)

  • at Lakers: Friday 1/8 at 9:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago
  • at Clippers: Sunday 1/10 at 3:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bulls continue their West Coast trip in LA this weekend when they visit both the Lakers and Clippers. While the odds are stacked against the Bulls on paper, Billy Donovan's team is starting to put together consistently competitive efforts. 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.

NCAA Men’s Basketball

 12 Illinois (8-3) vs. Maryland (6-5)

  • Sunday 1/10 at 7:00 PM on Big Ten Network

Illinois put together a historic second-half comeback against in-state rival Northwestern on Thursday night. Brad Underwood's team will look to extend their win streak to five games on Sunday night when they host the Maryland Terripans.

Northwestern (6-3) - OFF

  • Next game: at Ohio State Wednesday 1/13 at 6 PM

Notre Dame (3-6) vs. Boston College (2-8)

Notre Dame Basketball


  • Sunday 1/10 at 5:00 PM on ACC Network

DePaul (1-1) vs. Seton Hall (8-5)

  • Saturday 1/9 at 1:00 PM on Fox Sports 1

Loyola (7-2) at Drake (13-0)

  • Sunday 1/10 at 5:30 PM on ESPN2

UIC (5-2) at Purdue FW (2-5)

  • Friday 1/8 at 6:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Saturday 1/9 at 4:00 PM on ESPN3

NIU (1-8) at Miami (OH) (3-3)

  • Saturday 1/9 at 5:00 PM on ESPN+

The Huskies travel to Oxford to take on the Miami Red Hawks. This past week, NIU mutually parted ways with their old head coach. For Huskies basketball and football coverage, follow Huskies On Tap on Twitter and tune in to the podcast.

Illinois State (3-5) at Evansville (5-5)

  • Saturday 1/9 at 1:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Sunday 1/10 at 1:00 PM on ESPN3

SIU (7-3) at Indiana State (3-6)

  • Saturday 1/9 at 12:00 PM on ESPN3
  • Sunday 1/9 at 12:00 PM on ESPN3

Bradley (6-3) at Northern Iowa (2-7)

  • Sunday 1/10 at 3:00 PM on ESPN+

Valparaiso (3-5) vs. Missouri State (6-1)

  • Saturday 1/9 at 1:00 PM on ESPN+
  • Sunday 1/10 at 1:00 PM on ESPN+

Chicago State (0-7) – SEASON CANCELED


Bears Saints

Photo: Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears (8-8) at New Orleans Saints (12-4)

  • Sunday 1/10 at 3:40 PM on CBS

While the Bears experienced another embarrassing loss at the hand of the Packers to end the regular season, they still managed to find a way into the playoffs where they will face the New Orleans Saints. While New Orleans took the first head-to-head meeting in Week 8, their star running back Alvin Kamara will be coming off the COVID-19 reserve list just before the game. Will the Bears be able to hold Kamara down or will he run all over a defense that was abysmal last week? Tune in to the Bears On Tap podcast for storylines, analysis, and commentary surrounding the matchup.

NFL Gambling and DFS for Playoffs

While Fantasy Football is over, NFL Wild Card Weekend 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  crew 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 fifth 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!