5 fab things to do this weekend: Oct. 6-8

By / Culture / October 6, 2017

Zak Stemer rounds up the best ways to spend your off days, from standup shows to scary stories

 1. Show me the funny

Skip the ab workout and spend the weekend LOLing until your stomach hurts — you can go see an amazing comic perform literally every day. Legendary funnymen Steve Martin and Martin Short light up the Chicago Theatre stage (175 N. State) Friday and Saturday with a mix of standup, film clips, musical numbers and a conversation about their lives. TICKETS ($156 and up) HERE.

Just a thought: If Martin Short married and divorced Steve Martin, then married and divorced comedian Jim Short, would he go by the name Martin Short Martin Short?

Let’s get back on track. Jen Kirkman, an author/comedian known for her strong feminist views and fearlessly honest voice, will be cracking wry jokes at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport) Friday night for her All New Material, Girl Tour. This girl’s got a Netflix special (“Just Keep Livin’”), a podcast (“I Seem Fun”) and a book (I Know What I’m Doing: And Other Lies I Tell Myself), so brush up before you see her live. TICKETS ($22) HERE.

Deadpan comedian and chart enthusiast Demetri Martin has returned from the career abyss that is New York Life Insurance commercials and is taking back the stage. He’ll be at The Vic Theatre (3145 N. Sheffield) Sunday night for his Let’s Get Awkward Tour. TICKETS ($39.75) HERE.

2. S’Mores and scares

Once at summer camp, a weasel-faced kid — whose name I won’t say to protect his identity — told an insanely awful campfire story that culminated with him flicking a flaming marshmallow at me, almost lighting my highly flammable polyester shorts on fire. Since then, I’ve been wary of campfires (and also polyester, tbh). But every Friday this month, Northerly Island is hosting Campfire Horrors, a weekly event featuring free marshmallows and a screening of a classic horror movie. First up: Hitchcock’s iconic “The Birds.” While I won’t be forgiving Chris Nadrow (whoops, said his name) anytime soon, I’m definitely reconsidering my aversion to campfires. 1521 S. Linn White, free. More info HERE.

3. Bicep-building beers

Most of the time, drinking makes you swollen. This time, it just makes you swole. Friday night, Sam Adams is challenging buff Chicagoans to a stein-hoisting competition at ping-pong club SPiN to benefit hurricane relief. Here’s how it works: Contestants get a one-liter glass stein filled with beer and have to hold it straight out without dropping, spilling or bending their arm. For every minute a stein is hoisted, Sam Adams donates $1 to the American Red Cross. Plus, the top five winners will be flown to Boston Oct. 27 for the competition finals, where the top two hoisters will win tickets to Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year gala in New York City. You can compete or just snack on happy hour bites and $3 drinks while you cheer on the bros and ladies struggling to straight-arm that giant mug of ale. 344 N. State, free entry with RSVP HERE.

4. Aw, shucks

Shaw’s Crab House’s annual Oyster Fest may be turning 29 this year, but the oysters are still fresh as ever. Starting this weekend through Sunday, Oct. 15, mollusk mongers can get their fill of the salty sea-snack. Every day from 4-6 p.m., diners can take advantage of half-priced oysters; plus, Shaw’s will periodically offer $0.50 oysters, announced via social media (follow @shellyfromshaws on Twitter). They say that oysters are an aphrodisiac, and while I can neither definitively confirm nor deny that, Shaw’s is pairing the shells with live blues music, and that’s enough to set the mood any day. 21 E. Hubbard; Shawscrabhouse.com

5. Get out!

This weekend is the Chicago Marathon, and unless you’re running or have a friend running, the whole thing can be a giant headache and traffic mess. My advice? Flee. Grab a friend and pull a Thelma and Louise (the first part, not the end). Go an hour and half north to Wilmot Mountain (11931 Fox River, Wilmont, Wis.) for their Epic Fall Fest, which has pumpkin painting, bounce houses, live music and a 5K (because I guess everyone just wants to run this weekend?). Or take a slight turn west and visit All Seasons Orchard (14510 IL Route 176, Woodstock, Ill.), where they have a 10-acre Super Mario-themed corn maze that will make any video game nerd level up.


Zak Stemer is a former Splash editor and lifestyle expert who currently works for Henson Consulting. SPiN is a client of Henson.