This Weekend Around Oak Park


One week into 2016 and the gyms are flooded with the “new year/new me” crowd. You might find the same people sharing quotes on social media such as “January 1 is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” While this quote may carry weight most of the time, 2016 is a leap year. So, if I followed that advice, am I expected to leave one page out entirely? What kind of editor am I if I let that one slip through the cracks? If you’ve seen that quote in your social circles, I hope you called out that person, or at the very least forbid them from helping you with your taxes.

Despite the newfound wisdom we see every day on the internet, there’s something undeniably refreshing about the start of a new year. We have resolutions we keep and others that slip, but having good intentions is the first step towards a productive year. One of the resolutions you often hear is centered on getting outside of one’s comfort zone. We are habit-forming creatures so it’s easy to default to the familiar when the weekend comes around. That is why this series of articles titled “This Weekend Around Oak Park” will be waiting for you every Friday to offer interesting things to do in the OPRF community.

Opening reception for OPAL’s “Skin Deep”
The opening reception for the Oak Park Art League’s annual figure show will take place Friday, Jan. 8 from 7-9 p.m. “Skin Deep” exhibits figurative works and portraits in various mediums. Judge Jennifer Hereth will be on hand to discuss her choices for awards and talk with exhibiting artists in attendance about their work.

Three Restaurant Suggestions

  • Trattoria 225 (225 Harrison St.) – Italian Restaurant serving wood-fired pizza, salads and house-made pasta.
  • Cucina Paradiso (814 North Blvd.) – Contemporary spot for small & large plates. Close to the Oak Park Green Line if you don’t have wheels.
  • Hemingway’s Bistro (211 N Oak Park Ave.) – French bistro with an extensive wine list and brunch buffet.

Three Bar Suggestions

  • O’Sullivan’s Public House (7244 Madison St., Forest Park) – Neighborhood vibe with an extensive craft beer list and games on TV.
  • Poor Phil’s (139 S. Marion St.) – Several beers on draft and a laid back environment. This spot also has great seafood.
  • Fatduck Tavern & Grill (7218 Madison St., Forest Park) – Great place for microbrew fanatics. The beer list constantly changes, keeping things as fresh as the new year.

Friday Night Ice
Ridgeland Common Ice Arena, 415 Lake St., is hosting Friday Night Ice from 8:30-10:30 p.m. for teens grades 6-8. There will be music, food, giveaways, and more. The price is $10 (or $5 with a pass) and skate rentals are an additional $3.

Insight on Iran at River Forest Public Library
Bill Helmuth, a globe-trotting former executive of Time-Life Books, will come to the River Forest Public Library, 735 Lathrop Ave.,  at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10 to share insights about Iran’s history, architecture, culture and outlook for the future. The free program, “Ancient and Modern Iran,” is a multimedia presentation with 175 images that encompass a cross-section of the nation’s people and historic places, such as Persepolis, the ancient Persian capital that was destroyed by Alexander the Great.

Snowshoe Hike
Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., River Forest, is organizing a snowshoe hike from 1-2:30 p.m. This will be a guided tour through the woods and snowshoes will be provided. If interested, call 708-366-6530, or visit to learn more about the Trailside Museum.


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