Land of Lincoln Trio
Chicago's Lincoln Trio, hailed by FANFARE Magazine as "one of the hottest young trios in the business," received a 2014 Grammy nomination in the Best Choral Performance category. You can see them perform "Turina & Sangria!", a live music concert by composer Joaquin Turina, followed by a wine and cheese reception at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. The concert features Marta Aznavoorian on piano, David Cunliffe on cello and Desirée Ruhstrat on violin. The internationally acclaimed group performs Trio in F Major (1904), Trio in B minor Op. 76 (1933) and Circulo Op. 91 fantasy for violin, cello and piano (1936). Attend the performance and watch the Grammy awards show to see if the hometown group snags the award. 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria St., Chicago. Tickets are $10 for general admission seating. tinyurl.com/lincolntrioatmerit.
Fit it in
Take advantage of the world class city in our backyard and keep your health and wellness resolutions in the New Year. Kimpton's Hotel Palomar Chicago offers a "PaloFit Package," which includes deluxe accommodations, a stack of healthy snacks and the hotel's signature yoga mat program where you can get flexible in the comfort of your room. The hotel can also set you up with a complimentary class at Barre Bee Fit and provide you with a pair of barre socks to keep. Choose from classes that blend ballet barre with cardiovascular conditioning and strength training. The studio is within walking distance from the hotel. Valid for stays through Jan. 31 at Hotel Palomar, 505 N. State St., Chicago. Rates start at $159 a night, with a five-day advance purchase required; register prior to arrival to guarantee class day/time. (312) 755-9703 or hotelpalomar-chicago.com.
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Chuckles and guffaws
Chicago may have slipped to third in terms of population, but it remains the sketch comedy capital of the world. The 13th annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival celebrates the best in local, national and international sketch comedy, featuring 150 sketch comedy troupes performing 170 shows. Highlights include Siblings of Doctors (Los Angeles) featuring Danny Pudi from "Community," the return of festival favorites Boat (NYC), Kerpatty and Virgin Daquiri (both from Chicago), as well as new groups from around the world, like Foil Arms & Hog (London), Echo Sunyata Sibley (Italy) and Fratwurst (Toronto). Bring the kids for special family programming at North America's largest sketch comedy festival. Times vary Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 16-19, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago. Tickets are $14 ($15 for Saturday shows). (773) 327-5252 or chicagosketchfest.com.
Gals in snow-mo
Don't fight it! Become one with winter during the 28th annual Women on Snow weekend in Eagle River, Wis. The weekend includes opportunities for women of all ages and riding abilities to snowmobile northern Wisconsin's beautiful trails. The hosting lodge is Eagle Waters Resort in Eagle River and the package is limited to the first 120 women. Meals, including a lavish Sunday Champagne brunch, lodging in the condo property, entertainment and snowmobile gas are included in the registration fee. Friday through Sunday, Jan. 24-26, at Eagle Waters Resort, 3958 Eagle Waters Road, Eagle River, Wis. Cost is $300 for the weekend. Register at womenonsnow.org.
Cheesy rider to Madison
When you think of Wisconsin, you try not to think of the Packers, but instead, the state's wonderful commodities -- cheese and beer. Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest in Madison offers the wares of hundreds of local craft beer artisans and artisanal cheese makers in one place for an all-you-can-sample party. Attend pairing demos and consider a premium tasting ticket that allows entry a full hour before the main festival, with the chance to chat with brewers and cheese makers and sample special products that won't be available later in the day. The fifth annual festival is strictly for ages 21 and over. 1 p.m. premium tasting, 2 to 6 p.m. general admission Saturday, Jan. 18, at Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, Madison, Wis. Tickets cost $40 or $75 for premium. isthmus beercheese.com.
Take some "me" time at the fourth annual Snoga event -- one day of snowshoeing, hiking, yoga and drumming at Camp Lakotah Lodge in Wautoma, Wis. Offered from CoreQuest Yoga and Inner Sun Studio, the retreat features a combination of yoga and snowshoeing, a hot lunch (vegan options available), an interactive drum session and more yoga. At the end of the day you're treated to cheesecake. 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb 1, at Camp Lakotah Lodge, N1875 21st Ave., Wautoma, Wis. Cost is $85. Save 10 percent by registering before Jan. 15. corequestyoga.com.