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The Logan Center hosts the Chicago premiere of Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston's WORDLESS! -- an innovative show combining slides, talk, film and live music. Spiegelman collaborated with the jazz composer, and his sextet underscores the multimedia presentation with new original music. The show brings to life the work of the five important artists of the wordless novel in a series of animated projections. The program also offers work created by Spiegelman, as well as animating some of his older short wordless strips. The show goes on to the Sydney Opera House and New York City.
3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago. Tickets cost $20, $10 for students. (773) 702-2787 or arts.uchicago.edu.
Eat it up
Reservations have opened for Chicago Restaurant Week 2014, which returns for its lucky seventh year. The annual culinary celebration features more than 280 restaurants throughout Chicago and the suburbs, and the event has been extended to a 14-day eating extravaganza. Will it be beef cheek or tagliatelle at Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria, or a dry-aged sirloin at The Capital Grille in Lombard? The annual culinary celebration offers prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).
Jan. 24 to Feb. 6. Reservations are strongly advised and you can book through EatItUpChicago.com or call the restaurant directly. For a complete list of participating restaurants and to make reservations, visit eatitupchicago.com.
Northerly Island is the perfectly named place for a day of outdoor winter activities courtesy of the ninth annual Polar Adventure Days. Sure, it's cold, but the fun, family event features enough action to warm body and brain. You'll engage in winter activities and create nature-inspired crafts; see birds of prey and coyotes and dog-sledding demonstrations with huskies; enjoy live entertainment from the Old Town School of Folk Music; and check out the REI winter activity station. There will be a toddler zone with outdoor "ice fishing" and free snowshoe rental to work off the free hot cocoa going to the first 500 participants.
Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 25 and Feb. 22, at Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago. Free. (312) 742-7529 or chicagoparkdistrict.com.
Creative snow races
Wake up your frozen neurons and digits at Winterfest in Grand Haven, Mich. Hilarity ensues during the Intergalactic Human Sled Race Championship (registration is free and sleds are provided); the cardboard sled race down the front hill at Mulligan's Hollow; indoor hamster and gerbil races; a luau; lots of kids' activities; and snow-angel contest.
4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23; 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25; and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 in downtown Grand Haven, Mich. An all-weekend pass costs $10, which gives you discounts and specials at restaurants and bars and is your ticket into the Luau Entertainment Tent. See winterfestmi.org.
Point your eagle eye toward Utica for a fantastic Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park. Sponsored by the Illinois Audubon Society, the event offers free lectures and exhibits on birds of prey and raptor awareness presentations. Bring your binoculars to view eagles from the top of the lodge and bring your young eaglets for activities in the kids' room. Starved Rock trolleys run both days with continuous stops at all three venues where activities take place.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25-26, at Starved Rock State Park, routes 178 and 71, Utica. Wristbands cost $1 for unlimited trolley rides. (800) 868-7625 or starvedrocklodge.com.
Frigid air in Amana
Beat the blues with a trip to Iowa's Amana Colonies during Winterfest. The list of activities ranges from the sublime (ice sculpting) to the ridiculous (ham-tossing contest, pork chop slap shot, and the best beard competition). Enjoy breakfast the way it used to be at the Amana Communal Kitchen or the open fire chili extravaganza. Then it's time for ice skating, sledding and snowshoeing. Don't miss Ham-O-Rama in the Amana Meat Shop when Opa Carl shows off his ham-carving techniques and offers samples of his famous soup. Kids will go for the winter wreath toss and other activities just for them. Knitting, spinning and quilting demos, a log-sawing competition and live music round out the long list of things to see and do. Lodging in the Amana Colonies ranges from quaint B&Bs to full-service hotels and condos.
8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in the Amana Colonies, Iowa. See festivalsinamana.comor call (800) 579-2294.