Friday | November 30
Head to Room 108 of Midway Studios to hear things that have no place at stuffy dinner parties or in your parents’ mailbox. The University of Chicago Humor Magazine’s editors are reading selections from their first issue, which run the gamut from holiday-themed memoirs to investigations to unsavory Midwestern roadside attractions. The physical copy will be available for pickup on campus—in boxes on the floors of various non-disclosed academic buildings—beginning December 3. If you would like to write for UCHM in subsequent quarters, know that they accept all things side-splitting except for satire, which is still securely the domain of The Shady Dealer. 929 East 60th Street. 4–4:30 p.m.; free.
A team of South Korean musicians sits silently in a row before their silver MacBook Pros, playing a furious game of techno Tetris. Each Tetris piece is programmed to produce bass, drum, and electric sounds depending on its height. Are your serotonin levels woefully unbalanced?—no, you’re just at a concert! Watch Tacit Group perform their algorithmic art at the MCA tonight for a very reasonable, special student price. Jin Won Lee (aka Gazaebal “Lobster Foot”) and his band members use video games, real-time personal computer interactions, dialogue, and more as the raw materials for their variable, virtual shows. 220 East Chicago Avenue. 7:30–8:30 p.m.; $10.
Saturday | December 1
Ready your Instagram for Pulaski Park Fieldhouse’s 7th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market. There will be hundreds of indie artists, food (Black Dog Gelato, Jackalope Coffee, MANA Food Bar, etc.), booze, and an “interactive seating area” for those who have difficulty communicating while standing up. DJs from Reckless Records, Dusty Groove, and CHIRP Radio will make appearances; a DIY Gift Wrap Station will push your folding and taping skills to their limits. Plus, Neuro Drinks and the Chicago Public Library will team up to create, for your fringy pleasure, a make-your-own-T-shirt workshop (all proceeds go to the CPL). 1419 West Blackhawk Street. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; free.
Does your sweater have elbow patches on its shoulders? Or maybe it’s Christmas-themed, makes noise when you walk, and feels like a pile of pine needles? Please don’t burn it (yet), and for goodness’ sake, don’t wear it anywhere outside of the house unless you’re going to GiveForward’s 5th Annual Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. At this paradise of all things consigned to the back of your closet, you can win $100 for worst sweater, and/or drink until you no longer realize you’re wearing that sweater, and/or drink until you no longer realize you’re not wearing that sweater. Stop at all manner of Wrigleyville bars along the way including Goose Island, where the crawl begins. The proceeds will go toward covering a Chicago family’s medical expenses, making their holiday season infinitely more cozy. 3535 North Clark Street. Starts at 1 p.m.; $20. 21+
Sunday | December 2
Chicago’s Drake Hotel is training the next generation of Keebler elves with its 7th Annual Amateur/Student Gingerbread House Competition. The bake-off, brought to you by Pastry Chicago, is only open to high school and college students, and all participants are required to construct a house that satisfies the theme “A Favorite Storefront from Your Hometown.” Winners are announced at 3:30 p.m., but you can enjoy a demonstration by the French Pastry School during the interim. The three best houses will have the honor of being displayed in the Drake’s annual Gingerbread Village in the hotel’s lobby. As far as the structures themselves go, interior lighting is encouraged; smoke effects, forbidden. 140 East Walton Street. Judging at 2 p.m,; free.