Yes, the weather outside is officially frightful. But these upcoming Chicago events are so delightful that you’ll be more than happy to brave the cold.

If we know one thing about Chicago winter it’s that you’ll soon go crazy from cabin fever if you don’t occasionally get out to experience things like donut contests and a Johnny Cash tribute. Read on for all the details…

Game of Thrones Pop Up Bar

February 1 – March 4 at Replay in Lincoln Park

For Chicagoans and Game of Thrones fans alike, winter is here! Though the final season of the epic fantasy show doesn’t begin until April, you can take an early trip to Westeros now by visiting the GoT pop-up bar at a local barcade. They’re going all out with décor (think dragons, thrones and house sigils) as well as limited quantities of two Westerosi-inspired beers. Pro Tip: Pay $20 in advance to bypass the line and get one brew in a special keepsake goblet.


Giordano Dance Chicago Fall Series Program

February 2 at North Shore Center for The Performing Arts in Skokie

This may be one of your last chances to catch the encore performance of the GDC’s stunning Fall Series show. The performance will include beautiful pieces from the dance company’s impressive archive as well as a remarkable new piece from So You Think You Can Dance choreographer, Ray Leeper. The latter promises to be a show-stopping soul masterpiece that honors Chicago philanthropist Candace Jordan.


Chicago Restaurant Week

January 25 – February 7

We gave you a head’s up a couple weeks ago, but Chicago’s delicious Restaurant Week officially kicks off tomorrow. Whether you’re in the city or suburbs, and no matter what cuisine you love, there’s something for you in this year’s prix fixe menu offerings. And lucky for us, it’s actually a two-week long event so there’s plenty of time to take advantage by dining out for lunch and dinner at your favorites.


Donut Fest

January 27 at Chop Shop

Everyone knows that donuts are the new cupcakes. And Chicago has no shortage of fine fried dough purveyors, so it makes sense to celebrate the very best. The event will feature donuts from such heavy hitters as Stan’s, Firecakes and West Town Bakery (among others) with coffee from Dark Matter and Big Shoulders to help you wash down all that sweet goodness. At the end, one donut maker’s creation will be crowned “Best Donut” in the city.


Winter Brew

January 26 at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center

Good news for craft beer lovers – you don’t have to wait until the summer to hit up a fantastic, local beer festival. This Lincoln Square and Ravenswood celebration features beers, ciders and food from places like Band of Bohemia, Half Acre, Koval Distillery, The Northman and Fountainhead. There’s even a homebrew competition to recognize excellence in DIY brewing.


Cash for Kids / Johnny Cash Festival

January 26 at Irish American Heritage Center

Celebrate your love for the The Man in Black while also helping to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Tickets start at just $20 for a whopping nine acts doing tribute performances to the legendary musician. Performers include local stars like The Waco Brothers, Hayden Thompson and Iron Horse. Food and drink will also be available for purchase.