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Oh Hai Spring

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Well, everybody, it’s that time of year again. The snow has finally peaced the eff out (knock on wood), the heavy boots have been tucked away, and – if the assertions about animal behavior are to be believed – it’s the most awkward time to take your children to the zoo. So unless you’ve already got plans for one of the upcoming April holidays (see previous article), get in the spring swing with some primavera-related Chicago activities.

If you want a sophisticated love-is-in-the-air experience, head to Paris – I hear it’s particularly nice this time of year. But why have sophisticated when you can have painfully awkward? Everyone knows that all great romances start at a middle school dance – and that’s exactly what you can find every Wednesday in April during All of It All of the Time. “Middle School Dance Party,” one of the sketches in this multi-group show, features the members of MRS. (read more about their genius here) bringing you chaperones, arm’s-length swaying, and surprise appearances by the lunch lady. We can’t promise it won’t bring up memories of your own MSD experiences, but it will probably make you feel a helluva lot better about them. Plus it’s free (which Paris is not).
When & Where: Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, 1422 Irving Park Rd, 8 P.M.

Did seeing the above make you actually want to attend a dance party? Without, you know, having to go to the trouble of stuffing yourself into something tight and sparkly and waiting for 11 p.m. to roll around? Well, you’re in luck, because on the first and third Fridays of each month, there is an hour-long jam at the Chicago Cultural Center. Revel in the odd juxtaposition of modern beats reverberating through this mosaic-ed mecca, and join the crowds of overworked office lackeys pop-and-locking on their lunch break. Check out the Wired Fridays page for info on what DJs are spinning when.
When & Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., 12-1 P.M.

There is a select time of year when afternoon drinking is not only accepted, but borderline-condoned (unless you’re Blanche DuBois, in which case it’s all-day-erry-day). It’s called Patio Season, and if you wait until five o’clock, you’ve only got a couple precious hours of daylight to celebrate: it’s still pretty chilly when the sun goes down. So carpe deck chair and grab a beer al fresco. Check out all the best places courtesy of TimeOut – but it is still early days, so be sure to call first.
When & Where: Oh, so many options. Start with the article.

Springtime brings out all sorts. Are you one of those weirdos with a really niche interest? Or maybe you just have an adventurous spirit? Well, then, thanks to Enjoy Illinois, perhaps you’ll get a kick out of some of these festivals just jaunt outside the city…
Spores N More Mushroom Festival, April 18-19, Shelbyville, IL: Well, it’s not hunting for truffles in the Piedmont region, but you can dig for morels and nom all things Angaricus bisporus. Yum?
Superman Celebration, June 12-15, Metropolis, IL: Are you a fan of the Man of Steel? Then swing by this weekend-long festival celebrating Clark Kent’s alter-ego in the legend’s very own hometown. (Weather and lack of kryptonite permitting.)
Long Grove’s Chocolate Festival, May 2-4, Long Grove, IL: Everyone knows chocolate festivals are the noblest of festivals, and not much more needs to be said than that.

So there you have it. Whether the weather is inspiring you to tap into your inner middle schooler, superhero, break-dancer, or weekday lush, there are myriad options to celebrate the fact that spring has sprung.

And if all else fails, you can always go to the zoo.

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