We're in the home stretch. Winter is nearly over but as the low temperatures continue so does our loss of motivation to leave the comfort and warmth of our couch. If you're bundling up and venturing out, it has to be worth it. It has to be for something different. Something special. We understand.
Here's our late winter challenge: try these bar night alternatives. We promised they'll be more fun than your third Netflix binge of the week.
Turtle Racing At Big Joe's 2 & 6 Pub
We guarantee this isn't something you see every day and, yes, the themed night is literal. Pick your favorite shelled racer and place your bets. Don't worry, there are prizes for the winners and losers so don't go to hard on your little green guy. Speaking of, the turtles are cared for. Nobody's getting hurt at these weekly races! The reptilian rumble starts at 9 p.m. every Friday night. (Big Joe's is located at 1818 W. Foster Ave.)
Buzzed Spelling Bee at Elbo Room
The second Monday of every month gets a little, um .... jumbled at the Elbo Room in Lakeview. Spelling is hard enough (for some folks), so try imagining what it's like after a few drinks. Elbo Room's monthly competitive spelling bee is just like the ones your elementary school put on. The only difference is that competitors are encouraged to loosen up with a few drinks or shots as the game goes on. Winner gets a $50 bar tab, tickets to a show of his or her choice, bragging rights and hopefully a clear head in the morning. The Spelling Bee starts at 8 p.m. and is free to the first 20 people who sign up. (Elbo Room is located at 2871 N. Lincoln Ave.)
Movieoke at The Whistler
Can't stand to hear "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" one more time but still have the itch to hop on stage? Allow us to introduce you to a different type of karaoke. The Whistler keeps more than 300 classic movie scenes on file waiting for you to star in them. Make your request, hop on stage and act your heart out (and to the best of your memory) while the scene plays out on the big screen behind you. Movieoke happens on the first Monday of every month starting at 9 p.m. There is no cover charge. (The Whistler is located at 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Arcade Bars (various locations)
If sitting and eating and drinking feels a lot like what you were doing at home before you braved the cold, try one of Chicago's arcade and pinball bars to add a little more activity to your nights.
Emporium has a Wicker Park location full of classic games and pinball plus an increasingly solid live music calendar. Its more recent location in Logan Square features classic pinball too but also hosts a slew of more hands on games like air hockey, foozball and pool. (Emporium Arcade Bar has locations at 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave. and 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
From the games to the drink menu to the decor, both Headquarters Beercade locations (one in Lakeview and one in River North) will have you swimming in nostalgia. (Headquarters has locations at 2833 N. Sheffield Ave. and 213 W. Institute Pl.)
Logan Arcade is owned by Logan Square record store favorites Logan Hardware and prides its self on the arcade's numbers: 40 vintage games, 25 pinball games and 20 tap beers. (Logan Arcade is located at 2410 W. Fullterton Ave.)