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The three best things to do today in Chicago

ACTIVATE Alley Transformation
Photograph: Chicago Loop Alliance ACTIVATE transforms Couch Place into a party.

1. Undergo a full sensory exploration

Tonight is the final ACTIVATE of the year, as the cold weather is finally sinking in. This dance party, which takes place in a nondescript Loop alleyway, will be a highlight of your week. (Sullivan Center Alley, 16 E Monroe St, 5pm. Free)

2. See a gender-bending take on an old favorite

Miss Holmes gives the Sherlock Holmes stories a fresh lease on life, reimagining Holmes and Watson as women. It’s amazing how such a small adjustment can open up new possibilities. (Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N Glenwood Ave, 7:30pm. $40)

3. Learn the science of making a burger

Bring an open mind and an empty stomach to Cook’s Science Burger Tour, where you’ll learn there’s more to the perfect burger than grilling a slab of meat. (Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport Ave, 9pm. $27)