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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The three best things to do today in Chicago

Written by
Grace Perry

1. Listen to brilliant minds in Hyde Park

Acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith visits Chicago tonight, reading from her latest book, SwingTime at the DuSable Museum. Smith speaks as brilliantly as she writes. (DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E 56th Pl, 6:30pm. $35)

2. Dig into Chicago’s stand-up scene

While open mic nights aren’t typically exciting for non-comedians, Cole’s weekly mic is consistently funny (and weird). Watch local comics work out new material, punctuated by great bits from hosts Sarah Sherman and Rebecca O’Neal. (Cole’s, 2338 N Milwaukee Ave, 9:30pm. Free)

3. Winter WonderFest tree lighting

Navy Pier’s annual indoor winter carnival kicks off tonight with a visit from St. Nick himself. Bring the family down for Navy Pier’s official holiday kick-off. (Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, 6pm-7pm. Free)

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