Happening Today: Treat yourself to beer and chili, visit a museum or take in a show
Beer and chili? Yes, please! Get both of them at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's "Third Annual Chili Cook-Off/Beer Tasting/Silent Auction" at the Corner Brewery. Noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are $20, which includes 10 chili tastings, five beer samples, a silent auction and a keepsake tasting glass. Chili-only tickets are $10, with $5 tickets for children ages five to 10. Kids under 5 attend free of charge. Tickets are available by calling 734-971-2228 or at the door. Find more information at www.a2ct.org. The CB is at 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti. 734-480-2739.
Pull back the curtain at "Behind the Scenes Day" at the four museums of the Ruthven Museums Building on the U-M campus. Noon to 5 p.m. Choose between the Museums of Anthropology, Natural History, Paleontology or Zoology. The guided tours involve small spaces and fragile objects from the research collections. Children over 6 are welcome to attend with close supervision. Space is limited, so come early to sign up for the tour of your choice. Free. But donations accepted. The museums are at 1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor. 734-764-0478.
Hear couples make beautiful music together at "My Folky Valentine" at The Ark. 7:30 p.m. Annie and Rod Capps invite some of their most talented friends from around the region to share the stage for an evening of grand collaboration and anything but love songs! $15. The Ark is at 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. 734-761-1800.
See costumed crazies take the "Polar Plunge" to raise money for the Special Olympics at the EMU Pond. 2 p.m. Brave costumed swimmers will plunge into icy water. The best costume wins the Golden Plunger award. The plunge will be followed by a party with food and prizes. Free to watch. Near the Lake House at 124 College Pl., Ypsilanti.
Be ahead of the curve by attending the "Fireside Festival of New Works" at the Performance Network. Sunday through Wednesday, 7 p.m. This twice-yearly festival of staged readings will feature brand new works by four playwrights. Each reading will be followed by a post-show discussion with the playwright and director. Find out more at www.performancenetwork.org. Tickets are pay-what-you-can (suggested $10). The PN is at 120 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor. 734-663-0681.