Champaign County, Ill. (WCIA)

It feels like we just started summer, but here we are in the final weeks before school starts. Visit Champaign County has some ideas to pass the time before we hit Labor Day.

Go Camping—While we’re still burning some vacation time, consider a camping trip close to home. One of the top spots to camp in the state is at Middle Fork River forest preserve, the state’s only International Dark Sky Park. Plan your trip around the lunar cycle so you can get the best view of the night sky, and while you’re there, hike one of their many trails. Camp sites are also available in Sullivan off Lake Shelbyville or in Lodge Park in Monticello. And if you need some gear, head to Rugged Outdoors for everything you need to have the perfect campsite.

Hit up an Art Festival—Get a head start on holiday shopping, or pick up some items for yourself, at the fourth annual Crystal Lake Park Art Fair. Over 30 local and regional artists will be out this Saturday, August 6 from 10am-6pm selling everything from handmade jewelry, paintings, pottery, clothing, and much more. Kids activities will also be available so make it a family affair.

Attend a Music Festival—Blues fans will want to head to downtown Urbana for the fourth annual Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest, happening August 12–13. This is a mix of local and regional bands ready to keep you entertained. Two weeks later, the Mahomet Music Festival returns to Main Street with 8 performances across two days, August 26–27. This festival brings plenty of food, entertainment, and vendors for a few full days spent in Mahomet.

Enjoy the Outdoor Patios—Summer is the time to enjoy our outdoor patios and beer gardens so if you haven’t maximized your time outdoors, do it now. Friday Night Live continues this month so stake out spots in the outdoor patios of Pour Brothers, Seven Saints, Hamilton Walker’s, and Big Grove Tavern for the best spot for bands, or sit on our only rooftop bar at Barrelhouse 34. At Rose Bowl Tavern in downtown Urbana, you’ll also be up close and personal to music while you sip on your choice of drink. Plenty of area restaurants around the area offer outdoor dining so find your favorite spot and enjoy the weather.

Support the Illini—Fighting Illini Football is back in action on August 27 against Wyoming. With a 3pm kickoff, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to tailgate and catch the Marching Illini as they parade to the stadium. Get season tickets to support them all year, or go game by game, just make sure that you have your orange & blue before you go out!