As we continue on through the dog days of summer, Visit Champaign County shares ways to keep you cool, and busy!
Let’s start with staying cool—this summer weather has been a tad on the hot side, so we’ve been exploring ways to have fun but stay cool.
- Ice Cream—My favorite way to stay cool is with an ice cream treat. We have a few fun stops for you to check out. Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola makes their ice cream by hand every day, that you can enjoy from their old-time soda fountain. El Oasis in Urbana is a hidden gem, with their refreshing Mexican flavors such as Sweet Corn and Avocado. I love their spicy Pineapple! Of course, a trip to Jarling’s is never out of the question.
- Swimming Holes—All across the region are various community pools to help you stay cool, but these go beyond your average swimming experience. Sholem Aquatic Center & Crystal Lake Family Aquatic Center both have features that make you feel like you’re heading to a water park, with slides, lazy rivers, a climbing wall and other fun features. You can sneak away from the hustle of these pools and check out Monticello, Rantoul and Tuscola’s pools for a less crowded swim. Or head to the beach in Middle Fork!
- Museums—I know parents are all over keeping their kids learning in the summer months, and it’s a perfect excuse to stay in air-conditioning. Now is a great time to visit some of the museums on the U of I campus, such as Spurlock Museum who has regular events on Sunday afternoons, or Krannert Art Museum with a variety of art exhibits to explore. Or you can check out local history at the Champaign County History Museum, the Douglas County Museum or the Rantoul Historical Society.
There are still plenty of summer events coming up to keep you entertained.
One of the most unique events, Historic Farm Days returns to Penfield next week, July 12-15. Tens of thousands flock to the area to step back in time and relive the old days of farming. Horse-drawn tractor pulls, antique tractors and many other demonstrations will be happening, so don’t miss out!
Also that weekend on July 14, the Champaign Park District offers up their Streetfest for the summer. Streets in in Downtown Champaign will close as Kayla Brown, Craig Russo and Mojo: A Tribute to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers take the stage. Best part is, the event is free and family friendly, starting at 7:00 p.m.
On the same evening, just down the road in the PNC parking lot, several local and regional breweries are pairing up for the Midwest Beer Fest. 14 breweries including Blind Pig, Big Thorn Brewery, Triptych, JT Walker’s, and Riggs, and more will be on hand to talk about their beer…and rumor has it, Cowboy Monkey will have plenty of tacos!
The Urbana Park District presents their Folk & Roots Fridays over the lunch hour at the Lake Hosue. It’s a great way to start your weekend and you can also enjoy a paddleboat or canoe trip on Crystal Lake Park while listening to the music.