Soaking up the last bits of summer with ideas from Visit Champaign County


Champaign County, Ill. (WCIA)

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

The Urbana Park District is bringing back Folk & Roots Fridays at the Crystal Lake Park Lake House. Starting this Friday, and every other week, you can pack a lunch and picnic in the park for a free concert. While you’re there, be sure to rent a paddle boat and get out in the recently renovated park.

This month, the Staerkel Planetarium re-opens for in-person shows! They’ll have several upcoming events on Fridays and Saturdays starting with their Summer Prairie Skies, giving you ideas of what to look for in the night sky during this season, and the Birth of Planet Earth. Masks are required so be sure to bring yours along.

Get a head start on holiday shopping, or pick up some items for yourself, at the third annual Crystal Lake Park Art Fair. Over 30 local and regional artists will be out this Saturday from 10am-6pm selling everything from handmade jewelry, paintings, pottery, clothing, and much more.

We still have a few summer festivals to close out the season. Next weekend, head to St. Joseph for their fall festival, complete with an antique car show, rides, a parade, vendors, and plenty of delicious food.

And back after missing last year, any blues fans will want to head to the Champaign County Fairgrounds for the third annual Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest, happening all afternoon and evening on August 14. This is a mix of local and regional bands ready to keep you entertained.

Also, don’t miss the Hot Rod Power Tour, happening from 12-6pm at the State Farm Center on August 27. We’re ready to welcome over 3,000 hot rodders to this event. It’s free to the public to attend but you must register in advance through their website.

Finally, August is always one of those hot months, so what better way to cool off than with some ice cream. We have so many tasty options offering cool treats, but some to check out include Mexican ice cream from El Oasis, the matcha soft-serve at Suzu’s Bakery in downtown Champaign, or mix up your own ingredients at Cocomero on campus. Go ahead and get ice cream for dinner, it’s allowed in summer!

Learn more at Visit Champaign County’s website HERE.

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