We are in the home stretch of summer vacation, with only a month left until school resumes, Visit Champaign County shares five ideas to make sure you finish summer strong:
1) Bicentennial Celebrations—As Illinois continues to celebrate its 200 years, there are several local events happening to celebrate the occasion. First, Illinois will hold Doors Open day, with special hours for attractions around the state. In our community, Krannert Art Museum, Spurlock, and the Champaign County History Museum will have extended hours August 11–12. This is an opportunity to get into these museums on and off campus before the students return. Then plan on a birthday celebration on August 26 from 1-3pm at the History Museum. We’ll be serving up 200 slices of Eli’s Cheesecake, made special for the bicentennial, alongside special events planned by the Museum!
2) Listen to Live Music—Take advantage of the nice weather before the chill returns with outdoor music. We have four remaining Friday Night Live events in downtown Champaign, with next week’s event showcasing the Kid’s Sidewalk Chalk contest. More opportunities include the CU Prairibbean on August 4 at One Main Plaza featuring the Tons O’Fun Band and the Boat Drunks. Or head to Allerton for their annual Irish Fest on August 10, with regional bands performing. Of course, later in August we’ll have the Taste of Champaign in West Side Park, with eight bands performing in two days, followed by Sweetcorn Festival and the Mahomet Music Fest, both bringing local and regional bands to the stage.
3) Eat Local Food—We are in the heart of Farmer’s Market season, with opportunities to support our local farmers and eat fresh flavors. There’s a market nearly every day of the week, with markets in Champaign, Urbana, Mahomet, Monticello, Homer and on campus. Be sure to check out our calendar online to plan your market stops. There’s plenty of other great ways to get local food. Curtis Orchard just re-opened for the season with plenty of peaches to be had. Soon apples will be ready for picking, but don’t let that wait stop you from picking up those apple donuts! Pekara Bakery opened their new location in Champaign and it’s a perfect spot for picking up that fresh bread for dinner!
4) Be Active—While summer weather has run pretty warm, there’s plenty of opportunities to stay active. Take a relaxing evening walk in Meadowbrook Park, where you’ll get great glimpses of art on the prairie as the sun starts to set. Grab a kayak and head out to our local forest preserves such as River Bend or Homer Lake to spend some time on the water. Or check out opportunities for upcoming races, including Mahomet’s half marathon, the Pie Run at the Taste of Champaign, and the new Dare to Bare 5K Dance party at Centennial Park.
5) Go Antiquing—We don’t have to save shopping for the holidays. Head out this summer to get your home set for fall. With dozens of antique shops in the area, there’s lots of opportunities to find unique treasures. Head to Tuscola and visit Winterberry Antiques or to the Vine Street Collective in Arthur. In St. Joe, visit Winter Wheat Antiques or stop by Antiques & More in Champaign.
There’s plenty of opportunity to stay busy this summer. Check out our website, or our new Visitors Guide, available soon for more ideas!