Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Just because the weather’s cold doesn’t mean things aren’t heating up in the greater Champaign County area. We’ve got the top ways to celebrate all the fun February offers.

Restaurant Week:
We’re heading into the final days of the 7th Annual Champaign County Area Restaurant Week. We have 42 participating restaurants, a record, to visit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether you want a three-course dinner, or an opportunity to try an international cuisine, there’s a special for you. Here’s a few ideas to check out:
• Soul food at Neil St. Blues with three dinner options to choose from.
• Rolling your own spring rolls at Sticky Rice
• Brunch at Big Grove Tavern
• Breakfast from Industrial Donut
• Three-course dinner at Chophouse on Main in Mahomet

Make your reservations where they are available!

Valentine’s Day Ideas:
Dining out during Restaurant Week is a great way to get ideas for where to take your date during Valentine’s Day. Check out several area restaurants that are doing Valentine’s Day specials both next weekend and on Valentine’s Day, like The Literary hosting two nights of a romantic dinner with a table for two, a bottle of wine, a shareable dessert and a special discount on books.

Chocolate is certainly one of those treats associated with the holiday. Learn from Chikondi Craft Chocolate, a new local business, who is hosting a Valentine’s Day Craft Chocolate Truffle Making Class. This will happen on February 9 at the Venue CU. Take the class with your date or go and treat your date with what is sure to be a delectable dessert.

Spend Valentine’s Day with your whole family at Champaign Park District’s Family Valentine’s Ball. This will happen on February 10 at The Refinery. You’ll get dinner, a good bag for kids, and a night of fun activities for all.

Finally, if you want something truly unique, check out Monticello Railway Museum’s Valentine’s Day Dinner Train. They have two nights available—February 10 & 12—where you’ll ride on their restored train cars with a four-course meal provided by Holly’s Country Kitchen.

Black History Month:

February is Black History Month, with a variety of events happening around the community to celebrate.

The Virginia Theatre will host director/producer Kevin Shaw for a screening of Let the Little Light Shine on February 18. This documentary is about a small but mighty group of parents, students, and educators who mobilize to fight for The National Teachers Academy, a top-ranked Black elementary school facing threat of closure by way of transformation into a high school that caters to the neighborhood’s newer, wealthier residents. There will be a Q&A with the director following the screening.

For those 50+, the Champaign Park District will host their Soul Food Potluck on Friday, February 24 at the Douglass Annex. Guests are encouraged to bring their own food to celebrate.

Finally, on Saturday, February 25, Krannert Center will host Jabari Dreams of Freedom. This production, aimed at kids aged 8+ shares the story of a 10-year-old boy who dreams of meeting children from the Civil Rights Era who teach him how to be fearless. The performance will use rap, freedom songs, hip-hop dance, history and humor to explore what it means to have courage.