15 Best Things to Do in Champaign, IL

15 Best Things to Do in Champaign, IL

Champaign, Illinois has a buffet of things for us to devour. Let us just get started by telling you how diverse the University of Illinois- Champaign campus is!

There are museums, an arboretum, even a world-famous supercomputer in here! But, that is not the end. Champaign has some of the best city parks in the States.

The Crystal Lake will just make you blow your minds. So, what are you even waiting for? Come, let us persuade you into taking the trip by showing the top 15 things to do in Champaign.

Have fun getting into the details of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Champaign-Urbana
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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has played one of the most important roles in shaping the cultural and educational aspects of Champaign.

One of the most prestigious institutions in the U.S.A, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign deserves some of our time and attention. And, the campus is filled with some of the most attractive attractions too.

So, how about we go around for a bit, and see what all the fuss is all about? The campus is well maintained and the fact that it ranks among the top 10 schools surely has taken its toll on the environment!

Memorial Stadium and State Farm Center are the two most impressive courts where the students play football or basketball.
The Krannert Art Museum and the Spurlock Museum are the two most talked-about attractions on this campus that we will be visiting later on.

The place is so well kept with paths all around helping you look all over the place. The arboretum is something that you must take a look at too.

Let technology blow your mind

Now is the time to roam a bit around the campus. And, the first stop we will be making happens to be a technical one.

Well, not only the place is a delight to the students of the technological domain, but normal people stare at it in wonder too.

Inside the National Petascale Computing Facility, lies one of the most important computers in the entire world. Yes, it is believed to be of immense power.

Also, named as Blue Waters Supercomputer- it is an attraction that is open to everyone for the benefit of mankind.

Did you know it can do 13 quadrillion calculations/seconds? Yes, you heard us correct. Top scientists and genius engineers can use this computer.

Take a peek at the vibrant Krannert Art Museum

Now, it is time to let go of those technological geniuses, and go on with our tour of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus tour.

So, the first thing we could think of that is also going to refresh your mind is the Krannert Art Museum.

The Krannert Art Museum is known for uplifting the moods of the visitors due to its colorful facade. Did you know the museum is one of the largest ones in the state of Illinois? Also, it holds art pieces that are so old that you would not be able to guess their age.

Yes, some were even made in 4 B.C. Didn’t see that coming, did you? The museum boasts of a collection holding over 10,000 artworks.

Check out the interesting Spurlock Museum

Classical art collection at Spurlock Museum
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get ready for the last stop we are going to make inside the campus. We promise this is the most interesting one.

Spurlock Museum whose actual name happens to be the William R. and Clarice V. Spurlock Museum is one of the most visited spots here on the campus.

The museum is an ethnographic one. And, the university likes to learn and teach more and more people about the different cultural heritages of the state.

It has done an awesome job of preserving immense knowledge in this museum. You could get your hands on 51,000 objects that are beautifully scattered around in the displays.

It has carefully curated its package from different university departments and museums of the world.

Get ready for your day at Downtown Champaign

Downtown Champaign
Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After you are done exploring the different aspects of the University campus, the best place to visit and take a break in the downtown area. Yes, it lies within a walking distance of the university.

The best time to visit the downtown is during the morning for breakfast is the most popular meal here. Also, the options that you’d get for breakfast are amazing. The whole street smells of eggs and bacon, and other delicious items when you walk along.

Aroma Cafe, Sam’s Cafe, Bacaro- are some of the staple places that you must check out. StreetFest is one of the most popular events that are held here and foodies love it!

Explore the foliage at Crystal Lake Park

Crystal Lake Park
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It is time we take you to see a splendid creation. Crystal Lake Park happens to be one of the most beautiful and most attractive gems of the entire city. Not only the park is decorated in different shades of green, but it also has some of the best facilities.

The Anita Purves Nature Center lies close, and we will take out some of our time to appreciate that beauty. Take your kids to the Aquatic Center inside the park. Looking for some alone time among woods? Head over to the Busey Woods.

Want to enjoy the best waters? The Crystal Lake itself is here for your entertainment.

Learn more about nature at Anita Purves Nature Center

Since we have explored the beauty of Crystal Lake Park, we will be heading over to the next closest destination- Anita Purves Nature Center.

The Anita Purves Nature Center is a nice place to hang out close to nature. Also, the playground here is structured in such a way that the kids learn more about nature.

Get to learn more about the environment, the different ecological systems, and different paths. There are some trails too where you could embark on a short or easy hike.

Also, the gift shop that is present outside the center has the quirkiest of gifts!

Gather some knowledge from the Champaign County History Museum at the Historic Cattle Bank

Champaign County History Museum
Killivalavan Solai, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Champaign County History Museum is the most delightful location to get to know more about how Champaign used to be in the past. Also, the various exhibits they have throughout the year are quite impressive.

Want to know something more interesting? The building in which the Champaign County History Museum is placed also happens to be of immense historic significance. The building was built in 1857 and after a lot of renovations- the museum has been set up.

There are three galleries inside the museum that will help you get a better grip on the history of the city. Also, certain artifacts from the university show how they used to be back in the day. Take a step back in history!

Take some potted plants back home from Urbana's Market at the Square

From May to October- Champaign gets lit up every Saturday morning. The farmer’s market is one of the most interesting places to check out here. Get a grip on the local taste and flavor, and make your way to this local market!

No matter what age you are at- the farmer’s market can be entertaining for you all. And, not only the adults can find things to do here- the kids are overjoyed at the different flowers and plants that are sold here.

Many events are also held in the marketplace. There are a lot of delicious fresh goodies to eat too.

Take your little ones to Meadowbrook Park

The Meadowbrook Park is one of the elite parks of Champaign. If your kids are bored after so much sightseeing- do them a favor and drag them to Meadowbrook Park.

This is one of the top attractions for children in the city. Kids of all ages love the place for there are a lot of things to do here.

The 13000 sq foot playground happens to be the biggest attraction inside the park. Also, there are some trails amid nature for you adults to enjoy.

Take your time, let your kids have fun while you go explore the natural trails that go all around the park.

Spend a summer afternoon at Hessel Park

Hessel Park is one of the oldest parks in the city. You can say that it has been here for almost more than a hundred years. Crowds are attracted to Hessel Park for its ambiance.

This is one of the best places to catch a break at. There is green foliage all around. Sit one, take a deep breath, and let the fact that there is nothing but peaceful nature here, sink in.

Summers are more fun due to the presence of a splash pad that kids seem to love. There is even live music in the summer, and the park remains crowded.

Enjoy some Japanese aesthetics at Japan House

Japan House
Japanteaurbana, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We mentioned the University Arboretum before, but there is something inside that arboretum that steals all the spotlight. Japan House is such a pretty place that you need to come to check it out for yourself.

The College of Fine and Applied Arts uses this Japan House as a part of their lectures and experiments. And, yes the place offers some educational trips too. But, it has an unmatched beauty.

If you have not seen a traditional Japanese Tea Garden before- then the first time would surely be unforgettable.

Fall, spring, and summer are the best time if you want to enjoy the beauty of the place to its full potential. You could even attend one of the tea ceremonies that are often held here.

Take a break at Alto Vineyards and Winery

One of the most gorgeous ways of taking a break in the city of Champaign is to go have a delightful glass of wine. But, where do you get the glass of wine that you deserve?

The Alto Vineyards and Winery is a perfect choice for anyone. It is not in the city, but according to us- the location just adds more to the beauty. The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail has to be one of the most gorgeous locations where you could go sip on a glass of luxurious wine enjoying some great views.

The winery is owned by a local family, and tours are open to the public. You could go in, take a sip from the few samples as well, roam around the tasting room, and have a nice day altogether.

Check out the huge Staerkel Planetarium

While the University of Illinois attracts all of the States, here in a corner of Champaign lies the Parkland College that attracts more people within the state.

It is a community college. And, the reason behind its popularity is that the place has some of the best degrees and courses. You could easily get a college degree here in any course.
But, there is something quite attractive within the campus, and that happens to be the Staerkel Planetarium.

The dome screen present inside the planetarium is almost 50-foot that also makes it one of the largest ones in this category in all of America. A lot of shows and activities take place here.

Have a beer with your peers at Blind Pig Brewery

The Blind Pig Breweries is one of the best places in Champaign to catch up a bit with your friends. And, you have got nothing to worry about for they have 4 branches just in Champagne, so the beer is bound to be satisfying!

The interior is aesthetically decorated. And, the ambiance will make you want to sit and have a few more beers. Did you know they always have 27 brews just ready on tap!

You could even mix and match, and create a beer as an experiment. The tasting room is open to all. And, this is one of the best places to enjoy, chill, and hang out for an evening.

These are the top 15 things to do in Champaign. We hope we helped you in making up for your mind to take this vacation. Bon Voyage!