view details Traci Lipps (Owner) & Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager)

Willow Creek Farm: Not Your Everyday Farm

You know what has really become popular these days? Barn weddings. You know what’s even more popular? Barn weddings with barns where you would be comfortable eating a fallen cupcake that hit the floor. That’s right ladies and gentleman. We’re talking about the kind of barn every horse dreams of growing up in and every choosy bride seeking rustic chic desires. We introduce to ...
view details Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager) & Kaula Fitzsimmons (Owner)

Kaula Marie Photography: Emotional, Vibrant & Timeless

Having your picture taken can be, well…awkward. Imagine having your picture taken for an hour or two, or even in a fashion that makes you feel like the paparazzi is finally trying to see what you’re up to. Sounds kind of stressful, right?  Let it be known, that this process doesn’t have to be awkward at all. It should be fun! You should feel confident. Share some laughs. ...
view details Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager) & William Cope (Owner)

Prairie Glass House: A Glass View into The Modern Wedding

Do you like the idea of your wedding being immersed in the quaint and quiet, but don’t want to surrender a modern atmosphere? At Prairie Glass House, you don’t have to. This modern home which has nearly 100 sliding glass doors is nestled on 17 acres of peaceful serenity. There’s an onsite pond backed right up to sections of the original Big Grove Forest, home to some of the ...
view details Libby, HeatherAnn, Christopher, Julie & Cody

Christopher & Co: Dazzle with Locally Made

You’re engaged, right? What’s that on your left hand? Your engagement ring! You’re going to want a wedding band to go with that rock of yours. Or maybe you’re still looking for the perfect engagement ring to symbolize a life-long commitment to your partner. If that’s the case, don’t be fooled with phrases like “Every kiss begins with K”, or the likes of other national ...
view details Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager), Cecil & Joyce Hudson (Owners)

Hudson Farm: An Authentic Barn Wedding

So you want a barn wedding huh? You’re in luck! There’s a local farm in town with the perfect barn and onsite reception venue you’ve been looking for. Ladies and gentleman, we give you Hudson Farm. What started as a home wedding for Cecil and Joyce Hudson’s daughter back in 2013, is now one of the region’s most sought after wedding venues. We’re talking about an ...
view details Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager) & Bob Rowe (Owner)

Classic Events Catering: Delectable Down to Every Detail

What’s one thing people talk about even after the wedding is all said and done? The good food, that’s what! Picking the perfect caterer is incredibly important for your big day, because let’s face it…people are going to talk about what was served for years to come. Classic Events Catering is your caterer if you’re looking for delicious eats, artistic presentation, ...
view details Annie Murray (Owner), Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager) & Shaina Kolzow (Events Director)

Pear Tree Estate: The Perfect Dose of Luxury

You want your wedding to be timeless. You want your wedding to be elegant. Let’s face it, you want your wedding to be at Pear Tree Estate. This venue offers an unparalleled experience and quite frankly has been drawing people from all over the state and further. There has to be a pretty good reason why roughly 80% of their clients aren’t from the area, right? For starters let’s ...
view details Kaya Tate (Owner) & Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager)

Hopscotch Cakes & Confections: A Cake is More than just Cake...It's Art

With the cake cutting being such a big deal during the reception, you’re going to want a cake worth photographing. We’ve been longtime supporters of Hopscotch Cakes & Confections, and more importantly their owner, Kaya Tate. You may have seen her featured as an inaugural Champaign County maker in our newest Visitors Guide, or featured on various social media accounts for her ...
view details Julie Odum (Owner) & Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager)

Flora Design Studio: Flowers from a Friend

There’s just something special about taking a trip on over to Flora Design Studio in Mahomet. Could it be the fresh flower aromatics the moment you step foot inside? Most definitely. That’s not quite it though. Perhaps it’s the incredibly charming shoppe lined with locally made items perfect for the home or even better as a meaningful gift. Or maybe it’s the refrigerator case ...
view details Cody Dees (Community Relations Manager) & Jordan Gifford (Lead Sales Coordinator)

Allerton Park & Retreat Center: A Place Where Imaginations Run Wild

There’s only one estate so magical in the Greater Champaign County Area that it is identified as one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois. Could it be the magnificent European gardens and sculptured art that sweep the grounds that gave it this remarkable status? Whatever the true reason, Allerton Park and Retreat Center gives an unparalleled wedding experience. Your guests’ arrival ...
view details The Land Connection

Champaign Farmers' Market Poster Contest

Do you know a k-12, up-and-coming artist? Well the Champaign Farmers' Market, brought to you by the Land Connection, is hosting a poster contest!  For those of you who don't know, the Champaign Farmers' Market is every Tuesday afternoon from May through October, in the parking lot by the Orpheum Children's Science Museum in Downtown Champaign.  It's easy really, produce a ...
view details Photo Credit: Kaula Marie Photography

5 Days of Weddings

Did 2017 come with the sound of wedding bells? Did your true love bend down on one knee and offer a lifetime of happiness with you by their side? It was spectacular. We can see it now, the uncontrollable grinning, and the soft tears of happiness rolling down your cheeks. The hug…you cannot forget about the hug you gave your partner that made you feel as if you were floating on a ...
view details Top Weekends to Plan a Trip to the Greater Champaign County Area if You Love a Good Festival

Top Weekends to Plan a Trip to the Greater Champaign County Area if You Love a Good Festival

Champaign County, Illinois, is a hotbed for fun, local events you can’t find anywhere else in the region. Thousands of people flock to the tiny town of Homer each year to taste hundreds of different soda flavors, and a tradition of film excellence continues at the Virginia Theatre in honor of the late Illinois alum and film critic Roger Ebert. Check out some of the top events and ...
view details Illini Hillel

UIUC Hillel and Orthodox Union JLIC Create New Kosher Dining Options in Champaign-Urbana

Two restaurants in Champaign-Urbana will receive Kosher certification from Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis this spring and summer thanks to a kashering initiative led by Illini Hillel and the Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus.   On the current list of restaurants in negotiation are Cold Stone Creamery in Champaign and the Dancing Dog in Urbana, with ...
view details Ruairi Mcenroe

Upcoming Instagram Takeover | Illinois Marathon Edition

On April 22, thousands of runner’s soles will hit our Outside of Ordinary ground for the Illinois Marathon. Anyone who has ran in this event knows that it’s much more than just a perfectly flat course. It comes with scenery like you wouldn’t believe. It comes with thousands of volunteers and fans cheering you on, every step of the way. It comes with a 27thMile Celebration ...
view details Spurlock Museum

Spring Break in Champaign County

Winter is on its last legs and everyone is gearing up for spring break. If you’re not leaving home, don’t fear. We have plenty of great ideas to making this a fun stay-cation.   Let’s assume that the spectacular weather we’ve been enjoying returns during spring break and we can spend some time outdoors. Break out the bikes, pump up the tires and head out to Mahomet to ...
view details Chicken Pietro | Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano

The Least Contest-like, Contest Around

Contests…you sign up for them and lo and behold you’re never called back for the prize. Did they just want your information? Who knows why, but you’re scarred now aren’t you? Your bad luck has you jaded. We get it. What if we told you there’s a way to win a $100 gift card to a local Champaign County restaurant of your choice by simply: 1. Going to 1 of the 18 ...
view details National Plan for Vacation Day

National Plan for Vacation Day

January 31, 2017   Dear Overworked Reader, Are you tired? Is your daily routine replaying over and over again like a DVD menu left on a television screen for far too long? You’re not the only one…and quite frankly, your friends and family are tired of the sluggish, monotonous personality you have acquired because of it. Just hear us out. We are not here to attack you. We ...
view details Allerton Mansion

Chicago & Allerton Park Connection

Question: What’s the connection between Chicago and Allerton Park and Retreat Center, on the edge of Monticello, Illinois, 25 miles west of Champaign? Answer: Robert Allerton (1873-1964), the original owner of the property.   In 1879, Robert’s parents (Pamilla and Samuel -- livestock / agricultural / banking millionaire) moved from Chicago’s Michigan Avenue to the ...
view details The Blind Pig Brewery

Top Things to Do in Champaign County for College Parents

Here’s a common scenario: It’s parents’ weekend on your child’s college campus, and after a trip to the dorm room and a campus lunch, you and your spouse are ready for some on- and off-campus exploring. Two options: 1. You can ask your son or daughter what they’d like to do, and responses will probably range anywhere from “I don’t know” to “grocery shopping.” Or 2. ...
view details Mark Herriott | Columbia Street Roastery

Local Makers Bringing More than Products to the Table

Gone are the days of bringing mass produced items to your table and giving gifts that lack flair. Give a taste of individuality and uniqueness with the next gift you give by choosing from one of Champaign County’s local makers. They are dishing out small batch products with more heart and soul packed in each one than any large big box retailer could ever provide. Gifts and products are ...
view details Station Theatre

Mikel Matthews Brings a Satan Possessed Puppet to Urbana

Theatre. It is an expression, therefore it is art. It can be Outside of Ordinary, therefore it exists right here in Champaign County. Did you know that the University of Illinois has hosted the Annual Illinois High School Theatre Festival for the past 42 years, bringing in over 4500 students from 160 different schools this last weekend alone? Theatre is here, whether you’ve ...
view details The Virginia Theatre

Top Stops for Theatre

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts—More than just a world-class music venue, KCPA offers an impressive lineup of theatre that will knock your socks off. In just a few short weeks the Russian National Ballet Theatre will be gracing its stage for three performances which include: Carmen/Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, & The Sleeping Beauty!  The Virginia Theatre—Home to the ...
view details @thewrightsoapery

5 Local Makers Setting the Creative Bar High!

One of the many reasons we’re truly Outside of Ordinary is because of the unique people that live and work here. We’re fond of all of our local makers and artisans who live here in Champaign County, but here’s five who have been especially capturing our attention (and hopefully yours too) on Instagram: Delight Flower Farm: This group of ladies know a good flower when they see ...
view details Photo Credit: Dmitrii Ratanov

Have What it Takes for a #VCCTakeover?

We wrapped up our first ever Instagram Takeover this last Sunday, December 11th. Our Instagram was taken over by the incredibly artistic, Dmitrii Ratanov. Dmitrii is a Russian native who started art school at the young age of nine years old. Champaign County receives visitors from all over the world, which lead us to open this platform up with a worldly traveler like Dmitrii. We would ...
view details Restaurant Openings

2016 Christmas Day Restaurant Openings

We might not have the wide breadth of options you’re used to seeing around here open for Christmas Day, but we do have great options! Whether you’re visiting the area, passing by, or a resident who is need of an open restaurant on Christmas Day we have you covered! Happy Holidays from your friends over at Visit Champaign County!   301 Mongolia 301 N. Neil St., Champaign ...
view details The Nutcracker

Breaking News! Boredom Just Left Champaign County's Vocabulary

We just glanced at our events calendar for today…WOAH! There is a lot of theatre, dance, music, and more going on. Yes it’s getting colder, and your couch and Netflix are probably screaming your name, but is that going to create lasting memories? Get out there! Explore. Learn. Live! For starters The C-U Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is in full swing. If you ...
view details Scott Barber | Scobar

Terri Talks Holiday Gifts with Local Flair

'Tis the season for giving gifts, whether it’s for family, friends, teachers and beyond. We have some fantastic gift ideas from area makers to help you shop small. Why should you shop small?    There are so many benefits to buying from locally owned vendors. It makes a big impact on the local economy, supporting jobs and creating local tax revenue. But also, ...
view details The Nutcracker

A Little Fun & Local Shopping Never Hurt Nobody

Here it is…the weekend after Thanksgiving and there is so much activity in town!   For starters, we are on day two of the IHSA State Football Championships out at Memorial Stadium. We’ve got some fantastic line-ups today between teams and we invite you to come out and join us for some fun. We’re hosting Tent City in Grange Grove where you can enjoy free hot ...
view details Photo Credit: Dmitrii Ratanov

Visit Champaign County's First EVER Instagram Takeover!

We are excited to introduce our first ever Instagram Takeover! You often hear us talking about the Outside of Ordinary that resides in our micro-urban oasis and we wanted this takeover to be just that…Outside of Ordinary. We’ve been on the lookout for the perfect person to showcase this region with a unique perspective and an eye for the Outside of Ordinary. We would like to introduce ...
view details Where to Eat Thanksgiving | 2016

Thanksgiving Day Restaurant Openings 2016

Is mom notorious for burning the Thanksgiving Turkey? Are Dad's "world's best mashed potatoes" loaded with so much butter, not even Paula Dean would eat a spoonful? Don't fret! Champaign County will have restaurant openings on Thanksgiving! In all seriousness though, if you are a resident, a passer through, or a visitor please know that we will have options for you to purchase a meal in our ...
view details VCC Staff at Adventures in Time & Space

The Great Escape

The latest trend for friends, family and corporate team outings—escape rooms, where teams of 2–10 people solve a series of riddles and clues together in order to ‘escape’ a fabricated adventure. ...
view details The Virginia Theatre

The Unifying Arts of Champaign County

Let’s take a moment to talk about art. Now this topic can be pretty vague, but isn’t the subjective characteristic of art what makes it special? Alright fine, let’s fine tune this a little. Let’s talk about art in Champaign County…still pretty vague? That’s because this area is overflowing with art! We at Visit Champaign County would much rather have too much of a good thing ...
view details Krannert Art Museum

Top Things to Do in Champaign County, IL, During a Meetings Trip

Sometimes the best part of attending a business meeting or conference in a new city is the chance to explore a place you might not otherwise have on your radar. Predominantly known as a college town as the home of the University of Illinois, Champaign and its surrounding communities are teeming with lively venues and eateries. When you’re not in meetings, get out and about in ...
view details Memorial Stadium

Changes to Future Fighting Illini Football Schedules Announced!

Illinois Chosen for Friday Game in 2017; Soldier Field Agreement Revised Multiple changes were announced today regarding future Illinois football schedules. First, the Fighting Illini and Nebraska Cornhuskers will play on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in primetime at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. In addition, the University of Illinois will discontinue the biannual game at Soldier Field ...
view details You're Welcome

Innovation Lives Here!

From the plasma TV to the Web browser, LED technology and the oh-so-delicious whipped cream in a can, Champaign-Urbana has a rich legacy of innovation. Today, Champaign-Urbana remains a hotbed of technology and that makes us #OutsideOfOrdinary.  We’re home to Blue Waters, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world and the fastest supercomputer on a ...
view details Parade of Lights

Step Aside Halloween...the Holidays Are in Town!

We are officially past Halloween, which means all bets are off on talking about the holidays. Before we dive in though, we have one more fantastic fall event happening this weekend.  The eighth annual C-U Folk & Roots Festival is held throughout Urbana, and is wrapping up today, November 5th! They will feature over 80 performances from local and national folk and bluegrass ...
view details Staerkel Planetarium

Museums Here...Museums There

Get a glimpse of history, locally and across the world, in our various museums. Whether you’re exploring Abraham Lincoln’s past in Champaign County, learning about the world’s shared humanity, riding historic trains, or gazing at the stars, our museums offer an intimate look into our past. Check out the lineup below and plan your next museum trip, today!   Abraham ...
view details Marching Illini

Homecoming: The Perfect Reminder that The University of Illinois is far from Ordinary

For those of us who live in The Outside of Ordinary oasis that is Champaign County, having the University of Illinois in our backyard inevitably becomes the norm. Word-class performances at Krannert Center become an everyday thing. World-wide cultural diversity inclusive attractions like Spurlock Museum and the Japan House become part of our standard backdrop. We see more and more tech ...
view details CU Folk & Roots Festival

Fun Amps up in Champaign County with the Changing Seasons

It’s the time of year where seasons change completely overnight. Let’s get through October first. As Halloween looms over us, there’s a variety of ways to celebrate regardless of your age. Don’t miss the annualHalloween Funfest, put on by the Champaign and Urbana Park Districts as well as Market Place Mall, today beginning at 5:00 p.m. This is a free, and safe way for kids to ...
view details The Great Pumpkin Patch

A Day on the Farm

Fill a bag with juicy apples—check. Pick up squash and pumpkins for fall decorating or eating—check. Get up close and personal with animals—check. Get lost in a maze of 8ft. tall corn stalks—check. Your checklist of farm activities can all be completed in the Champaign County area. With two large pumpkin patches, an apple orchard, a vineyard and a reindeer ranch, you’ll have ...
view details State Farm Center is Heating Up!

State Farm Center is Heating Up!

We were pretty pumped when The State Farm Center completed their stage of renovations for Illinois Basketball last season, but nothing compares to the excitement we have seen lately. It feels like just about every week we are getting press releases sent over about who’s coming to perform here next! We’re pretty sure you’ve noticed too, but in case you haven’t here’s the ...
view details The Robeson Building

Guest Blogger Explore CU, Takes Us Back a Few Years

The story of Champaign begins with Urbana and the railroad. In 1833, Senator John Vance introduced a bill that would create Champaign County with Urbana as the county seat. The location selected for Urbana was known as Big Grove. Growth to this area was slow but steady. Early colonists preferred to settle in wooded areas, as opposed to prairie, where timber and water was easily accessible. ...
view details Haunted Happenings

Haunted Happenings

It’s that time of year again! Halloween has a way of encouraging even the most timid of people to throw themselves into frightful and spooky environments. That’s what Halloween is all about, right? Did you know that Champaign County has some of the highest ranked haunted houses in the state?! We say, set the candy aside for a minute and give yourself a dosage of haunts and adrenaline. ...
view details Homer Lake (Photo Credit: Patrice Raplee)

Fall Foliage, Agriculture Adventures, Haunted Houses, Oh MY!

For the month of October, we have fall foliage, agriculture adventures and hauntings! Central Illinois is fortunate to have colorful fall foliage. A drive down University Ave. or Church St. is a quick way to take in one of the loveliest drives in the area. One of our favorite places to get a good view is from the Bell Carillion at Lake of the Woods. Climb up a few flights of stairs and get ...
view details Olympic Tribute Wall

Reflection of Rio | Josh George

Here in Champaign County we have had the opportunity to send off several Olympians to the World games. Some would even say that this area, for its Paralympic training facilities, are breeding grounds for some of the world’s greatest Paralympians. Champaign County paid tribute to not ten…or twenty…but forty-five Olympians and Paralympians that are from Champaign County this past ...
view details Triptych Brewery

Champaign County Breweries Named Among the Best in Illinois!

We definitely know our beer here in Champaign County. Whether we're hanging out in a beer garden, tailgating, or relaxing in the Sipyard, we have a lot of local choices. Turns out Thrillist agrees with us as they've named three Champaign County breweries in their 21 Best Breweries in Illinois list: Triptych Brewery, Savoy JT Walkers Brewery, Mahomet Destihl ...
view details Terri Talks Pumpkins, Corn Mazes, Flannel & More

Terri Talks Pumpkins, Corn Mazes, Flannel & More

Yesterday was the first official day of Fall, although you may not have recognized this with the near 90 degree weather as Summer is still grasping onto our geography for a little bit longer. It’s inevitable though…Champaign County is going to be graced with chillier mornings, vibrant fall colors, and everything else Fall soon enough. Between sipping on Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Aroma ...