There is no denying that the Greater Champaign Area is in limbo between Winter and Spring. In fact, if you live or visit here often, you know that this is a very confusing time for Mother Nature…she’s just not sure what she wants to do.
We’re getting pretty excited for the warmer days! You know which ones we’re talking about…the days when the grass starts to turn green again, kids start escaping the confines of their homes and running around outside, and definitely the incredible festivals and gatherings that occur right here in our backyard. This land is sweeping with outdoor activities and we have a feeling a lot of you are gearing up and ready for that fun to start up. With that being said, we would like to remind you of some great attractions and events to begin looking forward to as Mother Nature decides to make up her mind…in favor of Spring of course!
While we don’t have a beach, or mountains, we have plenty of scenic parks and forest preserves. Bring the kids out to the Homer Lake Forest Preserve for some time on their Natural Playscape. This play setting is made of all natural materials and encourages kids to re-discover the outdoors. The preserve also boasts just under 1,000 acres for hiking, picnicking and just enjoying nature!
Champaign-Urbana gets to welcome nearly 20,000 runners to some of the flattest land there is! We might take for granted being able to see for miles and miles, but this is every runner’s dream location. In fact, this marathon has received acclamations from Runner's Magazine and is actually a Boston Marathon Qualifying Race. Even if you don’t plan to participate in the run, simply emerging yourself in this vibrant event as a spectator is an incredible sight in itself. Plus, who doesn’t want to join in on a giant party with music entertainment, food vendors, and giant action inflatables at the highly anticipated 27thMile Victory Bash!?
Take a nice mid-afternoon stroll observing incredible unique outdoor art! The Public Art League currently has 37 sculptures installed with the majority centered in Downtown Champaign. Access their online map so you can follow a trail of sculptures and learn about the various artists and their crafts.
What makes things like downtown brunch even better? Downtown brunch outdoors of course! Downtown will soon be putting out their outdoor seating which is something we can all get excited for. This spring, pick a cuisine, or multiple cuisines, that you haven’t experienced and set out to try them. We are very fortunate to have a wide array of cultures and cuisines, so your choices are endless. They might not serve food, but chances are you’ve seen Barrelhouse 34’s rooftop seating and soon the anticipation of being able to enjoy it will be gone!
What do you call it when over 300 artist’s work comes together in over 90 venues spread across 4 days? This is Boneyard Art’s Festival of course! This festival showcases the true artistic uniqueness that lies within the Greater Champaign Area and is highly anticipated year after year. You owe it to yourself to experience the many forms of art that are present in this dynamic community!