view details 2018 Shop Local Guide!

2018 Shop Local Guide!

Show somebody that you think they’re Outside of Ordinary with a special gift from a local business! The greater Champaign County area is a hotbed for great local shopping, which makes it easy to check off every name of your list right here in our community! Yummy Yummy Yummy! When you’re buying gifts from Midwest Living’s Greatest Midwest Food Town, the options are ...
view details Thanksgiving Day Restaurant Openings 2018

Thanksgiving Day Restaurant Openings 2018

Thanksgiving is a busy day, and not just for those who are  Know of a restaurant we are missing? Email our Communications Manager at taylorb@visitchampaigncounty.org so he can add it to the list!   Ambar India  605 S. Wright St., Champaign | 217-344-1500 Hours Open: 11am-10pm   Baskin Robbins & Dunkin Donuts 515 S. Neil St., Champaign ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: 11/12

Living Outside of Ordinary: 11/12

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 11/12   In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to ...
view details What's Brewing in Champaign County: Kaffee Mahomet

What's Brewing in Champaign County: Kaffee Mahomet

The Mahomet IGA is a regular grocery store. When you enter, there are aisles, customers, cashiers; all the regular fixtures. Walk to the right, take a slight turn, and you’ll find something very Outside of Ordinary: a full espresso bar. Decorated and designed to feel cozy and intimate, Kaffee Mahomet suddenly transports you from grocery store to gathering space, and with no noise from the ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: 11/5

Living Outside of Ordinary: 11/5

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 11/5 In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to discover new ...
view details A Guide to Dads Weekend 2018

A Guide to Dads Weekend 2018

Rather than coming down for Dad’s Weekend to a child without ideas for how to spend the weekend, we have you covered! If your kids attend the University of Illinois, you’re lucky, because the greater Champaign County area is filled with exciting attractions, great local restaurants and cultural experiences unique to this college town—and we’re going to share them with ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: 10/29

Living Outside of Ordinary: 10/29

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/29   In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to ...
view details What Makes Flesor's So Sweet? Family and Love of the Craft

What Makes Flesor's So Sweet? Family and Love of the Craft

Over 100 years ago, as Greek immigrants made their way into Chicago, learning how to make confections was a path to making a living in the United States. For Gus Flesor, who came to Tuscola in 1901, making candy and ice cream became a family business when he purchased the Tuscola Candy Kitchen in 1904 for $500. Renamed Flesor’s Candy Kitchen, the business became a home for Gus’ ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: 10/22

Living Outside of Ordinary: 10/22

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/22 In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to discover new ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: 10/15

Living Outside of Ordinary: 10/15

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/15   In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to ...
view details What's Brewing in Champaign County?: Bossa Nova Café

What's Brewing in Champaign County?: Bossa Nova Café

The old location of Snow Meets Coffee in downtown Champaign has a new look, and better yet, open doors. The location has been redesigned inside from the ground up for the new Bossa Nova café. Mina Hanna, who runs the new café, sat down with Taylor to talk about the opening and what makes them #OutsideofOrdinary in the Champaign County café scene. Mina notes that with ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/8

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/8

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/8 Featured Week – University of Illinois Homecoming In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/1

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/1

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 10/1 In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to discover new ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/24

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/24

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/24 In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to discover new ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/17

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/17

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/17   In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to ...
view details What's Brewing in Champaign County: Pekara's New Location

What's Brewing in Champaign County: Pekara's New Location

On Springfield and Prospect in Champaign, a new café and bakery is drawing in traffic, both in vehicles and on foot. The building that once stood at one of the four corners of the intersection over the past year was gutted, including removing and replacing 4 layers of flooring and reconstructing all the drywall from scratch. Now, the second location of local favorite Pekara stands and has ...
view details Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/10

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/10

Living Outside of Ordinary: Week of 9/10 In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to discover new ...
view details Bee Bowl'd is Bringing On-The-Go Acai Bowls to Champaign County

Bee Bowl'd is Bringing On-The-Go Acai Bowls to Champaign County

Last year on Black Friday, Emma Reinbold noticed that it wasn’t just Best Buy that had a mile-long line. “I remember seeing this line at Dragon Fire Pizza and thinking, THIS is pure genius.” As a foodie and lifelong baker, she had toyed with the idea of making food for a living, and after noticing the demand for on-the-go food trucks in the greater Champaign County area ...
view details

"Living Outside of Ordinary" Kickoff!

In the past month, how many days can you truly remember? On average, a few days, 4 or 5 if you’re lucky, stand out from the daily routines we all experience. That’s why Visit Champaign County is launching our new “Living Outside of Ordinary” Campaign aimed at residents and visitors as a means to encourage everyone to discover new places throughout the greater Champaign ...
view details 4th Annual Matsuri Coinciding with 20th Anniversary of Japan House

4th Annual Matsuri Coinciding with 20th Anniversary of Japan House

  If you’ve had a chance to visit the Japan House or attend a tea ceremony in their space at 2000 South Lincoln Avenue on the University of Illinois Campus, you know that it’s a cultural gem for our area. Celebrating 20 years at their current location, Japan House has kept its promise to be an inviting space to learn about Japanese culture and traditions. As Michael Darin, ...
view details 2001: A Space Odyssey - A Film with Tight Ties to Champaign County

2001: A Space Odyssey - A Film with Tight Ties to Champaign County

"I am a HAL Nine Thousand computer Production Number 3. I became operational at the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois, on January 12, 1997." HAL, the infamous AI computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey spoke of Urbana in the Stanley Kubrick film, and at the Virginia Theater this weekend, you can see the film in 70mm. For non-film buffs, most movies are screened at 35mm, the standard for motion pictures. ...
view details U of I Grad Katie Blomarz Returning for Prairie Sky Music Festival

U of I Grad Katie Blomarz Returning for Prairie Sky Music Festival

The Prairie Sky Music Festival will take place September 7-8 at the Allerton Park and Retreat Center and feature a variety of talents from all over the country. On the opening night of the festival The Barefoot Movement, a Nashville based bluegrass-pop collective, will perform, which has one member of the band incredibly excited. “I can’t wait to come back, it’s very much going ...
view details Pygmalion

Four Festivals Guaranteed to Create FOMO

The greater Champaign County area is a hotbed for festivals and events that are sure to give your Instagram followers FOMO. We’ve created a list of our top 5 festivals, featuring the best in music, culture and food, so you don’t miss out.   Matsuri Festival | September 9, 2018 Japanese culture will be celebrated at this growing festival, held at the Japan House at the ...
view details What's Brewing in Champaign County?: Hammerhead Coffee

What's Brewing in Champaign County?: Hammerhead Coffee

On July 17, Hammerhead Coffee changed hands. Todd Thorstenson, the original owner of the coffee shop who took the name and business philosophy from his record label that operated from 1993-2000, sold his business. With customer experience at the heart of the café, Thorstenson built up a heavy rotation of regulars, as well as newcomers who would stop in to check out the space at the corner ...
view details Celebrating Women in Art at Krannert Art Museum

Celebrating Women in Art at Krannert Art Museum

(Featured image credit: Bea Nettles, The Skirted Garden, 1969. Gift of the artist 2017 20-2.   The Krannert Art Museum is a unique attraction to our area. Associated with the University of Illinois, the KAM feels just as much a part of the community as it does the campus. There’s no denying the sense of wonder one has when they enter the museum, and lately, a lot of changes have ...
view details Pygmalion

Top 10 Must-Attend Festivals in Champaign County

The greater Champaign County area is a hotbed for festivals and events that are sure to give your Instagram followers FOMO. We’ve created a list of our top 10 festivals, featuring the best in music, culture and food, so you don’t miss out.   Krannert Center 50th Anniversary Celebration & ELLNORA: The Guitar Festival | September 2018–2019 For its 50th anniversary, ...
view details Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Top 8 Ideas for Your Girlfriends’ Getaway

Sometimes, the best getaway is one with your girlfriends, where you can escape the everyday stresses, let your hair down and explore with your best friends. We’ve assembled our top stops to help you plan an Outside of Ordinary girlfriends’ getaway!  1. Walk in the garden Situated in Monticello—just west of Champaign—and hidden among old trees and winding paths, ...
view details Courier Cafe

36 Hours of Local Food in Champaign-Urbana

Fancy yourself a foodie? Then check out the ultimate, mouthwatering guide for 36 tasty hours of fresh, local flavors in the Champaign-Urbana area of eastern Illinois. Discover the restaurants, breweries and food trucks that helped us win Midwest Living’s Greatest Midwest Food Town. We’ve got your taste buds covered.   Day 1 Start the day off right Cracked: The Egg Came First ...
view details Summer Movie Madness!

Summer Movie Madness!

With more ways to stream movies at home than ever, it can be easy to forget the magic of heading to a film screening at a theater or community event. Especially in the summer, heading to the movies is an event best spent with friends and family, and moviegoers from all over Illinois know that the greater Champaign County area is a great spot to catch a film and grab a bite to eat. We were named ...
view details INTER-PYGMALION Preview: A Conversation with Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz

INTER-PYGMALION Preview: A Conversation with Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz

On July 27th, Speedy Ortiz will be headlining an evening of innovation and the arts in Champaign at 51 Main. INTER-PYGMALION, which features music, technology, literature, and food will kick off with a reading from Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis before she performs later in the evening with her critically acclaimed band. Dupuis took the time to speak with Visit Champaign County’s ...
view details Beat the Heat: Staying Cool in Champaign County

Beat the Heat: Staying Cool in Champaign County

In Champaign County, summer time is full of great local events, performances, and fun in the sun.  While warmer weather is a great excuse to get out of the house and into your community, the weather often goes from warm to hot, and hot to scorching. Beating the heat is essential to the full summer experience, and we’re lucky to have so many options to stay cool right here in Champaign ...
view details Triptych

Top Ways to Treat Dad for Father's Day

With Father’s Day happening this Sunday, we put together a list of ways to spend time with Dad as well as some fun gift ideas! Foot Golf—It’s not always easy for the whole family to take part in a round of golf with Dad, but you can play foot golf together! This mash up of soccer and golf is a great way to spend an afternoon on the beautiful course of Lake of the Woods. A ...
view details Folk & Roots

Where the Music Never Stops

The saying “the music never stopped” reigns true when it comes to the sounds of the greater Champaign County area. The number of influencers that have hailed from our community spans all years and genres, ranging from Grammy-award winners like Alison Krauss and Ludacris to John Philip Sousa, the catalyst of the American band movement. On any given day you can catch a show, with venues ...
view details Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

A Celebration of Fresh Flavors!

Here’s a fun fact about the greater Champaign County area—We have some of the richest soil in the world right here in east Central Illinois. You can thank the glaciers during the ice age for creating this prairie, which in turn gives way to a bounty of local ingredients that we enjoy summer to fall. Check out our top recommendations to experience these fresh, local ...
view details Friday Night Live

Festival Season: A Guide

Festival Season: A Guide The greater Champaign County area is a hotbed for fun, local events you can’t find anywhere else in the region. Check out some of the top events and festivals happening throughout summer and fall, then start planning your weekend getaway!   JUNE Kick-off summer with a drink on the patio and local, live music. Friday Night Live in downtown Champaign will ...
view details Weekend Preview May 18-20

Weekend Preview May 18-20

After a jam-packed weekend of both graduation and Mother's Day activities, there is no sign of slowing down. As the greater Champaign County area looks toward the summertime, there are clear skies, smiling faces, and an amazing Outside of Ordinary community ready to create unique opportunities for weekend fun.    Outdoor Events Sola Gratia Farm Annual Spring Sale: This fully ...
view details Greater Champaign County Area Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Guide

Greater Champaign County Area Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Guide

There's nothing like a good chocolate chip cookie. A staple among all ages, there's no shortage of nostalgia associated with this most classic of sweet treats. Whether it's eating cookies and milk before nap time, coming home after school to chow down on junk food, or sitting down with grandchildren feeding their sweet tooth, chocolate chip cookies are a simple pleasure that invokes positive ...
view details Weekend Preview May 11-13

Weekend Preview May 11-13

The cold chill of winter is all but a memory, and the sunshine and 80-degree weather have made a more permanent home in our community. With graduation and Mother's day weekend at the same time this year, the greater Champaign County area will be teeming with activity. Whether you're celebrating the completion of years or academic work or showing your mother how much you appreciate her, ...
view details Weekend Preview May 4-6

Weekend Preview May 4-6

The thermostat has stepped above 80 degrees this week and the sunshine and good weather are here to stay for this weekend. While April brought us Ebertfest, The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, and a laundry list of other Outside of Ordinary events, May has plenty in store for the upcoming weeks. This weekend will bring Cinco De Mayo celebrations, classic theatre, and classic cars! No ...
view details Land Connection

Market Season, Coming Your Way

The mouth-watering flavors, the smell of fresh-baked bread, the hand-crafted art and the sweet sound of a local musician strumming a guitar—all are sights and sounds you’ll experience at our various farmer’s markets. Whether you go to grab an egg sandwich from a food truck or you’re looking for something to make for dinner, our markets feature the region’s freshest ...
view details National Bike Month: An Outside of Ordinary Ride

National Bike Month: An Outside of Ordinary Ride

As springtime weather sets in, the trees and flowers blossom, and the skies fill with the expectation of warm weather activities, one activity is synonymous with this time of year, biking. Whether you're a casual rider, bike to work daily, or use your bike as a primary mode of transportation, the clear, sunny, and warm weather of May, is perfect for getting out and enjoying all the ...
view details Weekend Preview April 27-29

Weekend Preview April 27-29

A sunny and clear forecast for Friday and Saturday serves as the perfect weather for the 10th running of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. A staple of the greater Champaign County area, all communities involved will be buzzing with activities and enthusiasm for this Outside of Ordinary weekend. With deals and discounts across the board, thanks to the Wooden Nickel program, even the ...
view details Weekend Preview April 20-22

Weekend Preview April 20-22

Springtime in the greater Champaign County area is blooming with events. Warmer weather, sunshine, and the vibrant beautiful landscapes of our area are the backdrop for an amazing weekend Outside of Ordinary.  Outdoor Events  Champaign County Audubon Bird Hike: Enjoy the first waves of migrant songbirds with members of the Champaign County Audubon.   Babies and ...
view details Weekend Preview April 13-15

Weekend Preview April 13-15

We've waited, been excited, longed for the past few weekends of "spring," now we're finally reaping the rewards of our patience. With the forecast well into the 60s and 70s, and snow just a memory, this weekend is sure to be the first real taste of springtime fun. Making the most of the sunshine and warm weather will be easy with all the Outside of Ordinary events this weekend.   Outdoor ...
view details Moms Weekend Plans Made Easy!

Moms Weekend Plans Made Easy!

Yeah you’re super excited Mom’s coming for the University of Illinois Moms Weekend, but do you have anything planned for her arrival other than showing her around campus? Don’t fret we have some ideas to keep you and mom entertained!   1.     Downtown Champaign When was the last time you ventured over to the incredible Downtown Champaign? With ...
view details Happiness 2 by Lisa Kesler

Experience the Boneyard Arts Festival: Our Top Tips

The most celebrated arts & culture events of the year in the greater Champaign County area is upon us—the Boneyard Arts Festival takes over the community from Thursday, April 12–Sunday, April 15. While many have experienced arts festivals around the country, navigating tents sheltering artists selling their creations, the Boneyard Arts Festival, presented by 40 North, the ...
view details Weekend Preview April 6-8

Weekend Preview April 6-8

With the rollercoaster ride of weather that we've been on here, making plans this spring has been tricky. However, no matter if you enjoy the brisk outdoor climate, or prefer a more comfortable indoor setting, there is an exceptional lineup of events for everyone.    Outdoor Events  Exhibit Opening: From Rail to Trail: Experience the history of the new Kickapoo Rail ...
view details Champaign County Hidden Gem: Baldarotta's Porketta & Sicilian Sausage

Champaign County Hidden Gem: Baldarotta's Porketta & Sicilian Sausage

This month’s hidden gem goes to Baldarotta’s Porketta & Sicilian Sausage. Unlike hidden gems in the past, this one truly takes a little more work to find, but like any diamond in the rough, the reward is well worth the effort. Serving hand crafted homemade Sicilian dishes, Baldarotta’s creates deep, rich flavors that fully represent a passion for quality ...

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