February never fails to be the most frigid and glum months of the year, serving as the long stretch of darkness before the spring weather light at the end of the tunnel. However, here in the greater Champaign County area, our attractions aren't the only thing Outside of Ordinary. The unseasonably warm February weather, with more sunny-than-usual days, have created the perfect backdrop to take advantage of all the amazing events, attractions, and activities that are offered here in the month of February. Turn off your alarms, get out of your comfy bed, and end your hibernation early this year. The snow is gone, the sun is making appearances, it’s a great time to check out all the amazing things often hidden under a layer of February snow and gloom. Top it off watching the Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball team go for a win against Nebraska Sunday afternoon.
With the Outside of Ordinary weather staying in the 50s this weekend, it’s a perfect time to experience the eclectic combination of food, drinks, and specialty shops that make Champaign’s downtown so inviting. Stop off at Barrelhouse 34, The Blind Pig, or Radio Maria, and enjoy local liquors as well as an exceptional view of downtown. Take a short walk around the corner and practice your vocal stylings at Memphis on Main, offering Karaoke on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Downtown Champaign is also host to some of the most beautiful dining views in the city. Make the most of your time in the Greatest Midwest Food town and grab your loved ones, your children, significant other and have a dining experience that looks out onto the Downtown Champaign area. Whether you want upscale award-winning dining (Miga, Nandos, V.Picasso), a great burger (Farren's, Seven Saints), or some really great diner meals (Merry Ann’s, Esquire), there’s something for everyone downtown, all within walking distance.
Looking to work off some of that amazing food? This unseasonably warm weather of this February creates a great atmosphere to go experience all of the great parks and landscape that is usually covered in snow. Helms Park, just outside of Downtown Champaign, offers walking paths, overlooking a pond and a great view of U of I’s campus. Move down a little further and walk through Downtown Urbana which includes a host of businesses selling local goods. Take a walk-through Boneyard Creek Basin, a bright and vibrant path of nature to give you a complete view of Downtown Urbana often hidden this time of year.
Once you’ve completed your site-seeing activities, the greater Champaign County area is full of amazing wintertime events to take advantage of. Whether you’ve got young children, are traveling alone, or want to take advantage of a unique date night activity for you and yours, there’s something for everyone this weekend. Missing the winter weather? Enjoy the chill of ice inside and watch the Fighting Illini Hockey team take on Robert Morris University. Love live music? There’s plenty of that! Saturday morning gather up the kids and enjoy a FREE Family Fun Concert at the Krannert Center featuring Sonia De Los Santos. The roots of home-grown music run deep here and are on display at The Great Cover Up 2018, showcasing cover music presented by local musicians. The live music doesn’t stop there, The City Center is bringing two great shows to Champaign Friday and Saturday. The Too White Crew, headlining Friday, covers 80s and 90s Hip-Hop in a high energy interactive show that’s a blast from the past for concert goers. Saturday, High Valley takes the stage with bluegrass roots and a modern pulse, they’re sure to light up the City Center stage.
Whether you want to get great food, enjoy beautiful sites in nature, get locally sourced products, or enjoy live music, this is the weekend to do it. Great weather, great food, and the Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball team going for a win against Nebraska. A great weekend to come out of hibernation.