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 County!

Frozen Treats

            Nothing cools you down faster than a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt. With plenty of outdoor seating and a drive thru, Jarling’s Custard Cup in Champaign is a popular spot for custard and offers customers their choice to stay and sit or take their treat somewhere else. Sidney Dairy Barn also offers outdoor seating and a menu that wraps around the building! For traditional Mexican ice cream and flavors, El Oasis in Urbana offers an array of colorful choices to help you when it’s hot. If frozen yogurt is more your style, The Tastee Cup in Arthur has 15 flavors on rotation with more toppings than you could fit into one bowl!

Make a Splash!

            Sometimes cooling down requires a dive into one of our local aquatic centers. The Monticello Family Aquatic Center features a 63-foot water slide, multiple water features, and a “dry zone” arcade. The Arthur Community Pool offers a great space to swim and also provides affordable swimming lessons for swimmers just dipping their toes in. The Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center in Rantoul is a newer facility with 350,000 gallons of crystal clear water and a zero-depth pool for younger swimmers. Sholem Aquatic Center in Champaign lets you take a relaxing ride on a 660-foot lazy river with choices of waterslides, and if you’d like to stay away from the sun but still spend some time in the water, the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center offers lap swimming hours as well as open swim.

Museum Magic

            The day flies by in Champaign County’s wonderful museums. You’ll forget all about the heat outside after stopping by the wonderful these wonderful art, culture, and nature centers. The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum is not just for the youngest family members, and features events and attractions for the whole family. The Krannert Art Museum features works from all over the globe, as well as free concerts and performances. Get an idea of what our area was like in the 19th and early 20th century at the Museum of the Grand Prairie. If you’re looking for travel, traverse the diverse cultures of all seven continents at the Spurlock Museum, and then consider traversing the railways at the Monticello Railway Museum.  

           There’s no shortage of things to do in Champaign County no matter the weather, but when Mother Nature brings the heat, indoor and outdoor options are available in your backyard. For a day-to-day event calendar, explore Visit Champaign County’s list of events and attractions.

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