Cross These “I’ve Never’s” Off Your List
Everyone likes to wait for the New Year to make resolutions. A lot of times, a new calendar year feels like the right time to try things we don’t usually do. That being said, if you know anything about the greater Champaign County area, you know that every day is an opportunity to try something Outside of Ordinary and broaden your horizons!
Things to do in Champaign County in November - no more saying "i've Never!"
Why not make November the month of checking off a couple things on your “I’ve Never” list! Whether it’s a reindeer kiss or a day exploring Amish country, you have endless opportunities in our area to never say “I’ve Never” again to some of these memorable experiences.
I’ve Never Experienced Amish Country!
If you head south of Champaign County, you run into Arthur – the heart of Amish Country in Illinois. A day exploring Amish culture is a day well spent, and it’s easy to check this one off your list! Take time to visit Main St., which is full of great antique shops and specialized boutiques. Be sure to find a few Amish woodworking shops as well – the work these talented craftsmen and craftswomen do is out of this world.
You can also try out some incredible home cooking while in Arthur. Yoder’s Kitchen is an amazing meal you won’t soon forget, and with their popular buffet, you can try everything from Amish fried chicken to incredible pies. Lastly, some of the most memorable moments in Arthur’s Amish Country aren’t at shops or restaurants. It’s the experience of taking in the serenity of the space, which is comprised of less cars and more horse and buggies, as well as bicycles.
I’ve Never Done an Escape Room!
Escape rooms continue to be a go-to activity for thousands around the country. We’re lucky to have so many amazing escape rooms right here in Champaign County to get your first experience under your belt! Take a team of two, or up to ten, to CU Adventures in Time & Space to take on some puzzles set in amazing places. Try out the Calling All Villains room if you consider yourself a superhero buff! Brainstorm Escapes is also great for your first escape room experience, with favorites like Rise of the Zombie Pets and Circus of the Stranded, and many more to return and try!
I’ve Never Been to an Illini Basketball Game!
You’d be surprised how many Illini fans haven’t actually made it to a game! Whether you’re used to watching on TV, or maybe live outside of Champaign-Urbana, this season is the perfect time to attend your first game! The Illini Men’s Basketball team and Illini Women’s Basketball team both won their season openers in the State Farm Center, and expectations are high for both squads!
The next Illini home game is for the Women’s team on November 13th, with the Men’s team returning to Chambana on November 18th. For the time being, keep cheering on from home as they play a few road games, and be sure to grab tickets for a few matchups here in town!
I’ve Never Seen a Supercomputer Before!
Not everyone can head to their local university and see the largest supercomputer on a college campus, but that’s just another Outside of Ordinary part of our area! The Blue Waters Supercomputer is used for research all over the world, and some incredible scientific discoveries have been made possible from this massive computer. Tours are available upon request for classes, or general inquires, as well as various special events throughout the year that are often open to the public!
I’ve Never Participated in a Japanese Tea Ceremony!
Some of us grab a cup of tea as we head to work or to wind down for the evening, without really thinking about it. In Japanese culture, immersing yourself in a properly prepared cup of tea isn’t just freeing, but a reminder of the “one life, one opportunity” principal central to the country’s values. Japan House at the University of Illinois is designed to be a traditional and accurate Japanese garden and host for various cultural events. On top of numerous tea ceremonies, the Japan House regularly hosts cultural events and engagements. Plus, the gardens are beautiful this time of year and sit right next to the U of I’s Arboretum. As you can imagine, the fall colors are still developing, and make for a great walking spot as the seasons change.
I’ve Never Been Kissed By A Reindeer!
This time of year, some people start to get that itch for a winter wonderland. While we might not quite be into the holiday season yet, you can start capturing that magic with a reindeer kiss at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch. If you don’t have a reindeer selfie, are you really living Outside of Ordinary? As some of the fall activities close for the year, you’ll soon be able to shop a large selection of fresh cut Michigan Fraser firs and a variety of other firs and pines for the holiday season.