Epic Things to Do in Champaign, Illinois

Uncover the Top Attractions in Champaign, Illinois

Champaign, Illinois, is an exciting place to visit. Its history, parks, museums, and entertainment make it a great weekend getaway.

The city is surrounded by various attractions, including the University of Illinois and the city’s historic downtown district.

In Champaign, Illinois, you can find many attractions. These include the University of Illinois Arboretum, the Krannert Art Museum, the Anita Purves Nature Center, and the Spurlock Museum. Each of these locations offers something different to the visitor.

Things to Do in Champaign, Illinois

Main Quad

The University of Illinois’ Main Quad is the heart of campus. This open grassy area is surrounded by fourteen buildings that resemble a range of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century architectural styles.

University Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, is located on the west side of the Main Quad. It was demolished in 1938. In its place is the Illini Union, which was reconstructed in 1939-40.

Best tourist attractions in Champaign - Main Quad
Best tourist attractions in Champaign – Main Quad

Next to the Illini Union is the Alma Mater statue, which weighs ten thousand pounds. It depicts a mother figure in academic robes. Students often take graduation pictures with the statue as the backdrop.

Another popular spot to study is the Quad Cinema. A film series is held each Thursday at 9 p.m.

The Illini Union is home to hundreds of registered student organizations. The building is also the site of many conferences and expos.

The University of Illinois Arboretum

The University of Illinois Arboretum is not just a garden. It is also a living laboratory for plant sciences. From wetland communities to a dazzling array of plant specimens, the University of Illinois Arboretum is a place to see, hear, and be seen.

Places to go in Champaign - University of Illinois Arboretum
Places to go in Champaign – the University of Illinois Arboretum

The UI Arboretum is 57 acres in size. A little over two years ago, it replaced the University of Illinois Orange and Blue Golf Course, originally built in 1923. Today, the UI Arboretum is part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.

There are plenty of other things to do at the UI Arboretum, but it’s hard to beat the smell of the fresh air or the sight of the trees as the sun sets. You can also stroll through one of the many ponds or enjoy a quiet lunch in one of the many picnic shelters.

Spurlock Museum

The Spurlock Museum in Champaign, Illinois, is a world-class museum showcasing ethnographic collections from cultures all over the globe. It is located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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At the moment, the Spurlock Museum boasts a collection of over 40,000 artifacts. These include ancient and modern artifacts, historical clothing, and more.

The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures opened in 2002. The museum includes an auditorium and a learning center. The museum also boasts a well-designed space for storing its extensive collection.

Best places to visit in Champaign - Spurlock Museum
Best places to visit in Champaign – Spurlock Museum

The Spurlock Museum has a permanent collection of archaeological and ethnographic materials, including pieces donated by private individuals and other institutions. For example, the Spurlock Museum is home to the Bevier Collection, a historical and contemporary clothing collection.

The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures is an excellent place to start cultural exploration. Visitors to the museum can expect to see exhibits of the continents of North America, South America, Africa, East Asia, and Oceania. Throughout the year, special exhibitions and various classes and workshops provide opportunities to learn more about the world’s cultures.

Krannert Art Museum

Located on the University of Illinois campus, the Krannert Art Museum is one of the premier university art museums in the nation. Its collection, which includes art from the fourth millennium BCE through the present, represents various cultures.

The museum offers educational programs for both adults and children. The museum hosts several special events, including film screenings and artist talks. In addition, guided tours can teach visitors about the museum’s collections.

Places to visit in Champaign - Krannert Art Museum
Places to visit in Champaign – Krannert Art Museum

In addition to its permanent collections, the Krannert Art Museum hosts several traveling exhibitions. They are designed to promote a vibrant exchange of ideas in the visual arts. There are about six to ten exhibitions held every year.

KAM has a full schedule of activities that are free and open to the public. The events offered are performances, concerts, yoga classes, and lectures.

Anita Purves Nature Center

If you’re a nature buff, you’ll be happy to know that Champaign, Illinois is home to a handful of notable attractions. One such attraction is the Anita Purves Nature Center, free to the public during open hours. The center has a whole slew of activities and programs to enjoy.

Things to do in Champaign - Anita Purves Nature Center
Things to do in Champaign – Anita Purves Nature Center

The Anita Purves Nature Center is located in the northeast corner of Champaign County, directly adjacent to the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center. Despite its relatively modest size, it boasts a few nifty features that make it a destination in its own right. These features include an educational exhibit, a gift shop, and a live screech owl.

As an environmental education center, the Anita Purves Nature Center has many fun activities to take advantage of. In addition, the park district runs some programs and activities. For the ultimate outdoor experience, take a hike on the nearby trails.

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