7 Best Places and Things To Do in Champaign, Illinois

Champaign, Illinois, located in the heart of the state, is a vibrant city known for its thriving arts scene, diverse culture, and renowned educational institutions. Whether you’re a student, a visitor, or a local resident, Champaign offers a variety of attractions and activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Champaign.

1. Krannert Art Museum

Kinkead Pavilion Entrance, Krannert Art Museum, 2015. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, U of I News Bureau

Image Source: https://kam.illinois.edu/visit/plan-visit

Start your exploration of Champaign’s arts scene by visiting the Krannert Art Museum, located on the University of Illinois campus. The museum houses a diverse collection of artwork from various time periods and cultures, including contemporary art, European and American art, African art, and more. With regularly changing exhibits and engaging programs, it’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

2. Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

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A popular destination for families, Curtis Orchard offers a delightful experience for all ages. Located just outside Champaign in nearby Champaign County, this orchard features apple and pumpkin picking, a petting zoo, hayrides, a corn maze, and a variety of delicious homemade treats. It’s an excellent place to celebrate the fall season and enjoy the outdoors.

3. Orpheum Children’s Science Museum

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Designed for curious young minds, the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that make learning fun. From exploring the wonders of space to experimenting with science concepts, this museum encourages children to engage in educational play and discovery.

4. Staerkel Planetarium

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Take a journey through the cosmos at the Staerkel Planetarium, located on the Parkland College campus. This state-of-the-art planetarium offers captivating shows that explore the wonders of the universe. Sit back and gaze at the stars as you learn about astronomy, space exploration, and celestial phenomena.

5. Champaign County Historical Museum

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Delve into the history of the region by visiting the Champaign County Historical Museum. Housed in a historic building, the museum showcases exhibits that depict the local history, including artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia. Learn about the early settlers, the development of the community, and the significant events that shaped Champaign County.

6. Hessel Park

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Hessel Park is a popular and well-loved community park located in Champaign, Illinois. It serves as a gathering place for residents and visitors alike, offering a range of recreational activities and amenities.

7. Boneyard Creek Trail

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The Boneyard Creek Trail is a scenic urban trail that winds its way through Champaign and Urbana, following the course of the Boneyard Creek. The trail offers a peaceful and picturesque outdoor experience, providing walkers, joggers, and cyclists with a tranquil escape in the heart of the cities.

8. Sholem Aquatic Center

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Sholem Aquatic Center is a popular water park and recreational facility located in Champaign, Illinois. It offers a wide range of water-based activities and amenities, making it a perfect destination for individuals, families, and groups seeking fun and relaxation.

9. West Side Park

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West Side Park is a beloved public park located in the heart of Champaign, Illinois. Known for its expansive green spaces, recreational amenities, and community events, West Side Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.

10. Kaufman Lake

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Kaufman Lake is a picturesque and tranquil lake located on the southeast side of Champaign, Illinois. This 58-acre lake offers a serene natural setting and a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

Champaign, Illinois, offers a rich blend of cultural experiences, outdoor attractions, and culinary delights. From exploring art and history to enjoying nature and attending exciting events, there’s always something to see and do in this vibrant city.