The commercial movie theaters include the Carmike Cinema 13 (359-5687) at 910 Meijer Drive in northwest Champaign and the Goodrich Savoy 16 Theater (355-3456) at 232 Burwash Avenue in Savoy just south of Champaign. Both offer student discounts and stadium seating. Savoy 16 offers D-Box and has an IMAX.
For a drive-in theater, travel to Gibson City, approximately 45 minutes northwest of Champaign, for the Harvest Moon Drive-in Theater (784-8770; 1-877-546-6843).
The UIUC Undergrad Library, the Champaign Library, and the Urbana Free Library all have DVDs and VHS for rent. There are also numerous RedBox locations around town.
There are a few museums on campus. The Spurlock Museum (333-2360) at 600 S. Gregory St. in Urbana, the Krannert Art Museum (333-1861) at 500 E. Peabody Dr. in Champaign. The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum (352-5895) in downtown Champaign at 346 N. Neil St. is housed in the historic Orpheum Theater. Just outside of Monticello, approximately 30 minutes southwest of Champaign, is the Robert Allerton Park and Retreat Center(762-7011). The estate includes 1500 acres of formal gardens, nature areas, and manor house and is used as a conservation area for education, research, and recreation. The park is open all year but hosts camps and concerts in the summer months.
Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, of course, are close enough to visit for museum outings. Some of Chicago’s amazing museums include Jane Addams Hull-House Museum; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Field Museum; The Museum of Science and Industry; and the Shedd Aquarium. Sights in St. Louis include the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; The Gateway Arch; and the “Dred Scott” Old Courthouse. In Indianapolis, check out the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum; the Children's Museum and the NCAA Hall of Champions.
For an evening of dance, drama, or music, look no further than the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 500 S. Goodwin Ave. in Urbana on UIUC’s campus. Tickets may be purchased online, in person, or by calling 333-6280 or 333-9714 (TTY). This amazing building houses several state-of-the-art performance halls. Make your reservations early for the marquee events, as they tend to sell out! Since Krannert receives funding from your student fees, students are rewarded with discounts for over 300 performances each year. You will certainly want to take advantage of this center.
Off campus, The Station Theater (384-4000), at 223 N. Broadway in Urbana’s old train station, offers local productions of dramas, comedies, and the occasional musical in an intimate setting. In Champaign, the larger Virginia Theater (356-9063) at 203 W. Park shows films, stages revues and plays, features musicians and bands, and hosts the annual Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival. “Ebertfest” - Roger Ebert's 5 day Film Festival - is held at the Virginia every Spring and is hosted by Roger's wife, Chaz. Buy tickets early as events sell out. The university also has a a wide variety of student-run theater groups, including organization that stages a musical every semester, Illini Student Musicals.
For sports fans, the University of Illinois is home to some of the greatest Big 16 Athletes and Fans. Visit Fightingillini.com for all access to our varsity teams which include, Men's and Women's Basketball; Football; Baseball; Softball; Tennis; Gymnastics; Golf, Track and Wrestling.
Urbana-Champaign is only hours drive to pro sporting events for such teams as the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals Baseball; Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams Football; St. Louis Blues, Indianapolis Ice and the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey. It's close enough to cheer on your favorite team and return home all in a days' drive.
There are 10 public golf courses within a half a hour or so of Urbana-Champaign. GolfIllinois details them for you. There are also 3 private country club courses in town - Champaign Country Club, Lincolnshire Country Club and Urbana Country Club.
The area is home to many Running and Cycling Clubs including the University's very own Illini Cycling Club. Others include Kickapoo Mountain Bike Club and Wild Card Cycling. Running clubs include Second Wind Running Club and CU Racing Team. Every April Champaign-Urbana is home to the Illinois Marathon - a full 26 mile marathon event in which people from all over the world attend.
The Champaign Ski and Adventure Club is also a fun group to be involved in. Each year they have trips to places like Telluride, CO; Lake Tahoe; Wisconsin and Mexico as well as many local events and activities.
Champaign-Urbana has a long history of cultivating musicians. Most coffee houses and bars regularly host local talent, and the music scene offers an array of possibilities for live music. Look for signs posted on campus, and read the weekly free newspaper, Buzz, for upcoming concerts.
The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is the premier educational and performing arts venue for jazz performances, symphony concerts, live theater and more.
To nurture your country roots, try the Rose Bowl Tavern at 106 N. Race in Urbana, which regularly hosts a live country band and features line dancing. On campus at 708 S. Goodwin in Urbana, The Canopy Club features a variety of live music several days a week. The Channing-Murray Foundation, a nonprofit religious foundation, at 1209 W. Oregon in Urbana holds programs, concerts, and receptions.
The State Farm Center (formerly known as Assembly Hall) on campus also hosts concerts and Broadway style Theatre, as well as being home to the University of Illinois varsity Men's and Women's Basketball teams.
If you are looking for something different to do there are two vineyards nearby - Alto Winery at 4210 N. Duncan Rd., Champaign, and Sleepy Creek Vineyards just 40 minutes east in Fairmount, IL. Alto Winery is a tasting room for the popular Alto Vineyard based in Southern Illinois. Sleepy Creek is home to a vineyard, winery, tasting room, gift shop, vacation rental, event facility and performance venue. Either one is sure to please even the most distinguished palette.
Another great way to spend an afternoon is to visit Prairie Fruits and Creamery at 4410 N. Lincoln Ave, Champaign. There you can visit a working goat milk farm and see how goat cheese and goat milk gelato is made. They also have wonderful organic fruits and farm to table meals you can be a part of. Go visit the goat herd, guard donkey Jemmie and Blue, the dog. Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch at 3902 S. Duncan Road is a Champaign tradition. It is a pick your own apples orchard, has a country store where you can buy fresh apple pies, apple cider and gifts, cafe, party venue and lots of fun outdoor activities.
Central Illinois is home to some world class county and state parks including Kickapoo State Park between Urbana and Danville where you can hike, run, canoe, fish, camp, hunt or scuba dive. Any wildlife or nature lover can easily lose a day or two checking out all the great hiking trails, renting paddleboats or canoes, or just having a picnic. Other great parks include, Lake of the Woods, Middle Fork Wildlife and Fishing Area, Walnut Point State Park, Kennekuk County Park, Homer Lake Forest Reserve, Clinton Lake State Rec Area.This doesn't even include all of the great city parks in Champaign-Urbana.
Here is a small sampling of local bars. In downtown Champaign, you will find Jupiter’s at 39 E. Main. Jupiter’s serves delicious pizza and features billiards. To catch sports and to drink outside, try The Esquire Lounge at 106 N. Walnut. The patio and pool tables are quite popular and often crowded. Bars with outdoor seating and more extensive menus include Guido’s at 2 E. Main and Cowboy Monkey at 6 Taylor St., which also features live music. Try The Blind Pig Company at 120 N. Walnut for a great collection of beer. The Wedge tequila bar and grill at 415 North Neil Street offers over 100 different tequilas. Seven Saints, 32 E. Chester St. has a huge selection of sliders and drinks on their menu. Farren's Pub is a cozy bar at 308 N. Randolph. In downtown Urbana, Crane Alley at 115 W. Main has regional and international beers, a substantial menu, and billiards. Other great bars in Urbana include Bunny's Tavern at 199 W. Water St. There are many bars in campustown, including Murphy’s Pub at 604 E. Green which has been on campus since 1969, and Legends at 522 E. Green, known for their Friday fish sandwich as well as great burgers.