Weekend Planner: Feed Your Brain (And Your Body) Edition

This weekend is full of fun that will make your brain grow! Credit: Spec-ta-cles, Flickr

This weekend is chock full of super activities to help grow your brain — and you won’t even know you’re getting smarter because you’ll be having way too much fun.

From open houses to expos and hands-on demonstrations and activities, we have a great list of things to do so mark your calendars for the 92 Engineering Open House, an expo dedicated to our state’s natural and cultural resources and a great performance by the students of Urbana High School.

What: Opening reception for the Third Annual Eric Show, a juried art exhibition featuring works from area high-school students, including Centennial High School, Central High School, The High School of St. Tomas More, Urbana High School and more.
When: 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, March 9
Where: Illini Union Art Gallery, 1401 West Green St., Urbana
How much: Free
Appropriate for: All ages
Why you should go: We’re lucky to have some super-talented young artists in our cities, so go out and support them. Bring your own little Picasso with you and inspire your own kids at the same time!

What: The 92nd Annual Engineering Open House
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 9 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 10
Where: Engineering Hall, 1308 W. Green St., Urbana
How much: Free
Appropriate for: School-aged kids
Why you should go: This outstanding event is in its 92nd year for a reason. The exhibits and competitions focused on engineering will awe and inspire kids and their grown-ups. Be prepared for a good-sized crowd; the EOH attracts thousands of visitors and is the largest of event of its kind in the country.

What: U of I Prairie Research Institute Expo 2012
When: 10 a.m. t0 3 p.m., Saturday, March 10
Where: Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign
How much: Free
Appropriate for: All ages
Why you should go: Scientists from the area explore, demonstrate and highlight the natural resources of our state, along with our cultural resources. Cutting-edge research about sustainable technology is also on display, helping you show your kids  how to save the natural beauty of Illinois.

What: NANO Days at The Orpheum
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 10
Where: Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, downtown Champaign
How much: Free
Appropriate for: All ages
Why you should go: Explore the world’s tiniest matter: atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces. Use ordinary materials to find and see these particles and make NANO gold. Lots of hands-on activities for the whole gang.

What: Campus Kids Day Weekend Extravaganza
When: 5 p.m., Saturday, March 10 and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 11
Where: Atkins Tennis Center, 108 Wright St., Urbana
How much: Free
Appropriate for: Preschool – 8th-graders
Why you should go: Watch No. 18 Illini women’s tennis take on Northwestern and this weekend. On Saturday, all kids will get the chance to  participate in an on-court game and get free pizza. On Sunday, the men’s tennis team will take on Texas A & M, and all fans will get free sundaes. Enter to win fun contests and giveaways both days. Pre-registration is required! Contact Carrie at (217) 333-6969 or snyderc@illinois.edu.

What: “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”
When: 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 11
Where: Urbana High School
How much: $8
Appropriate for: Preschool and up
Why you should go: Round out a weekend of science with the performance of a classic! Introduce the kids to the Peanuts gang, get your nostalgia on and support the students at Urbana High School all at the same time.


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  1. there’s also the Day of the Drum on Sat, March 9th at Kranner Center starting @ 11am, lots of workshops, activities in the lobby, etc (most are free).