Overnight date night and trying to save money? It may sound like an oxymoron, but we decide to try and accomplish these things for our 11th anniversary. While we were trying to plan our weekend ‘away’, I realized that there are amazing things to do in the C-U area that make you feel like you are in the BIG city. Here are just a few:
#6: Catch some live music, a show, see an art exhibit or watch a movie. While we were more focused on food (see below) downtown Champaign has many entertainment options – the Art Theater and the Virginia Theatre being the primary places we go. There’s plenty of live music to be found in both cities; our friends at Smile Politely have the music scoop, or check out 40 North for ideas.
#5: Eat wonderful food. We have amazing restaurants in both downtown Champaign and Urbana. Some of our favorites include Ko Fusion, Big Grove Tavern, Radio Maria and Wedge. Then follow up your dinner with drinks at Boltini or cupcakes from Cream & Flutter.
#4: Get a room. Literally, stay in a Champaign-Urbana hotel. After our dinner at KoFusion, we walked across the street and stayed at the new fun and hip Hyatt Place. The rooms are super clean, have great design and the hotel has free breakfast and wi-fi. We even got a late check out (wink, wink).
#3: Eat some more. Before we had children we ate breakfast/brunch out weekly. It is a great time to talk about your interests, what’s going on with your family and even read the paper together. If you have kids you probably don’t have leisurely breakfasts and it’s something we value in our relationship. Here are some of our reader’s favorite places for brunch.
#2: Walk around (with coffee). Whether it’s in an antique store or book store this is a great way to have more conversation. Local farmers’ markets are also a great place to take a stroll. We enjoy walking through book stores and picking up travel books to dream about future vacations.
And the number one way to have a big city date night in Champaign-Urbana is…..
#1: Go with the love of your life. Whether you can’t keep your hands off each other or you need some time to reconnect, date night or day is important. Spending time focused on one another is important. Figure it out and make it happen.
We may just be a few hours away from larger metropolises, but if you want the fun of the big city and 24-48 hours of romance, look no further than our great cities. What are some of your favorite local date activities?
Jennifer Newell is a townie, wife, mommy, and devoted Chambanamom. She lives in Savoy with her family and two cats.