Looking for family fun on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Champaign-Urbana? We’re here to help! Almost all schools, preschools, and even many daycares are closed in observance of MLK Jr. Day. Add the University of Illinois to that, and it’s a rare opportunity to enjoy some family time together. So how to be together? Well, we’ll be honest: it’s not easy to find fun things to do that won’t break the bank, but we’ve given you some ideas that are close – and not too far.
Here are some ideas:
1. Go to the Museum of the Grand Prairie: Exploring the rich cultural heritage of the African American community in Champaign County on this Martin Luther King Day with a free School’s Day Out event. Many activities for all ages at the Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet. From 1 to 3 p.m.
2. Go ice skating. The campus might be closed, but the University of Illinois Ice Arena has a special public skate in honor of the holiday. From 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.; regular fees ($6 per person ages 4 and up, $2 skate rental) apply. Note: ask for a family pass to save money. $25 for four people includes skate rental; that’s a $7 savings. You can also buy punch cards to save on admission fee.
3. Take advantage of a Kids Eat Free deal. Eating out as a family gets expensive. Make some memories at one of these Monday deals.
4. Go swimming: Pretend you’re on the beach and head over to the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center for some family time. From 1:30 to 9 p.m. Regular admission fees apply ($6 per swimmer, $3 per person not swimming, 3 and under free). You can also buy punch cards to save on admission fee.
5. Go to a new-to-you library. While Champaign, Urbana, and Tolono libraries are closed on Monday, Mahomet Public Library, Allerton Public Library (Monticello) and Rantoul Public Libraries, among others.
6. Get on the bus, gus. Some families use bus transportation all the time; for others, taking the bus is a novelty. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of those holidays where the Champaign Urbana MTD has a regular schedule. We have a whole article about taking the family on the bus and how to use the system.
(Don’t forget to check out our “What is open, What is closed” article for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Local MLK Jr. Day observances are listed on our calendar, although many are not actually on Jan. 15 this year. If you’re looking for a fun and inexpensive day trip, check out our article about MLK Day in Indianapolis, where there are lots of attractions open for free. )
What did we miss? Add your suggestions in the comments.