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Summertime in Champaign-Urbana means it’s time to hit the road. If you’re thinking your family needs a change of scenery – but don’t want the hassle or expense of finding a place to stay – we’ve made a list of our favorite low-commitment day trips that are also fairly easy on your budget.
While this list is focused on summer day trips from Champaign-Urbana, many of these attractions are open year-round, but perhaps have different hours and a different type of experience.
Something you’ll notice about this list: we’re NOT sending you to big cities like Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis, although you can certainly day trip to those. We have TONS of ideas for those three cities on our website, however (a few of our favorites are the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis; the recently updated experience at the St. Louis Gateway Arch; and free museums in Chicago.) Here’s our roundup on Midwest Summer Road Trips to large cities.
What this list does have: we’ve found fun, relatively low-cost attractions from Peoria to Springfield, Decatur to Bloomington-Normal, Effingham to Paris – and many places in between. These day trips take you outside of Champaign-Urbana, and with the exception of a few places, outside of Champaign County. All are less than two hours away.