Don’t Let Spring Break Break You: Keep the Family Busy with 50+ Things To Do in Champaign-Urbana
Editor’s note: We have updated this article since the current situation with COVID-19. Be mindful that this is a very fluid situation; while we do our best to keep info updated, we appreciate your grace as we work through this.
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Spring Break in Champaign-Urbana is right around corner and you’re already thinking: how are we going to survive with everyone intact? Well, we have some tips as how to achieve that goal. We’ve put together 50+ ideas for things to do over Spring Break in Champaign-Urbana for you and your family.
Thank you to our friends at Upper Limits in Bloomington for presenting this list.
Rock Climbing Camps at Upper Limits develops determination and creative thinking while still being engaging for kids. They will introduce your kids to climbing and help them set individual goals while integrating classroom-style learning in a climbing environment. Does your spring break not fall within this specific week? No need to worry! Upper Limits has an Early Bird Special from 12 PM – 3 PM where you can get a day pass for only $12 (gear not included). Can’t get enough rock climbing? Check out their Summer Rock Climbing Camps
For most school districts (as well as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), spring break is the week of March 16-20. Here are our ideas to help you survive Spring Break! Of course, always check our events calendar to see what’s happening as well, it gets updated daily.
Visit a local museum and escape
The Homer Lake Forest Preserve Interpretative Center also is open over break.
In Urbana, the Spurlock Museum takes you around the world with artifacts from every corner of the globe (closed Monday all day and Tuesday morning, but otherwise open). Krannert Art Museum has cancelled events, but as of this writing, will be open. It has everything from masters to modern. Both are FREE.
If you haven’t been to the Champaign County History Museum, this is a great outing especially for older children who are interested in the world around them. Open Wednesday-Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. FREE.
Be active – the kids, the family, whoever needs it!
We have a whole list of ways to be active together with your family. Need to get started? Spring Break is a great time to start new habits.
Head over to see our friends at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, where kids can pretend they are playing in sand at the beach — right here in Champaign. Remember, closed Monday (and new limited pubic hours).
The University of Illinois Ice Arena (our review complete review with tips) will be open daily (March 18-22) for lunchtime skates, which are 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. As of right now, it appears that lunch skate will happen; check here for more info.
Try something new and head over to Bloomington to the Upper Limits climbing gym. Day passes and rentals available; get a day pass before 3 pm for a discount.
Get outside and explore
If the weather cooperates, break out of your outside routine. Go out to a new park or a park you haven’t been to lately (need a few ideas? Check out our Parks to Know series). The Hessel Park playground is always a great place to start! You could also try out the new Morrisey Park or Noel Park playgrounds, which opened in late fall/early winter.
It’s always a good time to go to Meadowbrook Park or Busey Woods, both in Urbana; Meadowbrook’s trails are paved, and Busey Woods has the platform, making it easy to walk through (or ride if the case may be).
Make time for Friendship Grove nature playscape right next to Anita Purves Nature Center (the playscape is open, but Anita Purves is closed).
Go to the Library
So kids might want to take a break from learning, but libraries make learning FUN. Check out a new-to-you library and hang out. The updated play area at the main Champaign Public Library is always a big hit with our kiddos, especially the smaller ones. (We’re not sure if this will remain open or not.)
Visit our Trails
If you’ve noticed, we’ve put together multiple “trails”, some food-related, and some related to activities. If you kids love space, check out some of the unique space activities we have in Central Illinois. Or if your family loves pizza, try a few new spots and see what you like. Barbeque your jam? Take some time to hit up some of our favorite BBQ on the barbecue trail. We believe ice cream is an all-seasons food, but if you want something sweet that’s not cold, check out the donut trail too.
Get crafty: Go to the I.D.E.A. Store and find some unique crafting supplies and ideas for an eco-friendly craft – on the cheap!
Go to campus
Combine those outings with some of our favorite places on campus: the Ice Arena, Krannert Art Museum, or perhaps Spurlock; and of course, the Illini Union rec room and bowling alley (which remains open as of March 12).
Get ready for Easter and Passover
No FOOLING, these are around the corner! Passover starts the night of April 8, and Easter is April 12. Don’t let those holidays sneak up on you! Get your baskets ready and prep for those hunts, and much more. Head down to Tuscola and get treats at one of our favorite stops, Flesor’s Candy Kitchen.
Take a staycation:
Get a room at a local hotel, preferably one with a pool. I bet you can get some good rates.
Go out to eat on a budget.
Many restaurants in town offer specials for kids on certain nights of the week. Check out our list of places where kids eat free (or cheaply).
Treat the kids to a movie without breaking the bank.
If you want to go to a first-run movie during the week, go on Tuesday for the cheapest prices (you might need to be a rewards member to get the best rates). This is regardless of movie theater.
Take a day trip (of course, look to see if attractions are open/closed before you go.)
See the big things in Casey, where the attractions are mainly outside. Visit our friends at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal. Go to Peoria and see Peoria Riverfront Museum. Make a date to head out to the museums and Lincoln sites in Springfield (some are outdoors even). There still might be some freebies to find in Chicago. Here’s a list of some of our favorite unique day trips.
Don’t forget your sense of humor. Oh yeah, that should have been first!
Are you home for Spring Break? What are you doing with your family? We’d love to know! Tell us if we’ve missed your choices for Spring Break fun. Email firstname.lastname@example.org