We won’t sugarcoat it — this August presents some challenges (like school starting) and limited opportunities for traditional fun. But — and this is a big ‘but’ — there are still some juicy chances to rev up your fun meter. And an old standby — see: Taste of Champaign-Urbana — has adjusted its event for the current environment. (Please keep in mind, these tips are meant to be enjoyed in conjunction with proper social distancing and mask wearing. We are not encouraging anyone to engage in risky behavior.)
Thanks to Urbana’s Market at the Square for presenting this list. Did you know you can use your SNAP/LINK benefits at Illinois farmers markets? Bring your LINK card to Urbana’s Market at the Square and get ready to buy the best farm fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and baked goods. Stop by the City tentlocated at the Market’s northwest entrance (near Common Ground) to redeem your benefits for tokens. LINK tokens are worth $1.00 each. Urbana’s Market at the Square runs a matching program that matches your SNAP/LINK benefits up to $25 per Saturday. Matching funds are provided Farm Credit Illinois, Experimental Station, and the USDA. For more information about Urbana’s Market at the Square’s SNAP/LINK program please visit https://urbanamarket.org/snap/
For up-to-date information on the market check-out their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.For up-to-date information about the market check out their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Watch the meteor showers: On the mornings of Aug. 11, 12 and 13, viewers can get a neat show of meteors darting through the sky. We have the details here, but the bottom line is you don’t have to pay a thing for this show!
Shop Small Pop-Up Shop: A variety of community entities have come together to promote shopping from a diverse group of entrepreneurs. This five-week pop-up shop takes place every Saturday in August from 1-4 p.m. More details here.
Freedom Fridays in downtown Rantoul: Freedom Fridays feature music, free yard games and bubble play, bags tournaments and chalk contests (on select Fridays). The Aug. 7 event features a bags tournament and the Aug. 14 event features free bubble play for kids.
Jim Gill’s Music Play: An End-of-Summer Celebration Concert: This virtual concert features award-winning children’s musician and author Jim Gill. Presented by the Urbana Free Library, it is billed as “a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, banjo-plucking, end-of-summer celebration full of Jim’s signature music play that you won’t want to miss.”
RC Fest: No, it has nothing to do with Royal Crown Cola. (Kids, go ask your parents.) This event is about the joy of using radio-controlled vehicles of all sorts. A variety of competitions will take place Aug. 8-9 and East Side Park in Tolono. Best of all: All proceeds go to Community Blood Services of Illinois.
Virtual Taste of Champaign-Urbana: You’re no doubt aware that the traditional Taste of Champaign-Urbana won’t take place this year, but the event is celebrating 50 years with a twist: It will take place online. Instead of vendors setting up in the park, vendors will be spotlighted on the Champaign Park District’s social media channels, encouraging folks to visit or order takeout from C-U eateries. It begins Aug. 10.
One Week Boutique Consignment Sale: It has become a highly popular C-U event, this year taking place as an all-seasons sale instead of the usual two sales (one in spring, one in summer). It is perfectly timed for back-to-school shopping this time around. It’s also a great place to get a head start on your holiday shopping. Aug. 15-17 at the Leonhard Recreation Center in Champaign.
Get outside: We are confident we can offer you a way to find some fun in the sun around Champaign-Urbana. Check out our complete list of ways to enjoy the great outdoors here. And if that doesn’t suit you, we have a bunch of ideas for summer day trips.