As Illinois implements mitigations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the latest on what is open and what is closed when it comes to Champaign-Urbana family fun heading into winter
As we head into winter, some things are open and some things are closing (again) throughout Champaign-Urbana. It may be hard to keep track when it comes to sorting it out for your family.
As of Friday, November 20, all of Illinois will be in “Tier 3 Mitigation,” which will bring some closures and restrictions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Regardless of whether someplace is open or closed, when it comes to venturing out of your home with your family, we as a community continue to practice social distancing, wear masks when social distancing is not possible, wash our hands and disinfect high traffic surfaces regularly.
So what does this actually mean for our community? What about those places we visit for family fun? Indoor fun, outdoor fun, parks, nature trails, all of the winter staples … what is open, what is closing down and what is on hold until 2021 (long-term closure)? We break it down below.
Check back often as we will update this post as information becomes available. The status of these businesses can change at any time, so check with the business before venturing out to be sure they’re open. Readers are urged to follow guidelines — mask wearing, social distancing, capacity limits — set forth by local authorities. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement; we are reporting on the open/closed status of a business.
As we are in the holiday season, don’t forget to check out all things holiday family fun in Champaign-Urbana. Here — as well as in the chambanamoms.com event calendar — you will find info on holiday lights, drive-through Santa experiences and much, much more. The info detailed below in this open/closed post relates to community staple locations that are not tied to a specific event, but more of a general place to visit as a family.
OPEN, heading into winter
Outdoor recreational activities are some of the things we can count on to be OPEN. Walk the trails, take a hike, get on your bike, and just generally go get some fresh air in a beautiful, local setting.
All of our area park districts have outdoor spaces, such as playgrounds, remaining OPEN at this time with restrictions on group size. Outdoor tennis and pickleball courts are going to stay OPEN longer this year in the Champaign Park District, with some courts remaining OPEN for winter; CPD pavilion or shelter rentals are OPEN to groups of 10 or fewer. Foot golf is OPEN at the Lake of the Woods golf course. As far as we know, disc golf courses in the area are OPEN.
PARK DISTRICT INDOOR RECREATION
Illinois campgrounds are OPEN. (Camping in winter, why not?!) You may be able to book a site at nearby locations at reserveamerica.com. Many area campsites are walk-in only during the winter months.
A stroll at Allerton ranks at the top of our list any time of year and they are OPEN.
Curtis Orchard remains OPEN through December 23 (although many of the usual fall activities/equipment are closed for the season). Go look for some cats, feed the goats and pick up some baked goods, too.
The reindeer ranch is OPEN so head on over to wave to the reindeer and get your Christmas tree, too.
Mahomet Public Library is OPEN; Tolono Public Library is OPEN; Rantoul Public Library is OPEN; Allerton Public Library is OPEN. Champaign Public Library and Urbana Free Library have moved to curbside pickup only.
As far as we know, all libraries still offer curbside pickup and are accepting returns.
Places like the Art Coop Shop, The Pottery Place and Yellow & Co., to name a few, are all open for grab and go kits. There are capacity limits on stores, simply call ahead if you’re curious if you can drop in somewhere.
Drive around to see horses and buggies and get some cinnamon rolls to go while you’re there, too.
These outdoor objects are OPEN to check out.
Peoria Zoo and Miller Park Zoo are OPEN on a limited basis, as are the Indianapolis Zoo, the St. Louis Zoo, and Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo. Check ahead of time to see if the zoo you plan to visit requires you to reserve a time to enter – zoos are doing timed entrances to keep limits on the number of people in the zoo at one time. Scovill Zoo is already closed for the winter.
The Y is OPEN with many COVID-19 operational guidelines in place. You can reserve a time to use specific parts of the facility, such as half of the family pool or the gym, with your household.
BOWLING AND OTHER INDOOR RECREATION
Old Orchard Lanes & Links is CLOSED for mini-golf for the winter.
MUSEUMS in and near C-U
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Homer Lake Interpretive Center, Krannert Art Museum, and Spurlock Museum of World Cultures are all CLOSED for now. As a reminder, the Orpheum has closed permanently this year.
MUSEUMS/ATTRACTIONS outside C-U area
OTHER CLOSINGS OF NOTE
Driver Services Facilities in Illinois (DMV) are closed for in-person transactions through December 7. Read more here. (Opinions vary on whether or not this constitutes “family fun.”)
Looking for all kinds of info for the 2020 holiday season in Champaign-Urbana?
- Holiday Giving and Volunteering in Champaign-Urbana
- Holiday Food Favorites You Can Find Around Champaign-Urbana
- How to Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree in the Shawnee National Forest – For $5 (or Less)
- What You Need to Know about Hanukkah
- Where to Find Santa in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Where to Find Gingerbread Houses Around Champaign-Urbana
- Christmas Parades a Short Drive from Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Watch the Nutcracker Online Virtually – Even for FREE! – This Holiday Season
- Drive-Thru Holiday Events in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- All Aboard: Polar Express Fun for 2020 in Champaign-Urbana
- 8 Great Places to See Holiday Lights in Central Illinois
- Champaign-Urbana Area Holiday Events and Activities
- Holiday Shopping and Eating in Champaign-Urbana
- Thanksgiving Dinner To Go Options for Champaign-Urbana