Are you looking for an Instagram worthy holiday photo location? Are you looking for that perfect shot to finish your holiday cards? We happen to have several ideas where to go in the Champaign-Urbana area
We’ve spent a lot of time driving around Champaign-Urbana, Monticello, Gibson City, Mansfield and Mahomet looking at lights and holiday decorations lately. Our family has enjoyed drinking hot cocoa, riding in the car in pajamas with blankets, and looking at the beautiful twinkling lights all around town and Central Illinois. We have to admit that we have coordinated outfits on a few occasions in search of that perfect holiday photo stop or selfie… and may have taken a few more pictures than we’d like to admit.
In case you are still searching for a festive photo backdrop to finish your holiday greeting cards or just want some fun family snapshots, we’ve picked out a few of our favorite photo backdrops to ponder for your next adventure around town.
Note: Always make sure to check out dates and hours of operation before planning your family’s next photo-worthy road adventure.
Allerton Park, 515 Old Timber Rd., Monticello: Check out the Kirby Winter Wellness Walk, open most nights through Jan. 31, 2021. This walk features many fun photo opportunities so make sure to bring your camera along. To support social distancing practices, a reservation is required for this year’s walk. Fun photo opportunities include the gardens (shown below), a large lit tunnel, a functional swing with lights, and other lit structures. Find out more about your family’s adventure to the holiday lights at Allerton here.
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, 1356 County Road 2900 N, Rantoul: Take a family picture with the reindeer or snap an Instagram worthy selfie. There’s a herd of authentic Alaskan reindeer for you and your family to interact with. Find out more about visiting Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch here.
Lake of the Woods, 109 S. Lake of the Woods Rd., Mahomet: If you have not had a chance to check out the picturesque sights at Lake of the Woods, you will not be disappointed. The crew at the Champaign County Forest Preserve District worked hard this holiday season to create spaces to preserve your family’s memories. Make sure to bring a photographer or a family friend because these backdrops are ready for you and your crew. If you haven’t taken holiday photos yet, this could be just the place for your next adventure. Find out more about the holiday decor at Lake of the Woods here.
Mack Glass Tree Build Site, downtown Champaign: If you haven’t seen the impressive tree structure located near the intersection of Neil and Washington Street in downtown Champaign, go take a look — your family might be fortunate enough to snap a picture with a world record object. Artist Jason Mack is attempting to build the world’s tallest glass Christmas tree at 31 feet and weighing 2 tons. He is currently accepting donations of clear and green glass bottles/jars/containers on-site during open hours only. Find out more about the event here.
Porter Park, Champaign: Our friends at the Champaign Park District realized the need for spreading additional holiday cheer this year through a vibrant light display at Porter Park, located near the intersection of Rising and Windsor Roads. Be sure to play with the night features on your camera because the wooden bridge has become a popular photo location on social media channels this holiday season. Enjoy a walk with your family and snap a few pictures along the way. Or bring a letter for the man in red himself, Santa, to drop off in a mailbox along your walk. Find out more about visiting the park in the dark here.
Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, Champaign: Take a family picture or snap a selfie with a festive holiday goat. Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery will be open for farm visits and farm store shopping Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 20. On Dec. 19, Prairie Fruits Farm will have a few goats dressed in holiday attire for guests to pet and interact with. Come out to see the goats, check out the great cheese and accompaniments in the farm store, and maybe even enjoy a cup of gelato or warm spiced cider. Look for upcoming details on their website or social media pages. If you are looking for more information about shopping locally at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, visit our shopping and eating locally guide here.
Prairie Gardens, 3000 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign: If vintage red trucks or giant Santas (or large stuffed reindeer) are your thing, you won’t want to miss the fantastic displays at Prairie Gardens. Experience the magic of the season with a store decorated head-to-toe in unique, inspiring Christmas décor. If you are looking for more information about shopping locally at Prairie Gardens, visit our shopping and eating locally guide here.
Jump directly to Champaign-Urbana holiday Info: Gigantic Holiday Guide | Drive Thru Holiday Events | How to Watch the Nutcracker for Free | Favorite CU Nutcracker Dancers Teach Online | Where to See Santa | Christmas Parades | Where to Get a Live Christmas Tree
Know of a photo location worthy of checking out? Email us and let us know.
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