With the kids back in school, September can be a busy month. (You should see my planner — there’s not nearly enough blank space!) So do yourself a favor and take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a little adult time this month.
Whether you’re looking for a date-night atmosphere or just a fun night out with friends, we’ve rounded up a list of the top places for adults to go in Champaign-Urbana and beyond in September.
Thanks to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for sponsoring our Grownup Things to Do. When it comes to top-quality entertainment, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is the place to be in September. And this year’s ELLNORA Guitar Festival is the highlight. ELLNORA takes place at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on Sept. 8-9.
Colin Jost at State Farm Center: If you haven’t watched Saturday Night Live in a while, Colin Jost — as part of the Weekend Update segment — is one of the funniest parts of the current cast. He’ll be performing, along with two other cast members, on Sept. 7.
Meadowbrook Park Jazz Walk: Enjoy local jazz music while experiencing the beautiful sculptures at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana on Sept. 15. It’s free (and appropriate for children too) and a chance to relax and unwind in a peaceful setting.
Greener Pastures at the Virginia Theatre: The Arthouse Experience Film Series continues Sept. 15 with Greener Pastures, a 2023 documentary that captures the day-to-day lives of four small Midwestern multigenerational family farms over the course of three years.
The Great Cover Up 31: This event (Sept. 15-16) at the Rose Bowl Tavern in Urbana raises money for area charities by showcasing dozens of local musicians. It’s a weekend of tribute acts featuring mini-sets of 20 minutes. Get details here.
Pygmalion Festival: Music, technology, food, makers, and literature are all featured at this Champaign-Urbana festival, which is in its 19th year. This year, the festival takes place Sept. 21-23. Check out the schedule here.
Pride Fest at Canopy Club: This two-night bonanza (Sept. 29-30) offers highlights galore, but we can’t resist the Drag Extravaganza that includes an appearance by Lala Ri of Ru Paul’s Drag Race season 8. Get details here, including the $40 VIP package.
The Unreliable Bestiary: Cetacean The University of Illinois’ Stock Pavilion is the site — yes, you read that correctly — for Cetacean, a play that, well, it’s just best if you read this quick summary of what it’s about. Multiple performances Sept. 28-30.
Oktoberfest: In case it isn’t apparent, Sept. 30 is a stacked weekend of stuff to do! The 10th annual Oktoberfest in downtown Champaign offers a celebration of music, beer and food. More details here.
Thursday Night Trivia at Pour Bros.: The weekly Thursday event features a trivia contest that is par excellence. Email or message Pour Bros. Craft Taproom in Champaign for a post for your team (max six people). Walk-ins can get on a waiting list to replace any no-shows.