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6 Favorite Things To Do near Champaign, IL This Fall

Posted August 22, 2022
Pumpkin Patch

all is right around the corner – and it’s Champaign, IL’s favorite time of year. The time of the year when students are coming back, sports are in full swing, and the weather makes everyone want to spend some last lingering moments outside until the cold comes. But are you and your friends looking for something unique and fun to do in Champaign this fall? With the influx of students back on campus, there are many events and places to experience. Check out the list of the best activities in the area in the fall of 2022. 

Crystal Lake Park 

When you’re crowded in a dorm and have classes all day, it might be a good idea to take some time to get out in the great outdoors. Crystal Lake Park is just a short drive from campus and is a much welcome distraction with its beautiful dense forests and scenic views. Some non-motorized boats and vehicles can be rented from May to September. 

This park is full of wonders, and planetware.com says there are also “playgrounds, picnic areas, and a unique landscaped brick labyrinth that is a challenge to work your way through. Interpretive information about the surrounding landscapes is scattered throughout the entire park.” 

Grange Grove

Grange Grove is hosted as a tailgate pre-football game and encourages goers to “Bring your tailgate party inside Grange Grove during the 2022 Fighting Illini Football season. Grange Grove includes live music and entertainment, a family zone, student tailgates, corporate hospitality, the Fighting Illini Team Walk, the Marching Illini pregame show, and GameDay Spirit merchandise locations.” If you’re not a football fan, this can be an awesome compromise to get you in the fall mood. Check out the schedule and details here

Urbana’s Market at the Square

A great off-campus option for fresh produce and some time out in the sun is visiting the Market at the Square. According to plantware.com, the farmers market “takes place every Saturday morning from May through October. This popular farmers’ market is an open-space selling venue featuring fresh produce, prepared foods, plants, clothing, and a wide variety of locally made goods.”

Shop for groceries, goodies, and even grab some hot, prepared food-to-go; this farmers market will not disappoint. Make sure you come back every week to check out the new live musical guest who performs while you shop. Check out their website for more info. 

Flannel Fest

When looking for fall activities, something called Flannel Fest hits the nail on the head. A Champaign classic, Fall fest has an abundance of different activities and is fun for college students and families. If you want to live your best lumberjack life, don’t sleep on Flannel Fest. “Get your flannel ready and come out for a day of fun fall festivities! Watch the Timberwork’s Lumberjack Show perform demonstrations throughout the event, including log rolling, axe throwing, and speed carving. Enjoy music, art, games, crafts, food trucks, Lumberjack Dash, and much more at this fall event!” Check out details for the event here

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch 

Exactly what you think it’s going to be, and exactly what you need it to be, Curtis’s Orchard and Pumpkin Patch has a main attraction of, you guessed it, apples and pumpkins. For a small fee, you can pick your apples right off the trees and bring home a gorgeous pumpkin for your front steps or to carve. They even provide you with a wagon! 

According to chambanamoms.com, “Curtis Orchard is open from July 20 until Dec. 23, and it has apples available most of that time. You can see what varieties are available on its website. You can even sign up to get emails when certain varieties are ready. However, not all varieties are available for picking.” Don’t miss their cute website with more info, found here

Champaign County Hot Air Balloon Festival

For the first time, Champaign is presenting a Hot Air Balloon Festival. People are excited about what the sky will look like on 9/24 of this year! The event will be held September 23-24, 2022, at Dodds Park.

“Featured events include:

Tethered Balloon Rides (free for children with disabilities at designated times provided by OSF Healthcare)

  • Carnival
  • Balloon Launches
  • Kids Tent
  • Food Vendors
  • Balloon Glow
  • And More!

Cost is $10 per adult.” 

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