Hidden gems in Champaign-Urbana


By Maaike Niekerk, Summer Editor

Heading off campus into Champaign-Urbana can be intimidating for anyone new to the area. Here are some fun spots to visit that you may not know about.


CU Adventures in Time and Space

Working an escape room together can be an excellent bonding activity for a new RSO on campus— or any new group of friends.

Located in downtown Urbana, CU Adventures in Time and Space offers seven different in-person escape rooms and one online escape room, all featuring unique storylines.

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    The escape rooms are an hour in length, and can be played with groups of two to 10 people.

    Bookings can be made on the CU Adventures in Time and Space website here.


    Seven Saints Bar & Grill

    For a slightly more upscale option, Seven Saints Bar and Grill boasts a delicious menu and a friendly environment. 

    Seven Saints has a small performance area, and occasionally hosts live musicians — such as various University jazz groups — for guests to enjoy alongside their meals.

    With an abundance of positive online reviews, Seven Saints can be trusted to deliver a high quality meal after a long day on campus. 

    In the center of downtown Champaign, the restaurant isn’t too far away from campus and is a great stop for a special meal.

    More information can be found in the Seven Saints website here.


    Meadowbrook Park

    For a more outdoor approach, Meadowbrook Park in Urbana showcases the beauty of the (extremely flat) Midwest. The park provides a unique combination of nature and artwork with multiple sculptures along its winding prairie paths.

    The park, though it is close by the hustle and bustle of campus, is a nice break from the chaos that is moving into a new space at the same time as hundreds of others. 

    It is also home to an iconic “wooden playground” backed by a big grassy field that is perfect for picnics.

    More information can be found on the park’s website here.


    Savoy 16 + IMAX

    With no movie theater available on campus, the Savoy 16 + IMAX is a great spot to see all of the latest movie releases on the big screen.

    Ran by Phoenix Theatres Entertainment, the theater’s large number of screens allow for a wide variety of viewing times, making it easier to fit a movie into your schedule.

    The IMAX additionally shows films in 3-D, with an extra-large screen to enhance viewing experience.

    Located in Savoy, a town next to Champaign, the theater is a straight bus ride off campus at the Savoy Plaza.

    Movie times and additional information can be found here.


    Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch

    Another opportunity for outdoor activity with plenty of food involved comes in the form of Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch.

    About a ten minute drive off campus, Curtis Orchard is well worth the trip in order to spend a day outdoors enjoying fresh apple cider donuts. 

    Curtis Orchard additionally includes a venue for live music, a small corn maze, a cafe and a store with many orchard-themed items.

    With an abundance of activities for people of all ages, Curtis Orchard is a standout spot in Champaign, and labels itself on its website as an “escape to the country.”

    Curtis Orchard could be a great place to visit as a nice change from the traditional urban surroundings of campus.


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