Make the most of Moms Weekend with these events

By Kiran Bond and Matt Troher

Visitors at least year’s craft and vendor fair, held by the Illini Union Board, look at jewelry for sale. The fair will return for this Moms Weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. (Brigida Dockus)

It’s the time of year. Make your reservations, clean your apartments and get ready for a weekend like no other. It’s Moms Weekend.

As Illinois’ beloved mothers make their annual pilgrimages to campus for the weekend, make sure to plan your schedule to make the most of the weekend.

Here are some events you won’t want to miss.


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The Union is hosting a few Mom-themed events this weekend!

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, the Moms Association will hold their annual meeting and awards ceremony at the Union.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Illini Union Board’s Moms Weekend Craft and Vendor fair will be held. Running for most of the day, the event will have dozens of booths with craft vendors.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, the Moms Association will be hosting their annual Moms Weekend brunch at the Illini Union Ballroom. Tickets are $35 and seating is limited.

Around town

Start your Moms Weekend off right by attending the Moms Weekend Kickoff Event at Jupiter’s at the Crossing, a combination pizzeria/bar in southwest Champaign. The event begins Friday at 6 p.m., and tickets are $35. Admission price will cover dinner at the pizza buffet and one drink at the bar.

The cash bar will be open, so rock on over to keep the night going. The night will be accompanied by live music from The Other Guys, one of the University’s premier a capella groups.

The University’s Horticulture Club will host their first-ever Spring Plant Fair all-day Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Held in the Plant Science Laboratory, the event will feature a wide array of plants cultivated by club members alongside a plant sale. Here, you’ll certainly feel spring is in full swing.

Saturday night at 7 p.m., the Illini Muslim Moms will host their Illini Iftar Dinner at the new Dubai Grill. Alongside dinner, the event will also feature Ramadan goody bags. Make sure to RSVP, as there is limited capacity.

Families eat at the annual Moms Weekend Brunch held in the Illini Union Ballrooms on April 3, 2022. This year, the brunch will be on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Logan Hodson)

Make sure to stop by Mia Za’s Sunday afternoon for the Illini Mom’s Weekend Fundraiser. Present the fundraiser’ flier found on the Moms Association Website with your order, and a percentage of sales will go to support the Illini Moms Association. Mia Za’s serves a variety of Italian dishes created to your liking.

At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is hosting spring-themed Cheese Church services with author and cheese preacher Erika Kubick. She’s celebrating her book “Cheese Sex Death: A Bible for the Cheese Obsessed!”

The annual Boneyard Arts Festival is a four-day event spanning the entire weekend showcasing art all over Champaign County. This collaborative event takes place in nearly 80 venues and features the work of sculptors, weavers, painters, photographers and other artists.

Venues on campus include the University YMCA, Krannert Art Museum and Spurlock Museum. You can find the full list online.

Sports & activities

Whether your parents are the sporty kind, or you just want a day out at about, there are plenty of sporting events to add to your Moms Weekend roster. All softball, baseball and tennis matches are free.

On Friday, Illinois softball will take on Ohio State at 5 p.m., and Illinois baseball will play rivals Indiana at 6 p.m. If you’re not a fan of bat-and-ball sports, Illinois men’s tennis is taking on Wisconsin at 6 p.m. as well.

On Saturday, Illini softball will continue their series against Ohio State at 1 p.m., and the baseball team will suit up for a rematch against Indiana at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, the softball and baseball teams will close out their series at noon and 1 p.m., respectively. Illini tennis will play Nebraska at noon as well.

If you’re looking to take part in an activity rather than just watch, the ARC will host several group fitness classes specifically for the Moms Weekend festivities. Registration is $10 for non-ARC members.

Two group cycling classes on Saturday will be held from 10-10:45 a.m. and from 1-1:45 a.m. Two more cycling classes will be offered Sunday from 9:15-10 a.m., and from 10:15-11 a.m. A special Zumba class is slated for Sunday from 1-2 p.m.

Saturday morning, the Society of Women Engineers and the Illini Mom’s Association are co-sponsoring the 5K Run/Walk. The race begins at 9 a.m. and will take participants around the Main Quad and into campus. Registration is $13 and all proceeds will go towards the Mom’s Association Scholarship fund.

For the academic moms

For those looking to make their Moms Weekend a little more intellectually stimulating, there are plenty of options to be found. Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., Françoise Baylis will be giving a Distinguished Public Lecture in Genomics at the I Hotel.

Baylis, a respected bioethicist known for her work on issues of women’s health, will give a lecture entitled “Designer Babies: What are they & do we want them?”. The lecture will be free and open to the public.

On Saturday, the Engineering Undeclared Program will be hosting a Mom’s Weekend Trivia at the Campus Instructional Facility at 1 p.m. This student/parent trivia event will include light refreshments and test your knowledge along the way.

Sunday morning, the Office of Minority Students Affairs will host their Moms Day Scholastic Awards Ceremony. Celebrating the scholastic achievements of their students, the OMSA will confer several awards and feature several student and campus leader speakers. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the Illini Union.

Live music

It’s a good weekend for choir lovers! The Women’s Glee Club and Black Chorus are both having Moms Weekend concerts.

Conducted by Andrea Solya, the Women’s Glee Club will be performing “Suffrage Cantata” by renowned composer Andrea Ramsey, along with three other pieces. The concert is at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Conducted by Ollie Watts Davis, the Black Chorus will be performing their concert titled “MOM, Our Woman King.” The concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Both concerts will be in Foellinger Great Hall inside the Krannert Center for Performing Arts.

Illinois Rip Chords, an all-treble a cappella group, is having their spring concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Foellinger Auditorium. A cappella group Xtension Chords and Rip Chord alumni will make special appearances.

The University’s Harp Studio is also holding a Moms Weekend performance. Featuring students of Professor Ann Yeung, the recital will be a showcase of multi-stylistic harp music. The recital takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Music Building auditorium.

Alongside student music groups, many off-campus artists will perform in Urbana-Champaign this weekend.

Rose Bowl Tavern is hosting jazz and country musicians all weekend.

On Friday, Eric Lund’s Jazz Friends will play a night of jazz at 5 p.m. This group is a long-term popular staple within the local jazz community. At 8 p.m., Tom Grassman Band will play a setlist of popular rock song covers.

On Saturday, the tavern will host blues musician Andy Duncanson with the Black Eyed Lillies at 3 p.m. and country rock band New Twang City at 8 p.m.

On Sunday at 4:30 p.m., the tavern will see a trio of jazz musicians perform: Tito Carrillo, Jeff Helgesen and Saori Kataoka. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a country-themed open mic night called Nick’s Country Jam.

Alto Vineyards is also hosting musicians all weekend. Saturday at 3 p.m., the Fairchilds will perform. On Sunday at 2 p.m., Gloria Roubal will perform.

Canopy Club is hosting a “Now! That’s What I Call the 90’s” party starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday night. A Nirvana Tribute band will be there, supported by groovy grunge band Dead Original. Later, there will be a ’90s throwback party with DJ NotoriousFavi.

Neil St. Blues is also hosting a decade-themed party. DJ Silkee will host a ’90s-and-2000s-themed night of fun music.

Live theater

There are few musicals in town!

Catch Lyric Theatre’s production of “City of Angels,” a smart and stylish film noir musical, at the Virginia Theatre. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. There is a matinee show at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Student-run organization Illini Student Musicals is doing “Grease” performances this weekend. The shows, taking place in Lincoln Hall Theater, are on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Parkland College is putting on a production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” There are three shows this weekend: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. All shows take place in Harold and Jean Miner Theatre.


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