Mom's Day: explore beyond the campus limits


Japan House in Urbana, IL. Photo by Alyssa Abay

By Haneyah Khawaja

Moms Weekend has been a tradition at the University of Illinois for many years. It is a great opportunity to share a piece of your college experience with your mother through different activities planned over the weekend.

Most students tend to show their moms around common UIUC places, such as the Alma Mater, Green Street, and the Quad. However, not many people explore the Champaign-Urbana area surrounding our campus.

There are many places and activities to go to that students miss out on because they do not explore these surrounding areas. Moms Weekend is the perfect time to do some exploring with your friends and their moms, so here’s a potential schedule for you to consider.

Start off your weekend with breakfast at The Original Pancake House (OHOP). OHOP is a crucial part of the Champaign-Urbana experience. They serve every breakfast item you can think of, including pancakes, omelets and waffles with a variety of toppings. OHOP can satisfy anyone’s breakfast cravings.

From there, take your mom to downtown Champaign. There are many cute and interesting stores to see.

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This weekend is also the beginning of the Boneyard Arts Festival. The festival is a unique experience because it is a four-day, county-wide celebration that takes place in hundreds of venues. The festival showcases local weavers, painters, sculptors and photographers. There are also performances from entertainers of all types. The best part about the festival is it is free!

After strolling around Champaign, head to one of the many great restaurants that downtown Champaign has to offer. Big Grove Tavern is a great option for typical American food, whereas KoFusion would be a good choice if you are in the mood for some sushi. Because there are many different types of cuisine in the area, it possible to please everyone.

End the night by taking a walk through Bardeen Engineering Quad. Many might find this activity a bit odd, but once the sun sets and the stars come out, sitting on the quad and stargazing is one of the best sights to see.

The next morning, head to Merry-Ann’s Diner for breakfast. The Merry-Ann’s located on the Urbana side of campus is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and serves traditional breakfast items that are loaded with all the flavor you could hope for.

After Merry Ann’s, head to the Japanese Gardens here on campus. On Saturday, the Japanese Gardens are hosting their Spring Open House, which consists of garden tours, a chokes dolls presentation and a tea time ceremony, all for only $5. The events go on until 2 p.m, perfect for grabbing a quick bite at Black Dog.

Black Dog Smoke and Ale house has two locations in either Champaign or Urbana. They are known for their traditional barbecue style food and they’re vast array of sauces. This place is by far the most famous authentic barbecue restaurant here in town. They even have vegetarian options for those who want the taste of barbecue, but have dietary limitations.

After eating, take a little breather, head to Game Day to buy your mom some Illini gear to set her up for the next time she comes to visit.

On Sunday, head to Green Street, which has many different local and chain restaurants, ranging from Asian, Indian and Arabic food to pizza and wings . After eating, walk to Alma to get the famous Illinois picture in front of her.

From there, you can stroll down the Quad and walk your mom through your class schedule, so she can get a taste of your daily life here on campus; a perfect way to end a fun-filled weekend.

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