Give your dad the ultimate Illini experience

By Ava Traverso, Contributing Writer

It can be stressful to think of what activities to do when your dad comes to town. This Dads Weekend, take the time to make sure your dad gets your version of the authentic Illini experience. Here are some ideas to get you started on planning your schedule for the weekend ahead.

Cheer on the Illini

This weekend is packed full of sporting events, which are perfect if you and your dad are sports fans. On Friday, men’s hockey will face Robert University at the University ice arena at 7:30 pm. Friday night also features men’s basketball playing an exhibition game against Illinois Wesleyan at State Farm Center. Football will be playing against University of Minnesota at 2:30 on Saturday; dads are welcome in the student section, block I. No matter what sport you and your dad enjoy the most, there are multiple options to choose from.

Tour the campus

If sports just aren’t your thing, there are still ways to experience the Illini spirit. Consider taking your dad to well-known sites at the University, such as the Alma Mater, the Lincoln statue at Lincoln Hall or the Main Quad. Rather than giving the traditional campus tour, show off your personal favorites instead, such as your frequent study spot or go-to coffee shop.

Eat and drink like a local

Take your dad to enjoy your favorite bars and restaurants on campus. Avoid the chains and try local joints so that you’re really getting the best bang for your buck. If you’re looking for traditional American fanfare, some good places to try would be Merry Ann’s Diner or Murphy’s Pub. If your dad is a fan of trying new foods, take a walk around Campustown; there are plenty of places that offer authentic cuisine from various cultures.

Venture off campus

No matter if you call Champaign or Urbana home, exploring beyond your usual campus spots can offer a refreshing change of scenery to campus life. Downtown Champaign and Urbana have a plethora of charming restaurants and shops. There are also craft breweries such as The Blind Pig Brewing Co. or Destihl.

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Walk down memory lane

If your dad happens to be an alumnus, ask him to bring you to his favorite haunts from when he was a student at the University. This way you get to know other places on campus that you might not have known before. My parents met at the Illini Inn, so that will for sure be a stop for me this Dads Weekend.

Ava is a sophomore in ACES.

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