Champaign-Urbana area offers plenty of options for fall fun

Even though Champaign-Urbana is what some consider a small town, it still has a lot of activities and places to visit that are suit the interests of those that wish to remain indoors and those that wish to go outdoors.

One such place is the University’s Arboretum, a 57-acre living laboratory with a large plant collection.

According to the Arboretum’s website, the gardens housed there were made possible by a donation by the family of alumnus and former faculty member Miles C. Hartley in 1994. Since the donation, the Arboretum has grown to encompass the Noel Welcome Garden, the Idea Garden and the Japan House. The Japan House serves the campus as a teaching center for traditional Japanese art and culture. Tea ceremonies are held every Thursday afternoon for a cost of six dollars per person, and free ceremonies are held during the year.

Those not looking to walk around a garden or experience some culture can always visit a few bars on Green Street. There are more than half a dozen bars with great food and drinks served every evening.

Some popular locations are Legends, Murphy’s and Firehaus. The cities’ downtown areas have their share of bars, such as the Iron Post in Urbana and the High Dive in Champaign.

During the fall semester and the summer, the Illini Union Board holds the outdoor Quad Cinema.

A nice free alternative to renting or going to the movies, the Union also holds Illinites on a few Fridays each semester with fun activities.

Most people do not realize the amazing performances happening almost every week at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Numerous orchestras from around the world visit the center each academic year to perform.

In recent years, the Dulbin Philharmonic Orchestra has visited, as well as famous Indian entertainer AR Rahman. Students usually get a discounted rate for the tickets at the center. In addition to professional performers, students in the college of Fine and Applied Arts showcase their talents in reasonably priced shows.

Students looking for fun activities can also visit the Curtis Orchard, which is a great place to go for apple picking, a corn maze and other harvest festivities.

There’s even a registered student organization dedicated to fall fun, called October Lovers.

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch hosts a corn maze during the fall months.

If you don’t want to do any structured activities mentioned above during the early months in the fall and late spring and summer, sitting on the Quad is a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the campus.