Celebrate Dads Weekend with these CU spots


Cameron Krasucki

Two horses pull a wooden wagon at Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch on Oct 31, 2020. There are a multitude of great spots to take your father over Dads Weekend in the Champaign-Urbana area.

By Isabelle Bertolini, Contributing Writer

The University’s annual Dads Weekend falls from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31. After not being able to spend the weekend at in-person events last year, many students may be finding this year’s Dads Weekend extra special. Though the University is hosting several events for the weekend, like a football game with BBQ dinner, an a cappella show, a 5k and a brunch, Champaign-Urbana has lots of great spots to spend the weekend as well.

So once you’re done mooching off of your dad for groceries or asking him to fix things in your apartment or dorm, consider showing your dad some of these C-U spots.

The Axe Bar – 114 S. Neil St., Champaign

Go blow off some steam with dad by throwing some axes! Champaign’s downtown scene recently opened The Axe Bar ­­— a sports bar that has food, drinks and a fun workout. They’ve got 10 throwing lanes, 24 beers on tap and a ton of great bar food and liquor. Don’t fret if you haven’t thrown an axe before, their  axe coaches will give you a quick tutorial on how to throw, and then your timer starts. 

Even if axe throwing isn’t your thing, it’s a great place to go to get out of the house to unwind. It’s also a great way to bond with Dad and show off your skills. Walk-ins are welcome, and people older than 18 can reserve lanes online. 

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    KAM’s – 102 E. Green St., Champaign

    Show Dad some of our iconic Illini traditions and take him to KAM’s. Wait in the long line with all the other dads, teach him how to properly “ice out” a Blue Guy and show him a proper glimpse of some of your college experience. Have a picture-perfect moment with the mural at the beer garden and take a picture to commemorate the special weekend. Make sure to get in line early, considering that KAM’s Dads Weekend merch has already sold out. Expect to see some dads repping KAM’s “Home of the Drinking Illini”  gear this weekend.

    Jarling’s – 309 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

    Looking for a sweet treat? Who doesn’t like ice cream? Jarling’s Custard Cup has become an iconic ice cream shop in the Champaign community. I mean, even Tom Hanks raved about them on Twitter! The shop has sundaes, shakes, malts, snowstorms, pies, cakes, waffle baskets and many more options. Their products are made in small batches throughout the day and are guaranteed to be fresh. With carefully selected ingredients from the highest quality Midwestern dairy farms, there is no wonder why the community loves Jarling’s.

    Curtis Orchards – 3902 S. Duncan Road, Champaign

    If you are looking to enjoy the fall weather, Curtis Orchards is a fun and affordable activity. There is no admission fee to enter the park, and visitors can choose which activities they want to participate in. There is a petting zoo, giant corn maze, tractor tours, pumpkin picking and more! Don’t forget to get some of their award-winning honey and apple cider, as well as their pies, fritters and other products in their store and bakery.

    Baldwin Asylum Haunted Attraction – 2040 Lon Drive, Rantoul 

    Though this spot isn’t technically in the C-U area, its uniqueness and relevance to the season warrants it a spot on our Dads Weekend list. Baldwin Asylum Haunted Attraction was voted one of Illinois’ Top 10 Haunts by Haunted Illinois and is a chilling experience created by Slayerville Productions. The 10,000 square feet of absolute terror is bound to give visitors a fright. As the tour takes you through the aftermath of a witch’s curse from start to finish, evil spirits and souls fill the basement, experiments gone wrong wander the hallway and monsters roam all over. The high-quality set and makeup designs created by professional artists immerse you in horror. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, tickets can be purchased for $20 per person on the attraction’s website. The asylums will be open all throughout Dads Weekend, doors opening at 7 p.m..

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