Celebrate the holiday season with these CU spots


Photo courtesy of Literary Book Bar Website

The inside of The Literary, an indie book bar located in Downtown Champaign. The Literary is one of the many spots to visit during the holiday season.

By Kylie Corral, Staff Writer

As the magic of the holiday season rushes around the corner, the C-U community will be full of Christmas cheer, welcoming wishes and lots of giving. As people spend more time with their beloved family and friends, they might be wondering where they could find a cozy Christmas atmosphere in the C-U community. There are many locally owned businesses that offer just that!

The Literary  

The Literary is Champaign-Urbana’s very own indie book bar that opened late this fall with all the necessities for the perfect, cozy holiday trip this year. The Literary offers books, wine and fun, a mixture that’s foolproof for Christmas cheer.

“We are so grateful for all the support, encouragement and generosity we’ve experienced in the short time we’ve been open,” said Remington Rock, The Literary event planner. “The community has been so welcoming and positive. Anything from kind words upon visiting to lovely reviews has been so wonderful!” 

The Literary is already widely known in the C-U community for its many local events, garnering lots of attention from customers. This holiday season, it will have a Brunch with Santa on Dec. 5, Extended Holidays Shopping Hours on Dec. 14 and Ugly Sweater Night on Dec. 17.

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Rock said The Literary’s menus are created to invoke warmth and that “fuzzy feeling” the holidays bring.

“During not just the winter holidays but all year-round, we want to promote the importance of shopping and supporting your local businesses,” Rock said. “This community is full of wonderful local offerings that make C-U so unique and special. We’re so excited and thankful to be here and appreciate you more than you know!” 

Uniting Pride

Uniting Pride is the largest resource center for the LGBTQ+ community in Champaign-Urbana. As the heart of the LGBTQ+ community in C-U, Uniting Pride works to plan various events alongside their well-known yearly pride fest. Uniting Pride offers resources, training and workshops, as well as providing social and support programs for people of all ages. Uniting Pride is an organization that brings the Champaign-Urbana community together through its events and available resources.

While Uniting Pride is open for its regular duties this season, it will also be planning Christmas events for the holidays. In collaboration with The Literary, Uniting Pride will be hosting a Slay Bell Bash fundraiser for its organization on Dec. 11. If you’re looking for a way to support Uniting Pride this holiday season, come to the Slay Bell Bash fundraiser.

The Idea Store

The Idea Store is a nonprofit store that supplies artists with creative reuse for their projects. Donations are taken in by the shop and then sold for a multitude of different arts and crafts projects. The Idea Store is for everyone to explore their passions and creativity in art.

The Idea Store is a big part of the Champaign-Urbana community, and the holidays, for many, are a time of welcoming and giving in the C-U area. 

“The Idea Store is a donation-based store, so we experience giving constantly,” said Jessy Ruddell, executive director of the store. “The holidays are a time to connect with our customers, and there’s a few days of rest for our staff too.”

The Idea store is a primary location for those looking to celebrate the holidays this year. As Christmas approaches, many customers are visiting The Idea Store to search for heartfelt Christmas gifts.

“Cozy is not a word I’d use for The Idea Store,” Rudell said. “We facilitate coziness here instead. People run into each other a lot while shopping. Saturday there are usually a lot of friends that find each other at the same time.”

Christmas is a time for those you love, and The Idea Store is a perfect place to visit with friends and family. It’s the right place to begin your gift crafting for this year too. Ruddell wishes everyone out there a happy and safe holiday time with friends this holiday season.

The Community Center for the Arts

The Community Center for the Arts is a haven for artists of all kinds and is a collective musical community within the C-U community this holiday season through the themes of welcoming and giving. 

“First, strengthening musical connections in our community is at the heart of what we do at C4A,” said Tom Faux, director of programming at the Community Center for the Arts.

He said the center was overwhelmed by the support the C-U community has shown during the pandemic.

“We truly would not have survived the long online-only period without strong support from C-U and the surrounding community,” Faux said.

Faux also said lessons are the best gift to your loved ones this holiday and that the Community Center for the Arts has gift certificates they would be happy to customize for any instrument. Faux said music, which is a huge aspect of the holidays, is also a big part of C4A, which makes the center a perfect place for celebrating the holidays.

“Music-making and holiday celebration are just different faces of the same community spirit,” Faux said.“The holidays are a time when people are more conscious of the ties that bind us all together, and music is one of the most important of those ties!”

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