8 Things to Do in Champaign, Illinois (The Ultimate Guide)

By M L | Updated November 6th, 2022

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When you’re in Champaign, Illinois, you don’t just want to sit around and wait for the day to end. With this town’s thriving art, music, and food scenes, Champaign’s got plenty to do no matter when your travels take you here! Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, you’ll be able to get the most out of your time here with these suggestions. So check out this list of what to do in Champaign, Illinois!

State Farm Center

Feb 8, 2020; snow covers the grounds in front of State Farm Center, the University of Illinois sports arena, and the home court of the Illini basketball program

The State Farm Center is the home of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini basketball team and a multipurpose facility that can be used for concerts and conventions. In addition to hosting the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament three times, this venue has hosted artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Metallica.

The Virginia Theatre


Since its opening on September 20, 1922, the Virginia Theatre has been a staple of downtown Champaign. The theatre was named after the Virginia School for the Deaf and Dumb which had stood at that location since 1887. In 1973 it was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places by President Gerald Ford. It is one of only two remaining theaters from Western Electric’s Wonder Theaters line.

Memorial Stadium

URBANA, IL/USA – JUNE 3, 2018: Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

As one of the few stadiums that are still standing from the World War II era, Memorial Stadium has seen a lot. The facility has been home to the University of Illinois Fighting Illini football team since 1923 and has hosted concerts by some of the most famous names in music including Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, and U2. It’s also played host to Olympic athletes and Presidents during its storied history.

Krannert Art Museum

Kansas City, Missouri, USA on Mar. 22, 2014. The Liberty Memorial is a memorial to the soldiers who died in World War I and houses The National WWI Museum, as designated by the U.S Congress in 2004.

Established by the Krannert family of Champaign in 1939 as a private collection and gallery, the Krannert Art Museum is one of the largest university art museums on the East Coast. The museum’s permanent collection has grown to nearly 10,000 objects. It is housed in a massive neoclassical building at the center of the campus of Purdue University.

Hessel Park

Bridge over the Mill River with a background of autumn foliage

Nestled on the eastern edge of campus, Hessel Park is a great place for a picnic or a quick jog. It features an almost completely tree-lined walking path with benches and places to sit throughout. It’s also home to the Botanical Garden, which has over 500 different types of plants from all around the world. If you’re into geology and hiking, check out the Natural Steps – they’re rock formations that offer an amazing view of both campus and downtown Champaign.

Alto Vineyards and Winery

Mountain of Wine

Alto Vineyards is a family-owned winery nestled in the heart of historic Urbana, IL. They offer wine tastings from their award-winning wines including their signature Alto Red and Alto White. The wine-tasting room features an indoor fireplace and an outside patio with beautiful views.

West Side Park

While not the most exciting place on this list, West Side Park is a great place for families. The park includes a small playground and picnic area that’s perfect for those looking for a more low-key experience. There are also plenty of benches and open spaces for people to enjoy the outdoors.

William M. Staerkel Planetarium

In the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you can take a tour of the solar system. You’ll learn about our sun and some of its planets as you explore what it would be like for astronauts to visit them. You’ll also get a glimpse into how stars are born and die. Bring your friends and family along on this one-of-a-kind adventure!


Get out there and enjoy all that Champaign has to offer! It might not be the most well-known city, but it is an awesome place with a lot of great things going on. There are tons of events happening every day – whether it’s food festivals or live music at local restaurants – you’re never short of things to do. If you ever find yourself looking for something new to explore, head over to The Arcadia Tap for delicious craft beer and fried cheese curds before heading downtown for the 2nd Friday art walk.