By Madeleine Chalifoux, 2018-19 SCS Student Advising Leader:
Staying in the CU this summer? Whether you are spending the summer working on campus or taking classes, summertime in Champaign-Urbana presents many opportunities to get involved in new activities both on and off campus. Here are some ideas:
- Explore downtown Champaign. Experience the nightlife and culinary scene in downtown Champaign by sampling popular bars and restaurants such as Destihl, Big Grove Tavern, Black Dog, and Pizza Antica. Afterwards, walk on over to Cream and Flutter for a decadent cupcake. If you are looking to spend a relaxing weekend morning, stop by one of the several trendy coffee shops such as Café Kopi, Pekara, or Aroma Café to grab a drink and a treat. Most downtown establishments offer outdoor seating if you are looking to soak up some sun! Throughout the summer, the city of Champaign holds “Friday Night Live” events every Friday evening in the heart of downtown Champaign. It’s a great time to wander around and enjoy good food and live music.
- Check out the Champaign public library. Tired of studying in the same on-campus spaces day in and day out? Change up your routine by heading over to the Champaign Public Library to take advantage of study spaces and exceptional resources. The public library is located a short bike ride from campus or can be directly accessed by many MTD bus routes.
- Grab a cold treat at Jarling’s Custard Cup. Take part in a Champaign tradition by enjoying a specialty blizzard at Jarling’s Custard Cup on a hot summer day. Famous for its custard, the establishment boasts lines out the door almost every day of the summer months.
- Want to earn some extra cash? Become a campus tour guide! University-wide and college-specific campus tours are held throughout the summer months. Due to the large number of prospective students who opt to take college visits during the summer, current students who can lead campus tours over the summer months are always in demand!
- Learn a new skill. There are many classes offered on campus during the summers. Even if you choose not to take a class for credit, you can still audit a class. Or, you can take part in one of the many intensive summer language programs on campus. Parkland college also offers many workshops and community classes over the summer where you can learn anything from welding, upholstery, and glass blowing to how to start a business on Etsy or how to perfect your Korean cooking skills. Grocery stores and eateries such as Harvest Market in Champaign or the Common Ground Food Cooperative in Urbana also often hold their own instructional cooking lessons and other fun social and crafting events.
- Take advantage of the Summer Quad Cinema Series hosted by the Illini Union. Every Thursday at 9pm from May 16-Aug 24 the university puts on an outdoor screening of a newly-released blockbuster film outside on the quad. These events are free to students with an I-card and there is an additional popcorn/drink special for $1.50.
- Take a day trip to Chicago. Charter bus companies, such as Peoria Charter, continue to run daily bus routes to and from Chicago throughout the summer. So, grab your friends and plan a day in the city!