Now that pumpkin spice season is out, and corn mazes are coming to a close, don’t despair. With fall coming to an end and winter approaching, Champaign has lots of festive activities to offer at an inexpensive cost. Here are five ways to have some fun this winter.

1. The first thing to put on your list of holiday activities requires venturing a bit outside of town to Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, located in Rantoul. Hardy’s is home to century old barns, 5,000 Christmas trees, and real Alaskan Reindeer. Chop down your own Fraser, Douglas Fir, Scotch, or White Pine, then warm up with some apple cider in their gift shop. Hardy’s offers a reindeer tour, where guests have a chance to pet reindeer flown in from Alaska for just $5. Hardy’s is located at 1356 Country Rd. 2900 N. Rantoul, IL, and is open Wed- Sat 10am – 7pm and Sunday 1pm – 7pm in November, and Tues – Sun 10am – 7pm in December.

2. The Virginia Theatre is playing Holiday movies all through December, kicking it off with Die Hard on December 2nd. December 11th they’ll show Home Alone, on December 12th they’ll show White Christmas, on December 15th, It’s A Wonderful Life, on December 17th, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, on December 19th, Elf, and to close off the holiday season, Miracle on 34th Street on December 21st. Prices and ticket information can be found on their website.
Virginia Theatre is located at 203 W Park Ave, Champaign, IL 61820.

3. The Krannert Center will be putting on The Nutcracker, performed by the Champaign Urbana Ballet and the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Shows will be during the day and evening, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from December 1st to December 10th. Ticket information can be found on their website.
The Krannert Center is located at 500 S Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801.

4. Winter is always a great time to venture off campus and check out local coffee shops. Get some friends together for a study date at Cafe Kopi (109 N Walnut St, Champaign), open til 11pm daily. Try their Mocha Kirfa, a latte with white chocolate and cinnamon syrup.

Cafe Aroma is another great option (118 N. Neil St, Champaign), offering homemade hot chocolate and a full breakfast and lunch menu. Make your study sessions a little less painful by going downtown and grabbing a hot drink.

If you’ve been naughty, one last chance to be nice

5. Lastly, consider giving back this holiday season. It’s a great way to know you’re helping someone else this winter. The Crisis Nursery (1309 W. HIll St, Urbana) will take new or very lightly used in excellent condition baby items. Courage Connection (Lincoln Square Mall, Urbana) accepts donations for new and lightly used clothing, shows, furniture, kitchen items, electronics, books, and children’s items. The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen (116 N First St, Champaign) accepts food donations of fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as non perishables. Meat and eggs must come from a certified source (Call Dick Bennett at (217) 377-4044 for further questions). Lastly, if you have extra books, Books2Prisoners (Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway Ave, Urbana – follow the signs inside) accepts used books.

For a calendar of more UIUC campus things to do, visit the Events Calendar.


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