Things To Do This Summer In Champaign

It’s sweet summer in Champaign, Illinois! Summer is finally here, and we are finally reminded once again why we persevere through the Midwest winters. If you find yourself in the Champaign-Urbana this summer, here are a few outdoor and sun-filled activities and locations around town that you can visit to have the best summer yet!


Kaufman Lake

Kaufman Lake is known for its beautiful views and lots of outdoor fun for everybody. Whether you’re looking for a quiet scenic walk around the lake, a romantic canoe date with your honey, or a fishing trip with your family or buddies, Kaufman Lake in Champaign is a great outdoor spot! The Lake has picnic tables and offers a variety of activities all year round.

There are a few rules, however. Due to a large amount of fishing and boats on Kaufman Lake, swimming is prohibited. Additionally, ice fishing and skating are also banned for safety.

For your safety, ice skating, ice fishing, and swimming are prohibited on Kaufman Lake. For more information on Kaufman Lake, visit


Boneyard Creek Trail

Creepy name – beautiful trail

Boneyard Creek is a paved trail that winds through Champaign, making it perfect for summer strolls with your pooch or friends. It’s difficult to say how exactly Boneyard Creek got its name. Many believe it was an area where Native tribes would clean their kill after hunting. Others believe that natives would bury their dead in leather bags and bindings near the Creek, and after some time the leather would break down, releasing bones into the Lake. We may never know the true facts behind the name! A Champaign mayor did attempt to rename the lake “Silver Lake” (there are even some restaurants nearby called ‘Silver Lake’), but the name never stuck. Aside from the morbid name given to this area of Champaign, Boneyard Creek offers Champaign residences a gorgeous walking and hiking trail, as well as providing a scenic view from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Engineering Campus.


Looking for On/Off Campus UIUC Housing? View Currently Available Apartments.


Boneyard Creek has previously been infamous for being trash-ridden and poorly maintained, but the City of Champaign has taken measures to clean up the area and keep the trails clean and safe. Boneyard Creek is perfect for summer walks with pets or friends, or some quiet alone time in nature!

For even more trails and hikes to do around Illinois, visit Hiking Trails in Illinois.


Alto Vineyards and Winery

What better way to spend a summer night in Champaign than sipping wine and watching the sunset? We can’t think of any. If you’re 21+, check out Alto Vineyards and Winery on Duncan road. The winery offers walk-in wine tasting, unique wine-related gifts, and great goods and products that are locally sourced. Alto Winery has both outdoor and indoor seating, and even offers a summer concert series called “Music Among the Vines” a program of mostly blues and jazz outdoor concerts that take place on Saturdays.

Visit the Alto Vineyards and Winery’s website for more info.


Sholem Aquatic Center

This wouldn’t be a summertime list without at a pool!  The Sholem Aquatic Center in Champaign is a family-friendly waterpark managed by the Champaign Park District. The pool has not one not two but 3 slides, one of which opens up into a ‘lazy river’. The fully-lifeguarded waterpark has kiddy pools and wade pools, as well as a grassy area that’s perfect for picnicking in the shade.

In addition to just being super fun for families, the Sholem Aquatic Center also has teams and events, such as a swim team, a pre-swim team program for children, adult and child swim lessons, water aerobics, Aqua Zumba, and even a cardboard boat race.

Hours are 12:30pm – 7pm during weekdays, 11:30 am – 7pm.


Hessel Park

We love Champaign parks! Another member of the Champaign Parks District, Hessel Park offers beautiful tree-filled views and plenty of new playground equipment, making it perfect for families and individuals alike. Hessel Park has a wide 1km trail that winds through the park for joggers and walkers, a playground at the park’s center, and the whole park is pet-friendly! There are several areas where you can grill and picnic, as well as well-maintained tennis courts and open spaces for outdoor activities. Pack up the kiddos, grab Fido’s leash, go for a run to release some endorphins or barbecue with some friends. Regardless of what activities you choose, Hessel Park is the perfect summertime park!


Do you know of other Summer Activities in Champaign? Tell us in the comments below!


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