Explore The Town

The Champaign-Urbana metro area (C-U to locals) has much to offer. A growing culinary hub, a strong music and arts background, and home to the University of Illinois all combine to make this city have true character.

Need more adventure? Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis are only a few hours away, featuring many more activities and events for you and your family. Take a look at each section below to learn what Chambana has to offer.

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    Education

    The twin cities of Champaign and Urbana are home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a flagship institution of the Universitory of Illinois and ranked the #13 Public University in the United States.

    Champaign Schools District
    Information about each school and district in the following categories: student characteristics, instructional setting, school district's finances and student performance on state assessments.

    Interactive Illinois Report Card
    Find information about the public schools in Champaign and Urbana

    Explore The Area

    About Champaign
    Information about shops, dining and upcoming events in the downtown Champaign area (where our studio is located)

    Champaign in a Nutshell
    Everything you need to know about events, things to do, business, real estate, health and schools in Champaign

    About Urbana
    Get to know our sister-city Urbana

  • Arts

    40 North 88 West: Champaign County Arts Council

    40 North is dedicated to fueling the growth and well-being of Champaign County by nurturing its arts, culture, and entertainment community.

    CUDO: Champaign Urbana Design Association

    CUDO's mission is to cultivate a vibrant design culture that engages and enriches the local community.

    Boneyard Arts Festival

    The annual Boneyard Arts Festival is a unique countywide event that takes place in 80 different venues. Sculptors, weavers, photographers, painters and other visual artists join musicians, dancers, actors, poets and other performers sharing their creativity.
     
    Performance - Theater and Music

    State Farm Center

    The local premier event facility.  The home to the University's basketball team hosts Broadway shows and top name acts September through May.

    Krannert Center for Performing Arts

    The Krannert Performing Arts Center ropes in talent from all over the globe in every imaginable genre, while also being the working laboratory for the University of Illinois theatre, opera, dance, and music departments. With four main theaters and over 300 performances a year, there is always something amazing to see, whether you want family-friendly entertainment or inspiration for your next game design.

    Station Theatre

    Urbana’s intimate Station Theatre has a rich history of presenting avant-garde, quality productions year-round. Audiences fill up fast, so don’t hesitate when making a reservation.

    Pygmalion Music Festival

    An annual three-day music festival showcasing groundbreaking musical artists in a variety of genres. Past performers include Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Okkervil River, Questlove, Mates of State, Ida, Yeasayer, and Headlights.
    Film

    Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival

    Every spring, C-U native Roger Ebert takes over the historic Virginia Theatre to showcase the best off-beat films. He usually brings along the directors for Q & A sessions. See the website for examples of past programs. Get tickets early, because every show sells out.

    Boardman's Art Theatre

    This single screen theatre shows festival winners, French comedies, Japanese animations and other films off the beaten path. The Art Theater has been completely rehabbed with state-of-the-art sound and visual technology since it was built in the early 1920s, but retains its intimate, vintage ethos.

    Virginia Theatre

    The historic Virginia Theater, recently renovated back to its old-fashioned vaudeville glory complete with the original Wurlitzer pipe organ, Spanish Renaissance-inspired auditorium with gilded moldings, balcony seating, and a 56’ by 23’ movie screen that tucks away to make room for live acts.

    AMC Champaign 13 & Savoy 16 IMAX

    Local multiplex cinemas with DLP Digital Projection and sound.
  • Dining

    Bacaro

    Elegant, upscale restaurant in downtown Champaign. All of the fare is made from local, high-end, quality ingredients. A must for special occasions.

    Biaggi's

    Family-friendly restaurant with a wide-selection of Italian food

    Bombay Grill

    Quick and tasty Indian food in Campustown, and a new fine dining location on 1st Street.

    Black Dog Smoke and Ale House

    This bbq joint in Urbana is pretty small and always busy because of their perfect mix of brews and house smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, yams, and other house-made sides

    Farren's

    Neighborhood bar and pub, but with a really original, eclectic menu. Good home-ground burgers (including kobe), great salads. Right around the corner from Volition.

    Original Pancake House

    Breakfast all day long! Always busy, but the line moves fast.

    A-Ri-Rang

    Korean restaurant in Campustown.

    Sushi Kame

    Amazing bento boxes for both lunch and dinner. Also serves up great sushi, sake, and miso soup. Pleasant decor, ambience, and service.

    Ko-Fusion

    Offers an inspired mix of French, Italian, American and sushi. Located in the 1 Main building below the Volition offices

    El Toro

    Three locations throughout C-U, including a fourth location just outside of town. Always a crowd but it moves fast. Great food, friendly staff.

    Dos Reales

    Casual restaurant with all the best in Mexican fare, including the best margaritas in town.

    Huaraches Moroleon

    Authentic Mexican restaurant in Urbana.

    Maize Mexican Grill

    Traditional flavors made fresh to order. Limited seating, but worth the wait!

    Papa Del's Pizza

    Authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. Independently owned with two locations.

    Jupiter's

    Two locations in Champaign with an excellent variety of thin crust pizzas. The second location (Jupiters 2) has arcade style games for kids of all ages.

    Vinny's East Coast Pizzeria

    If you want NY style pizza in Champaign, this is the place to go.

    Radio Maria

    Fantastic fusion cuisine. Unique restaurant, a local favorite. Recently expanded to add a tapas bar.
    Coffee/Bistro/Cafe

    Aroma Cafe

    An unpretentious place to settle in with your laptop (free wifi) and latte. A block away from the studio allows for a great coffee break walk.

    Cafe Kopi

    An espresso bar with monthly exhibits by local artists, fresh veggie juice and smoothies, and light lunch fare. The ice water steeped with oranges or cucumbers is always fresh and free.

    Cafe Paradiso

    A warm, intimate Urbana cafe that serves sandwiches on fresh bread, salads, and other assorted fresh foods alongside their coffee drinks. Full of character, free wifi, live music, and local art.

    The Bread Company

    Fresh bread made daily by in-house bakers, featuring delicious fondue, salads and pizzas located in Urbana.

    Pekara

    A bistro and bakery in downtown Champaign. Great sandwiches, breads, and pastries.

    Cream and Flutter

    Downtown Champaign’s very own cupcake shop also including cakes, candies, coffee, and cocktails.

    Jarling's Custard Cup

    A Champaign tradition, and a hotspot on any summer day or night. Serving up amazing custard concoctions.
    Bars/Breweries

    The Blind Pig

    A great bar in downtown Champaign featuring cask-conditioned beer. They recently opened another set of doors—also downtown—to house a brewery.

    Esquire

    Casual bar in downtown Champaign, with normal bar fare. Outdoor seating in the summer is really nice. Great lunch specials during the week!

    The Clark Bar

    Serving tapas and drinks at great prices. Rib Night on Wednesdays and Fridays – possibly the best ribs in town! Great local gem downtown with a unique atmosphere and a large outdoor patio.

    Destihl

    Microbrewery located across the street from Volition that focuses on serving creative dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients.

    Guido's

    Located across the street from 1 Main Plaza. Outdoor seating, upperscale barfood, pool, and darts. Open for lunch.

    Crane Alley

    Bar and restaurant located in downtown Urbana. Has excellent food and good beer selection. Has several pool tables and a foosball machine.

    Riggs Beer Company

    Local brewery: 15-barrel brew house and tap room surrounded by a family-friendly beer garden
    Music

    Friday Night Live

    Enjoy music and street performances including bluegrass, jazz, folk, soul, rock, country, and blues every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

    Cowboy Monkey

    Featuring a full bar, spacious beer garden, occasional live music and a Mexican-themed menu, the Monkey is the place to be if you want to see and be seen.

    Soma

    An upscale club in downtown Champaign, right next to Volition’s building. Mind the dress code. Some of our employees can often be found dj’ing there on the weekends.

    Urbana-Champaign Hip-Hop Congress

    “(Providing) the Hip Hop Generation and the Post Hip Hop Generation with the tools, resources and opportunities to make social, economic and political change on a local, regional and national level. Hip Hop Congress is the product of a merger of artists and students, music and community.”
  • Park Districts

    Champaign Park District Art, music and sports classes, camps and clubs, Sholem Pool, Hessel Park, regular events including Symphony at the Sunset (Labor Day weekend) or Taste of Champaign (June), Prairie Farms petting zoo for kids ...

    Urbana Park District Warious art, music and sports classes and events, Anita Purves Nature Center, Crystal Lake Park and Boat House, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, Sweet Corn Festival ...

     
    City Trips

    Take the train, bus or car and explore the metropolis surrounding Champaign. Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and the state capitol Springfield are only a few hours away and there are plenty of activities and places to see, including world-class museums and exhibitions, shopping areas, zoos, restaurants …

    Day Trips and Activities for Families in and around Chambana

    Curtis Orchard
    Pumpkin patch & apple picking in the fall. Awesome homemade cider slush & cider doughnuts, country store, playground, maze, farm petting zoo, pony & hay rides on weekends.

    Hardy's Reindeer Ranch
    Pick your own evergreen Christmas tree & see the real reindeers. 217-893-3407

    Museums and Education

    Swimming:

    Visit Rantoul Pool (a beautiful outdoor facility), Illini Aquatics (year-round indoor swimming lessons) or enjoy a day trip to Knight’s Action Water Park in Springfield.

    Enjoy a day on roller skates at Skateland or on the ice at Illini Ice Arena.

    Bowling and Miniature Golf:

    Outdoors

    Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve - Lake, fishing, hiking/biking, golf course, botanical gardens, playground, covered bridge & HILLS!

    Kickapoo State Park - Wooded hiking/biking trails, some fairly hilly. Nine-hole frisbee golf course, horse-riding trails, and watercraft rentals.

    Kennekuk County Park - Contains three nature preserves, watercraft rentals, rental buildings for group outings, and seasonal hunting.

    Allerton Park - 1,500 acres of formal gardens, nature areas, and manor house. The estate is used as a conservation area with 10+ miles of hiking/running trails.

    Exotic Feline Rescue - houses over 225 exotic cats, and is considered one of the largest rescue centers in the United States. Located in Center Point, Indiana, the rescue offers tours and even overnight accommodations next to a big cat enclosure.

    Wolf Park - a nonprofit education and research facility that studies wolf behavior, particularly reproductive and inter-pack social behavior. It is open to the public for daily guided tours.

A great bar in downtown Champaign featuring cask-conditioned beer. They recently opened another set of doors—also downtown—to house a brewery. With...
We’re proud to announce that Heifer Heist, the winner of the Volition sponsored 2014 CUDO Plays board game design competion, now has a kickst...
Champaign’s local Channel 3 News: Current segment sat down with Volition’s own Lorcan Murphy and Jason Blair to talk about what it̵...