Dating often leads to the end of the beginning as the singular person that you once were disappears in favor of partnership that will endure the test of time.
Having said this, my recommendations for fostering dates is to avoid the classical “Movie and Dinner” date in favor of a more conversationlist or adventure driven approach. The rationale for later approach is I never really learn anything about the other person outside of their extravagent or plain tastes. I say this simply because societal norms around movies inspire the sound of silence and dinner is an awkward tango for two if the restuarant is sit-down since it is the first true moment of undivided attention leading anxiety to rear its head.
Warning: The content below may be stale. To ensure a great date, you should keep up-to-date with the events that are happening in the community. I find that the following sites are very helpful for Urbana-Champaign:
- Smile Politely
- UIUC’s Calendars
- Meetups in Champaign
- News Gazzette
Adventure activities for dates
- Go apple picking, pumpkin picking, goat petting, minigolfing, or get lost in a giant corn maze at Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch.
- Location: 3902 S Duncan Rd Champaign, IL 61822 (Near Savoy)
- Cost: Price is per pound, goats are free (feed is $0.50), minigolf $2, corn maze $5.
- Note: Make sure to pick up Apple butter. Also, if you have the opportunity to eat unhealthy food, consider grabbing one of there apple crisp donuts…
- Visit a park and take a walk:
- Location: Meadowbrook Park: 2808 S Race St, Urbana, IL 61802
- Location: Crystal Lake Park: 206 W Park St, Urbana, IL 61801
- Location: University of Illinois Arboretum: 2001 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61802
- Location: Allerton Park & Retreat Center: 515 Old Timber Rd, Monticello, IL 61856
- Location: Lake in the Woods: 109 S Lake of the Woods Rd, Mahomet, IL 61853
- Location: Homer Lake Forest Preserve: 2573 S Homer Lake Rd, Homer, IL 61849
- Location: Kickapoo State Recreation Area: 10906 Kickapoo Park Rd, Oakwood, IL 61858
- Location: Turkey Run State Park: 8121 Park Rd, Marshall, IN 47859
- Leave a lasting impression by creating something with them in the Makerlab or the community run Fab Lab.
- Locations: BIF RM #3030, 515 E Gregory Dr, Champaign, IL 61820 , 1301 S Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
- Costs: Payment for materials used. Makerlab, Not listed for fablab
- Take them climbing at the
ARC’s 35ft indoor climbing wall
that features 10 ropes and over 30 routes of varying difficult to climb.
- Cost: $2 equipment rental fee if student activity fee is paid.
- Note: You must fill out a liability waiver.
- Go Ice Skating at UI’s Ice Arena
- Cost: $2 equipment rental and free admission if student activity fee is paid.
- Enjoy a seasonal ride on a Ghost Train (October), Polar Express (December), or
just take a moment to revisit part of American railway history at the Monticello Railway Museum.
- Times: Dependent on seasonal event schedule
- Location: 992 Iron Horse Pl, Monticello, IL 61856 (Far away)
- Cost: Depends on activity ($35 for Polar, $10 for regular train)
Laidback, autopilot activities for dates
- Go to the Movies… gag.
- Go see a play, ballet, orchestra, symphony, or more perform at Krannert Center for Performing Arts
- Cost: Student: $10 (UI), $15 (non-UI), Adult: $20 - $45+ depending on event
- Listen to the recital of senior/doctoral music student.
- Cost: Free!
- Participate in a tea ceremony at the Japan House
- Cost: $8 per person and $6 per UI student
- Reservations: (217) 244-9934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be Star Struck at William M. Staerkel Planetarium
- Cost: Students $5 / Adults $6
- Regale in a Shakespear play at the Illinois Shakespear Festival
- Catch an event or take a tour at the family-friendly Riggs Brewing Company
- Cost: General Events (e.g. Drone Races) Free / Tour is $10 per person.
- Attend an improv comedy show by Zoo Improv
- Times: Every Friday night at 8:30 pm
- Location: SoDo Theatre located at 111 S Walnut St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Downtown Champaign).
- Cost: Pay what you wish.
- Alternatively, there are open mic nights at the Clark Bar
- Times: Every Thursday night at 9:00 pm
- Location: 207 W. Clark Street Champaign, IL (Downtown Champaign).
- Cost: Price of a drink ($5-6)
Movies Theatre Location Appendix
|AMC Champaign 13||First run, Dolby atmos, IMAX||Student: before 6pm $7.5 / after $ 8, Adult: $8 / $10||910 Meijer Dr, Champaign, IL 61822 (Marketplace)|
|Goodrich Savoy 16||First run, IMAX||Student: before 6pm $7.5 / after $ 8.25, Adult: $8 / $10||232 Burwash Ave, Savoy, IL 61874 (Past South Farms)|
|The Art Theater Co-op||Art, foreign & cult films||S: $7.50/$8.25, A: $8.25$9.75 *||126 W Church St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Downtown Champaign)|
|Virginia Theatre||Classics and community developed||$5 or $6||203 W Park Ave, Champaign, IL 61820 (Downtown Champaign)|
|Harvest Moon Twin Drive In Movie Theatre||Drive-in Movie Theatre||$7 with $5 food permit||1175 S Sangamon Ave, Gibson City, IL 60936 (Far, Far Away)|
* Note non-membership price was listed for The Art Theater Co-op.
Bar Trivia Location Appendix
|Bar Name (Ranked best to worst)||Trivia Time||Location|
|Blind Pig Brewery||Sunday 7:00 PM||120 N Neil St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Downtown Champaign)|
|Cowboy Monkey (Downtown Champaign)||Sunday 7:30 PM||6 E Taylor St Champaign, IL 61820|
|Murphy’s Pub||Sunday 10:00 PM||604 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Campus)|
|Memphis on Main||Tuesday 7:00 PM||55 E Main St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Downtown Champaign)|
|Brothers Bar & Grill||Tuesday 8:30 PM||613 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820 (Campus)|
Bar trivia is traditionally free, however, entrants are expected to buy a pint (about ~$5 or 6 dollars) to enter. Generally, each bar awards a gift certificate of a fixed value at the end of the evening to the best team.