Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul is always a local favorite this time of year! Just a $4 fee to get up close and personal with the reindeer. The staff lets visitors pet and feed them while they provide a brief history about reindeer and answers any questions. A lot of fun for the little ones!
Hardy’s also has a very cozy gift shop….a great place to stop in from the cold. You can sit around a potbelly stove sipping hot cocoa that’s for sale and browse through the lodge and gift shop.
You can finish up your day at their Christmas tree farm. They have a pre-cut selection or you can cut your own if you prefer.
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch: 1356 County Rd. 2900 N. – Rantoul, IL
November 22nd through December 23rd: 10 am – 7 pm daily
Christmas Eve: 10 am – 2 pm ( Closed Christmas Day )
After Christmas hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily. Our Last Day: December 28th
It is Halloween and the perfect time for some Alfred Hitchcock thrillers. And the setting for this weeklong Hitchcock film series is the lovely restored Virginia Theatre in the heart of downtown Champaign.
One good way to see your way around Champaign Urbana and experience the neighborhoods is to visit some real estate open houses. They are free and they give you a way to get some ideas of what is available in the Champaign County real estate scene. Walking through homes for sale in Champaign Urbana is also a way to get some remodeling and decorating ideas for your own home.
You can get a listing of real estate open houses this weekend by looking at the News Gazette website or the Sunday print paper.
We have yet another food truck rolling onto the streets of Champaign Urbana–and may their tribe increase! A new custom built 20 ft trailer will serve up wood-fired pizza under the name “Dragon Fire Pizza“. Plans are for it to be out there pleasing our pizza loving taste buds by Veterans Day, 2014.
The pizza will be Neapolitan style and will feature a range of meat, veggie, spicy, and build your own options.
The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery is getting set to open in downtown Urbana. The open date is set for October 20, and this will be the first all-vegan eatery in the area. The address is 126 West Main, Urbana–downtown Urbana just keeps adding new options!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered Monday though Saturday and then brunch on Sunday. Some of the dishes on the menu are black bean burgers, eggplant parmesan lasagna, and hummus plate. Add in some crepes, super salads, and cupcakes and you have some great vegan eating.
The Thursday after work event at KCPA is back for another season and it get rolling tonight at Krannert on the University of Illinois campus. The Uncorked at Krannert show (and drinks) start at 5p in the spacious lobby and its free. The series extends through the school year each Thursday afternoon.
Tonights kickoff group is The James Jones Trio is traditional blues band from nearby Danville. James Jones will whail away as you sip wine after work–don’t miss it!
It was a huge success last year–raised lots of money and was fun. Now it is back for the second annual and lets hope it goes on year after year. In just 10 days the storied confines of the historic Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign will be echoing with the much loved music of Grease.
It was a first ever for Memorial Stadium at the U of I–a lightning delay. There were few fireworks on the field, just a few from the corners as the Illini scored, but lots of lightning in the skies. As the tailgaters gathered into Memorial Stadium, a few clouds formed in the west–a harbinger of a long afternoon–and evening!
NCAA regulations require that when lightening occurs within 6 miles there must be a delay of 30 minutes. University of Illinois regulations set it at 8 miles, so for almost 2 hours the Texas State game was delayed. Here are some photos from our cub reporter:
This weekend Illinois plays Nebraska in Lincoln and rain is forecasted–lets hope no lightning!
One of the things we have as a part of our local history is a significant number of brick streets in near west side Champaign and in certain Urbana neighborhoods as well. Dan Corkery wrote about this in last Sunday’s News Gazette. He opened with the line. “I’m a sucker for brick streets”. And I would have to agree.
They stand the test of time, they resist the destructive forces of freeze and thaw we encounter, and they sound so good as you drive them. So why have most been replaced? First of all they are costly. Secondly they don’t do as well with todays heavier vehicles and truck traffic.
Champaign has 8 miles of these antiquated roadways and their future is assured in that they are in historic districts near downtown Champaign. Much of the credit for saving what we have for brick streets is due to preservationist and former Champaign mayor Dannel McCollum.