Things to Do
Urbana is part of the Urbana-Champaign micro-urban community. The term “micro-urban” applies to population centers of 250,000 or less that possess a highly uncommon set of desirable attributes normally exclusively associated with much larger metropolitan centers. Among these are an internationally diverse population, a strong technology base (including our high speed internet), a vibrant arts/culture/entertainment scene, and a palpably animated public discourse on major societal and global concerns.
Parks and Outdoor Recreation
The award-winning Urbana Park District oversees more than 600 acres of parks and natural areas. Two of its best-loved, signature parks are Crystal Lake Park, comprised of149 acres just north of downtown Urbana that includes an 8 acre lake, and Meadowbrook Park, a 130-acre park along Windsor Road that includes over 80 acres of recreated native Illinois tallgrass praire, a perimeter walking path and Wandell Sculpture Garden. The park district also operates the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center and the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Facility. In addition to its facilities, the park disctrict offers hundreds of community recreation programs for youth and adults such as dance, fitness and wellness, environmental education, sports leagues, summer camps and swim lessons.
Award-Winning Public Library
The Urbana Free Library, founded in 1874, is ranked among the top one percent of American public libraries both statewide and nationally for the fourth time. The Library also hosts the innovative Teen Open Lab which offers something for everyone, ranging from 3-D printing, music making and recording, reading, drawing, crafting, film-making, gaming, or just hanging out. The Library is also home to the Champaign County Historical Archives has a diverse array of resources to aid in research on local history and genealogy documenting local life from the 1830s to the present day. Can't make it out to the library? The UFL even offers convenient home delivery service for patrons with limited mobility that prevents them from visiting in person.
Market at the Square
Since 1979, Urbana’s Market at the Square has been a mainstay for Urbana and the surrounding area by connecting the community with local growers and artisans. The Market occurs in downtown Urbana every Saturday from mid-May through mid-November, and typically hosts over 130 vendors and over 127,000 visitors each season. Shop one of the best selections of made and grown in Illinois products including: produce, meat, dairy, honey, local beer and wine, flowers, handmade art and crafts, and more. Saturday morning at Urbana's Market at the Square is one of our city's signature institutions! It's a great way to kick off your weekend.
Arts, Culture and Entertainment
Urbana is home to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, which is world-renowned for both its stunning architecture and grand performances. In Downtown Urbana, you can find the Gallery District which includes the Station Theater, Cinema Gallery, Heartland Gallery, Amara Yoga and Arts, and International Galleries. Every year, downtown galleries and businesses open their doors to a community-wide Boneyard Arts Festival. The City's Public Arts Program promotes and facilitates the development and expansion of public arts in Urbana. Historic Downtown Urbana is also home to the annual Sweetcorn Festival and the Pygmalion Festival.