If you want to experience a small town in the Midwest, there are many places to visit in Rantoul, Illinois. The town has a rich history and culture and offers a number of fun outdoor activities. Rantoul is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis and enjoy some down-home country living. The area offers a range of activities for both families and couples, and is located only 30 minutes from Champaign County, Illinois.
Heritage Lake Park
Rantoul, IL is a great place to go for outdoor activities and a taste of history. There are a number of excellent lodging options in this town. Most are located near the area’s many attractions. The accommodations are comfortable, clean, and have friendly staff.
Rantoul is home to several museums and historical sites. It was also the former site of Chanute Air Force Base, which is now a museum and aviation library. The town is also home to the oldest hot air balloon festival in Illinois, the National Balloon Classic, which is held annually in the village.
When planning a trip to Rantoul, Illinois, consider staying at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Champaign North Rantoul. This hotel is located near the University of Illinois, two hours south of Chicago. In addition to a free hot breakfast, the hotel also offers a business center and a board room.
Anita Purves Nature Center
Whether you’re a nature lover or have children who love animals, the Anita Purves Nature Center in Randtoul is a great place to take them. The center offers environmental exhibits and hands-on learning programs, as well as a themed play area.
The nature center is open to all ages, and features the Wildlife Observation Room and Habitat Gardens. There’s also a rescued owl that you can see. It’s located on North Broadway Avenue, about 18 minutes’ drive from Rantoul. The Anita Purves Nature Center also offers a variety of unique souvenirs related to nature and wildlife.
Kids love the hands-on learning experiences offered by the Anita Purves Nature Center. The center’s field station features native plant species and wildlife feeding stations. You can also relax in the Wildlife Observation Room, where you can read, meditate and watch wild animals.
Krannert Art Museum
If you’re looking for a place to see some great art, the Krannert Art Museum is a great choice. This fine art museum is located on the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and features over 48,000 square feet of exhibition space. Visitors can view works of art from every period of history, from ancient Greece and Rome to modern art and photography.
The museum was designed by architect Ambrose Richardson, and was completed in 1961. Its distinctive design echoes the style of Ludwig Mies van de Rohe. The museum houses a permanent collection of works of art and hosts changing exhibitions. It is also home to a council, which was formed to help with fundraising and educational activities. The council continues to support the museum, and in 2015, it celebrated 50 years of service.
In 2011, the Krannert Art Museum underwent renovations to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The museum hosted a major exhibition entitled At Fifty: The Krannert Art Museum, 1961-2011. This exhibition featured paintings, sculpture, photography, and video. The exhibition aimed to break down traditional hierarchies in art and encourage visitors to think outside the box.
Another place to go in Rantoul is the Anita Purves Nature Center. This museum has a Wildlife Observation Room and is a great place to take kids. Visitors can also buy a wide selection of unique items and souvenirs that relate to nature.
El Toro of Rantoul
If you’re craving a Mexican or Spanish meal, El Toro of Rantoul is the place for you. The restaurant was opened in 1998 by Victor Fuentes, and it serves a variety of authentic Mexican dishes. It’s also known for its friendly staff and reasonable prices. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and the food is delicious.
The café is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ordering takeout is an option, but there’s also delivery available through Uber, Doordash, and Grubhub. Depending on where you live, you can order your meal through any of these companies. Using a delivery service may help you avoid parking in the downtown area, which can get busy at lunchtime.
Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch
If you are looking for a place to spend your fall day, you can’t do much better than a trip to the Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin patch. Located about 20 minutes outside of the city, this orchard and pumpkin patch is the perfect place to grab a fresh apple and pumpkin, and enjoy award-winning apple cider. It also features a Country Store with specialty items.
The Curtis Orchard is open July 20 through Dec. 23. The fall season begins around mid-September, when the Orchard ramps up its activities. Admission to the Orchard is free, but you can pay to ride a pony or take a corn maze. There’s also a Zinnia field for picking flowers and apples, and the orchard sells apples, pumpkins, and even homemade pumpkin bars.
Guests can enjoy live music at the Orchard in October and enjoy the pumpkin and apple orchard. There’s also a large country store and plenty of crafts for the kids to do. During the weekends, the Orchard also features a Popcorn Wagon, which takes guests to the pumpkin patch’s popcorn field.
In addition to pumpkins, visitors can also experience a corn maze. Across ten acres, there’s also a Jack Splat Pumpkin Cannon, Paint Ball Gallery, Pedal Race Cars, and Hay Rides. Reindeer Tours and feeding are also available, which is a fun way to spend the day.