Free* Fun

FREE THINGS!So, you decided to stay in C-U for the summer, but you’re getting pretty bored with the regular “wake up, go to class/pool/work, go to Campustown, sleep, repeat” routine? We hear ya!

In the last few weeks before floods of your fellow classmates start coming back to town, bust up your regular sched with a few community and campus events. We’ve put together a whole week’s worth of free, cheap or discounted fun for you to choose from. Grab your planner and a few friends and get going!

*Free, cheap, discounted–either way, we’re watching out for your wallet!

Mike N Molly’s: For the 21+ crowd, plan a cheap night out at Mike N Molly’s in downtown Champaign. Monday nights feature the Abe Froman Project, a live improv comedy troupe from 9pm-10pm, and then Rockstar Karaoke from 10pm-midnight. Between the cover charge ($0) and the drink special ($1 PBRs), it’s a cheap way to kick off your week.

The Movies: Beat the heat and hit up one of the local movie theaters. The Carmike Beverly Cinema 18 in Champaign, the Goodrich 16 in Savoy and the Art Theater in Champaign all offer student discounts on tickets–even in the summer!

Neighborhood Nights: Do you like parks? How about live music? What about free lemonade and popcorn? If you answered yes to at least one of those questions, you should check out Neighborhood Nights. Every Wednesday between now and August 15, local musicians will play at a different Urbana park, refreshments provided. Check the schedule for the list of parks and bands.

Thirteen Thursdays: If you’re going to pick a day to eat or shop in Campustown, Thursday is it! Every Thursday now through August 15, local establishments offer discounts, deals and other goodies to their patrons. Want free fries with your sandwich at Murphy’s? How about a $5 eyebrow wax at Electric Beach Sun & Spa? All you have to do is show up! Peep this flyer for a full list of participating businesses.

Summer Cinema on the Quad: Want to impress that special someone with a unique date idea? How about heading down to Summer Cinema on the Quad? From 9-11pm for two more Thursdays, the Illini Union Board brings you the best outdoor movie experience in C-U. On July 19, they’ll be showing John Carter and on August 16, it’s 21 Jump Street. (Don’t worry about bad weather–if it’s raining, just head to the Illini Rooms in the Union!)

Krannert Uncorked: For the 21+ set only, if you’re into free wine and free music, this is the event for you. Starting at 5pm on Thursdays for the rest of July, stop by the Krannert Center lobby for wine-and-cheese tasting while being serenaded by a musical performance. (Even though the summer sessions only go through July, Uncorked will pick back up again once the fall semester starts.)

Friday Night Live: Between now and September 21, downtown Champaign’s about to get a whole lot more rockin’ on Friday nights. Between 6pm-8pm, a whole slew of bands and street performers will do their thing street side, at the intersections of Neil & Church, Neil & Park, and Walnut & Chester. Did we mention it’s FREE? Because it is. Add ’em on Facebook to get all the details!

Urbana’s Market at the Square: Way more than just a place to pick up some tomatoes and cucumbers, Market at the Square offers all kinds of veggies, fruits, baked goods, meat, flowers and a wide variety of crafts, gifts and other knickknacks, all from local-area farmers and crafters. Different community groups show up every week, as well as the occasional street performer or two. Plus, if none of that sounds appealing, you can always hit up the Crave Truck for an authentic street waffle (mmm, waffles). Check it out every Saturday morning from 7am-noon between now and November 3.

Hessel Park Concert Series: Just one more reason to spend an evening sitting outside–pack a picnic and head to the park for some live swing, jazz, bluegrass or rock. Price of admission: $0. Performances are Sunday nights, 6:30-8:30pm, now through August 5.

Is there another fun, free (or cheap) event we missed? Let us know if the comments–your fellow readers will thank you!

P.S. Looking for a free (and air conditioned) way to get to these events? Don’t forget that CUMTD’s the place to be, even in the summer!

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