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Hosting Backyard Get-Togethers in Champaign, Illinois

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

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Ah, Champaign, Illinois. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, it's a place that effortlessly exudes the charm of a tight-knit community. As the seasons change and the warmth of the sun graces our homes, there's no better way to celebrate than by hosting a backyard get-together. Here's your ultimate guide to doing just that in Champaign.

1. Pick a Theme

Given the eclectic spirit of Champaign, themed parties can be a big hit. Think:

  • Midwestern BBQ: Featuring local meats, sweet corn, and fresh produce from the Urbana Farmers Market.

  • Illini Spirit: Orange and blue decorations, and perhaps even a game day screening for University of Illinois sports.

  • Garden Tea Party: A more sophisticated affair with iced tea, cucumber sandwiches, and floral decorations.

2. Seating & Ambience

Incorporate different levels of seating such as picnic blankets, low stools, and chairs. String lights or lanterns across your yard to create a warm and inviting ambiance. For an extra touch of Champaign, add some prairie-inspired decorations or locally crafted items.

3. Food & Drinks

Champaign offers a diverse palate of local flavors. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Grilled: Local beef burgers, BBQ ribs, and fresh vegetable skewers.

  • Sides: Illinois' famous sweet corn, baked beans, and potato salad.

  • Drinks: Craft beers from local breweries like Triptych Brewing, refreshing lemonades, or homemade sangria.

  • Dessert: A fresh berry pie or rhubarb crisp can be a delightful finish.

4. Activities

Keeping guests entertained can make your gathering memorable. Try:

  • Lawn Games: Cornhole, frisbee, or giant Jenga can get everyone involved.

  • Music: Create a playlist or hire a local Champaign band for live music.

  • Campfire: As the evening winds down, a small fire pit can set the mood for roasted marshmallows and storytelling.

5. Weather Considerations

The weather in Champaign can sometimes be unpredictable. Rent or invest in a gazebo or canopy to offer shade during sunny afternoons and shelter if there's a sudden sprinkle. It's always good to be prepared.

6. Invitations

Given the community-centric vibe of Champaign, word-of-mouth invitations work great. However, if you want to add a touch of elegance, consider custom-made invitations from local artisans or use online platforms like Evite.

7. A Touch of Nature

Champaign is surrounded by natural beauty. Consider incorporating fresh flowers from local gardens, and maybe even set up a small area for bird watching or stargazing as the night progresses.


Hosting a backyard get-together in Champaign, Illinois, allows you to blend the Midwestern spirit with personalized touches. Celebrate the simple joys of community, good food, and the great outdoors. Whether it's a casual BBQ or a themed party, the essence lies in bringing people together, creating memories, and cherishing the warmth of Champaign.

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