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Day Trip: Champaign, IL

If I could give you any advice, it’d be to venture out and try new things.  Life can become a routine and time begins flying by and your days, weeks, & months dissipate in an instant.  You are surrounded by new and beautiful things every day and you may not realize it. Take some time out of your routines and switch things up, you can thank me later.  This week I am bringing you the beautiful town of Champaign, Illinois.  About an hour and a half North West of Terre Haute, is the small town of Champaign, Illinois with a population of around 86,637.   Champaign is home to historic buildings, the University of Illinois, & the largest public university library in the world among other things.  It also offers urban perks with smaller city comforts. While I was researching events in the area for my weekly “What To Do This Weekend” posts, I came across this farm in Champaign that offers a farm to table brunch & a chance to hang out with baby goats.  I don’t know about you, but baby goats are stinkin’ adorable and although there are places closer to hang out with and see baby goats, this place stood out to me.  I told my family about it and we thought it would be a perfect short trip to take our nephew on.Babies & Brunch takes place now until May 12th every Saturday & Sunday from 9:30am-1pm CST at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  The farm is Illinois first farmstead creamery and it is definitely something to see.  The farm embodies core principles of sustainability including environmental stewardship, economic viability and social responsibility. They also strive to educate the community about organic and sustainable agriculture and the connections between food production and consumption. Hence why they have opened up their farm for others to visit and enjoy.   The brunch menu selection changes weekly, but before you go be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates.  We chose not to eat here because we had a child under 3, and their menu seemed geared more towards adults.  Reservations are not required, so arrive at the farm and put your name in and while you wait check out the farm store, sample cheese & gelato, & visit the baby goats.  The farm serves 5 entrees and they do serve alcoholic beverages as well as other drink specials.  The best part about their brunch is that they partner with local businesses to source their food.  The farm also is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch that includes live music & two seating times, book your tickets here for the Mother’s Day Buffet Do not leave Prairie Fruit Farm & Creamery without visiting their baby goats!  They have 2 big barns full of goats of all shapes & sizes.  The goats were super active and loved being petted, so go expecting to give them some much needed loving.  The only part of the farm we were unable to explore is their garden & orchard.  In late July & early August the farm grows peaches & blackberries.  In the fall the farm has apples & pears.  I purchased some of their blackberry jam and can’t wait to slather it onto some homemade bread! If you are interesting in visiting the farm check out their webpage for more information & let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did!Since we skipped out on brunch at the farm, we drove about 15 minutes into downtown Champaign and stopped at a cute little place called Watson’s Shack & Rail.  Watson’s specializes in fried and rotisserie style chicken with their Nashville Hot Chicken and Fried Chicken & Waffles taking center stage on most nights. Their delicious chicken is supplemented with their house made biscuits, seasonal sides, and chef-driven appetizers and specials. They also specialize in adult slushies!  Their brunch service runs on Sunday 11am-2pm CST but the food was so good I can only imagine what lunch & dinner looks & tastes like.

This restaurant resembled a lot of restaurants that I would frequent while I lived in Nashville, TN and I think that’s why I gravitated towards it when choosing somewhere to eat. I started out with a boozy slushie flight so I could get a taste of all the delicious flavors they had to offer.  We then chose to share some appetizers and ordered the Kali Girl which is their take on an avocado toast & the Manhattan Project which is a cronut filled with cream & fresh fruit.  For my entree I chose the Chelsea Affect which is a cheddar-chive waffle, fried chicken, apple compote, hot honey, & whipped butter. We left with smiling faces & full bellies.  I highly recommend stopping in and grabbing a drink and a bite to eat if you go to college at U of I or are visiting.  I also really wanted to come back and try the Italian restaurant across the street, Nando Milano as well as check out and visit The Blind Pig Brewery. Champaign, Illinois is now on my radar of weekend trips & I will be back!  If you know of any places we need to try or towns we need to check out, big or small, reach out to us and let us know.  We are always down for an adventure & we’d be glad to invite you along!

-M.

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