Welcome to The Illinois Club Tours Page!
Join us for a free(!) tour of the recently finished,
completely renovated Natural History Building, one of the earliest
and most iconic buildings on campus. We are privileged to have
Steve Marshak, director of the
School of Earth, Society, and Environment
and member of The Illinois Club, lead the tour. Steve can provide us
with great insight as he not only worked in the building
for 30 years prior to the renovation, but was also chair of the committee
of unit heads and faculty who worked closely with the architects and engineers.
|Natural History Building Renovation
Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at 5:15 PM
1301 W. Green Street, Urbana
(Optional) no host dinner at The Bread Company, 706 S. Goodwin, Urbana
Signup Deadline: January 31, 2018
Free parking for the tour has generously been provided by Wesley Church
and Foundation in their lot behind the church on the SW corner
of Green Street and Goodwin. The lot can be entered off Matthews
or Goodwin Aves. The Krannert Center garage is a good choice
if you join us for the optional, no host dinner at
The Bread Company.
There also is metered parking on Matthews, but you must pay until 6 pm.
To register, send an email to
by January 31.
Include the following information: your name, phone number, email address,
and whether you plan to attend the tour only or the tour and the dinner.
Newcomers - Tour & Social
Champaign County History Museum,
Cattle Bank Building, 102 E. University Avenue, Champaign
Riggs Brewery, 1901 S. High Cross Road (Route 130), Urbana
Saturday, January 20
Museum Tour: 3:30 PM
Followed by social at Riggs: 5:00 PM.
Newcomers, please join us for a tour of new exhibits at the Champaign County History Museum followed by social time at one of our local microbreweries. Riggs serves their own beer plus wine and non-alcoholic beverages but no food. Purchase food from a food truck or bring whatever you like to eat or share.
Tour is limited to 30.
Join us for a fascinating tour of Magic Motors, Urbana residents
Allen and Nancy Strong's personal antique car and clothing museum.
See the magnificent roadsters, touring cars, hats, coats, uniforms,
and accessories from the first half of the 20th century plus
antique furniture, car parts, and American memorabilia.
Check out the
about their 1915 Packard pace car.
|Tour of Magic Motors - Free
Allen and Nancy Strong's personal Antique Car and Clothing Museum
Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM
1710 N. Willow Rd., Urbana
(Optional) Salad & Sandwich Lunch to follow at Silvercreek Restaurant, 402 N. Race St., Urbana
Lunch Cost: $19.28 includes beverage, tax and gratuity.
Signup Deadline: October 14, 2017
They do not charge for their tour, so we hope you can join us
for a salad and sandwich lunch at their Urbana restaurant,
Join us at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, May 24 for a behind-the-scenes tour
of the newly renovated
State Farm Center,
1800 South 1st Street, Champaign
Learn fun facts
about the history of the building and its unique architecture,
see areas of the venue not usually accessible to the public,
and learn about the many upgrades made during the recent three-year,
$170 million renovation project. There will be a fair amount of
walking on this tour, but elevators are close to the stairs.
Optional dinner - Stay with us for the optional dinner
at Houlihan's Restaurant,
1900 South 1st Street, Champaign
where you will order from
and pay on your own. If the weather is nice we will eat outside.
We will meet at Houlihans at approximatley 5:30 PM.
You are invited to join
Antiques & Collectibles
interest group for lunch and a tour of
Flesor's Candy Kitchen,
101 W Sale Street (Main and
on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. We
will meet for a no-host lunch at 1:00 PM, learn from
the original owner's granddaughter about the
reopening of the century-old shop, and
have a private tour of the
candy kitchen. In addition to seeing the original and
antique candy-making equipment, we will have the
opportunity to watch them make chocolate treats for
Easter. After lunch and the tour, you can explore the
Vault Arts Collective
nearby, Tuscola's antique shops, or the
Tuscola Outlet Mall.
|Tour of Flesor's Candy Kitchen
Cohosted by Tours and Antiques & Collectibles
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 1:00pm
Signup Deadline: April 5, 2017
Tour Details (pdf document)
There is no cost for the tour, but you must register in advance by contacting
Marguerite Maguire at
by April 5. We will order
and pay on our own.
Transportation is not provided but carpools are encouraged.
Join us on November 4 for a campus tour to learn more about UI resources for those with
disabilities. First we will visit The Autism Program (TAP), located inside the Family Resiliency
Center in Doris Kelley Christopher Hall. We will then walk next door to the new Chez Family
Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education. The first location specializes in
resources for those with developmental disabilities and the second for those with physical
disabilities; both have resources for mental illness. After the tour there will be an opportunity
to join others for a no-host dinner at the Intermezzo Cafe, located just a short walk away inside
the Krannert Center for Performing Arts.
The Autism Program, Chez Family Foundation Center for
and Optional Dinner at Intermezzo Cafe
906 and 908 W. Nevada Street, Urbana
Friday, November 4, 2016. Tour: 3:15-5:00pm; Dinner: 5:15pm
Reservations are required; the tour is free
Signup Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2016
This FREE tour will be on Friday, November 4, 2016, beginning at 3:15 pm at 906 West Nevada
Street, Urbana, on the northwest corner of Nevada and Lincoln. We will walk next door to 908
West Nevada Street to begin the next tour at 4:15 pm. The tours will end about 5 pm. There is
metered parking in the lot west of the Wounded Veterans building and on the street. For those
who use public transportation, the Red MTD bus serves this area. The tour and dinner venues
are both handicap accessible. Visit
to see the Intermezzo Cafe menu.
Join us for the September 24th tour to Oakland, IL
to experience the Lincoln's Trial and Tribulations Dinner Theater
dramatizing the 1847 Matson Slave Trial. The dinner theater event happens
only four times a year and sells out quickly. Coles County organizes
many other events on those days to give you the opportunity
to learn more about Abraham Lincoln. Coles County in East Central Illinois
is less than an hour away.
| Lincoln's Trial and Tribulations Dinner Theater - 1847 Matson Slave Trial
And Coles County Lincoln Events
Saturday, September 24, 2016, Dinner Theater 6pm-8pm, times for other events vary
Signup Deadline: September 12
You have many options for this tour. You can choose to join us
for only the dinner theater from 6-8 pm at $30 per person,
join us for just the
free Lincoln events
earlier in the day,
or join us for both. This is an event for singles, couples, guests,
and families. The dinner theater is appropriate for those in
middle school and up. The deadline to register for the dinner theater
is Sept. 12.
To learn more about the play, what's for dinner,
and the other Lincoln events and locations, go to
Free events include a 1850s tent revival/camp meeting at
Independence Pioneer Village, a talk on the "Rights of Slaves in the Lincoln era"
at the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum, a Harvest Frolic at the
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, and tours of the Rutherford home.
Participate in the traditional arts and aesthetics of Japanese culture
as we visit Japan House at the University of Illinois campus,
experience a tea ceremony, stroll thru the beautiful zen gardens,
and watch a flower arranging demonstration known as Ikebana.
Please bring a pair of white socks to wear inside the house.
Maximum number of participants is 20, so do not delay in sending in your reservation.
|Japan House Visit
(co-sponsored with the
2000 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 1:30-3:00pm
Join us as we learn about 3D printing and the innovative uses
for it. After a talk and demonstration, we will have a tour
of the MakerLab.
One lucky attendee will get a head scan and print.
For more information about the UI MakerLab, visit
|The Possibilities of 3D Printing:
3030 Business Instructional Facility, 515 E Gregory Dr, Champaign
Friday, January 29, 2016, 4:00-5:00pm; free
Signup Deadline: January 25, 2016
Questions? Please send email to:
Optional dinner following in the private Wine Room
at Biaggi's, 2235 S Neil St., Champaign, IL
(map). 5:00-7:00 pm.
Transportation is not provided and there is no cost
for this tour. Reservations are required.
There is no minimum for number of guests,
the maximum is 45 persons at the MakerLab
and 30 at Biaggi's. Parking is available
in the lot between the Business Instructional Facility
and Huff Hall on south of Gregory St.
Join us as we visit some hidden gems close by, less than a half hour away
in Rantoul. We will have tours of BRG Sports, Generations of Hope,
and Chanute Air Museum. We will carpool. For more information, see the
Tour Details pdf document.
Cost/person: $20 for members, $25 for nonmember guests.
Price includes lunch, entry fees, and tips.
The University of Illinois is commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I
with several events and exhibits in a cross-campus initiative.
As part of this initiative, the Sousa Archives and
Center for American Music will be hosting exhibits that display how music
supported the war effort. On our tour we will visit the archives.
The very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide for our visit will be
the Archivist and Director of the Sousa Archives, Scott Schwartz.
We will conclude our tour with an optional World War I themed cocktail hour
at Houlihan's featuring two traditional World War I cocktails:
the Sidecar and the French 75.
|American Music and the Great War:
A World War I Retrospective at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Friday, April 17, 2015, 4:00pm to 6:30pm, including optional cocktail hour
Signup Deadline: Friday, April 10, 2015
Tour Details (pdf document)
For more information about World War I commemorative events,
exhibits, performances, and lectures at the University of Illinois, see
New: Winter Tour to a Local Publisher
Friday, February 6
3:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m.
The Illinois Club has added a winter tour to a Champaign area business.
We will be visiting Human Kinetics, a company started locally
by a University of Illinois professor that has grown into
a large publishing house. Human Kinetics specializes in books,
pamphlets, and online resources in support of educators, students,
coaches, and trainers in the area of sports, health, and physical fitness.
We will be given a tour of the facility, learn more about their products,
and have an opportunity to meet the people who work there.
A light snack will be provided by Human Kinetics.
Transportation is not provided and there is no cost for this tour.
Reservations are required so that they can prepare for our visit;
visitor badges will be made in advance and ready when you arrive
for the visitor sign-in process. There is no minimum for number of guests,
the maximum is 40 persons. Please arrive 10 minutes in advance
to allow time to park, sign in, and assemble for the start of our tour.
For parking, enter from Market Street and park in the visitor spots
as well as anywhere on the east side of the building
(which will be closer to the main door). Human Kinetics is located
at 1607 N Market Street, Champaign.
For more information about Human Kinetics, the company website is:
|Architectural Tour of Springfield (Cancelled)
Thursday, October 9, 2014
(please see the Newcomers page for details)
|Special Family-Friendly Event
Amish Farm Dinner, Arcola, IL
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Join us for a docent-led tour of the Chihuly & Friends Exhibit
with works from the George R. Stroemple Collection. This special exhibit features
glass works by Dale Chihuly and other artists including Lino Tagliapietra
and Vittorio Constantini. Following the tour, we will have free time
to revisit the exhibit or explore the Peoria Riverfront Museum's
other exhibits, art collections, and planetarium. Our time at the museum
will be followed by self-hosted lunch at a local Peoria restaurant
within a block of the museum.
|Chihuly & Friends at the Peoria Riverfront Museum
Friday, February 21, 2014
Price for transportation and museum entrance is $36.00 per person
for members and $41.00 for guests. To reserve, please mail your reservation
and check payable to "The Illinois Club"
to: Kathryn Valdes, 1106 S. Sunny Acres Rd., Mahomet, IL 61853
The bus will depart from The County Market Parking Lot
(between Mattis and Country Fair - please park
on periphery of lot) at 8:00 a.m.; lunch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.;
and we will return to Champaign approximately 4:00 to 4:30 p.m.
The museum is fully accessible, however a wheelchair-accessible bus
may not be available on this date.
How many times have you driven by that large building on Market Street?
Have you known this building as 'Collegiate Cap and Gown',
Herff Jones or simply as employment in Champaign?
|Collegiate Cap and Gown
1000 N. Market St.
Friday, January 24, 2014, 10am
When you attended a college graduation, have you remarked on the various
caps and gowns of the faculty, the sleeves of the Doctorate,
Master and Bachelor students? Do you know the story of the colors?
Can you imagine fitting the tall, the short, the muscular, the petite?
This tour will be approximately one hour. There is no easy access
for wheelchairs or walkers. There is no fee. You may sign up
by sending your name to Linda, Julia and Kathy at
A head count no later than January 10, 2014 is necessary to determine
the number of tour guides needed. This will be a first-come,
first-reserve tour with a limit of 50 participants.
We regret that this facility is not handicapped accessible.
Optional lunch arranged at Minneci's Ristorante
(401 S. First St., Champaign) after tour.
More info to follow closer to the event.
Join us for a day of fun, shopping and food as we enjoy the architecture and history
of nearby Iroquois County.
|Taste of Iroquois County Bus Trip
Friday, October 11, 2013, 7:45 am to 4:30 pm
Onarga and Gilman, IL
Signup Deadline: October 2, 2013
Upon leaving Champaign, our first stop is Onarga Academy's Cornerstone Cafe'
where treats and beverages will be provided by a select group of students
attending this amazing treatment facility for abused and neglected youth.
Program Director, Debra Foulks, will highlight the features of the historic town hall
(built in 1897) and guide us on a brief bus tour of the campus.
We will then venture to the Heartland Spa, which was converted from a dairy farm
in 1983. You will thoroughly enjoy the architecture and landscape of the barn,
main residence, carriage house and 32 acre lake.
After working up an appetite on the Heartland tour, we travel to The Gathering,
a unique country store near Gilman, for lunch and shopping.
The day ends with wine tasting and more shopping at Inside Out,
an upscale boutique in another historic building in the heart of Gilman.
Enjoy a relaxing respite in the garden or search for the perfect gift
before our return home.
Cost / person: $40.00 (limit of 50 people). Reservation deadline: Wednesday,
October 2, 2013. Price includes travel, breakfast treats, lunch, wine tasting,
meal tips and bus driver tip. You have the option at Cornerstone Cafe',
The Gathering and Inside Out to purchase additional specialty drinks and desserts.
Did you think that pipe organs were a blast from the past?
Did you ever wonder how or who maintained some of the fabulous organs
at our local churches and the magnificent Virginia Theater?
Well, here is your chance to find out. Meet at 3:30 in the entrance
of the Buzard Pipe Organ building for a thorough tour
of this amazing facility. Their staff includes founder
and artistic designer, John-Paul Buzard, himself,
who is also the curator for the organs at the University of Illinois;
Charles Eames, chief engineer; Brian Davis, tonal director;
Keith Williams, service department director;
three cabinet makers, and more. Who would have thought that
one of the world's premiere pipe organ builders
would be here in eastern Illinois?
|Buzard Pipe Organ Builders
Friday, February 8, 2013
112 W. Hill St., Champaign, IL at 3:30 pm
Destihl, Champaign, IL at 5:00 pm
If you work up an appetite on the tour, please join us afterwards
for drinks and/or dinner at Destihl (301 N. Neil).
Please RSVP for dinner as well as the tour because I need a head count
so Destihl will know how to set up the tables.
No need to pre-order because you can order
from the menu after you are seated. If you park
in the "new" parking ramp behind the M2 building
(at Randolph and Hill), you can walk to both Buzard Organs
Join us on a bus trip to McLean County. Whether you are
a history buff, a gardener, a wine enthusiast or an environmentalist,
this multifaceted trip to McLean County is just for you.
Enjoy a full day of information that begins at the
Twin Groves Windmill Farm and ends with a tour
and wine tasting at the White Oak Vineyards.
In between we will spend 2 hours at the historical
David Davis Mansion where the group will have three separate tours
featuring the house itself, the out buildings and Sarah's Garden.
We will enjoy lunch at CJ's near the airport
with accommodations for vegetarian and gluten free diets.
All of our tour stops have great sites on the web,
so check it out before you decide.
You'll discover that you won't want to miss this trip.
|Bus Trip to McLean County
Friday, October 5, 2012, 7:45 am to 5:00 pm
Sign-up Deadline, September 21, 2012
7:45 am - Meet at SW corner of County Market parking lot
between Mattis Ave. and Country Fair Dr., 1914 Glen Park Dr., C..
8:00 - Departure (coffee, juice & breakfast treats)
9:00 - Windmill Farm
10:15 - David Davis Mansion
12:45 - Lunch at CJ's Restaurant
2:15 - White Oak Vineyard
5:00 pm - return to County Market in Champaign
Calling all engineers, home decorators, environmentalists and anyone interested
in new technology! Sign up now for the tour of the "Eco House" or
Equinox House as it's called by its owners, Ty and Deb Newell, at 2908 Hayden Dr.
in the Beringer Commons addition of Urbana.
|Equinox House Tour (Ty & Deb Newell, owners)
Friday, April 13, 2012
2908 Haydon Dr., Urbana, IL at 4:00 p.m.
Po'Boys at 5:30 p.m.
202 E. University, Urbana, IL
Ty Newell will talk with us about efficient home construction, solar energy,
rainwater harvesting, indoor fresh air control, and other relevant topics
as he shows us around his eco-friendly home for about an hour.
For more information in these areas, visit Ty Newell's website,
If you would like to continue the fun, let's meet at Po'Boys
at 202 E. University (in the mini-mall near the NW corner of Cunningham Rd. and University)
in Urbana (367-2255) immediately following the tour, for drinks, appetizers or dinner.
Please indicate if you will be attending only the tour, or both the tour
and Po'Boys when you RSVP. Also, please list the names of
any guests you will be bringing. There is no charge for the tour
but your meal and beverages are on your own.
Join us for a tour of the newly-renovated press box and premium seating area of Memorial Stadium,
also called the BSL Building. After our 45-minute tour, we will head over for an optional dinner
at Houlihan's where we can enjoy a good meal and great company, or if you prefer, just some
appetizers and drinks if you have other plans for the evening but would like to extend your
time visiting with friends.
|New Press Box Area, Memorial Stadium
Friday, January 20, 2012
1401 S. First Street, Champaign, IL at 4:00 p.m.
Houlihan's, 1900 S. First Street, Champaign, IL at 5:00 p.m.
There is no charge for the tour, but it's important to have an accurate count
for both the tour and the restaurant, so please RSVP by January 16th via email
Please make it clear if you will be attending the tour only or both
the tour and meal (meal at your own cost) and indicate the name(s) of all attendees
for whom you are registering.
Plan to include a friend or spouse, and board our charter bus at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4,
to visit a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Kankakee that was designed for B. Harley Bradley.
Beautifully set on the banks of the Kankakee River, guests will tour the home, stable and gardens.
|B. Harley Bradley Home - Kankakee
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:30 am - 3:45 pm
The former owners, Sharon and Gaines Hall, had painstakingly restored the home before turning it
over to the Wright In Kankakee Foundation. As a special treat, our tour will be conducted personally
by Mrs. Hall, who is a friend of Ingrid Hutchings (one of our members). This house is acknowledged
as Wright's first Prairie Style design. It also is next door to another Wright design, the Hickox House,
a private residence. In addition, the stable is now a gift shop.
After the tour, we will enjoy a lovely lunch at the Kankakee Country Club. The drive to the club
will afford us another personal tour, led by Mrs. Hall, of some of the other historic sites in Kankakee.
We should be back in Champaign before 4:00 p.m. Cost will be $55 for members and $60 for non-members for
lunch, tours, and travel. Mark your calendars now for this fun trip!