Illinois HOME

We welcome our Newcomers. Remember that you are considered a Newcomer to The Illinois Club for 2 years after you first join the group. Please join us for our events and put these dates on your personal calendars. Learn about our events from our weekly E-news, quarterly mailings, and the club calendar. For questions please email newcomers@theillinoisclub.org


Next Event(s)

Meet the Newcomers!

Riggs Beer Company
1901 S. High Cross Road, Urbana (map)
Thursday July 25, 2024; 5:30 - 7:00 PM

RSVP requested for Newcomers only.
Contact newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Calling all club members! Meet and welcome The Illinois Club's newest members on the 4th Thursday of each month. Newcomers, your first drink is on us! Don't miss out -- collect your free drink ticket on your first visit (soft drinks included) and mingle with fellow members.

Outside food is allowed, but (tba) food truck(s) will also be available.

For more info contact newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Please stay tuned for more events to come!

Past Events

Meet the Newcomers!

Riggs Beer Company
1901 S. High Cross Road, Urbana

Thursday May 23, 2024; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday April 25, 2024; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday March 28, 2024; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday February 29, 2024; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday January 25, 2024; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday November 30, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday October 26, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Thursday September 28, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM
(July 27, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(June 1, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(May 11, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(April 6, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(March 2, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(February 2, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(January 5, 2023; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(December 1, 2022; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(November 3, 2022; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(October 6, 2022; 5:30 - 7:00 PM)
(September 8, 2022; 5:30 PM)
(August 4, 2022; 5:30 PM)
(July 7, 2022; 5:30 PM)

RSVP requested for Newcomers only.
Contact president@theillinoisclub.org

Calling all club members! Come on out to Riggs to meet and welcome new Illinois Club members. Newcomers, the first one's on us, so be sure to check in to collect your one free drink ticket on your first visit, which can include nonalcoholic beverages.

Bringing in outside food is allowed, and the (varying; tba) food truck(s) will be available.

Contact Donna at president@theillinoisclub.org for more information.

Happy Hour at Houlihan's

iHotel Patio Play
Thursday, June 23
6:00 to 8:00 PM

All club members are welcome.

Everyone has enjoyed the revitalization of the Krannert Uncorked Interest Group. To keep the fun going over the summer, we will meet up at Houlihan's at the iHotel Patio Play. We have a table for 12 reserved on June 23rd from 6:00-8:00 pm. The Live Jukebox will be providing the tunes and house wines are only $6/glass. Reserve your spot by emailing Christina at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

Newcomers please RSVP to Christina at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org so we can watch for you.

Meet the Newcomers Social Hour

Riggs Beer Company
Thursday, June 2: 5:30 - 7:00 PM
1901 S. High Cross Road, Urbana

RSVP requested for Newcomers only.
Email newcomers@theillinoisclub.org

All club members are welcome.

Newcomers please check in to collect your one free drink for new members on their first visit, which can include nonalcoholic beverages. Bringing in outside food is allowed, and the Piato food truck will be available. Contact Christina at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org for more information.

Newcomers & Social Hour

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL (map)

Thursday April 7, 2022
5pm - 7pm

On the April 7th gathering, we will meet at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 5PM - 7PM, instead of 5:30 pm at the Riggs. There's a Latin Jazz Band (University Band) playing on Stage 5. Please look for The Illinois Club sign (it's huge, you cannot miss it!) and join us.

Parking deck is free after 5pm, the special price for a glass of wine is $5.00 for you. Come and enjoy the music and unwind.

Contact Christina (newcomers@theillinoisclub.org) for more information.

Newcomers & Social Hour

Riggs Beer Company
1901 S High Cross Rd., Urbana, IL (map)

(Thursday September 2, 2021)
(Thursday October 7, 2021)
(Thursday November 4, 2021)
(Thursday December 2, 2021)
(Thursday January 6, 2022)
(Thursday February 3, 2022)
Thursday March 3, 2022
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Join us at Riggs Beer Company on the first Thursday of the month
as we welcome and get to know our Newcomers.

A mask is required
All Club members are welcome as we gather on the Party Patio, enjoy the winter weather, and get acquainted with our Newcomers. An RSVP (email newcomers@theillinoisclub.org) is requested for Newcomers (only) by Monday, February 28.

Newcomers, when you arrive, please start at the Party Patio to collect a token for a free drink, which can include nonalcoholic beverages. Outside food is allowed, so feel free to bring something to eat. In addition, the Flour & Fire Pizza food truck May be available on site.

Newcomers - Music in the Park

Meadowbrook PrairiePlay Playground, Urbana (map)
Wednesday, August 7, 2019; 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Grab your lawn chair and join us at Meadowbrook PrairiePlay Playground for some great music and fun! The park provides free popcorn and lemonade. Parking is limited at the PlayGround; additional parking may be found at MeadowBrook Park, 2808 S Race Street, Urbana (map). Any questions contact Sharon at newcomers@theillinoisclub.org. Hope to see you there!

Newcomers - Riggs Brewery (all members invited)

Riggs Beer Company, Urbana (map)
Saturday, February 23, 2019: 5:30 PM; Optional tour: 6:00 PM
Reservation Deadline: February 18
A fun night out for Newcomers and other TIC members, including an optional Riggs Brewery tour and tasting, food,* and games.** Pulled pork sandwiches provided. Non-alcoholic beverages, wine, and beer available for purchase at the bar.
Cost (pay to TIC upon arrival; exact change, please.)
   Newcomers - $5 for tour including beer sampling. No charge for tour without beer sampling.
   Other Members - $10 for tour including beer sampling. $5 for tour without beer sampling.

* Please bring a snack to share
** Some board games provided but bring your faves as if you'd like.

CU 4 Dinner and Newcomers

Buffet at Intermezzo Cafe at Krannert Center
Saturday, November 10, 2018: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
This date corresponds with several evening events at Krannert and the prime rib/roast pork buffet. If you prefer, you can purchase a meal or dessert from the Cafe. Three tables are reserved (24 seats) for CU4 but more can be added if needed. (Note: this is instead of a 3rd Thursday event for November.) Come when you can. Leave as you must.

Newcomers Meet & Greet

Linda & Len's house
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Newcomers are invited to attend a small group Meet & Greet this fall to get acquainted with board members over dessert & coffee.

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, 2018
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.

Fall Expo

Friday, September 8, 2017, 3:00-5:00pm
Champaign Public Library (map)

Learn about interest groups new to you
Sign up for your favorite interest groups
Register for campus tours and area tours
Enjoy the company of friends
Meet new members and make new friends
Nibble on some great food and drink
Discover Club and Newcomer events for the coming year

Fall Expo

Monday, September 12, 2016, 4:00-6:00pm
Champaign Public Library, Robeson Pavilion Rooms A and B (map)
Light refreshments by L.A. Gourmet

Learn about interest groups new to you
Sign up for your favorite interest groups
Register for campus tours and area tours
Enjoy the company of friends
Meet new members and make new friends
Nibble on some great food and drink
Discover Club and Newcomer events for the coming year

Japan House Visit

Thursday, May 19, 2016, 1:30-3:00pm
(event info)
(co-sponsored with the Tours group)
2000 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana (map)
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.

April 7, 2016, 6:15-7:45pm

WILL Tour and Live Taping, 300 N. Goodwin, Urbana, IL (map)
Ever wanted to tour a radio and television station? Then come to Campbell Hall on the corner of Goodwin and Clark on the U of I campus and join us for this tour and talk about the WILL Illinois Public Media Station led by Danda Beard, Development Director. Just in time for spring we will also view a live taping of the show "Mid American Gardener" hosted by Diane Noland. We will meet in the lobby of Campbell Hall in time to begin the tour at 6:15. Free parking is available in the University Lot B22 on Clark St. between Goodwin and Harvey.

February 18, 2016, 10:00-11:30am

Eastern Illinois Food Bank Tour, 2405 North Shore Drive, Urbana, IL (map)
These are the folks who have put the food in food pantry and the soup in soup kitchen for the past 30 years and who bring hope to the one in five people in our area who struggle with hunger each day. Learn about programs such as the School Pantry, Backpacks for Kids, the Senior Grocery Program, and the Foodmobile. Check out their website at www.eifoodbank.org for more information. Your Ticket is one or more cans of one of the following:
  • 1. Canned meats
  • 2. Canned complete meals (ravioli, Spaghettios, etc.)
  • 3. Canned beans and other vegetables
  • 4. Canned fruit
  • 5. Boxed meals
  • 6. Peanut butter OR
  • 7. a monetary donation made out to EIFB.

January 17, 2016, 5:30-7:30pm

Good Old Fashioned Potluck
Graciously hosted by Linda and Len Lopez at their home in Urbana. Join us for good food, good conversation, and lots of fun. Bring a dish to feed at least 6 to share. Drinks and tableware will be provided.

November 19, 2015, 10:30am-12:30pm

Common Ground Food Co-op, 300 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, IL (map)
Do you know what a food co-op is and how it works? This one has been around for nearly 40 years and offers classes, education, and an art gallery in addition to selling all sorts of grocery items. Come for a tour and learn about this nationally recognized food co-op and enjoy lunch from their many choices at the deli. We'll also get an update about plans for their new store opening soon in Champaign.

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 4:00-6:00pm

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Backstage Tour, 500 S Goodwin, Urbana, IL (map)
Please plan to meet in the lobby (5th floor) at 4 p.m. near the ticketing area. We will start with the shops (floor 2) while they are still in operation and then continue to the 4 theaters as available. When the tour is completed we will head back to the lobby for music, wine tasting and cheese. Individuals may make arrangements to go out to eat or purchase food in Krannert at the Intermezzo Café. Parking meters under Krannert need to be fed until 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Monday, September 14, 2015, 4:00-6:00pm

The Illinois Club Fall Expo at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 South Neil Street, Champaign (map)
This is our first big event of the fall for the whole club and is a great favorite. Join us at the end of the work day for delicous hors d'oeuvres, conversation with new and old friends, and signing up for Interest Groups for the year. There will also be a membership table if you have not yet paid your dues for 2015-2016. This is a great opportunity to learn about the various interest groups. The Fall Expo takes place at The Hilton Garden Inn, located at 1501 South Neil Street, Champaign. No need to send an RSVP for this event, just come and bring a friend who might be interested in joining!

Thursday, September 10, 2015, 5:00-7:00pm

Wine and Cheese Meet and Greet
Newcomers, mentors, and board members are invited to the lovely home of Alma Bellafiore, to share our summer happenings, meet old friends, and make new ones. It's also a special time to welcome new members to our club and be on hand to share the good things The Illinois Club has to offer. Current members are invited to bring a small appetizer or simple dessert to share.

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 5:00-7:00pm

Gospel Jazz Fest, Hessel Park, Champaign
   All Club members welcome!

Join the Newcomers for the Gospel Jazz Fest on Sunday, Aug. 23 from 5-7 pm at Hessel Park in Champaign. Enjoy great music, free and fun for all ages, as well as inflatables for kids who might want to bounce in addition to dancing to the beat. Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments, if desired. Look for an orange Block I flag on a pole to find our spot in the crowd.

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 10:45-11:45am

New Employee Resource Fair at the iHotel and Conference Center, Champaign
If you are new to the University, come visit our booth for more information about who we are, and what we do!

Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 6:30pm (note time change)

U of I Band on the Quad
   All Club members welcome!

Our next summer fun event is the U of I Band concert on the Quad behind the Union of the University of Illinois on Thursday, July 16 from 6:30 to about 8pm. Bring your own dinner and drink and a lawnchair or blanket for some goodies and conversation before the concert begins at 7 pm. Bug spray might also be handy!

You can park in the Krannert parking lot or in the lot across the street and go west into the Quad area. Look for the orange Block I flag on a pole to find our group. All Illinois Club members are invited to join us.

Saturday, June 20, 2015, 4pm - ?

The Illinois Club Newcomers and Mentors First 2015 Summer Event - Strawberry Jam
Meadowbrook Park -Race Street Entrance- 2808 S. Race St., Urbana
(overflow parking at Stone Creek Church)

Newcomers and Mentors: look for small orange I flag on a pole far west of the barn close to the Race Street sidewalk for our group. Join us for this free family event. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket or lawn chair for a good old-fashioned fun time. Enjoy free strawberries and ice cream served in the barn as long as they last. This is a family event with hayrides and walking tours available. Various bands will play throughout the event. Use this event to invite a friend to come along who might be interested in knowing more about our club and consider joining.
  • Click images (below) to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 10:00am-noon

Newcomers Group Tour of Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign.
   All Club members welcome!

The Illinois Club is pleased to offer a group visit to a wonderful, innovative resource in our community. Anyone who has seen customers lined up at the Urbana Farmer's Market can attest to the popularity of this local gem.

   More about Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

Guests of all ages can enjoy the farm on a more in-depth level. Meet the goats, view the milking parlor and creamery, walk through the orchard and garden, and taste some of our farmstead products. Cheese and gelato are a great way to wrap up the hour long tour. In the spring, visitors can see the new born babies, the first blooms on the fruit trees, and the small plants in the garden. Tours are conducted RAIN OR SHINE. Please be prepared to walk around the farm; comfortable closed-toed shoes are advised. Also, we have bees on the farm to pollinate our trees and garden. We mention this so if anyone has severe allergic reactions to stings they are advised to bring their allergy medication. Also, if you have any food allergies to nuts, dairy, etc., please let us know so our hosts can adapt the samples accordingly.

   Farming Philosophy

We have transformed our landscape into diversified perennial crops and livestock. Our farm embodies core principles of sustainability including environmental stewardship, economic viability and social responsibility. We strive to educate our community about organic and sustainable agriculture and the connections between food production and consumption. We also hope to serve as a model for others interested in small-scale diversified farming systems. Little by little, we are working toward building a vibrant local food system in Central Illinois.

For more information, see www.prairiefruits.com

Sunday, February 22, 2015; 6:00 and 8:00pm: Evening of Dinner Theater

Silver Creek Restaurant, 223 N Broadway Ave., Urbana, 6pm, and
Station Theatre, 223 N Broadway Ave., Urbana, 8pm.
We start at 6:00 with dinner at Silvercreek, 402 N. Race St., in Urbana. We then move down the train tracks to a community theater gem, the Station Theatre, 223 N. Broadway, for an 8:00 show of the musical Floyd Collins. If you can join us for both, that's wonderful, or attend only one event. Tickets for Floyd Collins will be discounted to $9 each if we have enough people, and the theater has limited seats, so we need to confirm the number in advance. We'll also need to reserve sufficient space at Silvercreek.

Sunday, January 25, 2015, 5:30-7:30 pm

Potluck dinner at the home of Linda Lopez
Share a social opportunity with a dynamic group. Try a new recipe or use a standby. Children welcome.

Monday, October 27, 2014, 4:00-5:30 pm

Visit the University of Illinois Pollinatarium, off Windsor Road, east of Lincoln Avenue.
This is a science center devoted to pollinators and pollination. Come for a guided tour to find out more about bees and the role of this research facility in their survival. More details to follow. Children are welcome.

Tuesday, September 30, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm

Lunch at 301 Mongolia Restaurant, 301 N. Neil St., downtown Champaign.
Enjoy lunch and conversation, and make new friends.

Thursday, September 4, 5:00-7:00 pm

Wine & cheese get-together, at the home of Kathy and Steve Marshak

Friday, August 8, 6:00-9:00 pm

Summer music -- Bluegrass concert featuring Special Consensus and the Henhouse Prowlers at Allerton Park on the Gate House Lawn in Monticello.
See the weekly Illinois Club e-news or contact us for more details. Bring your picnic supper or purchase food and drink there. Alcohol is permitted at Allerton. Suggested concert donation $5 per person or $10 per family.

Saturday, April 12, 2014, 11:45 am-(about) 5 pm

Special Family-Friendly Event
Amish Farm Dinner, Arcola IL
Enjoy hearty country foods served family-style at an Amish farm home, in a community where life continues as it has for many years. We will carpool from Champaign Urbana to meet at the farm. There we'll start with a delicious and filling lunch, followed by optional visits of the home, farm, countryside, and Rockome Gardens' Amish museum.

Lunch is $16.95 for adults, $8.95 for children 12 and under. Additional tours might have added cost, depending on our numbers and the particular farm we are visiting.

Contact for questions: newcomers@theillinoisclub.org.

Wednesday October 23, 2013, 11:00 am

Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 600 West Gregory Street, Urbana.
Museum visit, followed by lunch at The Bread Company, 706 South Goodwin.

Thursday September 26, 2013, 5-7 pm

Krannert Uncorked, Krannert Center Lobby, 500 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana.
Wine tasting, music, conversation. Co-sponsored with the Wine Lovers' Interest Group.

At 7:30 that evening is a concert, part of the Pygmalion Music Festival, in the Tryon Festival Theater. Tickets for all Krannert events go on sale August 10, and some for this performance may still be available that evening. Light meals are sold at Krannert on performance dates, both at Intermezzo Cafe' and Stage 5 Bar.

Thursday August 29, 2013, 5-7 pm

Home of Kathy Marshak
Informal back-yard welcome gathering.

Tour of the U of I Plant Conservatory

March 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Enjoy a fabulous personal tour with curator, Debbie Black, to see and enjoy the very rare Blue Poppies (the only place you can see them after the U of I ACES Open House the weekend before). We will also see rooms of orchids, desert and carnivorous plants, and the lush, tropical 3-story greenhouse. After the one hour tour, we will skip over to nearby Bevier Hall for a 6:30 dinner at the Spice Box. Dinners fill up quickly so we will want an idea of how many will attend as soon as possible.

Dinner at the new Inman Place & More Winter Tales

January 17, 2013 at 7 pm
17 E. University Ave., C.

Chef Rick, the new Inman Place chef, will make a personal appearance and share some recipes. We'll see the newly redesigned dining and welcome center, enjoy a fabulous gourmet dinner and get the "inside scoop" on its details from the chef. Afterwards we will sit by the fireplace and be enthralled by a master storyteller weaving tales of winter. A tour of the facility with its beautiful new d├ęcor will be offered also Nominal cost of this fantastic event is $15.

Dessert Potluck and Theater

Friday October 19, 2012

6:00 pm - Dessert Potluck at Stephanie Price's. Bring a dessert to share and please label for common allergies.
7:30 pm - Show of Champaign Urbana Theatre Company's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Parkland Theater
Individual Tickets: (prices may be lower with group discounts)
  • Adult $16
  • Senior (60+) $12
  • Student (through college) $12
  • Child (12 & under) $8

Newcomer / Illinois Club Board Member Wine and Cheese Mixer

Friday, September 28, 2012 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

At Alma Bellafiore's home.


Newcomers Special Invitation to Wine Lover's Group

Friday, September 14, 2012 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Outdoor Garden Party featuring Argentinean wine, at Cinda & Jim Pettigrew's home. Bring a bottle of Argentinean wine.


Newcomers @ Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 from 4pm - 6pm
4410 North Lincoln Avenue, Champaign (map)

This event is free to newcomers (members of the club for 3 years or less)! Learn all about this very special and unique farm which is a goat dairy, creamery, and fruit and berry farm. Maybe you have even had some of their delicious cheese or gelato, found in local groceries and at the Market at the Square on Saturdays.


Directions to the farm may be found here: www.prairiefruits.com/direction-to-the-farm

Planetarium Event - Open to all Members & Guests!

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity
March 29, 2012 with Refreshments at 6:30 pm, Show at 7:00 pm
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign

Newcomers' Group is hosting a show at Parkland's Staerkel Planetarium. We'll begin with a social reception in the lobby with non-alcoholic beverages and light refreshments, followed by a short introduction by Donna Cox, Director of the Illinois eDREAM Institute, as well as the producer and art director of this gem, who will point out interesting things to watch for in the film. We will then get to see this spectacular 30 minute show on the Planetarium's state-of-the-art Digistar 4 full dome projection system.

This is indeed a rare opportunity only available to our group!

All members and their guests are welcome to join us at this fabulous event. Guests do not need to be prospective members to come. Newcomers (members of 1, 2, or 3 years) and prospective members may come for free. All others will pay a small $5 advance reservation fee or $7 at the door.

The Planetarium is on the western side of the Parkland College campus. There is a (sort of) circular drive near the entrance where you may drop people off. Some handicap-accessible parking is also nearby.

Driving directions to Parkland may be found here: www2.parkland.edu/planetarium/directions.html

Parkland map: www.parkland.edu/Media/Website%20Resources/PDF/maps/parkinglots.pdf

A Winter's Tale

February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

To celebrate leap day, Newcomers' would love for you to join us for a Hearth and Home Gathering. We will have fantastic food, excellent conversation, and best of all, an awesome special speaker, Storyteller Kim Sheahan, from the Spurlock Museum. Kim will delight us with winter stories as we sit by the fire and sip hot chocolate and cider and munch on tummy-warming goodies. What better way to spend a leap day evening?

Come at 6:30, mingle and nibble, then find a place to nestle and listen to some wonderful, soul-enriching tales to warm your heart in the winter weather.

Open to all Newcomers (in The Illinois Club 3 years or less) and being held at Stephanie Price's home.

Larry Kanfer Gallery - Open House

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
2503 South Neil Street, Champaign

Newcomers will host a visit with the Kanfers at their studio on Neil Street. Popular local artist, Larry Kanfer, and his wife, Alaina, will talk about their art. There will be light refreshments with non-alcoholic beverages, lively conversation, and the wonderful Kanfer photography. There is limited seating for this free event.