pumpkins are decorated for the season during the kickoff of the University of Illinois Homecoming celebration

Getting in the Spooky Spirit at UIUC

This year is unlike any other. There are so many factors that are keeping spirits down, but one bit of normalcy returns this weekend: Halloween. Luckily, UIUC and the greater Champaign-Urbana community are offering several ways to celebrate safely this year!

Curtis Orchard

Curtis Orchard’s Donuts

One of Champaign’s brightest gems is the entertainment farm, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch. This cozy spot in southwest Champaign features pumpkin and apple picking fields, a corn maze, farm-animal petting, a country store, and the “Flying Monkey Cafe.” Not only do they have the BEST donuts in the world, but delicious apple cider, too. This is the perfect place to spend a fall Saturday afternoon with your friends. I have four pumpkins from the Orchard currently sitting outside my apartment from multiple trips to the Orchard! Curtis Orchard is the best way to get in the fall/Halloween spirit, and it’s only a short drive away from UIUC’s campus.

Illini Union

Illini Union Halloween Event

Now for some events on campus. The Illini Union always throws free events for students looking to celebrate. There are film screenings of Halloween movies, costume contests, trick or treating, and spooky craft-making! Additionally, La Casa has a Día de los Muertos program at the Union to make crafts, watch movies, and remember loved ones. All of these fun, safe activities will help get you in the holiday spirit. Plus, they are such a great way to take a study break during midterms!

Ways to Utilize Zoom

For those who are not on campus or are wanting to stay indoors and away from COVID, you and your friends can also utilize Zoom to celebrate! A few of my friends and I all decided to make costumes and dress up while Zooming. We drank apple cider (from the awesome country store in Curtis Orchard!) and carved pumpkins. We even made the carving a competition to see whose pumpkin was the best! 

Though Halloween looks a lot different this year, UIUC still provides so many opportunities to get in the spooky spirit. Getting creative and taking advantage of all of these activities can still make it a fun time!


Class of 2021
I am majoring in Human Development & Family Studies with a minor in Leadership. I was born and raised in Champaign, IL with a love for all things Fighting Illini. I get to show that love by working as a student-manager for the women’s volleyball team on campus!

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