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At DECU, we love Decatur! I think that’s pretty clear. However, on the off chance you aren’t yet sold on our amazing community, check out our list of 20 fun (and mostly free) things to do right here in Decatur this summer.
1. The Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater
New to Decatur, the Devon is the perfect place to catch a show. You’ll think you’ve been transported to a big city! Bonus: they offer $5 Friday shows and FREE movies! Check out the 2019 schedule here.
2. Oakwood Block Party
Live music, vendors, easily accessible restaurants and bars… all for free? You bet. You won’t want to miss the Oakwood Block Parties. Visit their Facebook page for scheduling and details.
3. Mister Softee
Whether you visit their shop or catch their truck, Mister Softee doesn’t disappoint! With tons of unique flavors, super friendly staff, and dog friendly pup cups available, it’s perfect for the whole family.
4. Fleet Feet Monday Night Fun Runs & Summer Coffee Runs at Coffee Connection
Each summer, Fleet Feet hosts so many free fun runs you’d almost have to try to miss them! Year round, there are free fun runs every Monday night. However, in the summer, these are replaced with Restaurant Runs! Each Monday, a group meets at a different locally owned restaurant where participants can learn about and demo new products, then run, walk, or even crawl between 1-3 miles, and end up back at the restaurant to enjoy dinner!
If you’re a morning person, they also offer Summer Coffee Runs every Friday morning at 6:15 am at Coffee Connection. This is another 1- or 3-mile walk/run with discounted Coffee Connection coffee at the end.
5. Decatur Public Library Summer Reading Program
Whether you’re a kid, teen, or adult, the Decatur Public Library has a reading program for you! Aside from giving you a good excuse to dive into a good book, there’s multiple chances to win some super great prizes.
6. Standing Paddle Co.
Did you know you can go stand up paddle boarding right here in Decatur? Visit Standing Paddle Co. to rent paddle boards or kayaks for a fun day on the lake. Bonus: they also offer paddle board yoga, SUP with a pup, races, and more!
7. Richland’s Farmer’s Market & WeGrow Farmer’s Market
Looking for fresh produce? How about delicious baked goods, beautiful plants, or homemade soap? Check out the Saturday Market at Richland Community College!
Alternatively, head to the corner of Fairview and Wood on Thursday evenings for the West End Farmer’s Market full of produce, flowers, food, activities, live music, and more.
8. One Stop Pop-up Stamp Shop with the Laurel and the Linden
If you haven’t seen the amazing custom art work of the Laurel and the Linden, then you’re missing out! While you can catch this traveling art duo all around Central Illinois this summer, you want to make sure to hit up one of Lindsey’s pop-up stamping events! She can customize any bracelet, keychain, old bullet casing, dog tag, etc. right while you wait. It’s the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. Follow her adventures here.
Giggles might be a Decatur staple at this point, but have you seen their new store? Not only is it huge, fun, and filled to the brim with toys, games, and accessories, but there’s an in-house bakery! And trust us, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried Giggles Goodies. Stop by any day this summer for a donut, cookie, homemade marshmallow, rice krispie treat, edible cookie dough, snow cone, and more! They even have gluten free and vegan options.
10. Children’s Museum & Scovill Zoo
While both places are great on their own, the addition of a train connecting the two makes the Children’s Museum and the Zoo the perfect spot for a sunny summer day. You can even purchase a ZooMu pass for a discounted entrance into both!
11. Come Together Be Empowered
Come Together Be Empowered is hosting free fitness in Fairview Park leading up to their 5k walk/run fundraiser at the end of June. Be sure to catch free yoga, boot camp, and fun & fit classes this summer.
12. Decatur Area Arts Council
Whether you’re artsy or not, there’s guaranteed to be a class at the DAAC for you! With art classes and programs for all ages, you can grab some friends, a date, or your entire family and learn how to paint, decoupage, work with clay, create marbles scarves, learn to draw, and more!
13. Rock Springs
What’s better than exploring the outdoors during a beautiful summer day? And what better place to do so than Decatur’s very own Rock Springs? Here, you can hike a trail, hop on a canoe, play on the playground, watch a vintage baseball game, join a summer camp, or partake in any of the various summer activities like stargazing, moonlight hikes, or snake and turtle shows.
14. Fairview Pool
There’s nothing more refreshing than jumping into a swimming pool on a hot summer day! Fairview pool is fairly inexpensive, offers diving boards and a variety of pool depths for all ages, as well as a splash pad for the younger kids. Bonus: there’s paddleboard fitness classes held in the pool on Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings!
15. Donnie’s Homespun Pizza
Donnie’s has been around for a while, but it’s always changing, which keeps is fun, fresh, and unique! On any given evening, you can sit on the patio and relax with delicious pizza while listening to live music, karaoke, open mic nights, and more.
16. The Avon
A tried and true classic in Decatur – the Avon Theater! This locally owned staple of Decatur is hands down the best place to see this summer’s hottest flicks. Not only is it the best picture, comfiest seats, and cheapest prices, but it’s got the best popcorn in town! It’s the perfect destination for a date night or a rainy day.
17. Spare Time Lanes
Haven’t been bowling lately? Then you’re missing out on some wholesome family fun (and competition)! Spare Time Lanes has plenty of lanes, blacklights, and cheap but delicious food. And, as of now, they have the best deal on Groupon! For just $30, a family of six can get unlimited bowling for two hours plus shoe rentals. What a steal!
18. The Decatur Celebration
You can’t miss the Decatur Celebration! This year marks the 34th Annual Decatur Celebration and it’s going to be better than ever. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s not a Decatur summer without it.
19. Overlook Adventure Park
Spend the day mini golfing, climbing the high ropes course, hitting up the batting cages, and then cooling off with Mister Softee (see #3).
20. Tandemonium Tandem Bicycle Rentals
Did you know Decatur has a tandem bike rental? It’s in Fairview Park and it’s a blast! You can rent traditional tandem bikes or a variety of others like a quadracycle and a surrey bike.