Staying in Decatur for Spring Break? Five Fun Things to do in the Decatur Area (Outside of Millikin)

March 9, 2022

If you’re like me, you’ve decided to stay in Decatur over spring break and are now at a loss for what to do with your short week of freedom.

Luckily for you, I am from the Decatur area so I know a few places around here that are fun, interesting, and a nice way to break out of the Milli-Bubble while you’re stuck on campus during spring break.

Rocks Springs Conservation Center

Just a short 10-minute drive from campus, Rock Springs Conservation Area and Nature Center offers a bike path, numerous walking trails, a lake, and indoor nature center. Grab your friends, some hiking shoes, or a camera and take a walk in the beautiful conservation area.

Fun fact: the bike path at Rock Springs connects to the path at Fairview park, so if you’re up for a challenge, make your way to Rock Springs from the bike path right near campus.

The indoor nature center offers bird-watching windows, the Ecocenter, Macon County Natural History Museum, art galleries, and live Illinois-native reptiles and amphibians.

The conservation area is open daily from sunrise to sundown and the conservation center is open Monday-Friday 8-5, Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 1-5.

Learn more about Rock Springs Conservation Area and Rock Spring Nature Center here: https://maconcountyconservation.org/conservation-areas/rock-springs-nature-center/ 

The Avon Theater

Located in Downtown Decatur, the historic Avon Theater shows new movies every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Avon has been operated by a local family for the past 23 years and it is the closest movie theater to Millikin’s campus.

Its retro aesthetic makes movie-going feel like a blast to the past, especially as the theater has been in operation for over 100 years. Along with popcorn (which they serve with real butter), they have a full menu of concessions including gourmet popcorn, pretzel bites, hot dog bites, nachos and candy.

The Avon Theater is also considered to be yet another haunted part of Decatur. You can read some Avon ghost stories and learn about the history of the theater on their website and Facebook page.

Some current movies being shown are “The Batman” and “Dog.”

Learn more about the Avon Theater and find movie times here: https://theavon.com/

Cocoday, Frozen Yogurt Shop

What once was Cocomero, located in Forsyth outside Hickory Point Mall, has now moved into the mall. Cocoday, as it’s now called, just had its grand re-opening and is ready to serve the Decatur community.

Cocoday serves a variety of frozen yogurt flavors and an assortment of toppings, along with bubble tea and a menu of Korean foods and desserts, with vegetarian options.

Open from 12-7 Wednesday-Saturday and 12-5 Sunday, Cocoday can be found in the mall right outside Von Maur.

Learn more about Cocoday here: https://www.facebook.com/Cocoday-106851215227024

Wabash Depot Antique Centre

The 1901 historic Decatur train station now houses the expansive Wabash Depot Antique Centre. As their website says, “When you visit our antique mall, you’re not only looking at historical pieces – you’re walking through a historical location!”

The antique mall offers over 70 booths from over 40 different vendors with merchandise ranging from vintage clothing to vinyl records to paintings and pottery. There is something for everyone. Wabash Antiques is open Monday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday 12-5. 

Spend a day, and you could spend an entire day, walking through the many rooms of the shop and you’re sure to find something fascinating.

Learn more about the Wabash Depot Antique Centre here: http://wabashdepotantiquecentre.com/

Donnie’s Homespun Pizza

Right off campus, Donnie’s Homespun Pizza is a locally-owned restaurant that serves oven-brick pizzas, as well as a full menu including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Along with great food and drinks, Donnie’s often offers live local music, and open mic nights every Thursday.

Donnie’s serves food Thursday-Saturday 11-9 and Sunday 11-8 for dine-in, carry-out, and delivery. However, they are often open later for shows or their open mic nights.  A calendar for live music can be found on their website.

When nice outside, Donnie’s opens their outdoor patio area for dining and occasionally live music. The patio features clean, secluded seating and a fun aesthetic created by bright colors coming from lights, tapestries, and hand-painted murals.

Learn more about Donnie’s Homespun Pizza and check out their menu here: https://www.donnieshomespun.com/

Hopefully these places have inspired you to get out and explore the area around campus over spring break. Decatur has a lot to offer once you leave the comfort of the Milli-Bubble.

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