Surrounded on all sides by rolling green farmland and an abundance of historical sites, Bloomington is a beautiful and interesting city to explore. It is a city in and the county seat of McLean County. Bloomington’s growth was influenced by agriculture, the construction of highways and railroads, and the growth of State Farm Insurance. Go back in history as you explore McLean County Museum of History which houses documents from the time when Abraham Lincoln served as an attorney in Bloomington and a recreated pioneer log cabin. Visit David Davis Mansion which was the Victorian-era home of the senator who mentored Lincoln in his political career. Other attractions include Miller Park Zoo, Children’s Discovery Museum, Pepsi Ice Center for ice skating and Grossinger Motors Arena that hosts events. Read on to know more about things to do in Bloomington, Illinois.
1. Enjoy ice skating at Pepsi Ice Center
Visit Pepsi Ice Center which is a 200 ft x 85 ft (61 m x 25 m) indoor public ice skating facility. It offers ice skating lessons for all ages, public ice skating sessions, and even a hockey program. Rent the skating gear at a small fee. Do not mind the slips and falls if you are a beginner–after all, we must all start from somewhere even if it involves falling flat on ice. That is what adds to the beauty and fun of ice skating. Such a cool way to have fun and get in shape.
Pepsi Ice Center
Address: 201 S Roosevelt Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Pepsi Ice Center
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
2. Read a book at Bloomington Public Library
Enjoy the ambiance, quiet, and relaxation that comes with catching up on chapters of your favorite book or reading an educational book in a library. Bloomington Public Library aims to provide a helpful and friendly place for people of all ages to access information and to encourage lifelong learning. Be assisted by the friendly and knowledgeable staff who offer exceptional service. Boost your knowledge here for as we all know, knowledge is power.
Bloomington Public Library
Address: 205 E Olive St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Bloomington Public Library
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm
3. Check out the Tropical Rainforest Exhibit at Miller Park Zoo
Located in Miller Park, the Tropical Rainforest Exhibit at Miller Park Zoo displays an assortment of animals and plants native to Central and South America’s rainforests. See animals such as saki and callimico monkeys, two-toed sloth, birds such as scarlet ibis, and finches and plants such as saffron. A fun and enlightening way to spend your day, not forgetting all the unique and cute species of animals and birds you will see.
Miller Park Zoo
Address: 1020 S Morris Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Miller Park Zoo
Opening hours: 9:30am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 5.95 USD (Senior citizens and Military Members); 6.95 USD (Adults 13 to 59 years), 4.95 USD (Children 3 to12 years)
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4. Ride a bike on the Constitution Trail
Feel the breeze and take in breaths of fresh air as you ride your bike through this paved trail. The tree-lined trail covers over 42 miles (67.6 km) and takes you through the old Illinois Central Gulf Railroad and a mix of residential and forested areas in the community. Unwind and relax as you ride your bike and also get to indulge in some physical fitness. This trail is very popular with the locals which provides a great opportunity to interact with them.
Website: Constitution Trail
5. Tee off at Highland Park Golf Course
Tee away at this 18-hole golf course whose narrow fairways and small greens make it quite challenging. Admire the spectacular scenery of the hilly terrain with a beautiful creek meandering through the course. Come here and rent a cart and club at the rental shops and have fun at golfing–a chill way to spend your day out in the spreading greens.
Highland Park Golf Course
Address: 1613 S Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Highland Park Golf Course
6. Catch a play at Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
The thrill and excitement that comes with watching a play in a big theater is a unique, must-have experience. This newly renovated building features state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment with a 1,200-seat auditorium, a spacious ballroom, and an outdoor summer concert stage. It hosts plays, pop concerts, and classical music. Catch an amazing play here for an unforgettable experience.
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
Address: 600 N East St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
7. Visit Ewing Manor
Did you know that there was so much history right in your backyard? Please join us on Monday for our free tours from 4-6 p.m. *Last tour starts at 5:30.Posted by Ewing Manor on Friday, 5 July 2019
Visit Ewing Manor and get a dose of spectacular architecture, history, and culture. Admire the brick path leading up to the manor that is lined with flowers and shaded trees and offers amazing views of the sunrise and sunset. The architecture features Channel-Normal style and the manor has oil paintings, books and antiques which will take you back in history. The manor is an ideal place for hosting indoor events as it has elegant and versatile rooms. Prepare to be awed as your explore this manor.
Address: 48 Sunset Rd, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Ewing Manor
Opening hours: 8am - dusk (daily)
Price: Tours: free (donations suggested)
8. Get a glimpse of the past at McLean County Museum of History
For the history lovers, this museum is waiting for you to explore it. Visit here and get to see five permanent exhibit galleries and two rotating galleries that display more than 20,000 objects, more than 15,000 rare and hard-to-find books on local history and genealogy and 2,000 feet (609.6 m) of historical papers and images. This collection aims at documenting the growth and development of McLean County including its diverse cultural history, people’s relationship to their physical environment, political and economic activity, the history of institutions and organizations, civic culture and iconography. This museum presents you with the opportunity to learn a lot about McLean County.
McLean County Museum of History
Address: 200 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: McLean County Museum of History
Opening hours: Wed - Sat, Mon: 9am - 5pm; Tue: 9am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm
Price: 5 USD (Adults); 4 USD (Seniors >65 years)
9. Visit Miller Park Pavilion & War Memorial
Renowned for its excellent acoustic properties, the pavilion is a popular venue for events. It features creeping porches, chandeliers, and amazing interiors. The Korean/ Vietnam War Memorial comprises of a black granite memorial surrounded by red sidewalks with names of Central Illinois residents killed or missing in action in the Korean and Vietnam battles. Visit here and pay your respects to those who fell in battle while fighting for the country’s freedom.
Miller Park Pavilion & War Memorial
Address: 1020 S Morris Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Miller Park Pavilion & War Memorial
10. Admire the splendid F-14 Tomcat at Prairie Aviation Museum
Visit this aviation museum that has eight aircrafts, three helicopters, one piston, and two jet engines on display. It also has an extensive collection of space items. Listen to the stories of the men and women who contributed to the creation, development, expansion and promise of aviation and space exploration. Several times a year, the museum also showcases rotating exhibits. Not only will you get a unique experience here but also get to learn a lot from the staff with in depth knowledge of the aircrafts and items on display.
Prairie Aviation Museum
Address: 2929 E Empire St, Bloomington, IL 61704, USA
Website: Prairie Aviation Museum
Opening hours: Fri - Sun: 10am - 3pm (closed from Mon - Thu)
Price: 5 USD (Adults 12 years and older), 3 USD (Children 6 to 11 years)
11. Learn about the life of Abraham Lincoln's mentor at David Davis Mansion
Admire this three-story, yellow-brick, genteel home that was home to Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife Sarah. Marvel at the unique Victorian architecture, elegant furnishings and modern technological conveniences of back then such as indoor plumbing and two modern communication systems. The mansion houses letters of the Davis family which help keep their legacy alive and a stunning collection of mid-19th century decorative arts. It documents the roles David Davis played as a mentor to Abraham Lincoln as well as Sarah Davis’ contributions to her husband’s career. The garden features an unusual amount of original plant material, beds, and pathways. Go back in history and learn about this major historical aspect of this country.
David Davis Mansion
Address: 1000 Monroe Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: David Davis Mansion
Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 9am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Tue)
12. Shop at Eastland Mall
Would your little girl love to be a star in a real Justice fashion show? Her dream can come true this Saturday, January...Posted by Eastland Mall on Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Indulge in the guilty pleasure of shopping by coming to this mall that has more than 90 inline tenants, a food court, and a big parking lot. Get a variety of retailers and dining options including Bergner’s, American Eagle Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Applebee’s. It also has a children’s play area where kids can enjoy play time as you shop. Visit this shoppers paradise that has a lot of retailers to suit everyone’s needs.
Address: 1615 E Empire St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Eastland Mall
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm
13. Watch a movie at Marcus Bloomington Cine + IMAX
Come see #ITmovie in the #IMAX! Tickets are still available to all show times. Click below for...Posted by Marcus Wehrenberg Bloomington Cinema on Friday, 8 September 2017
Going to watch a movie at a cinema has always been a fun idea to explore since time immemorial. This theater shows mainstream films and features enhanced picture and sound that makes it a great place to catch a movie. It has fourteen screens, including the mega-screen with digital 3-D capabilities and the largest in central Illinois. Grab the usual movie fare such as popcorn, drinks, ice cream, and candy or select from a variety of hot food at Fred’s Drive-In, take a seat in the auditorium with stadium seats, and enjoy your movie.
Marcus Bloomington Cine + IMAX
Address: 1111 Wylie Dr, Bloomington, IL 61705, USA
Website: Marcus Bloomington Cine + IMAX
14. Dine at Applebee's Grill + Bar
Everyone knows beer and wings are a must when watching football so we have the deals for you!! All You Can Eat Boneless...Posted by Applebee's Grill + Bar on Saturday, 20 October 2018
Looking for some delicious food? Head out to this full-service chain bar and grill that offers the option of dine-in or take-out. Select from a variety of finger-licking foods with the popular meals being steaks, juicy burgers, sandwiches, chicken, tacos, and fresh salads. Enjoy happy hour and choose from a wide selection of beverages, beers, and cocktails to quench your thirst. Enjoy great food and ambiance at this chill, family-friendly bar and grill that will not disappoint.
Applebee's Grill + Bar
Address: 502 N Veterans Pkwy, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Applebee’s Grill + Bar
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am
15. Have a great laugh at Comedy Attic
Visit Bloomington’s first and only full-time comedy club if you are a stand-up comedy lover. This comedy club features stand-up comedies and weekly open-mic nights. You can buy pub comfort foods and drinks to enjoy as you laugh heartily. The interior is intimate and designed to suit its function featuring a brick wall, lower ceilings, close knit tables and chairs, and curtains as dividers. Be entertained by a lineup of renowned and/or local comedians. By the end of the night, your ribs will be hurting from all the laughter.
Address: 123 S Walnut St, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA
Website: Comedy Attic
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 7pm - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 7pm - 12am (closed from Sun - Tue)
16. Enjoy live music and a few drinks at Cheeks Bar & Grill
Come get cozy, grab a beer, and maybe even a burger.Posted by Cheeks Bar & Grill on Monday, 29 April 2019
Listening to live music is always soothing and relaxing. Go to Cheeks Bar & Grill on weekends and enjoy live music from local musicians. Their burgers are to die for and they feature a different kind of burger every week. Aside from burgers, you can also eat other bar staples while enjoying happy hour specials. The refreshing drinks are served either on tap, bottled, or handmade beverages. Catch a game on one of their many flat-screens. It is a relaxing spot with great food and drinks and amazing service from the staff.
Cheeks Bar & Grill
Address: 1206 Towanda Ave #6, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Cheeks Bar & Grill
Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Sat: 10am - 1am; Thu - Fri: 10am - 2am; Sun: 11am - 1am
17. Hit the dance floor at Six Strings Club
Put on your dancing shoes and head over to Six Strings Club for a dose of great live country music in a comfortable atmosphere. The drinks are amazing, too. On some nights there is karaoke and Wednesday night is open mic night where you can check out local talented musicians performing on stage. Such a fun way to spend your evening. Learn to bust some country music moves while on the dance floor. It is such a fun and entertaining way to spend your evening.
Six Strings Club
Address: 525 N Center St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Six Strings Club
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 7pm - 1am; Fri - Sat: 7pm - 2am (closed from Sun - Tue)
18. Enjoy bowling with friends at Twin City Lanes
Have fun with your friends at this small bowling alley that offers great service. Enjoy unbeatable bowling, food, and drink prices. The staff ensure that it is always sparkling clean. Have a competitive bowling game with your friends and have lots of fun. There are plenty of lanes to cater for a large group of people though you need to call prior as it is a popular joint for the locals.
Twin City Lanes
Address: 7229, 1006 E Lincoln St # 2, Bloomington, IL 61701, United States
Website: Twin City Lanes
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10am - 1am; Fri - Sat: 10am - 1:30am
19. Take your kids to Pheasant Lanes Family Fun Center
Join us for some glow bowling! 🙂 Today and tomorrow from 9pm-close!Posted by Pheasant Lanes on Friday, 30 November 2018
Visit this family-friendly bowling alley that was recently renovated–hence, everything is new and clean. The 32-lane bowling center offers open bowling, glow bowling, bowling tournaments and leagues. You can also enjoy playing in the 18-hole miniature golf course, on either of the two full-sized sand volleyball courts, or have fun at the huge beer garden. For the kids who do not want to indulge in the sporting activities, there is an arcade where they can play games and win prizes. Treat yourself to delicious food and refreshing drinks from the pub. With all these amenities, there is something for each family member to do and have a lot of fun while at it.
Pheasant Lanes Family Fun Center
Address: 804 N Hershey Rd, Bloomington, IL 61704, USA
Website: Pheasant Lanes Family Fun Center
Opening hours: Mon: 9am - 10pm; Tue - Thu: 9am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 12am; Sun: 12pm - 10pm
20. Enjoy the evening breeze at Tipton Park
Feel the breeze blowing around you as you enjoy some leisure time at this recreation area that features baseball fields, a walking trail, a playground with swing sets, and a splash park for kids. The park also has a pond for fishing. Catch a breath of fresh air as you enjoy spectacular views of the sunset and the scenery. Nothing is more relaxing than being out in the open, enjoying amazing scenery, just letting go of all your troubles, and relishing the moment.
Address: 2201 Stone Mountain Blvd, Bloomington, IL 61704, USA
Website: Tipton Park
21. Buy local produce at Bloomington Farmers' Market
Have you ever wondered how shopping at your farmers' market can stimulate the local economy? Click the link below to...Posted by Downtown Bloomington Farmers' Market on Monday, 8 April 2019
Eating healthy is a number one priority for all of us. Bloomington Farmers’ Market is the place to go when you need to buy fresh farm produce as it is a producers-only market. Here, you will find a variety of organic and chemical-free produce. Buy a variety of produce available including vegetables, fruits, cheeses, pork, beef, free-range poultry and eggs, flowers, plants and herbs. You can also shop for fine arts made by local artisans or watch the different local musical performances done every week. Buy fresh and local for healthy living.
Bloomington Farmers' Market
Address: On the Museum Square in Downtown Bloomington, Illinois
Website: Bloomington Farmers’ Market
Opening hours: Sat: 7:30am - 12pm
22. Visit the Holy Trinity Church Rectory and Convent
Visit Holy Trinity Church Rectory and Convent to get a glimpse of its Art Deco and Romanesque architecture. It is a church that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. It had the last large instrument manufactured by the Hinners Organ Company of Pekin, Illinois but was replaced in 1989 with a three-manual hybrid instrument with eight ranks of new pipes manufactured by Rodgers Organ Company. Apart from admiring the beautiful architecture, you can also attend a mass here and get enriched spiritually.
Holy Trinity Church Rectory and Convent
Address: 106 W Chestnut St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
23. Learn how to paint pottery at Artful Designs
Get in touch with your artistic side at Artful Designs which specializes in Paint Your Own Pottery (PYOP). The studio provides you with tools, resources, and tips to help you customize and personalize the item you are making. The staff are friendly and will assist you through the entire process. Be creative and make your piece, leave it to be glazed and fired and then pick it up after one week.
Address: 502 N Prospect Rd, Bloomington, IL 61704, USA
Website: Artful Designs
Opening hours: Tue - Wed: 11am - 6pm; Thu - Fri: 11am - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 7 USD (Adults), 6 USD (Children 12 years and younger)
24. Enjoy skating at Skate 'N' Place
Skate ‘N’ Place provides you with an indoor rink where you can enjoy skating while listening to some great music. The cost is also reasonable. It was refurbished and now features a new roof, new paint inside and out, new floor and sound system, renovated bathrooms, video games, and a roller skating pro shop to make your experience even more magical and enjoyable. Visit this place to have fun while skating.
Skate 'N' Place
Address: 1704 S Morris Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Skate ‘N’ Place
Opening hours: Thu: 7pm - 9pm; Fri: 7pm - 10pm (closed from Mon - Wed & Sat - Sun)
25. Challenge your friends at Upper Limits Climbing Gym
Experience the thrill and exhilaration that comes with rock climbing at Upper Limits Climbing Gym which is a premier rock climbing gym and pro shop. Choose from different rock climbing activities such as bouldering, top roping, and autobelays with each having varying levels of difficulty. Enjoy a little friendly competition and see who will emerge the champion of rock climbing among your friends. Get to build your body’s strength and enhance your muscle tone and flexibility while at it.
Upper Limits Climbing Gym
Address: 1304 W Washington St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Upper Limits Climbing Gym
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 10pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm
Price: 18 USD (Adult), 15 USD (Child 10 years and below)
26. Have a picnic at Walt Bittner Park
Visit this 11 acre (4.5 Ha) public park that was named after former Bloomington Mayor, Walt Bittner. The park features many prairie state plants on one side and on the other side are several sports fields and courts, a picnicking site, a trail, and a playground with big slides. Carry your favorite book, a collection of favorite music and food, and go on a picnic at this park. Definitely a relaxed and chilled spot to spend your day.
Walt Bittner Park
Address: 3807 Rave Rd, Bloomington, IL 61704, USA
Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)
27. Enjoy a day at Altitude Trampoline Park
For a fun day out with your kids, bring them here where they will get to jump and fly up in the air. Altitude Trampoline Park occupies 23,000 square feet (2,136.7 square meters) of indoor trampolines and other awesome amenities. Amenities here include main court with wall-to-wall trampolines, trapeze, kid’s court, battle beam, extreme dodge ball, gymnastic tumble tracks, trampoline basketball, and a foam pit. Enjoy this ideal family entertainment joint that is in a safe and clean environment.
Altitude Trampoline Park
Address: Dummy address
Website: Altitude Trampoline Park
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 11pm; Sun: 11am - 8pm
Price: From 14.95 USD/hour
28. Delight your kids at the Children's Discovery Museum
This museum is not only fun for your kids but also aims at inspiring their love for learning through the power of play. Tour three stories of interactive exhibits, classes, and programs that engage both the child and adult in experiences that stimulate imagination and curiosity. Kids can have fun at the Innovation Station that engages them in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), at the climbing structure, at the water table and at the creative arts section. Here, you are guaranteed of a day filled with lots of fun and learning.
Children's Discovery Museum
Address: 101 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761, USA
Website: Children’s Discovery Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 7 USD/person
29. Have ice cream at Carl's Ice Cream Factory
Indulge your sweet tooth at Carl’s Ice Cream Factory that serves up mouthwatering ice cream in a very appealing way. Have a taste of the hard ice cream that is made in the store from fresh ingredients. With a lot of different flavors to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice. Sit at the large outdoor patio and savor the sweetness as the ice cream melts in your mouth and leaves you craving for more.
Carl's Ice Cream Factory
Address: 601 W Locust St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Website: Carl’s Ice Cream Factory
Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)
30. Have a relaxing stroll in White Oak Park
Being out in nature while enjoying the cool breeze and scenery is always relaxing and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. Walk around this 75.4 acre (30.5 hectare) park and get to see sports facilities, a playground, and a mile-long (1.6 km) paved trail surrounding the man-made lake. The lake is a popular fishing location. Meet your daily requirement of exercise as you walk around this beautiful park.
White Oak Park
Address: 1514 Cottage Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
Explore this historical and cultural city
For the lovers of history and culture, Bloomington has a lot to offer. Get to learn a lot from various cultural centers that document important aspects of the history and culture of the country. Aside from that, there are a lot of parks and recreational spots waiting to be explored. There is everything for everyone. Head out here and indulge in these things to do in Bloomington, Illinois.
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