Things to Do
Whether you and your international visitor enjoy the outdoors, sports, unique arts or live entertainment, Bloomington has something to entertain all interests. Many of the activities are free or at the cost of a little bit of gas in the car.
There are over 40 parks in the city of Bloomington. Some are small and in your neighborhood; some are large and have swimming pools, jungle-jims and or golf courses. Often there are special events at the parks. Check in at the Bloomington website (http://bloomington.in.gov/) and go to the Parks and Recreation sections. While you are looking at the Bloomington website you can find information about events to be held around the Bloomington Square or along the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) trail.
In the early Fall, the Lotus World Music and Arts festival has been held in Bloomington since 1994. The festival hosts musicians and entertainers from across the world who are scheduled onto outside stages or into sanctuaries of the many churches in downtown Bloomington. Food and drink is available. The festival goes on for a number of days across a long weekend.
Tailgating and watching a football game is a tradition for the fall. Tickets for home games, however, are often in short supply. Basketball and other sports occur later in the year. BWF sponsors an outing by students and hosts to one of the Women’s Basketball games in the spring.
Hiking and seeing woods and lakes is often on the list of things international young people like to do. Luckily there are many areas that are at short drive away and which have a minimal or no fee for entrance. Consider Lake Lemon, Lake Monroe, Griffy Lake, Mc Cormicks Creek State Park, Brown County State Park, Yellowwood State Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Forest on the list of the nearest ones.
If you get as far as Brown County (only about half an hour’s drive), Nashville is a natural draw for those interested in art or nature. The town is a big tourist magnet for fall tree color so plan accordingly.
Farther afield is the resort area of French Lick and West Baden. The historic buildings and hotels are worth looking at. Optionally the gaming casinos may appeal to some.
Don’t have a full day to spend on an outing? Meet your international student for a movie at one of the Bloomington movie theaters or at the Indiana University Memorial Union (free to students). Other movies are available at varying prices through the Indiana University Cinema project. Or if live music is your and their desire, there are many kinds of live music available from jazz to alternative music to ‘open mic’ at various pubs and restaurants. If art, acting, singing, or dancing are of interest, there is live theater in Bloomington; it ranges from Broadway musicals, to drama, to local chef challenges, to dancing contests for the benefit of local charities.
There is something to do in Bloomington every week.