Bloomington, Illinois, is a city and the county seat of McLean County in the United States. Bloomington il is the 12th largest city in Illinois, with a total population of approximately 76,382 as of 2020. Bloomington is a lovely tourist destination that offers a plethora of exciting things to do and see thanks to its numerous spectacular tourist attractions.
Things to Do in Bloomington IL, McLean County Museum of History, Miller Park Zoo, Illinois State University, Normal Theater, Pepsi Ice Center, and Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts are some of Bloomington’s most popular attractions. Do you want to know what to do in Bloomington il? Here’s a great list to get you started.
23 Best Things to Do in Bloomington IL Today
1. McLean County Historical Society
Among the many interesting places to visit in Bloomington, Illinois, the McLean County Museum of History should be on your list.
This magnificent history museum is housed in the old McLean County Courthouse, which was built in the early twentieth century.
Two rotating galleries and five permanent exhibits are among the features of the McLean County Museum of History.
More than 20,000 historical items, including historical papers, rare books, and a large collection of photographs, are on display at the museum.
The museum’s exhibits depict various periods in McLean County’s history, including Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.
Visit if you want to learn more about the museum’s American Renaissance-style building, as there is a detailed exhibit about the Old Courthouse itself at vrooman mansion.
On the ground floor of the building, there is also the Cruisin’ With Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center, where visitors can learn about the historic highway that runs through the city.
McLean County Museum of History is open every day of the week and offers free admission on Tuesday at Eastland Suites.
For history buffs, a visit to this wonderful museum is one of the best fun things to do in Bloomington, Illinois.
Bloomington, Illinois, 200 North Main Street
2. Lanes for Pheasants
If you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Bloomington, Pheasant Lanes should be on your list at State Farm.
Pheasant Lanes is a 32-lane bowling alley that hosts leagues, open bowling, tournaments, corporate parties, and birthday parties.
Aside from bowling, Pheasant Lanes has several other exciting amenities, including a large pub where visitors can enjoy a meal and participate in any of the area’s special events at Family Fun Park.
In addition, Pheasant Lanes has a professionally designed 18-hole miniature golf course where golf enthusiasts can have fun during the spring, summer, and fall seasons .
Pheasant Lanes also has two sand volleyball courts and a newly added beer garden that can be used all year.
Pheasant Lanes is available for special event rentals such as birthday parties, school outings, and more.
Pheasant Lanes is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
804 N Hershey Rd, Bloomington, IL 61704 (United States).
3. Games for Red Raccoon
Red Raccoon Games, located in historic downtown Bloomington, is one of Illinois’ largest board game stores.
Red Raccoon Games was founded in 2007 as ‘Gryfalia’s Aerie,’ but in 2014, it was purchased by Jamie and Kelly Mathy, who changed the name to Red Raccoon Games in July of 2015.
Since the store’s design was changed, the couple has worked hard to promote the brand through community outreach and other means.
Visitors can enjoy over 1500 games at Red Raccoon Games, including board games, children’s games, miniatures games, role-playing games, and card games.
Red Raccoon Games is one of the best places to visit in Bloomington, Illinois if you enjoy non-electronic games.
Red Raccoon Games is a popular gaming location frequented by gamers from all over Illinois, with a space capable of holding up to 90 players at once.
A trip to Red Raccoon Games is one of the most enjoyable family activities in Bloomington.
309 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701 (United States).
4. Constitution Trail
The Constitution Trail is a multi-use rail trail that runs through the abandoned Illinois Central Gulf Railroad corridor between Normal and Bloomington in McLean County, Illinois.
The Constitution Trail, which opened on May 6, 1989, is over 45 miles long and connects to the historic Route 66 Trail right in McLean County.
The Constitution Trail is owned by the cities of Bloomington and Normal and is popular among walkers, bikers, runners, inline skaters, and skiers.
The trail has about 32 trailheads in various areas of Bloomington and Normal, as well as many attractions and historical sites that can be seen while on the trail.
Among the many historic sites along the trail is the Camelback Bridge in Normal, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Restrooms, benches, shelters/gazebos, water fountains, picnic tables, and trash cans are among the trail’s amenities.
5. Iron Coyote Challenge Park
Do you want to go on an adventure? If so, Iron Coyote Challenge Park should be on your list of fun things to do in Bloomington, Illinois.
Iron Coyote Challenge Park is a spectacular tourist attraction in Bloomington that spans approximately 20,000 square feet and offers a variety of life-thrilling adventures to visitors.
Among the adventures available at this challenge park are a high ropes course with over 35 elements, harnessed climbing walls, four ninja warrior-style obstacle courses, and a 60-foot zip line.
Aside from adventures, Iron Coyote Challenge Park has a full-service cafe where visitors can enjoy snacks, adult beverages, smoothies, and more while admiring the scenery from the cafe’s observation mezzanine.
Iron Coyote Challenge Park is a place where fun meets fitness, with something for people of all abilities and ages, including children.
Iron Coyote Challenge Park also hosts a variety of special events, such as team-building activities, field trips, and fitness classes for both children and adults.
Iron Coyote Challenge Park also has several party rooms available for hosting private parties and other events.
The park is open from 12pm to 6pm on Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10am to 6pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Iron Coyote Challenge Park is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Bloomington because there is something for everyone.
4113 Oakland Ave, Bloomington, IL 61704 (United States).
6. Miller Park Zoo
If you are visiting Bloomington with children, make sure to include a visit to the Miller Park Zoo on your list of things to do in Bloomington.
The Zoo, located near the city center, houses a variety of animal species worth seeing.
The zoo’s many animals include rare red wolves, tortoises, pythons, cockatoos, harbor seals, and others.
Visitors to the Zoo are given the opportunity to feed the animals upon admission. If you want to learn more about zoos and how they work, you can enroll in the special Junior Zookeeper program.
Miller Park Zoo also offers overnight programs for groups of 15 or more, resulting in a memorable epic experience.
Other notable features of the Miller Park Zoo include war memorials, mini-golf, and numerous walking trails that run throughout the area.
Visit the Miller Park Zoo any day of the week to see what it has to offer.
Bloomington, Illinois 1020 South Morris Avenue
7. Bloomington Ice Center
Add a visit to the Bloomington Ice Center to your list of things to do in Bloomington, Illinois if you enjoy sports.
The Bloomington Ice Center is an ice rink where you can participate in sports like open skate, hockey, figure skating, broomball, and curling.
Bloomington Ice Center is connected to the Grossinger Motors Arena despite not being affiliated with it.
The Bloomington Ice Center is primarily used for hockey games and is home to the Bloomington Normal Sharks high school hockey program as well as the Bloomington Jr. Thunder Travel Hockey.
The center is home to several hockey leagues, including mini-mite and adult house leagues.
The center also offers visitors, whether adults or children of any skill level, the opportunity to learn or improve their skating skills through skate lesson programs. There are also hockey lessons available.
The Bloomington Ice Center is open to the public during designated open skate times for a fee of $6 per person or $4 per person for groups of 10 or more. Reservations are required for birthday parties at the center.
Address: 201 S Roosevelt Ave, Bloomington, Illinois 61701, USA
8. David Davis Mansion State Historic Site
The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, a three-story Victorian-style mansion built between 1870 and 1872, is another notable historic building in Bloomington, IL.
The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site was once home to Abraham Lincoln’s close friend, David Davis, who served as a United States Senator and a Supreme Court Justice during his time.
David Davis was married to Sarah Davis, a prominent member of the community at the time with significant influence, who aided him in his political prowess.
The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, also known as Clover Lawn, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The historic mansion is open to the public seven days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday.
The tours take visitors through 35 different rooms filled with meticulously preserved antiques and decorative art.
If you want to take a guided tour, go to the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The beautifully preserved Sarah’s Garden surrounding the estate is another interesting feature of this site that makes it worthwhile to visit.
Throughout the year, the mansion also hosts a number of special events, such as garden walks, antique auto shows, and holiday lights at ewing cultural center.
Add a visit to the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site to your list of things to do in Bloomington, Illinois, if you want to spend some time in history.
Bloomington, Illinois, 1000 Monroe Drive
9. Evergreen Memorial Cemetery
Are you looking for a quiet and peaceful place to relax while in Bloomington? If so, make a point of visiting the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery has an amazing landscape that is fun to explore and is a natural place for locals and tourists to cool off at St Louis.
The cemetery has century-old headstones, which give the area a sense of history in addition to its natural abundance great place.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is the final resting place for several notable community figures and heroes, and the Evergreen Cemetery Walk, which takes place each year, helps to pay tribute to these individuals.
During the Evergreen Cemetery Walk, there are a variety of costumed actors portraying characters from McLean County’s history of best things.
While in Bloomington, Illinois, be sure to join the thousands of visitors who come from far and wide to see the Evergreen Cemetery Walk.
Bloomington, Illinois, 302 East Miller Street
10. Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
Add a visit to the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts to your list of things to do in Bloomington, IL if you enjoy the performing arts.
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA) is a 1,200-seat auditorium that hosts a variety of performances.
Throughout the year, the center hosts over 500 events and provides a venue for local artists to showcase their work.
Special holiday performances, Summer Solstice Concerts, and Broadway shows are among the many entertainments available at the center.
In addition, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts offers a variety of educational arts programs, such as seminars, lectures, and classes.
If you are an aspiring thespian, you are welcome to visit the center, as BCPA is a sponsor of the annual Miller Park Summer Theatre.
Interested Thespians can also participate in the center’s annual outdoor summer musical auditions.
Bloomington, Illinois 600 North East Street
11. BEER NUTS
Beer Nuts should be on your list of places to visit in Bloomington if you want to get some of the best nuts.
Beer Nuts, which began as a small confectionery shop in Bloomington in the late 1930s, is a family-owned and operated business.
Their distinctive redskin nuts gained popularity over time and were in high demand by local liquor stores and bars.
Beer Nuts snacks are now available throughout the United States as well as in several neighboring countries.
Despite the name “BEER” Nuts, the company’s nut snacks are alcohol-free and suitable for people of all ages.
Glazed peanuts, chocolate-covered nuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, macadamias, and other snacks are available from the company.
Beer Nuts is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Address: 103 N Robinson St, Bloomington, IL, USA
12. Prairie Vista Golf Course
Add a visit to the Prairie Vista Golf Course to your list of fun things to do in Bloomington, Illinois if you enjoy golfing.
Prairie Vista Golf Course has a total length of 6,745 yards from the Championship Tees and 5,224 yards from the Forward Tees.
The City of Bloomington opened the Prairie Vista Golf Course, designed by Roger Packard, on May 17, 1991.
Prairie Vista Golf Course has played host to a number of exciting tournaments, including the 1997 NCAA Division I Women’s East Regional.
Since 1993, the golf course has also served as the site for the Illinois High School Association’s Class A Boys State Championship.
The course features Bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens, making it ideal for any golf enthusiast.
The course also has a large practice chipping green, a large practice putting green, and a grass driving range.
Don’t be concerned if you forget to bring your golfing equipment; there is a full-service Golf Shop in the area that sells golf equipment and apparel at discounted prices.
502 W Hamilton Rd, Bloomington, IL 61704 (United States).
13. Regular Theater
Add a visit to the Normal Theater to your list of things to do in Bloomington, IL for some theater time.
The Normal Theatre, located directly across from Illinois State University, is one of Bloomington’s most popular tourist attractions.
Normal theatre first opened in 1937 and enjoyed great success for many years before declining in popularity and closing down.
Nonetheless, the theater was renovated and restored in 1994 to become a modern theater that shows independent, classic, and foreign films.
The theatre also hosts a variety of live performances, such as concerts, comedy shows, special lecture series, and other events.
Normal Theater is also a popular venue for a variety of community events and discussions.
Normal Theatre, a mix of history and theater, is well worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.
Normal, Illinois, 209 West North Street
14. Illinois State University
Illinois State University, located north of Bloomington, is the oldest public university in Bloomington and the state of Illinois in general.
The Illinois State University was founded in 1857 and has been a significant cultural element in the state of Illinois ever since.
The Quad at the university is a lovely green space with many trees, sidewalks, and passing students.
Despite being a university, Illinois State University has an outstanding natural feel due to its many beautiful trees of various species.
The Illinois State University Redbird sporting events, which have a lot of fun to offer, are one of the things visitors should look forward to while in the area.
Throughout the year, the university also hosts a number of other enjoyable events and festivals.
The University Galleries, which displays contemporary art, and the Gamma Phi Circus, the oldest collegiate circus in the United States, are both located near the campus.
Yoga studios, record shops, and an indie-movie center called The Normal Theater are among the fun venues on the university streets.
Visiting Illinois State University is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Bloomington.
15. Prairie Aviation Museum
Prairie Aviation Museum is an aircraft-related museum in Bloomington, Illinois, near the Central Illinois Regional Airport.
The museum showcases a variety of restored civilian and military aircraft, as well as other educational exhibits.
The museum is an incredible place to visit for aircraft enthusiasts, displaying a wide range of air and space history through its many interactive exhibits, including pilot simulators.
Most of the featured exhibits are on display outside when visitors arrive.
Visitors are welcome to tour the Prairie Aviation Museum, which features eight spectacular aircraft and three helicopters.
During special events such as “Open Cockpit Days,” visitors can also take a tour of restored military vehicles such as an attack helicopter, a twin-engine Cessna, and jet fighters.
Prairie Aviation Museum is closed from January to February and has varying hours the rest of the year.
Bloomington, Illinois 2929 East Empire Street
16. Grossinger Motors Arena
The Grossinger Motors Arena, which officially opened on April 1, 2006, is one of the top event attractions in Illinois and should be on your list of things to do in Bloomington.
The Grossinger Motors Arena, which has hosted over 3,000,000 people since its inception, is a popular event space that hosts concerts, ice shows, motorsports, family shows, trade shows, and other events.
The Grossinger Motors Arena has also hosted several high school graduation ceremonies, Illinois High School Association regional and state tournaments, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals caravans, as well as numerous wedding receptions and private meetings.
The arena has 24 luxury suites, two party suites, 800 club seats, a 5,500-seat capacity for hockey and indoor football games, and an 8,000-seat capacity for concerts.
The arena also has a standard basketball floor for basketball games.
Grossinger Motors Arena is located in the same building as the Pepsi Ice Center, so stop by after checking out the ice rink.
101 S Madison St, Bloomington, IL 61701 (United States).
17. Bloomington’s Altitude Trampoline Park
Visiting the Altitude Trampoline Park Bloomington with the family is one of the best fun things to do in Bloomington, IL.
Altitude Trampoline Park is a fun-filled tipton park that spans over 23,000 square feet and provides a safe and clean environment for people to enjoy themselves.
The park has a number of exciting amenities and facilities designed to ensure that visitors have a great time.
This Park has many features, including a Main Court, Kids Court, Wipeout, Battle Beam, Tumble Tracks, and Trapeze Bar.
Altitude Trampoline Park is one of the best family tourist attractions in Bloomington, with something for everyone.
Log Roll, Extreme Dodgeball, Trampoline Basketball, Monkey Bars, and the Foam Pit are among the other park attractions.
Altitude Trampoline Park Bloomington is also available for private or group events such as birthday parties.
If you want to spend time with your family, Altitude Trampoline Park is open every day of the week.
Address: 1702 General Electric Rd, Bloomington, Illinois 61704, USA
18. The Castle Theatre
The Castle Theatre is a refurbished performance venue in downtown Bloomington.
The Castle Theatre, which opened in 1916, was a top-tier movie palace for many years before closing.
However, in 2003, the building was beautifully restored and renovated to become a modern theatre.
At the moment, the theatre is frequented by talented artists who perform a variety of music genres ranging from indie to country and beyond.
In addition, the theatre hosts a variety of non-musical performances such as stand-up comedy, storytelling, and benefit concerts eaton studio.
Bloomington, Illinois 209 East Washington Street
19. Annual Illinois Shakespeare Festival
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF) is a family-friendly theater festival that began in 1978 and has been held annually since then.
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival will celebrate its 43rd season in the summer of 2021 at the Ewing Theatre in Bloomington, IL, and at the Center for Performing Arts Theatre at Illinois State University in Normal, IL.
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is organized by Illinois State University’s College of Fine Arts and School of Theatre and Dance memorial day.
The festival offers free pre-show entertainment, including live jazz, a short version of the upcoming play, and other exciting performances.
The Ewing Grounds are used for picnicking by the audience during the festival.
The Illinois Shakespeare Festival takes place each year from June to the middle of August. If you want to take part in the fun that this festival has to offer, come to Bloomington during this time.
20. Ewing Manor Cultural Center
Ewing Manor Cultural Center, located northeast of downtown Bloomington, is a 6.5-acre estate with beautifully landscaped gardens, an open theater, and a historic manor.
The Ewing Manor, in particular, is a 1929 Channel-Norman mansion that provides a beautiful and photogenic setting for large events and special gatherings.
The center has several open-to-the-public plaza areas where visitors can relax and have fun, as well as beautifully landscaped gardens.
The open theatre, which is also featured in the area, is a popular performance venue in Bloomington, with a capacity of 430 people.
In addition, the open-air theatre stage hosts the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, which takes place every year.
Feel free to include a visit to Ewing Manor Cultural Center on your list of fun things to do in Bloomington.
Bloomington, Illinois, 48 Sunset Road
21. Bloomington Farmers’ Market
If you’re in Bloomington between May and October, a visit to the Bloomington Farmers’ Market should be on your to-do list.
The Bloomington Farmers’ Market, which combines shopping and entertainment, is held every Saturday between May and October at the historic Museum Square.
Bloomington Farmers’ Market provides a variety of locally grown farm produce as well as live entertainment such as music and other activities.
Fruits and vegetables, various types of flowers, plants, poultry and beef, baked goods, and much more can be found at the farmers market.
The farmer’s market at Museum Square also sells fresh, locally made food.
Bloomington Farmers’ Market is one of the best places in the area to get fresh farm produce.
Bloomington, Illinois, 401 North Morton Street
22. Ryburn Place at Sprague’s Super Service
Ryburn Place at Sprague’s Super Service, formerly a rest stop, is now a gift shop and information center commemorating Historic Route 66, which runs through the region.
Ryburn Place is on the National Register of Historic Places because it was built in 1931 as a gas station, garage, cafe, and rest stop for people traveling along Route 66.
This Tudor-Revival structure now serves as a city-owned landmark, alongside the nearby pumps and gas sign.
Ryburn Place also houses interpretive information and significant memorabilia relating to the Mother Road of the United States Highway System.
Ryburn Place at Sprague’s Super Service is open to the public from Wednesday to Saturday.
If you are in Bloomington during the opening days, consider stopping by this roadside attraction.
Normal, Illinois (305 Pine Street)
23. Merlot and The Masterpiece
Do you wish to be inventive? If so, include a stop at Merlot and A Masterpiece on your list of fun things to do in Bloomington, Illinois.
The Merlot and A Masterpiece opened in June 2010 in the heart of downtown Bloomington.
Merlot and A Masterpiece allows visitors to explore their artistic talents by participating in a step-by-step painting class in a fun and creative environment.
This one-of-a-kind venture allows you to have fun while imagining and bringing out your best artistry.
Feel free to bring any drink of your choice, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, as well as any snack or food of your choice.
Merlot and A Masterpiece provides wine openers, glasses, ice, plates, and silverware for your wines and snacks.
Merlot and A Masterpiece can also be rented out for private events such as birthday parties, date nights, bachelorette parties, girls’ night out, and other occasions.
Address: 412 N Main St, Bloomington, Illinois 61701, USA
FAQs about Things to Do in Bloomington IL
Bloomington, Illinois is well-known for what?
Bloomington has history and aviation museums, a zoo, and a Shakespeare festival in the summer. Adlai E. Stevenson, United States vice president (1893-97), and his grandson, Adlai E. Stevenson II, Illinois governor and two-time Democratic Party presidential nominee, are both buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
Is Bloomington the same as Normal?
Bloomington is the county seat of McLean County, Illinois’ largest county (approximately 762,240 acres). Bloomington (population 78,283) is a twin city with Normal (pop. 53,594).
Is Bloomington’s downtown safe?
Because of the crowds that frequent the restaurant and nightlife districts around North Main Street and Front Street, as well as events at the US Cellular Coliseum and the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, downtown is generally safe.