Live Like A Local
We asked locals, "What should every IWU student see and do in Bloomington-Normal before
they graduate?" Below you'll find crowd-sourced favorites for entertainment, food,
and recreation throughout town.
IWU Theatre Department - See a show.
IWU Athletics - Cheer on the Titans.
John Wesley Powell Conference - Explore the research projects.
IWU Art Gallery - See an art exhibit.
IWU Multifaith Meditation Room - Take time for reflection.
Food & Drink
Thai House - Delicious curry and pho (plus much more).
Puran Indian - Check out the lunch buffet.
The Rock Restaurant - A great place for gyros, baklava, & falafel.
Taqueria El Porton - Authentic Mexican food just a couple blocks from campus.
Anju Above - Japanese-American fusion served tapas style and sourced largely from McLean County
Pizza & Wings
Flinger's Pizza Pub - Locally known for their unique pizza creations (try a Flinger Roll!) and wide selection
of craft beers.
Mugsy's - The spicy barbecue wings are an alum favorite.
Tobin's - Try the Micheleo's thin crust or the thick and buttery Mama Teresa's pan pizza.
Schooner's - This greasy spoon is locally famous for their Po' Boy sandwiches.
Lucca Grill - A Downtown Bloomington staple since 1936! Considered by many to be the best thin
crust pizza in town.
Coffee & Tea
Coffee Hound - Homegrown coffee shop made for the caffeine connoisseur. All beans are roasted
Fusion Brew - If you've never tried bubble tea, this is the place to go.
Coffee House - A staple of Uptown Normal and home to a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian breakfast
and brunch items.
Sweets & Treats
Carl's Ice Cream
Gene's Dairy Delight
Grove Street Bakery - Be sure to try the giant sugar cookies.
Fun & Games
Red Raccoon Games - Home to card and board games galore, plus in-store game nights.
Marcus (Wherenberg) Cinema + IMAX - Catch a show and enjoy the giant dream lounger chairs.
Skate 'n' Place - Enjoy old school fun on a pair of skates or roller blades.
Pheasant Lanes Family Fun Center - Bowling and sand volleyball leagues, plus mini golf.
Out & About
Uptown Circle - Enjoy the beautiful water feature and grassy hill in spring, summer and fall. Free
live music in the evenings throughout the season.
Constitution Trail - 10+ miles of paved bike and walking paths.
Upper Limits - Scale impressive 65 foot indoor walls, and a gargantuan 110 foot outdoor wall.
Comlara Park - Swimming, boating, camping, and hiking just 30 minutes north of Bloomington.
Starved Rock State Park - Hiking and camping along the scenic Illinois River. Just a 1 hour drive north on
Arcadia: Playable Arcade Museum - Located in McLean, IL, just 25 minutes south of Bloomington.
Moraine View Restaurant & Kayak Center - A short 30 minute drive from Bloomington.
History & Education
McLean County Museum of History - Students get in FREE every Tuesday, just present your IWU ID card.
Miller Park Zoo - Who knew you could find flamingos in Bloomington?
Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center
Downtown Bloomington Farmer's Market - Every Saturday May-October from 7:30am to 12:00pm.
Green Top Grocery Co-op - A community-owned and led grocery co-operative focusing on local produce and products.
Common Ground Natural Foods
Music & the Arts
The Castle Theater - A staple of the Central IL music scene that offers a diverse array of live music
all year long.
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts - Musicals, plays, orchestras, comedians, and much more.
Normal Theater - Your local movie lover's haven. Featuring limited release films, seasonal favorites,
cult classics, and special events.
McLean County Arts Center - Visit the galleries and sign up for a community art class.
Retrofit Culture - A collection of unique, vintage and hand made clothes, bath & body products, cards,
furniture pieces and more.
Waiting Room Records - Offering a wide array of vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, and turn tables.
Crossroads Handcrafts of the World - Offering unique and beautiful gifts and crafts sourced via fair trade from around
Bobzbay - Loaded with used books, CDs, movies and games.
Illinois Shakespeare Festival - Enjoy this nationally ranked Shakespeare festival on the beautiful grounds of Ewing
Sugar Creek Arts Festival - Every July in Uptown Normal.
GLT Summer Concert - Free and open to the public every June.
Sweet Corn & Blues Festival