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The recent brief warm-up was oh-so-welcome, but now that the weather's turned cold and wintry again it almost seems worse than ever, and if that darn groundhog was right we've still got three whole weeks to go until spring. (Coincidentally, that's what the calendar says, too since spring officially begins on March 20.)
Never fear - if you're feeling a bit under the weather, so to speak, we've got the cure. Get out of the house and enjoy one (or more) of these great special events! Here's our list of 10 fabulously fun upcoming events to get your whole family through the last of the winter doldrum and into springtime:
- Pippi Longstocking
Cardinal For Kids presents everyone's favorite free-spirited little redhead!
- Bayou Boogie
Join BIRA in a celebration of Mardi Gras with a shrimp and crawfish boil.
- A Red Carpet Affair at the Buskirk-Chumley.
You're going to watch the Oscars anyway, right? Might as well do it in style!
- Mathers Museum Family Craft Day: Carnival
Learn about the stories behind the traditions of Mardi Gras and Carnival.
- Indiana Heritage Quilt Show & affiliated community exhibits.
These aren't your grandma's quilts. We promise - your whole family will enjoy it!
- First Friday Science of Art
Don't miss the University Players present this fun Children's Theater event at WonderLab!
- TV Technology with PBS Kids
Learn the tricks of the TV trade with the experts from WTIU at WonderLab.
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Be mezmerized by a performance from America's foremost modern dance ensemble.
- Flight of the Falcon: A Live Animal Show
Meet live falcons and learn about the amazing speed and physical features of this raptor.
- Make a Mini Death Star
Explore how geometry can help you create a Star Wars "death star" for your room!
Posted on: Monday, Feb 24, 2014 8:05 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
Grab your family - kids, parents and grandparents included - it's Indiana Heritage Quilt Show time in Bloomington, Indiana! It's the perfect excuse to bring a couple of generations together to appreciate the artistic beauty of this time-honored tradition and share all the fun and excitement of a Bloomington getaway.
Historically, quilting has long been a catalyst for bonding among friends and families through shared experiences, quilting bees and the passing down of skills and knowledge from one generation to the next. Let the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show become the catalyst for some family bonding among your loved ones! The show takes place March 6-8 at the Bloomington Covnention Center and will feature an amazing variety of quilted works on display, on-site vendors, quilting workshops and several unique exhibits at attractions located throughout the community.
The show itself features several categories of quilts vying for more than $12,000 in cash and prizes. In addition, there will be a special exhibition of works by artist Nysha Oren Nelson, who will also be serving as an artist in residence throughout the show to provide live quilting demonstrations and answer questions.
Additional quilt related exhibitions and events in the Bloomington community can be found at the following attractions:
Farmer House Museum will host an exhibit exploring how textile arts have impacted family life in Monroe County and been passed down as family traditions.
Monroe County History Center will present "Cracking the Code: Quilts from the Mid-19th Century," exploring how quilts were once believed to have been used to aid travelers on the Underground Railroad. The exhibit will examine different patterns and their purported meanings across different regions.
Mathers Museum of World Cultures will present a special event on Sat., March 8, at 1 pm. Native American quilts will be highlighted in a "bed turning," a traditional event in which quilters would gather to share their work. As each quilt was shown and discussed, it would be "turned' so the next could be seen.
Old National Bank Gallery will display an exhibit featuring the Art Quilters of Bloomington. The exhibit will highlight a variety of art quilting styles.
WonderLab presents "Art Quilts by Beth Schnellenberger," a collection of ten original quilts designed, pieced and hand-quilted by Beth Schnellenberger from Jasper, Indiana. The heavily stitched, contemporary pieces of fiber art feature strong geometric shapes, high contrast and bold colors.
Wylie House Museum will exhibit several quilts from the Wylie House collection, as well as others borrowed from friends of the museum. Both 19th and 20th Century quilts will be on display and all will be traditional patters, pieced and quilted by hand.Posted on: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 1:42 PM by: Tosha Daugherty
Need a few ideas to sweep your sweetie off his or her feet this year? We've got you covered. Here's a quick rundown of special offers and other options for celebrating the day of love in Bloomington. Why stop at one day, though - we recommend celebrating the entire weekend!
A number of Bloomington restaurants will be featuring special Valentine's Day pricing and menus. Here are the ones we know about:
- The Scholars Inn will be featuring a four course menu on Feb. 14 with several options available, at $65 per person, not including tax, gratuity or beverages. Please call 812-332-1892 for reservations.
- The Irish Lion will host a Valentine's Day Wine Dinner from 4-10 pm on both Feb. 14 and 15. A special fixed price menu with wine pairings will be available at $50 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Please call 812-336-9076 for reservations.
- Topo's 403 will offer a three-course fixed price menu on Feb. 14 that includes a first course of Kumomoto oysters. Price is $60 per person and seatings will be at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 pm. Call 812-676-8676 for reservations.
- Restaurant Tallent will feature a special three-course menu on Feb. 14 with options that include goat cheese ravioli, scallops and tiramisu. Pricing is $55 per person. Call 812-330-9801 to reserve your table.
- Scenic View Restaurant will offer a five-course dinner on Feb. 14, featuring shrimp asparagus bisque, an avacado cobb salad, choice of vegetarian, meat or fish entree and more. Cost will be $65 per person, plus tax. There will be three seatings. Call 812-837-9496 or email email@example.com for reservations.
- Bobby's Colorado Steakhouse will feature a choice of seven special Valentine's Day meal choices at the cost of two for $35.95, including a special dessert. Other special menu items will be available as well. Call 812-332-7552 for reservations.
- Chapman's Restaurant and Bar will offer a special Valentine's Day dinner for $65 per person. Entree options will include crab-stuffed lobster tail or cabernet filet mignon with roasted button mushrooms. Call 812-337-9999 for reservations.
There are tons of great events happening in Bloomington - some are specifically Valentine's Day related, others just fall into the right date range, and since we know not everyone can celebrate on the 14th, we've included several great date events happening between Feb. 13 and 16. Check out our online calendar for more details on these events, and others!
- The Player's Pub will celebrate early with an Almost Valentine performance with local favorites Monika Herzig and Tom Roznowski on Feb. 13 at 8 pm. Cover charge is only $5 per person.
- The Bluebird presents live music from Cults on Feb. 13 at 9 pm. Tickets are only $15 per person.
- The Bishop will host the Brown County Bible Band on Feb. 13 at 9:30 pm. Admission is only $5 per person.
- The Latin American Music Center presents its 5th Annual Latin Valentine concert, Estas en mi Corazon (You Belong to my Heart), at 8 pm on Feb. 13. The concert will take place on the IU campus in Auer Hall and admission is free.
- Rebecca Corry will be performing at The Comedy Attic at 8 pm on Feb. 13 and both 8 and 10 pm on Feb. 14 and 15. This veteran of Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing and King of Queens will have you laughing the night away.
- Cardinal Stage Company's production of The Whipping Man will be presented throughout the weekend, including a matinee performance on Sunday.
- Stop by the IU Cinema to see The Rocket. Screenings will be at 7 pm on Feb. 13 and 9:30 pm on Feb. 14. Admission is $6 for non-students.
- The Bloomington Playwrights Project production of Island Song will be presented throughout the weekend. Show time is 7:30 pm and admission is $20 per person ($17 for students/seniors).
- The IU Theatre and Drama Department will present their production of Woyzeck throughout the weekend. Show time is 7:30, with an additional Saturday matinee. Tickets are $25 per person ($20 seniors; $15 students).
- The Buskirk-Chumley Theatre will be screening the timeless film Casablanca on Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under.
- The Player's Pub hosts Janiece and Curtis at 8 pm on Feb. 14. Admission is only $5 per person.
- The IU Cinema will present Underground Alice, featuring three "underground" adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, on Feb. 14 at 6:30 pm. The screening is free, but ticketed. Call 812-856-2463 for tickets.
- IU Opera will present the Tale of Lady Thi Kinh at 8 pm on Feb. 14 and 15 at the IU Musical Arts Center.
- The IU Women's Student Association will present a production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues on Feb. 14 and 15 at 7 pm, and Feb. 16 at 2 pm. The performance will be in Rawles Hall on the IU campus and admission is $8 ($5 students).
- Nate Johnson and The Keepers will perform at the Player's Pub on Feb. 15 at 8 pm. Admission is only $5.
- The IU Cinema will present a screening of the Purple Rose of Cairo, a Woody Allen film starring Mia Farrow, at 3 pm on Feb. 15. The screening is free, but ticketed. Call 812-856-2463 for tickets.
A number of local hotels are offering special winter rates, many of which are good for the Valentine's Day holiday. See our special offers page for a complete listing of these winter rates.
- The Fourwinds Resort and Marina is offering a romantic Valentine's Day Special that includes a luxurious garden view room, buffet breakfast, a rose and two glasses of champagne for only $99. Upgrade to a room with a lakeside view for only $20! Call 812-824-2628 for reservations
- The Indiana Memorial Union's Romantic Escape Package is available for the Valentine's Day holiday, including an overnight stay in the heart of IU's woodland campus, chocolate dipped strawberries, champagne and a $50 Downtown Bloomington gift certificate to use toward dinner. Call 812-855-1920 for reservations.
Don't just listen to us, though - we also recently polled some of our Facebook fans, looking for their recommendations for a can't miss Valentine's Day date and we've got to say, our fans have excellent taste! Here's what they recommended:
- BLUboy Chocolate Cafe & Cakery
- El Norteno
- Grazie! Italian Eatery
- Janko's Little Zagreb
- La Petite Cafe
- Malibu Grill
- Oliver Winery Downtown
- Restaurant Tallent
- The Rail
- Topos 403
- Uptown Cafe
Have you ever wondered why they hold the annual Eagle Watch Weekend at Lake Monroe in January, instead of say... June? While it might be more enjoyable to search for the elusive eagles in the sky during warmer weather, it would actually be a lot harder to spot them!
Eagle Watch Weekend is arguably Indiana's premiere annual eagle-watching and birding event. Rest assured, the scheduling of such an important event takes into account the best time of year for successful eagle-spotting on Monroe Lake. Today, after a successful reintroduction program in the 1980's, Monroe Lake is the birding and eagle-watching capital of Indiana, with more than 300 documented species of birds as well as year-round resident pairs of bald eagles that call the lake home.
There are a few reasons for the wintery timing of Eagle Watch Weekend, and eagle viewing in general in this area of the Midwest. One of the primary reasons is that the bald eagles are actually more visible against the typically gray winter skies than against the pretty cloud-filled blue skies of other seaons. In addition, the lack leaves on the trees means it's easier to spot nests and eagles among the branches. Equally important are the many bald eagles from points north that overwinter around Monroe Lake. More eagles in the area means you're more likely to catch a glimpse of one!
Eagle Watch Weekend isn't just about eagle viewing, though - there are more than a dozen programs and outings planned for this year's event, including a live raptor show, nature presentations, special children's activities and more!
This year's Eagle Watch Weekend is January 24-26, 2014. It's not too late to get registered and book your room at beautiful Fourwinds Resort to learn more about the majestic bald eagles, and other birds and animals, that can be seen at Monroe Lake. Be sure to mention Eagle Watch Weekend for a special discounted hotel rate!
Posted on: Friday, Jan 17, 2014 8:53 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
Perhaps Bloomington's most anticipated winter festival, the annual Week of Chocolate, is almost here! What better to take your mind off the cold temperatures outside than lots of yummy chocolate, right?
The Week of Chocolate is a week-long community-wide festival that takes place each year at the end of January. It has been in existence for over 10 tasty years and brings together several local nonprofit organizations to host a variety of chocolate themed events throughout the week. All funds raised at each event go directly to the agency putting on that specific event. See the list below for a complete list of events scheduled for this year's Week of Chocolate, January 25 - February 1.
Sundaes on Saturday
The Art of Chocolate Gala
Chocolate Prom: A Prom for Everyone
When you shop at Gathering you're buying from real people in the Bloomington community.
When you purchase that Knit Turban Headwarmer today, know that you're supporting an amazing woman who's working on her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, who has style and sass you wouldn't believe, who can talk circles around any literary genius and whose smile warms the room.
When you decided to buy that wee little one-eyed monster today for your niece in Florida, know that you're supporting one of the funniest/funnest couples I've ever met, who happen to not be able to stand the smell of fish and whose airways might close up if one of them gets too close to a cat. The better half of the couple can also sew a mean bear costume (and did for the all male school she teaches at).
When you tried on that awesome shirt today that stands for something we should all stand up for ("We Like You Here") know that you're not just supporting a cause (which is an amazing cause by the way) you're also supporting a working artist, who is also a teacher, who is also an amazing friend, artist advocate, and business person.
When you bought that Buckle Beanie and matching Scarflette . . . know that you're supporting an entire family - yes, that's right - you're supporting a single mother and her two little girls and you're making their Christmas and know that those two little girls have the best smiles and the most amazing giggles of any little girls I've met, and I've met a few.
When you purchase on a whim those everyday saints at the counter, the cards you'll be sending to favorite gals across the states - know that you're encouraging a young mother of three to be what she really is - an artist!
You're telling all of us that we're doing it right, that we're talented, that we're worth something, that we belong. Thank you for supporting Bloomington's artistic community!
Gathering is a pop-up shop featuring over 70 handmade artists from the Midwest and beyond. Gathering is housed in Suite 125 of Fountain Square Mall from November 23 - Dec 24. Each weekend there is an event, generally on Friday evenings, celebrating family, fun, and art. This weekend, Friday Dec 21, Gathering will host Family Night where families can come join us for last minute holiday shopping, a kids' make and take activity as well as a photo booth sponsored by local photography studio Infinite Borders. Be sure to follow Gathering on Facebook to find out where they'll pop up next!
Special thanks to our guest blogger, Talia Halliday, a Bloomington book artist whose passion has become supporting the arts community that has helped form her into the artist she it today. Talia is founder and shopkeep of Gathering, and owner/artisan of conduit Press.Posted on: Monday, Dec 16, 2013 8:14 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
If the kids are out of school for the holidays and you're all tired of hanging around the house, get out and enjoy some of the great, family friendly events and activities going on in Bloomington over the next two weeks! Here's a quick rundown - more info on these and other events can be found on our Event Calendar.
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Tickets can sometimes be hard to come by, but there are always extras available when games happen during the IU holiday break! There are two upcoming Men's games - on Dec. 20 and 22. Don't forget about the ladies, though! Always an affordable and fun family outing, tickets to see the Lady Hoosiers in action are only $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Catch the action as they take on Iowa on Jan. 2! Special hotel rates available.
Meet a live reindeer and discover how they survive the frigid Arctic temperatures each winter! On Saturday, December 21, from 11 am to 3 pm, Silly Safaris will be on hand to introduce you to these amazing animals and Nordic cultures that depend on them. Tickets are $3, plus general museum admission.
|Winter Woods Walk
Join the Interpretive Naturalist at Monroe Lake for this fun winter hike at 2 pm on December 22.. Explore the woods with some off-trail hiking and discover deer scrapes, wild turkey scratches, coyote traces, hibernation holes, and lots of other animal signs! Recommended for kids 10 and up, the hike will be approximately two hours, so please dress for the weather and wear good shoes. Meet in the overflow parking area on the right, just inside the Paynetown SRA gatehouse.
|Wonder Workshop: Window Art
Drop in for a fun hands-on workshop at WonderLab Museum on December 28 and 29. Explore the science of reflection and create your own original iridescent window art for only $2 per participant, plus regular museum admission. This hands-on project will be available from 12-3:30 pm on Saturday and 1:30-4:30 pm on Sunday.
|First Friday of Art: Jigsaw Puzzles
Enjoy First Friday in Downtown Bloomington! WonderLab will present a special evening event, Science of Art: Jigsaw Puzzles, from 5-8:30 pm on January 3. Enjoy half-price admission to the museum and meet artist Marc Tschida of Press Puzzles, who will create an original jigsaw puzzle featuring a Bloomington landmark right before your eyes! Plus, create your own puzzle to take home and use old puzzle pieces in a variety of craft projects.
|National Ham Radio Kids Day & Build Your Own Radio Workshop
WonderLab is a local host site for National Ham Radio Kids Day, on January 5. Learn more about ham radio operators and how they help warn us about severe weather as it's happening. Talk to kids across the country using high-tech radio technology and get a special participation certificate, then find out more about weather with hands-on activities. Programs run from 1-4 pm, For those who want a more in-depth experience, a Build Your Own Radio Workshop will be offered from 2-3 pm for an additional charge. Space in the workshop is limited, so call 812-337-1337 ext. 11 to pre-register.
There are several great New Year's Eve packages and special events in Bloomington this year. If you haven't made plans yet to welcome in the New Year, get your friends together, book your room(s) and come celebrate with us in B-town! Here's the rundown on some of the fun things on the calendar for the holiday - more info on these and other events can be found on our Event Calendar.
- The Bluebird hosts New Year's Eve with Murder By Death and the Vallures! Tickets for the show are only $15 per person.
- The Root Cellar Lounge at FARMBloomington will host an 80's Dance Party to ring in the New Year, beginning at 9 pm. No cover charge.
- Kilroy's Sports Bar presents Pam Thrash and the Retro Crue with rock and pop music spanning four decades! The music starts at 10 pm.
- The Limestone Comedy Festival presents New Year's Eve with Geoff Tate at The Comedy Attic. Shows are at 8 and 10:30 pm. Late show attendees will also receive party hats and favors, giveaways and a champagne toast to welcome in the New Year.
- The Players Pub will host New Year's Eve with everyone's favorite party band - The Dynamics! The music starts at 8 pm.
- Fourwinds Resort has not one, but two parties to choose from! They've got your all-inclusive New Year's Eve party in the Admiral Room, complete with live music from Hank Haggard, a prime rib dinner buffet, open bar, champagne toast, and a New Year's Day breakfast - all for only $149 per person. If you're looking for something a little more low key, they've got you covered at the Windjammer Lounge with live music from Kenny Kipp, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a full cash bar and a champagne toast at Midnight, for only $20! Both parties come complete with beautiful views of Monroe Lake.
- Eagle Pointe will host a New Year's Eve celebration at the Eagle's Nest, featuring live music from Soul Stricken with a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door; doors open at 8 pm.
- FARMbloomington will present three seatings with three price points - a three course meal at 6:30 pm for $45 per person; a four course meal at 8 pm for $50 per person and a six course meal at 9:30 with champagne for $75 per person. Call 812-323-0002 for reservations.
After the celebration, try these events on Jan. 1 to start off the New Year (and your fitness resolutions) on the right foot:
- Monroe Lake will host a First Day Fitness Trail Run/Walk at Fairfax State Recreation Area - start time is 3 pm. The registration fee is only $10 and there's no DNR entrance fee during winter.
- The Hangover 5K will kick off at 9 am on the west side of the courthouse square. The event is free, just bring your used outdoor gear to donate to Gear Going Global! This is a Mountain Folk Adventure Series event.
If you need a room, be sure to check our Specials Page for lots of special winter rates from area hotels - all in one place. Happy New Year!
Photo Credit: Chris Kelly
Posted on: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 3:01 PM by: Tosha Daugherty
Flickr Creative Commons
Last month, representatives from Visit Bloomington and BEAD (Bloomington Entertainment & Arts District) traveled to Portland, Oregon to accept the 2013 Arts Destination Marketing Award. The annual award is presented to destination marketing organizations and local arts agencies that work collaboratively using the arts to market their community as a travel destination.
Visit Bloomington works closely with BEAD, and other local arts organizations, to promote arts and cultural events and attractions to visitors (and residents). Home to a wide variety of performance groups and venues, galleries and museums and fabulous annual events (both on and off campus), Bloomington is more than just a city that talks about art - the arts are truly alive here in Bloomington and we couldn't be prouder to receive this award. The honor truly belongs to all of our arts partners throughout the community.
We invite you to explore the Arts and Entertainment related attractions and upcoming events available in Bloomington for an almost endless array of things to see, do and experience. There's enough here to keep you busy for literally days - but don't stop here.
Visit Bloomington works hard to promote the arts outside of the city limits, too - in fact we collaborate with our counterparts in Brown County and Columbus, Indiana to bring you ArtsRoad 46, where we promote arts related happenings throughout the region. Visit the ArtsRoad 46 website or Facebook page to learn more about how you can enjoy the arts in Bloomington...and beyond!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If you'll be in Bloomington on the Thanksgiving holiday, but aren't able to (or just don't want to) prepare an elaborate meal, we've got you covered.
The following Bloomington area restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving day and would love to welcome you and your family or friends for lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
- Bobby's Colorado Steakhouse will over a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. Served buffet style, the meal will feature turkey, ham, prime rib, baked ziti, roasted veggies and more. Available from 11 am to 5 pm. Price: $18.50 per person; kids 10 and under are half price.
- Chapman's Restaurant will serve a delicious Thanksgiving brunch and dinner buffet, complete with a pancake station, roasted turkey, ham, prime rib, salads, assorted desserts and more. Available from 10 am to 3 pm. Price: $21.95 per person; kids 10 and under are half price.
- FARMbloomington will offer special gourmet Thanksgiving meal, prepared by Chef Daniel Orr. The meal will include a first course, main course (with a vegetarian alternative), dessert and a take-home goodie bag. Seatings at Noon, two and four pm. Price: $39 per adult; $22 per child. Reservations recommended, call 812-323-0002.
- Cracker Barrel will be open from 6 am to 10 pm, serving their regular menu. Prices vary.
- Bob Evans will be open from 7 am to 7 pm with a limited, original menu. Prices vary.
If you know of other options in the area, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.Posted on: Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 9:13 AM by: Tosha Daugherty