We look forward to safely welcoming you back to Bloomington.

Read More

Head Backstage to be in the know. 

We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities in Bloomington

Categories: Outdoors, Family Fun

Bloomington offers a variety of family-friendly outdoor activities during every season. Whether you're here for a mid-week trip or a weekend getaway, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy while making memories to last a lifetime. 
 

Spring

Playground at Lower Cascades Park

A Day at the Park

Bloomington boasts several fantastic parks — what better way to enjoy the spring weather than by spending a few hours playing at a playground? Monroe County's largest, most accessible parks with playgrounds are Karst Farm Park, Lower Cascades Park, and Switchyard Park. Pack a blanket and picnic basket to make the experience all the more fun.
 

Frog Hunting at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve

The return of spring brings the return of the frog chorus at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve! Take the family to the wetland habitat to hunt for frogs (with your eyes only, of course) while you traverse the 2.5-mile raised boardwalk trail. If your kiddos get tired along the way, take a snack and water break at one of the preserve's four observation decks.

 

Summer

Splash pad at Karst Farm Park

Experience a Race at the Bloomington Speedway

Take the kids to the Bloomington Speedway for an exciting night of motor-racing! Several local food trucks attend the races, so the whole family can enjoy delicious street food in addition to the exhilaration of loud, fast racecars. The track also frequently closes the night with fireworks, which is the cherry on top of an incredible evening for the kids.
 

Play Mini-Golf at Hoosier Putt Hole

Mini golf is a fun way to pass time no matter how old you are! Play a round or two at the 18-hole Hoosier Putt Hole course in neighboring Monroe County community, Ellettsville, then walk across the lot to Jiffy Treet for a few scoops of ice cream afterward.
 

Have a Water Day

Bloomington offers a variety of options for the perfect summer water day. Head to Bryan Park Pool to enjoy waterslides, a diving board, and a play area for small children; check out the splash pads at Switchyard Park and Karst Farm Park, or have a beach day at Lake Lemon's Riddle Point Park or Monroe Lake's Fairfax, Paynetown, or Hardin Ridge Recreation Areas.

 

Fall

Three boys watching an IU football game at Memorial Stadium

Attend an IU Football Game

There's nothing quite like college football, the gameday atmosphere on campus, or Indiana University during fall. Treat the kids to the ultimate Hoosier football experience by touring the IU grounds in the morning and attending the game in the afternoon. Wrap-up your perfect fall football trip with a meal at Nick's English Hut or BuffaLouie's and a souvenir from one of B-Town's best IU shops — for the glory of Old IU.
 

Go on a Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt

Bloomington is home to many places that have an uncanny similarity to parts of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world. From the Jordan Hall Greenhouse mimicking Professor Sprout's Herbology classroom to the Irish Lion feeling akin to The Leaky Cauldron, the whole family will have a bloody good time following this list of destinations to experience the magic of Harry Potter in B-Town.
 

See a Movie at the Starlite Drive-In Theater

Why go to any old movie theater when you can go to a drive-in movie theater? Take the kids to enjoy a screening of a new movie or a beloved classic at Bloomington's Starlite Drive-In Theater. Bring blankets, pillows, and lawn chairs for the ultimate experience — pack your favorite movie snacks, or grab popcorn, candy, soft pretzels, and more from the concessions stand. Fall pro-tip: Starlite screens Hocus Pocus every year around Halloween, which is truly one of the best, most nostalgic fall family activities in town!

 

Winter

Bloomington font sculpture at Freezefest

Go on a Hike

If you can brave the cool temperatures, Bloomington offers some stunning hikes during the winter months. Bundle up and head to Griffy Lake Nature Preserve or Lower Cascades Park for a short, whimsical winter trek. Griffy Lake offers beautiful, icy views of the lake through the bare trees, and Lower Cascades Park will fascinate the kids with its frozen waterfall. Warm up with hot cocoa from a local coffee shop afterwards!
 

Admire Ice Sculptures at Freezefest

Freezefest is a winter festival in Bloomington with the goal of getting families outside and active during the colder months. Activities include ice sculpture cravings by various artists, winter-themed science activities at WonderLab Museum, a chili cook-off, and more!
 


Looking for more family-friendly fun in B-Town? Check out these blogs:

 

 

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is the Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington. She's a proud Indiana University alumna, mom to four cats, and Formula 1 enthusiast. When she isn't at work, you can find Alyssa checking out the newest restaurants in the area with her husband, curled up at home with a great book, or planning her next trip to a destination near or far.

Comments