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Monday, February 21, 2022

Family-Friendly Places to Stay in Bloomington

Categories: Family Fun

Finding the perfect place to stay while traveling as a family can be complicated, but in Bloomington, it doesn't have to be. Choices are aplenty for a welcoming and accommodating home-away-from-home, whether you're interested in a traditional hotel stay, an activity-rich resort, or a quiet vacation rental. There are even a few unique ways to stay that may surprise and excite you, along with the rest of the family.
 

Hotels

Courtyard by Marriott

The indoor pool and whirlpool at the Courtyard by Marriott

Bloomington's Courtyard by Marriott is an appealing place for families to stay due to its convenient location in the heart of downtown and on the B-Line Trail, option to request a crib and/or pack-and-play, heated indoor pool & hot tub, free lot parking, pantry market, and in-house bistro serving breakfast & dinner — parents will also appreciate the attached Starbucks kiosk. Bonus for families that include small furry members: dogs up to 20 pounds are permitted as well.

The Courtyard also has a dedicated section on their website featuring suggested family & children's activities near the hotel, including a visit to the WonderLab Museum of Health, Science & Technology (a short walk down the pedestrian- and bicyclist-only B-Line Trail) and Starlite Drive-In Theater.
 

Graduate Bloomington Hotel
Stranger Things Suite at the Graduate Bloomington

If your family loves Stranger Things, you're in for a treat at the Graduate Bloomington Hotel. The hotel houses a suite that's a replica of the Byers' living room and the Wheeler's basement from the popular Netflix sci-fi series, offering guests an immersive experience of the fictional universe that's totally unique to Bloomington. The two bed, two bath hotel suite features the show's iconic hand-painted alphabet and Christmas lights, Will's map of the Upside Down, Eleven's blanket fort, Hopper's Triple Decker Extravaganza, and much more. 

Even if you're not Stranger Things enthusiasts, the Graduate still has a lot to offer to families, including cornhole, checkers, and other games on their Jack & Diane rooftop terrace, its in-house Poindexter Cafe, a family suite complete with two twin-sized racecar beds, and its prime location on Kirkwood Avenue right between the downtown square & Indiana University campus.
 

Hampton Inn

Outdoor pool at the Hampton Inn

If you're in town with the kiddos for an IU Football or Basketball game, the Hampton Inn is one of the most convenient lodging choices. Just half-a-mile from the Memorial Stadium and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall sporting complex, you can safely traverse sidewalks by-foot or make a very short drive to either arena.

In addition to its great location, the Hampton Inn also offers a daily complimentary hot & continental breakfast, in-room microwave & mini-fridge, free lot parking, and outdoor pool. Pets up to 25 pounds are also welcome to stay with you during your trip.
 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Indoor pool and hot tub at Holiday Inn Express

Another family-friendly hotel is the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, located just off of I-69. Offering a daily complimentary hot & continental breakfast, "kids eat free" policy, pantry market, heated indoor pool & hot tub, option to request a crib, in-room microwave & mini-fridge, free lot parking, and "Archie" the snack & towel delivering robot, a stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is sure to be a delight for all ages. 

To sweeten the deal even further, the Holiday Inn is conveniently located near Bloomington's Jump-n-Joey's and a huge variety of local & chain restaurants, and is a short drive from downtown's attractions.
 

Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel & Conference Center

Bowling lanes at IMU Bowling & Billiards

If you're planning a day on IU's campus with your kids, turn your trip into a getaway by staying at the Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel. Located at the center of the Hoosier campus, the hotel is the perfect choice for alumni who are showing their kids around the university grounds.

Aside from its unique location, the hotel is also located in the same building as the campus' student union, which houses IMU Bowling & Billiards, The Chocolate Moose & many other dining options (including one of the largest Starbucks locations in the country), and $2.00 movies every weekend in the Whittenberger Auditorium. 
 

TownePlace Suites

Outdoor pool at the TownePlace Suites

Planning on being in Bloomington for more than a week? The TownePlace Suites is a great option for families. Each room features a fully-equipped kitchen, as well as the option to request a crib. Other amenities include a daily complimentary hot & continental breakfast, pantry market, outdoor pool, free lot parking, and welcoming pet policy.

Located off of I-69 near the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, hotel guests have the same convenient access to Jump-n-Joey'slocal & chain restaurants, and downtown's attractions.
 

Resorts

Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina

Fourwinds Pool

Coming to Bloomington for fun in the sun on Monroe Lake? Book your stay at the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina for the perfect family vacation. With amenities like their indoor & outdoor heated pool, mini golf course, private beach with cabanas, watercraft rentals at the marina, board games, tennis courts, two in-house restaurants, nearby hiking trails, in-room microwave & mini-fridge, option to request a pack-and-play, and stunning lake views, there's not much else you could want from a lakeside resort.
 

Jellystone Park at Lake Monroe
Jellystone Park

Looking for a campground with resort amenities near Monroe Lake? Jellystone Park at Lake Monroe is what you're searching for. One of the Midwest's top-rated family campgrounds, Jellystone Park offers a splashground with waterslides, jumping pillow, Gaga pit, playground & sandbox, basketball court & play field, two outdoor pools, pedal carts, wagon rides, special activities including crafts & games, themed weekends, and — if you can believe it — even more. 

Guests have the option to stay in a luxury cabin, in their own RV at a rentable site, or as one with nature at a tent site. Book an unforgettable family vacation at the campground, just 2.5 miles from even more fun at Monroe Lake's Fairfax State Recreation Area.
 

Vacation Rentals

The Family Nest

A children's room at The Family Nest

Searching for more of an Airbnb experience? The Family Nest is the perfect vacation rental for small families. Located just around the corner from Bryan Park, the home offers a bedroom specifically outfitted for young children, as well as equipment for babies (such as a pack-and-play and high-chair), a fully-equipped kitchen (complete with kids dishes), a private backyard, and more. If you're looking for the comforts of a home and close proximity to a great park, downtown, and Indiana University, a stay at The Family Nest is a must.
 

Lake Lemon Guest Houses

A two-bed children's room at the Lake Lemon Strawberry Fields guest house

Enjoy a lakeside stay with the whole family at a quaint vacation rental on Lake Lemon. Lake Lemon Guest Houses offers two properties, both right on the lake. Each house sleeps upwards of seven people and offers a fully-equipped kitchen, grill, hot tub, boat dock with kayaks for use, bonfire pit, welcoming pet policy, and much more.

Grill your own food or enjoy fresh fried catfish at the nearby Port Hole Inn & Grill, and be sure to venture to Riddle Point Park to enjoy the beach, playground, and volleyball courts on the lake's shore.
 

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Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is the Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington. She's also a proud Indiana University alumna, Millennial cat lady, and Formula 1 enthusiast. 

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