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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A Hoosier Basketball Trip Itinerary

Categories: Indiana University, Events, General

You've officially purchased your Indiana University Basketball tickets, and now you're on the countdown to game day. Maybe this is your first time coming to Bloomington for Hoosier Basketball, or maybe you're a seasoned fan who never misses the opportunity to cheer on the Cream & Crimson in person. In either case, consider turning your game day into a getaway — the game itself is great, but an extended stay is a must to get the full IU Basketball experience in B-Town.

Be sure to check the tip-off time for your game day, then adjust the following schedule accordingly.
 

Day One

3:00 PM: CHECK IN

graduate

Make your way to town — be mindful of increased traffic due to the home game, as well as highway construction, when planning what time you should leave for Bloomington. Check in at your lodging, unpack your bags, and take a moment to relax before heading out for the evening.

Find more information about hotel bookings and vacation rentals here.
 

4:00 PM: SHOP FOR GAME DAY GEAR

A person riding a bike past Nick's and The Indiana Shop on Kirkwood Avenue during an early winter day

Treat yourself to a B-Town souvenir — visit our many IU shops to snag yourself some new gear to wear on game day. If vintage threads are your thing, check out SLCT Stock just north of The Square. For classic IU gear, there's no better place to shop than the IU Bookstore or IU Varsity ShopTracks usually offers limited edition apparel, so if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind piece, that's your spot. TIS College Bookstore and The Indiana Shop typically offer great sales, so if you're buying for the whole family, you'll get the most bang for your buck there.
 

5:30 PM: DINNER & DRINKS

A couple sitting at The Irish Lion's bar

Head to one of Bloomington's many restaurants for dinner and drinks — grab a pie from one of our best pizza joints, indulge in an upscale meal, experience authentic international cuisine on 4th Street, or dine at a local-favorite establishment. Enjoy both the food and the bustling energy of town in anticipation of tomorrow's game.
 

7:30 PM: OUT ON THE TOWN

Kirkwood Avenue at night, lit up by twinkle lights

After dinner, venture around downtown Bloomington. Explore the iconic Kirkwood Avenue or The Square, enjoy drinks and arcade games at The Cade, pop into The Tap or Orbit Room to listen to live music, head to Nick's English Hut for a game of Sink the Biz, or shoot some pool at The Vid or The Upstairs Pub. If you're looking for a family-friendly place to hang out, check out Switchyard Brewing Co. or Function Brewing. You can always expect a variety of events to be happening in Bloomington, so check out our events calendar if you're looking for even more options.
 

Day Two

FOR A DAY GAME

9:00 AM: BREAKFAST OF THE CHAMPIONS

Table of food and Hive coffee cups at Hive Breakfast

Fuel up at one of Bloomington's best breakfast joints before you head to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Hive is a great option — they offer a mix of healthy and less health-conscious options, are located within ten minutes of the arena, and have seating to accommodate both large & small groups. There are, of course, several other restaurants to choose from, which you can browse here.
 

12:00 PM: TIP-OFF

People waiting in line to get their tickets scanned at Assembly Hall
Photo by Zach Dobson

Tip-off is more-often-than-not at noon for day games, but be sure to check the basketball schedule prior to your trip — several game times are yet to be determined. Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall doors open no less than 90 minutes prior to tip-off, and we recommend heading for your seats no less than an hour before the game starts. This gives you time to use the restroom, buy drinks & snacks, and find your seats with fewer lines and foot traffic — plus, you'll get to see pre-game features, including the team's warm-up.
 

2:00 PM: LATE LUNCH

A plate of orange chicken and pad Thai from Siam House

After the game is over, take a short drive to 4th Street for lunch. Known as "International Restaurant Row," 4th Street is home to several restaurants that serve authentic cuisine of various international cultures. You'll find Tibetan, Indian, Greek, Thai, Burmese, Korean, Cajun, and Turkish food, all on one single block. You can't go wrong when choosing because each restaurant serves incredible food, and you'll find cozy, comforting dishes on the menu no matter where you go. It's the perfect way to warm up during a cold winter day, and eating at one of the beloved restaurants is a B-Town bucket list activity!
 

4:00 PM: BASKETBALL & BREWS

The Tap

After lunch, continue enjoying a leisurely late afternoon by heading to The Tap. The 21+ brewery carries a rotating selection of over 400 beers, 90 of which are on tap. In addition to their extremely robust selection of house and guest brews, The Tap also features TVs mounted every few feet broadcasting a variety of sporting events, which means you can not only catch highlights from the day's IU game, but also highlights from other collegiate & professional games, as well as events being broadcasted in real time. It's the perfect way to kick back with your crew ahead of dinner and continue the sports theme, while also experiencing one of B-Town's most popular downtown attractions.
 

7:00 PM: POST-DUNK DINNER

People dining at Crazy Horse

After an early morning and an energetic day of cheering on the Cream & Crimson, enjoy a relaxing dinner at one of Bloomington's best local restaurants. Keep the Hoosier spirit going by dining at an IU mainstay, such as Crazy HorseNick's English HutLennie's, or BuffaLouie's. If you're looking for an eatery with a cozy ambiance, try The Irish LionC3, or Feast Market & Cellar. Craving a burger and a brew? Head to Big Woods Bloomington or Upland Brewing Co.
 

9:00 PM: ENJOY A LIVE PERFORMANCE

Comedy Attic

B-Town is home to many great things, one of them being The Comedy Attic. The club may be in an attic-type setting, but it's been hailed as one of the best comedy clubs in the country by several notable comedians. As a venue that's seen the likes of Amy Schumer, Melissa Villaseñor, Marc Maron, and many more, it's not unlikely to see a big name headlining during your visit. Don't let a lesser-known comedian deter you from checking out a performance, though — the club's acts are nearly always hilarious, regardless of celebrity scale.

Stand-up not your thing? Bloomington also offers a vibrant music scene, and you'll find live shows happening around town nearly every night of the week at music venues, bars, and breweries. Find live music performances happening during your stay on our events calendar.
 

FOR A NIGHT GAME

10:00 AM: COFFEE & A LIGHT BITE

Breakfast sandwich and avocado toast from The Inkwell

Rise & shine and prepare yourself for a long (and fun) day with a cup of coffee and a light breakfast from a local cafe. You're likely to find one near your hotel, or you can seek out one of B-Town's best using this list. For a selection of breakfast dishes on the healthier side of the spectrum, check out The Inkwell. If you're abandoning all health-consciousness during your stay under the YOLO premise, opt for a scrumptious pastry with your caffeinated beverage-of-choice at Crumble Coffee & Bakery.
 

11:00 AM: HOOSIER BASKETBALL TRAIL

Entrance to the Pfau Shine Legacy Court inside Cook Hall

Hoosier Basketball is one of the most exciting happenings in Bloomington during winter — after all, it's the reason for your visit — but there's much more to it than game day alone. As the birthplace of IU Basketball, B-Town in particular is a hub for the sport's legend and lore. With a famed basketball arena, multiple museums with collections on the area's basketball history, and other attractions that display fanfare & memorabilia on their walls, a journey along Bloomington's Basketball Trail is a must. Build your excitement for the night's game by spending the day exploring the trail's attractions, and be sure to work in lunch at either Nick's or BuffaLouie's, two restaurants included in the exploration.
 

7:00 PM: TIP-OFF

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Photo by Zach Dobson

Tip-off is more-often-than-not at 7:00 pm for night games, but be sure to check the basketball schedule prior to your trip — several game times are yet to be determined. Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall doors open no less than 90 minutes prior to tip-off, and we recommend heading for your seats no less than an hour before the game starts. This gives you time to use the restroom, buy drinks & snacks, and find your seats with fewer lines and foot traffic — plus, you'll get to see pre-game features, including the team's warm-up.
 

9:30 PM: LATE DINNER

An assortment of dishes from Yogi's Bar & Grill

After a day of basketball exploration and a night of cheering on the Hoosiers, you're probably ready for another meal! Bloomington has nearly 30 restaurants and food trucks that serve meals into the late-night hours — check out this blog to see a full list of options, from pizza and pub grub to teriyaki and tacos.
 

Day Three

10:30 AM: BRUNCH BUNCH

Person wearing a Brunch Squad shirt pouring maple syrup on a Belgian waffle at Cozy Table in Bloomington

Treat yourself to a bit of extended sleep after a lively few days, then check-out of your lodging and head for brunch. There are a slew of local restaurants that offer a fantastic brunch, but a few fan-favorites are Village DeliRuncible Spoon, and Uptown Cafe. Take your time, enjoying your food and your last few hours in Bloomington with your crew.
 

12:30 PM: CAMPUS WALK

People walking through Sample Gates during winter

You can't leave town without enjoying a stroll on the university's brick paths and winding sidewalks, even during winter! Wander around campus, taking part in school traditions like shaking Herman B Wells' hand or sharing a kiss with a loved one under the Rose Well House for good luck. 

If the day is snowy, marvel in the magic of Dunn Woods' trees coated in sparkling white ice crystals and the Indiana Memorial Union's uncanny similarity to a snow-covered Hogwarts. Pop into the Eskenazi Museum of Art to admire one of the university's permanent collections, or stop by the Grunwald Gallery to see the latest rotating art exhibit. 

Most importantly, don't forget to snap a photo for Instagram in front of the iconic Sample Gates to commemorate your visit to B-Town!

 

 

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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