An Inexpensive Day In Bloomington
Bloomington has more than its fair share of free museums. That's all part of being the home of Indiana University, and we're quite happy about it. Check out these free museums at IU. Another popular free destination is the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, set among the rolling hills on the south side of town, which the Dalai Lama has visited seven times.
The City of Bloomington's department of Parks & Recreation hosts a summer-long series of performing arts and film, including free outdoor concerts and movies. Don't forget about the weekly Farmers' Market, which takes place in April through November, and which always has fun live music as well as occasional festivals and special events. The Winter Market, which runs November through March, takes place indoors with local artisans and farmers selling their cozy winter goods.
Spending time enjoying the great outdoors should be free, as mother nature intended. Hiking in the Hoosier National Forest costs nothing but can provide an invaluable experience. Climb the fire tower and enjoy the beautiful views. Griffy Lake also offers exceptional and free hiking, plus inexpensive canoe and kayak rentals. For kids, head to the fantastic parks for some energy-burning fun.
Yes, Bloomington is foodie central, but that doesn't mean all the food is expensive. In fact, some of Btown's most popular restaurants are also the top joints for college students, young professionals, and retirees. Some favorites include the Village Deli (giant breakfasts), lunch buffets at Taste of India, Samira, and Anatolia (huge spread of international delights), Pizza X (sign up for their emails and get "social butterfly" discounts), and Aver's (great local pizza).