A Winter Escape to Bloomington

Solar Eclipse with William Shatner: Bloomington, IN is eclipse hot spot

Bloomington, Indiana will experience totality and William Shatner will narrate the eclipse in person!

A Total solar eclipse

Bloomington, Indiana is preparing for what has been called, “the largest tourism event in Indiana history” and is looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the Bloomington area to share the experience of this historic event on April 8. 


During Indiana University’s  Hoosier Cosmic Celebration at Memorial Stadium William Shatner will narrate the eclipse, joined by artists and choreographers from IU. Shatner will also be joined by Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter and actress Janelle Monáe, and former NASA astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison.


The city has several events open to the public that are planned in the area around viewing the eclipse — many of which are close to hotels and camping ground options. With events ranging from “Drinking in the Dark” at the award-winning Butler Winery & Vineyard to film screenings across town, to eclipse viewing opportunities at the city’s parks and lakes, there are several ways to enjoy this rare cosmic event in Bloomington.


You can view a map overviewing these events and more on Visit Bloomington’s eclipse homepage.


While many opt for indoor hideaways during the colder months, Bloomington boasts a plethora of outdoor wonders that make facing the chill absolutely worthwhile.

Embark on a nature-filled adventure at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, offering eight short hiking trails with stunning views of the frozen lake. For a unique experience, load up your mountain bike and traverse the enchanting Bloomington Rail Trail, transforming into a captivating tunnel of icy branches in the coldest months. Nature enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, where winter welcomes tundra swans, sandhill cranes, and playful river otters.

If a full outdoor escapade isn’t your style, a leisurely stroll through downtown Bloomington provides a magical scene straight from a Hallmark movie, complete with unique window display storefronts.

Prefer to stay warm indoors? Bloomington offers a diverse range of entertainment options, from exploring world-renowned museums like the Lilly Library to family-friendly activities at Classic Lanes Bowling Center. Dive into the arts with a play at the Musical Arts Center or a performance at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Three people looking at some quilts that are on display at a quilt showFrom Feb. 29 to March 2, The 31st annual Indiana Heritage Quilt Show will be open to showcases more than 200 remarkable quilted works at the Monroe Convention Center. The quilts showcased here come from all over the World, ranging in size from a one-foot square to 10 feet. There will also be workshops for the public to attend.

Satisfy your winter cravings with Bloomington’s delightful comfort food offerings. Indulge in Southern Stone’s Shrimp & Grits, savor the cozy ambiance of Runcible Spoon with Corned Beef Hash, or warm up with a Soup Flight and Cajun Seasoning cocktail at Southern Stone. The city’s eateries, including the Irish Lion and Taste of India, offer an array of comforting dishes.

As the home of Indiana University, there are a multitude of live entertainment events scheduled each week. From opera to jazz, or country to rock music there is sure to be something for every interest. Want to get into the act? Look for an open mic night.

Hotel exterior on College campusOther not-to-miss attractions at the college campus are: The WonderLab science museum has hands-on kids’ exhibits, plus insects and reptiles. Indiana University’s Eskenazi Museum of Art has paintings, sculptures and decorative arts from around the world. The 1835 Wylie House is now a museum with period furnishings and an heirloom garden.Dining room at hotel)Tudor Room Southeast, trails lace Hoosier National Forest’s Charles C. Deam Wilderness.

For a warm and cozy stay, look no further than the Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel & Conference Center. With its inviting atmosphere, massive fireplace, and central location, it’s the perfect base for your winter B-Town excursion. It is located right on the Indiana University College Campus and has an amazing restaurant, A plate of food staged in front of a long menu at a restaurantThe Tuder Room. located inside the Indiana Memorial Union. The Tudor Room is more than your typical college dining hall. Students, staff and visitors can all dine in style! Bask in the true glory of old IU as you enjoy their exquisite buffet options in this pinnacle of collegiate gothic architecture.

Don’t let your vacation days go to waste! Bloomington has activities for everyone, from family-friendly outings at the WonderLab Museum to rock climbing at Hoosier Heights and Urban Air Adventure Park. Treat yourself to a couples’ getaway with delicious treats from local bakeries, an art-filled stroll at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, and romantic dinners at places like Truffles or Osteria Rago. Whatever adventure you choose, Bloomington awaits with a warm welcome this winter.

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