With a population of over 130,000, Bloomington-Normal is large enough to have many of the amenities of a big city. But it’s small enough to feel like home. Whether you’re single or raising a family, you’ll find plenty of great things to do!
Both downtown Bloomington and Uptown Normal feature a wide selection of bars and clubs. Whether you’re looking for live music or a jukebox, the smooth sounds of jazz or the heavy thumping of a club beat, darts, and pool or karaoke, a place where everyone knows your name or a place where you can get lost in the crowd, you’ll find there’s a place like that for you!
BREWERIES & WINERIES
Brewing has taken off in a big way. And Bloomington-Normal is no stranger to craft beer! We have multiple breweries in town, including Destihl, Lil Beaver, Keg Grove, and White Oak. We also have a couple of vineyards in the area!
Bloomington-Normal is home to a thriving live music scene, including both local musicians and venues that pull in big names! The Castle Theater is a movie theater that opened in 1916. It has since been renovated and turned into an amazing music venue. It features a wide variety of music of all kinds! The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is another renovated space featuring live music, plays, symphonies, and performances of all kinds! (To give you an idea… Weird Al held a concert here. The Naked Magicians also performed here. It’s an eclectic lineup!) Bloomington-Normal is also home to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival which is now in its 43rd season!
Bloomington-Normal is home to two universities: Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan. Heartland Community College and the Hairmaster Institute of Cosmetology are also located here. In addition, Eureka College, University of Illinois, Bradley University, Millikin University, Parkland Community College, and Richland Community College are all within a roughly one-hour drive.
Bloomington-Normal is a wonderful place to raise a family! Both Bloomington and Normal are home to a multitude of neighborhood parks. In addition, there are several large parks spread throughout town with unique amenities, such as Miller Park, which features the Miller Park Zoo. The Parks and Rec programs in both cities are very active, providing a plethora of things for kids to do not only all summer long but all year round! Summer theater, kids-only concerts, movies in the park, and more happen frequently around town! In addition, there are several places in town that kids can have unique experiences, such as The Children’s Discovery Museum, Pepsi Ice Center, Mass VR Arena, two trampoline parks, Iron Coyote Challenge Park, and a whole lot more!