Arts & Culture

Put a big college campus in a small city and magic happens

Broadway shows. Garage bands. Fine dining. Street food. Gallery strolls. Nature hikes. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy here.

Indiana University and Bloomington are, in many respects, inseparable. Events start on campus and spill into the city. Festivals fill the city and get magnified on campus.

And the natural wonders that surround both are enjoyed by all.

An environment filled with music, dance, and theater

Thanks to the Jacobs School of Music and the many arts-oriented student organizations, there is almost always a musical performance going on somewhere on campus—most of them free.

There are more than 1,000 free musical performances on the IU campus each year.

IU also boasts a full season of classic and contemporary opera and ballet theater, a university orchestra, and four museums and art galleries.

First Thursdays

The first Thursday of each month is a time for you to celebrate the arts and humanities at IU Bloomington.

Get ready for the best day of the week
The IU Auditorium and Showalter Fountain at night
IU Auditorium

If you want to see big names and big shows, the IU Auditorium is the place to go. Each season, the auditorium showcases Broadway musicals and plays, top comedians and musical performers, and family-friendly acts.

IU students get discounted tickets.

See what the IU Auditorium offers
IU Cinema

The IU Cinema bills itself as the place for film, and it’s not exaggerating. Every semester, it screens more than 100 films. It also brings celebrated filmmakers to campus and offers students and the community a variety of educational experiences.

Learn more about IU Cinema
A close up of the marquee at the Buskirk Chumley Theater.
Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Owned by the city of Bloomington, “the Buskirk” as B-towners call it, hosts a wide variety of events every year. From jazz concerts to stand-up comedy festivals, there’s always something new happening at this intimate theater.

Explore the Buskirk

So many festivals, so little time

A crowd streams past a lighted neon theater marquee.
A man in colorful costume does a split toe-touch jump.
A woman in a costume twirls a hula hoop above her head as other costumed performers on stilts walk nearby.

Bloomington is famous for its Lotus World Music and Arts Festival—a yearly celebration of world music and arts. But that’s one of many festivals that take place all year long.

The year kicks off with the PRIDE film festival, which showcases the LGBTQA community and filmmakers.

From April to November, the Bloomington Farmers’ Market returns, bringing fresh produce and local music to downtown Bloomington in a festival-like atmosphere.

Summer brings festivals celebrating food, comedy, art, and more. And when fall arrives? It’s IU season, with Homecoming, Parents Weekend, and more!

See the Bloomington Event Calendar

Restaurants to satisfy any craving are on every corner

Bloomington is a foodie city—and we have the accolades to prove it. People have been known to come here just for the food!

With somewhere in the neighborhood of more than 400 eateries scattered across town, you’ll never have trouble finding something good to eat.

Local favorites include the ethnic restaurants on Fourth Street, alfresco dining on the square, and pub food at Nick’s or the Upland Brewery.

Two people walk past Buffalouie's, a restaurant on Indiana Avenue.

Mother Nature might be the biggest star of them all

Bloomington is nestled in the hills of south central Indiana. Within easy driving distance, you’ll find Indiana’s largest lake, a national forest, a state park boasting a waterfall, and more.

Whether you choose to explore by bike, boat, foot, or car, you’ll be wowed by the natural wonders that surround you.