You’ve heard about nightlife at IU, but what happens during the day? Here are some suggestions on how to spend your time.
Freshman and sophomore years
Dip your toes in Showalter Fountain
The Showalter Fountain is a monument to IU’s arts history, but it is also a major symbol of campus culture. First designed by the late IU faculty member Robert Laurent in 1954, the fountain was inspired by bronze fountain groups in America and other fountains Laurent saw while on sabbatical in Rome.
The sculpted fish surrounding Venus are stolen almost annually. However, a dip in the fountain will suffice as a form of rebellion.
Visit the tailgate fields
The tailgate fields are often synonymous with drinking and loud music, but they’re the place to be during football season. Wake up early, wear an old pair of shoes because they’ll get muddy, and watch out for excise police.
See “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Buskirk-Chumley
Each year around Halloween, the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” is performed at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. This tradition offers costume contests, interactive performances and an all-around fun time. One suggestion: Don’t mention it’s your first time, unless you want to be brought on stage for a special “initiation” ceremony.
Go to a Hoosiers game
You’ll always remember your first IU basketball game. The roar of the crowd in Assembly Hall, the fast pace of the game and the IU fight song will inspire you to become a lifelong fan. Buy an IU T-shirt, pick a favorite player and let your Hoosier pride shine.
Use the bathroom at Soma
Located on the corner of Grant Street and Kirkwood Avenue, Soma Coffee House and Juice Bar sports some colorful and amusing bathroom décor, which changes every so often. The toilet sits upon a stage-like platform, a pair of upside down mannequin legs holds toilet paper rolls, and a mosaic decorates one wall.
Go to the Quarries
As a tribute to Bloomington’s limestone history and “Breaking Away” nostalgia, many people choose to visit the old quarries, now filled with water, sunken construction equipment and utility vehicles.
Although jumping from the rooftop ledge — whose location can be disclosed solely by word of mouth — is popular, it is also very dangerous. A history of injuries, diving deaths and arrests is tied to this secret location, but the quarry is also a popular hangout and party spot during the summer.
Eat breakfast at the Runcible Spoon
The Runcible Spoon is famed for its commitment to locally brewed and sourced coffees, fresh food and eclectic atmosphere, but the breakfast menu is its specialty. The range of options includes eggs, sausage, corned beef hash, mimosas and chai lattes. Go here to cure a hangover, study with friends or enjoy the patio on a spring day.
Junior and senior years
Play “Sink the Biz” at Nick’s.
Nick’s English Hut is notorious for its food, sports bar atmosphere and the infamous game, “Sink the Biz.” The main objective is to keep a small beer glass — the “Biz” — afloat in a bucket full of beer, while each person takes turns pouring a small amount of beer into it.
The first one in your group to sink the “Biz” into the water has to drink his or her entire beer. Be sure to order a side of seasoned Biz fries to enjoy as you play.
Try a signature drink
Every bar has its signature drink. The AMF at the Upstairs Pub is one of Bloomington’s most famous, with its electric blue color and combination of who-knows-how-many different liquors.
Another B-Town favorite is the Hairy Bear at Bear’s Place. This potent, orange-hued drink is said to be an acquired taste, but you should try it at least once to see if it’s for you. Finally, there’s the Bluebird Nightclub’s Dirty Bird. This mammoth drink is a favorite of locals and showgoers at the local bar and music venue.
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