When to visit and where to stay



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The Indiana Memorial Union is the location of the on-site Biddle Hotel. Christa Kumming Buy Photos

After dropping your student off at their residence hall and driving home in an empty car, all you can think is, “When can I visit?”

As a parent of an IU student, you should know there are good and bad times to visit, depending on what you’re looking for in your own IU experience.

When to visit

The Parents Association puts on IU Family Weekend each year to give students an opportunity to share IU traditions and discoveries with their families.

This year’s Family Weekend will be Sept. 15-17 and the Office of Student Affairs will have further details on this year’s activities as the weekend approaches. Family Weekend is a popular time for visits, so expect large crowds and less room in local hotels.

Another popular times for families to visit is Homecoming Weekend, which will be the weekend of Oct. 14. Homecoming is an incredibly busy time when alumni, families and University leaders visit campus.

Homecoming Weekend is jam-packed with events like the football game, tailgating, the Homecoming Parade and other famous IU traditions.

Hotels are booked quickly and campus is crowded, but for both Family Weekend and Homecoming there are plenty of scheduled activities for students and families.

If you’re looking for a calmer weekend, try visiting a random time in the fall. Campus is beautiful in September and October and you’ll have the opportunity to focus on spending time with your IU student. And you won’t be overwhelmed by the crowds.

Where to stay

One of the most popular hotel destinations in Bloomington is the Indiana Memorial Union’s Biddle Hotel. The hotel is right in the center of campus and within walking distance of downtown Bloomington.

The athletic stadiums are not far and there is ample parking in the IMU lots. All 200 rooms are being remodeled and updated this summer, so the hotel will be top notch for families to use in the fall.

The Biddle Hotel is booked full quickly, especially during busy times like Family Weekend, Homecoming and graduation. If you want to book a room during those times, be sure to plan ahead and reserve your spot as early as possible.

Besides the Biddle Hotel, there are numerous lodging accommodations around Bloomington. The Hilton Garden Inn on College Avenue is located just north of downtown Bloomington’s main square and about a ten minute walk to the Sample Gates.

The Hyatt Place on Kirkwood Avenue is located just a few blocks from Bloomington’s thriving nightlife scene and numerous restaurants on the square.

Just a few blocks south is the Courtyard by Marriott Bloomington, which is about five blocks to almost a dozen ethnic restaurants, including Indian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Burmese and more.

Outside of hotels, there are also a few bed and breakfasts and small inns that will give you a more homey Hoosier experience.

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