Visiting Bloomington, IN for Graduation 2021? 4 Things to Know

Indiana University students take photos at the sample gates in Bloomington, IN. Graduation May 2021.
Sample gates at Indiana University, May 2021.
If you are visiting Bloomington, IN for IU graduation weekend 2021, whether staying in town or venturing nearby to avoid the crowds, here are some tips for what to expect in town.

The flowers are out, the weather is getting warm, and it is nearing the end of the school year at Indiana University. Given the times we are living in, many cities are operating a little bit differently. Some businesses are unfortunately no longer open. Several restaurants are open for carry-out only. For a college town like Bloomington, Indiana, graduation weekend brings in a lot of parents, families, and friends who celebrating commencement for IU students. If you are visiting Bloomington, IN for IU graduation weekend 2021, whether staying in town or venturing nearby to avoid the crowds, here are some tips for what to expect in town.

1. Be Aware of the Current Restrictions

While public health restrictions in Indiana may have lifted, Monroe County has issued it’s own public health orders. To ensure you are aware of all of the current health and safety guidelines, be sure to check out the Monroe County website prior to visiting. Additionally, as everywhere, establishments may have their own additional restrictions.

2. Many Locations are Carry-out Only

While both indoor and outdoor dining is currently permissible in Bloomington, some local businesses in Bloomington have remained carry-out only. Be sure to check with individual businesses to see what their current policies when making plans. It may be a good idea to use the carry-out option!

3. Additional Outdoor Seating Available Downtown

Outdoor seating at FARM and Upland Cafe, on Kirkwood Avenue.
Outdoor seating on Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana, at FARM and Upland Cafe.

On a brighter note, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor dining in Bloomington, IN during 2021 graduation weekend. Kirkwood Avenue, one of the busy streets downtown that contains several local businesses, restaurants, and bars, is partially closed to allow for more outdoor seating. This has created more availability at places such as FARM, Uptown Cafe, Nick’s, Cafe Pizzeria, Lennie’s, and other establishments. Other restaurants downtown also have extended outdoor seating where street parking was once located.

4. Some Locations are Reservation Only

Because of limited seating and high number of visitors, some restaurants are reservation only. For a full list of restaurants requiring reseverations, as well as deals on restaurants in Bloomington, IN graduation weekend, check out Visit Bloomington.

Are you in Bloomington, Indiana graduation weekend, and have any questions? Let me know!

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