Planning the Perfect Date Night in Bloomington

Valentine’s Day in Bloomington surely does not disappoint. This college town is home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, and entertainment. Whether you are on a blind date, celebrating an anniversary with your significant other, or spending quality time with friends, this blog can help narrow down some unique options for your date night.

Food and Spirits

Start the evening off with a pleasant meal. Downtown Bloomington has many dining options; from Mediterranean to Cajun-American, you’ll surely find something to enjoy. Fourth street is a great place to look if you are in the mood for international cuisine, and there are additional international restaurants scattered throughout the downtown area. Do you and your date enjoy sushi? Restaurant Ami on third street is the place to go. If you want something a little more upscale, try Finch’s Brasserie, located on Kirkwood Avenue. Perhaps you and your date want to go out and enjoy some drinks. C3 offers cocktails and small plate dining, perfect for a Valentine’s date.

Image result for Finch's' Brasserie

Finch's Brasserie, Google Images

Music, Shows, and Exhibits

Dinner and a movie is nice, but Bloomington’s night life and the Entertainment and Arts District help make date night more creative. If you are looking for a good laugh, visit The Comedy Attic. If you enjoy the music scene, try out The Bishop Bar or Blockhouse Bar. (Which both offer 18+ events) Check their websites for the band lineups. Are you interested in seeing a play or musical? Both Cardinal Stage Company and Bloomington Playwrights Project are putting on shows throughout the month of February. If you and your date enjoy art, stop by the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. They have a variety of galleries and rotating exhibits on display. If you want to do something on campus, the IU Cinema hosts a great selection of films to enjoy each week.

The Bishop Bar

Other Activities

Social activities are a great idea, especially for a first date or friends’ night out. Get a little competitive with Glow Golf at College Mall or bowling at the IMU. You and your date could go skating at the Frank Southern Ice Arena. Make sure to check the rink’s public skate hours before you go. For a more peaceful setting, perhaps try winter hiking. Here are some light winter hiking locations with serene views of Bloomington. Another great option is to take a stroll down the B-Line. For those who are 21 or over, enjoy an artistic night at Wine and Canvas. If you are looking for something downtown, hop over to Wonderlab After Dark. This science museum isn’t just for kids; they have intriguing events for adults, too. You and your date could also take a trip up to Oliver Winery to enjoy truffles and wine tasting. Have you and your date ever wanted to try ballroom dance? Consider signing up for a lesson at Fred Astaire Dance Studio. No matter what type of date it is, the options for entertaining activities are plentiful.

WonderLab, Google Images

Dessert, anyone?

Since it is Valentine’s Day, it’s almost obligatory to have something sweet. BLU Boy Chocolate, located on Kirkwood, specializes in hand-crafted chocolates and other delectable desserts. If you and your date are craving ice cream, stop by Jiffy Treet off 3rd St. They have everything from homemade ice cream to soft serve treats. Speaking of dessert, Bloomington will be celebrating the annual Week of Chocolate from February 2-18. This fun celebration includes various chocolate-themed events across town, such as a screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Buskirk Chumley and a chocolate night at Wonderlab After Hours. Even some of the restaurants mentioned in this blog serve special cocktails for the occasion. The Week of Chocolate is hosted by LifeDesigns, a service that supports people with disabilities. This sweet celebration is just one more reason to go out and explore this Valentine’s Day.

Jiffy Treet, Google Images

Hopefully this blog sparked some Valentine’s Day date ideas, or at least gave light to how many opportunities Bloomington has to offer.

Check out these related blogs:

The Best Winter Activities in Bloomington

Exploring Bloomington Without a Car

The Best Coffee Places In and Around Campus!

About The Author
Christina MercedesMedia major, class of 2020

Hi! My name is Christina, and I'm a junior at IU. I am majoring in Media with a concentration in Film Production and a minor in Spanish. My goal is to create engaging content by sharing my knowledge and parts of my college experience here on We Are IU. Whether you are reading a post about applying for scholarships, or just looking for ideas on how to decorate your dorm, I hope you find my work and the blogs of other writers very helpful in your search!