The Bloomington-Normal community is an active and growing metropolitan area which reflects the many interests of its diverse population. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike and boat at the area’s two beautiful lakes. Sports fans can enjoy NCAA athletics at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University or attend professional hockey and arena football games in Bloomington’s US Cellular Coliseum or enjoy professional baseball at the Corncrib. Those with artistic interests may find an outlet through Bloomington’s cultural district or local theater groups like Heartland Theatre or Community Players. A wide range of religious institutions are available to meet the spiritual needs of the community.
The presence of two major universities in the Twin Cities provides the community with many cultural events. Among these are the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Westhoff Theatre Series, and the Chamber Music Series. Performances at Illinois Wesleyan include the McPherson Theatre Series and a variety of instrumental and vocal performances. Additionally, nationally known speakers are featured at both universities throughout the year.
Local historic sites and attractions include the McLean County Courthouse Museum, the David Davis Mansion, Funk’s Grove, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and the Miller Park Zoo. The Constitution Trail, a paved trail beginning in Normal and covering over 24 miles through the Twin Cities, is a great place for walking, bicycling, and rollerblading. Local parks offer opportunities for swimming, softball, volleyball, and golf, while the more adventurous may find exercise and excitement through paintball at nearby Funk’s Grove or rock climbing at Bloomington’s Outer Limits. The Bloomington Pantagraph provides a weekly list of music, theater, comedy, activities, special events, and festivals within driving distance of the Twin Cities.
An hour’s drive to the nearby cities of Springfield, Peoria, and Champaign-Urbana also provides many enrichment opportunities, and Chicago and St. Louis are also easy to reach by interstate highway or through rail service via the downtown Normal Amtrak station. The Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington has daily air service to major US cities, and bus service is available by way of Peoria Charter Coach and Greyhound.