Out-of-the-Ordinary Summer Events for Your Next Adventure

One of the most exciting and eventful times in Bloomington is finally here: summertime. Gorgeous weather calls for fun-filled days spent exploring your own intimate, favorite parts of the city. Popular annual events such as Taste of Bloomington or Bloomington Pridefest (formerly Summerfest) may be characteristic of B-town summer, but there are also a variety of recurring — and slightly out-of-the-ordinary — events that you may not have heard of. Not sure where to start to find your next great adventure? Check out this (non-exhaustive) list of events to do around town in the summer — all week long!

Green Drinks

Connect with like-minded, green-thinking individuals at Upland Brewing Company with the folks from Green Drinks. Every fourth Wednesday of the month, sustainability pioneers meet in the banquet facility of Upland for some brews and discussions on innovations in green living. There’s a $5 suggested donation, and some light refreshments will be provided courtesy of Upland. Find out how to get involved here.

Hashing with BHF3

The Kirkwood Observatory is open 10 to 11:30 p.m. every Wednesday. | Photo courtesy of <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IUB_-_Kirkwood_Observatory_-_P1100604.JPG" target="_blank">Vmenkov</a>

The Kirkwood Observatory is open 10 to 11:30 p.m. every Wednesday. | Photo courtesy of Vmenkov

Ready to try hashing with the Blooming Fools Hash House Harriers around B-town? It’s probably not what you think. Every other Saturday afternoon the BFH3, Bloomington’s hash club, treks through treacherous, “shiggy” trails — drinks in hand and bawdy songs included. Hashers are noncompetitive running socialites that meet with fellow hashers and hares to navigate a 3- to 5-mile trail together before enjoying a post-trail party. There are also opportunities to try “fool moon” hashing, beginning in the evening. Their events are free for first timers, $7 for experienced hashers. You can check out hashing events here.

Wednesday Open Nights at Kirkwood Observatory

Indiana University’s Department of Astronomy hosts weekly open houses at the Kirkwood Observatory on campus near East 4th Street and South Indiana Avenue for anyone interested in stopping by to take a peek — any time between 10 and 11:30 p.m. for a free chance to look through the telescope. Learn more about the Kirkwood Observatory here.

Uel Zing Comedy Shows and Coffee Cupping

B-town’s local cold brew café has more to offer than an extra shot of energy. Join Uel Zing Coffee for their rotating calendar of events at their shop on West Kirkwood. Their open mic comedy night, “Uel Laugh,” features eight comics and zing-themed raffles for a $5 cover charge. Other events include a First Friday art walk and a Coffee Lab — coffee cupping and tasting — on the first Sunday of every month. Check out Uel Zing’s events here.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Dig and Dine

Lend a hand at the community garden at Bloomington’s food pantry and get a free, fresh-cooked meal straight from the garden. With their weekly Dig and Dines, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard works to educate the community on harvesting and utilizing fresh produce while providing nutrition education and food security to those in need. Dig and Dines are hosted on the fourth Thursday of every month and open to anyone who wishes to volunteer. Find out more about volunteering with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard here.

Science Café

Bloomington’s Science Café is a mobile event that promotes scientific discussion and education around the community, but in a relaxed setting. Often held at Bear’s Place on East 3rd Street, The Science Café was started in 2006 by IU’s Graduate School Communications Director Erika Biga Lee. Since then it has hosted a variety of professors from the university to discuss topics such as political polarization, the art of astronomy, and climate change. Events usually happen toward the end of every month. See when the next one is happening here.

Bloomington Community Orchard Work and Learn Days

Looking to put your green thumb to the test? Bloomington Community Orchard hosts weekly, educational Work and Learn days that are open to the public. Through June, July, and August, Work and Learn days are held on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. No experience or registration is necessary, just swing by the orchard on South Highland Avenue and the volunteers will show you how you can help out in the gardens. All of the Community Orchard’s events are listed here.


Ladies Night at the Bloomington Community Bike Project

The Bloomington Community Bike Project is a local nonprofit that offers community members an opportunity to work on their bikes, teach others about mechanics, or even earn free bikes. Every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., it’s ladies night at the Bike Project. Open only for those who identify as women, the shop is open for volunteering, mechanical tweaking, and earn-a-bike labor. Learn more about the Bike Project here.

Floydasana at Vibe Yoga

Through a monthly series of Vinyasa classes, Vibe Yoga Studio will be using conceptual music to inspire specific themes for each class. The Floydasana series theme? Pink Floyd. Open your heart and relax your spirit to the June 17 class featuring The Wall. July will showcase Wish You Were Here and August will feature Animals. The cost is $10 per class. You can check out this class and more on Vibe’s calendar here.

Oliver Winery Live Music Events

Enjoy a variety of live music events against the gorgeous backdrop of Bloomington’s local vineyard all summer long. From Sunday Jazz Jams to the summer Cork & Fork series, Oliver Winery has a year-round calendar stacked with opportunities to enjoy music, food, and local wine. Their summer Saturday music series and Jazz Jams are free, and tickets to the Cork & Fork events can be purchased on their website or at the door. You can see Oliver Winery’s event schedule here.

Other great community resources, such as Bloomington Parks & Recreation, Sycamore Land Trust, and Artisan Alley, offer a variety of daily events and happenings. Check out their full calendars and others here:

Obviously we can’t possibly include all the awesome things happening around B-town this summer, but take the time to explore the city calendars and Visit Bloomington resources for more ideas. Craft your own ideal B-town summer days and share some of your favorite activities with us in the comment section below or on Facebook and Instagram!

Sierra Vandervort
Sierra Vandervort is a freelance journalist and author and is currently finishing her degree in journalism and music at Indiana University. She has experience in online and print media, but her focus is magazine and feature writing. Sierra loves adventuring, reading, writing, and discovering new, independent art and music. She's also strangely obsessed with Spider-Man and is always dancing — even though she says she's terrible at it.

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