Activities in Bloomington

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High above a lush vineyard, the morning sky brims with creatures of flight: an eagle, a large bumblebee, a pigeon that forgot how to land. These were just some of the sights Airbus Balloon Rides' owner Andy Richardson imagined would greet his future down-gazing passengers. He first fell in love with the roar of a hot air balloon's flame just before entering the second grade, and that passion has driven his dreams ever since. Ten years after buying his first balloon at age 14, Andy now commands a fleet of rainbow-colored balloons that come in standard and specialty shapes. These colorful vessels set the elevated stage for individual flights and tethered rides helmed by Andy and his talented team. Flights lift off at sunrise, in the afternoon, and at sunset, when the low sun paints an orange-red glow over water, fields, and reindeer still stuck on rooftops.

Back on land, Airbus Balloon Rides also educates visitors on hot air balloon creation inside their balloon factory, which welcomes tours. At the end of each tour, the guides lead guests in a champagne or mimosa toast with accompanying hors d'oeuvres, celebrating their skyfaring adventures together.

2700 S Kirby Rd
Bloomington,
IN
US

Paradise Rental Boats carefully curates fleets of Yamaha, Bayliner, and Sun Tracker boats, so that sun-kissed riders can jet across the sparkling waters of Indiana’s Lake Monroe and Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona at their leisure. The company's vessels range from party barges and yachts—which hold groups of up to 26—to the smaller, two-person WaveRunner, whose highly responsive steering suits drivers trying to chase down and catch their fish dinner. Onboard radios and CD players let mariners groove to their favorite tunes, and the company also rents optional accessories for water sports, such as wakeboards, water skis, and artificial bait for licensed fishermen.

9301 South Fairfax Road
Bloomington,
IN
US

Named one of the 50 Reasons to Love Bloomington by Bloom magazine and one of the nation's top 25 science centers by Parents magazine, WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology invites visitors of all ages to discover how exhilarating science can be. Between a two-story interior and an outdoor WonderGarden, the museum flaunts more than 50 hands-on science activities. A range of exhibits bring youngsters face-to-face with scientific principles in such attractions as the two-story Grapevine Climber climbing maze, the Bubble-Airium’s cloudball machine, and Water Works' ball launcher. Over in the Fitzgerald Hall of Natural Science, live amphibians and insects crawl around settings that mimic their natural habitats. For children aged 6 and younger, the George & Evelyn Brabson Discovery Garden grants youthful scientific inquiry through live animal displays, the Magnet Wall, and a tree house. The museum also hosts regular special events.

308 W 4th St
Bloomington,
IN
US

Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.

1711 North College Avenue
Bloomington,
IN
US

The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.

135 North Gates Drive
Bloomington,
IN
US

Function. That's what CrossFit is all about. And that's what got Shaun and Jenna Tieman so hooked on the method that they decided to open Hoosier CrossFit. During classes, CrossFit's system of constantly varied movements are performed at a high intensity. Because the movements are functional, they increase agility, speed, and power while readying participants for all manner of physical activity. Classes rely on tools such as gymnastics rings and bumper plates instead of machines, ensuring that the body is doing all the work. To initiate the uninitiated, instructors start all beginners out with On-Ramp classes, which familiarize exercisers with CrossFit basics.

418 S College Ave
Bloomington,
IN
US