BN Life

End of Summer Fun | VisitBN

Finish off that summer bucket list in Bloomington-Normal! There’s still plenty of time for some fun under the sun before school starts back up! Spend a day or a weekend in our area and explore our parks, spraygrounds, restaurants, zoo, and more. Outdoor adventures are the way to enjoy summer this year, and in BN, our outdoor activities are unique, fun, and perfect for social distancing.

Here are a few spots to have one last hoorah with the family:

Comlara Park

This recreational area is filled with outdoor activities for every member of the family! With hiking and biking trails, fishing, picnicking areas, kayaks, paddleboats, and canoes for rent, and campgrounds, there is endless fun at Comlara. Evergreen Lake provides a scenic backdrop for some of the best fishing and passive water sports in Illinois, and its 900 acre size makes it one of the most popular lakes in Central Illinois. The 10 horsepower limit makes for a very tranquil area. The lake features fully accessible docks, several fishing piers, and a bait shop. If you’re looking to spend the night, Comlara’s campground has 144 campsites available for rent, 94 of which are electrified sites.


Moraine View State Recreation Area

Moraine View State Recreation Area is another spot for nature lovers.  With fully developed facilities for picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and hunting, the 1,687-acre recreation area, with its 158-acre lake, is a beautiful, convenient and accessible locale for relaxation and recreation. The beautiful Dawson Lake is regularly stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, and walleye. No boat of your own? No worries! Moraine View Restaurant has kayaks, rowboats, or paddle boats available for your convenience!


Sugar Grove Nature Center

Explore the beauty of the outdoors at the Sugar Grove Nature Center. Sugar Grove, located in the historic Funks Grove, is the largest remaining intact prairie grove in Illinois with over 1,000 acres of forest and prairie, 5 miles of trails, and river habitats. Their trails are open and ready for you to come spend a day exploring, hiking, and observing nature. Don’t forget to stop at Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup and grab sirup, candies, and maple flavored ice cream for the family!!

Miller Park Zoo

Did you know Miller Park Zoo is the only active Zoo on the original Route 66 route?? Pretty cool! Miller Park Zoo offers many exhibits and zookeeper interaction opportunities that are enjoyed by the whole family. Zoo inhabitants include a Sumatran tiger, river otter, flamingos, Galapagos tortoise, Amur leopard, sun bears, reindeer, sea lion, red pandas, lemurs, and bald eagles. Throughout the relaxing stroll, visitors are sure to be surprised by the mammals, reptiles, and beautiful free-flying birds spotted along the way.


BloNo Pizza Co.

BloNo Pizza Co. brings a fun dining atmosphere for the entire family. This locally owned, family-friendly pizza restaurant and sports bar has an arcade for the kids (and adults) to enjoy while eating. Walk out to their patio and enjoy your pizza al fresco with a driving range! Their #TopTracer driving range allows a fun and engaging experience for both the professional golfers and first-timers. Kids and adults alike can take a few swings on their individual, socially distant bays which include couches and TVs.


Carl’s Ice Cream

No summer day is complete without ice cream! Carl’s Ice Cream has been a local favorite for sweet treats since 1980. Since the beginning, Carl’s has been making their own hard serve ice cream with fresh ingredients.  In addition to traditional flavors, they offer flavors such as Cookie Monster, Mud pie, and Moose Tracks. Be sure to stop by the Normal location to take a picture with Carl, the 14-foot Muffler Man!


Don’t forget to share your Bloomington-Normal adventures with us using #VisitBN on social media!! 

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