Red Carpet Day Planning Information

Half the fun of a Red Carpet Day is exploring the campus and Bloomington on your own

Here’s what you need to know about parking, directions, hotels, and lunch options. And, be sure to check out the day’s schedule.

From the moment you arrive until the end of your Red Carpet Day, you’ll experience the great feeling of becoming a Hoosier. See the tentative schedule on this page—it’s designed specifically for admitted students. You’ll receive a full schedule in your confirmation email after you register and a printed schedule (part of the Red Carpet Day booklet) when you arrive for your session. Red Carpet Day check-in begins at 8 a.m. Required activities end at lunchtime, and optional activities wrap up by 5 p.m. Start planning your trip today!

As you plan your trip, remember: Bloomington is in the Eastern time zone and observes daylight saving time.

  • Check-in and continental breakfast
  • Welcome
  • Campus walking tour
    Join an IU student for a campus tour—see where you’ll take classes and learn more about student activities and IU traditions. Already visited IU? This tour will still be valuable. It’s different from our regular tour, so you’ll learn new things about IU and see new places on campus.
  • The IU Experience
    Participate in a discussion and ask questions about life at IU. Panel participants will include a faculty member; one or more current IU students; and staff from Residential Programs and Services, the Office of First Year Experience Programs, and University Division.
  • Morning wrap-up
  • Break for lunch and time to explore campus
    Use this free time to check out one of the great nearby lunch options and explore the campus and Bloomington. In addition to the optional tour time below, the Residence Hall Open House (Memorial Hall) will be available from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Optional academic information sessions
    Attend one of these sessions to learn more about specific programs of study.
  • Optional tours and information sessions
    Check out these options to keep exploring and learn more about special opportunities at IU. You can choose a session or tour when you register for Red Carpet Day.
    • Athletics facilities tour (Simon Skjodt Assembly and Cook Halls)
    • Overseas study session
    • Student financial assistance session
    • Student Recreational Sports Center tour
    • Residence Hall Open House (Memorial Hall)

Free parking option

We recommend parking in a visitor spot in the Henderson Parking Garage, located at 310 S. Fess Avenue (use this address when mapping your trip to campus). When checking in for the event, you will be provided with a parking pass to be used at the automated kiosk to exit the garage at no charge. It will take approximately 15 minutes to walk to the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) from the Henderson Parking Garage. Please plan to arrive on campus no later than 8:30 a.m. to allow time to park, walk, check in, and enjoy the continental breakfast.

Walking directions to the IMU (and check-in) from the Henderson Parking Garage

Exit the Henderson Parking Garage and head north on Indiana Avenue to Kirkwood Avenue. At the intersection of Indiana and Kirkwood, turn right and proceed on the sidewalk through the Sample Gates. The Indiana Memorial Union will be the fourth building on your left, northeast of Maxwell Hall. You can also map your walking route in advance by using IU’s interactive campus map or printable map.

Pay parking options

There are two pay lots located at the Indiana Memorial Union at 900 E. Seventh Street. Please visit the IMU website for more information, including rates and availability. PLEASE NOTE: If you choose to park in either of the IMU pay parking lots, we will not be able to reimburse your parking fees.

On campus

The Biddle Hotel and Conference Center has welcomed campus visitors for more than 100 years. Located in the Indiana Memorial Union, it’s a great option if you want to stay right in the heart of IU Bloomington.

Please note that the Biddle Hotel in the IMU is offering a 10 percent discount for visitors who are attending a Red Carpet Day. The offer is valid Sunday through Thursday during Red Carpet Days, subject to availability. When making a reservation, please use the promotional code ADMISSIONS.

Learn more about the Biddle Hotel

Off campus

Of course, Bloomington has some charming bed and breakfasts and big-name hotels you can choose from, too.

The following area hotels have provided Red Carpet Day guests a discount on select days. Claim your discount with these online reservation links or let the hotel know that you are coming for a Red Carpet Day when you call.

Courtyard Marriott (February 14–March 24 and March 24–April 28)—located southwest of campus at 310 S. College Avenue. Call 812-335-8000.

Graduate Hotel—located west of campus at 210 E. Kirkwood Avenue. Call 812-994-0500.

Hilton Garden Inn—located in downtown Bloomington at 245 N. College Avenue. Call 812-331-1335.

Learn more about additional off-campus accommodations

Indiana Memorial Union dining

Choose from a variety of on-campus dining options in the Indiana Memorial Union:

  • Circle Cafe, offering quick breakfast or lunch options
  • Starbucks, with all your favorite drinks and snacks
  • The Tudor Room, offering an extensive lunch buffet—a favorite among visiting parents—in a stately space
  • Union Market—for a quick snack or a gift to bring back home to Mom
  • Food trucks—from IU Dining and local restaurants—weather-permitting

Additional on-campus locations

Bookmark[et] Eatery
1320 E. Tenth Street
The Bookmark[et] Eatery, located on the ground floor of the Herman B Wells library, offers a blend of international cuisine and local favorites at five micro-restaurants and convenient grab and go options.

Collins Eatery
541 N. Woodlawn Avenue
At Collins Eatery, you can choose from an all-you-care-to-eat buffet, hot lunch options, and a salad bar, as well as the Deli Line for deli sandwiches, soups, and other foods.

Goodbody Eatery
1320 E. Tenth Street
Grab a burger and the famous Bizz Fries at Bloomington’s own Nick’s English Hut or a cone or sundae at local favorite The Chocolate Moose. There’s plenty to choose from at Goodbody Eatery.

Gresham Eatery
1000 N. Fee Lane
From sandwiches and soups, to a build-your-own salad and potato bar, and the Den by Denny’s—Gresham Eatery has something for everyone.

Read El Bistro
125 S. Jordan Avenue
Read El Bistro offers American classics like char-grilled burgers, sandwiches, and soups as well as globally inspired cuisine.

Woodland Eatery
1800 E. Jones Drive
Woodland Eatery is made up of nine unique micro-restaurants. With fresh recipes and menus created by professional chefs to cater precisely to the tastes and budgets of the community, this is a refreshing culinary experience.

Wright Eatery
501 N. Jordan Avenue
Choose from a wide variety of dining options at Wright Eatery, one of the largest dining locations on campus. This location includes our healthy dining concept, Eat Right, a convenient way to incorporate flavorful and healthful foods into your diet.

Bloomington dining

Take a five-minute stroll to Kirkwood Avenue, walk through the Sample Gates, and voilà: dozens of great restaurants to choose from. Some are listed below. You can also head just southeast of campus and find a Bloomington favorite. For additional appetizing ideas, see Visit Bloomington’s much longer list of Bloomington restaurants.

Use your Red Carpet Day badge to get VIP discounts the day of your visit!

  • A 15 percent dining discount at these IU Dining eateries:
    • Bookmarket Eatery
    • Circle Café (IMU)
    • Collins Eatery
    • IU Dining food truck (IMU, weather-permitting)
    • Goodbody Eatery
    • Gresham Eatery
    • Read El Bistro
    • The Tudor Room (IMU)
    • Woodland Eatery
    • Wright Eatery
  • A 15 percent discount at these off-campus restaurants:
    • Hive2608 E. Tenth Street: This sister restaurant to Lennie's (below) offers comfort food with an international flair.
    • Lennie’s514 E. Kirkwood Ave: Visit this Admissions staff favorite for gourmet pizza, deliciously large sandwiches, and mini indulgence desserts.
  • A 20 percent discount on one apparel item at the IU Bookstore in the IMU

Dates and registration

If you’re ready to experience IU the red carpet way, choose among the dates below and sign up today. Reservations are required and sessions fill up quickly. If your plans change and you need to change or cancel your reservation, please call us immediately at 812-855-0661.       

  • February 19, 24, 28
  • March 2, 4, 6, 9, 23, 27, 30
  • April 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 20, 27

Register now