Travel Info

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

From the moment you arrive until the end of your Red Carpet Day, you’ll experience the great feeling of becoming a Hoosier. Here’s what you need to know about parking, directions, hotels, and lunch options.

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!

Note: Bloomington is in Eastern time and observes daylight saving time.

Upon arriving, you will have an opportunity to talk with current students and staff, and enjoy a light continental breakfast before your program begins.

Students and staff will welcome you to campus and give you a preview of what the rest of the day will hold.

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 is different from our regular tour, so you’ll learn new things about IU and see new places on campus.

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.

We’ll conclude the required portion of the day and make sure you have everything you need to explore lunch options and enjoy your optional activities in the afternoon.

Enjoy the delicious on- or off-campus dining options and take some time to explore campus and Bloomington.

Attend one of these sessions to learn more about specific programs of study.

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.

  • Overseas study session
  • Student financial assistance session
  • Student Recreational Sports Center tour
  • Visit a Residence Hall (Memorial Hall)


From a historic on-campus hotel, to charming bed and breakfasts, to big-name hotels, you have options for where to stay during your Red Carpet Day visit.

The following hotels are providing Red Carpet Day guests a discount on select days. Claim your discount with the code or link listed below, or let the hotel know that you are coming for a Red Carpet Day when you call.

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.

The Biddle Hotel is offering a 10 percent discount for visitors who are attending a Red Carpet Day on select dates, subject to availability. When making a reservation, please use the promotional code ADMISSIONS.

Learn more about the Biddle Hotel

The Courtyard Marriott is located southwest of campus at 310 S. College Avenue. Call 812-335-8000 and mention IU Red Carpet Days to receive a discounted rate.

The Graduate Hotel is located west of campus at 210 E. Kirkwood Avenue. For a discounted rate, call 812-994-0500 or use the link below.

See RCD offers at The Graduate

The Hilton Garden Inn is located in downtown Bloomington at 245 N. College Avenue. For a discounted rate, call 812-331-1335, use the Hilton app with discount code RED22, or use the link below.

See RCD offers at the Hilton Garden Inn

Check out Visit Bloomington to learn about additional off-campus accommodations.


Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) dining

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

  • The Chocolate Moose—a Bloomington tradition since 1933—located as part of Sugar and Spice
  • Lantern, a pan-Asian style street kitchen
  • The Mix, where you can build a salad and order a side of soup
  • Quarry Pie Co., pizza made fresh, on-site and cooked to perfection in a fire oven with pasta, meatballs and salads also available
  • Starbucks, with all your favorite drinks and snacks
  • Sugar and Spice, with pastries, cookies and other sweet treats. 
  • The Tudor Room, offering an extensive lunch buffet in a stately space—a favorite among visiting parents (check their website for hours)
  • Union Market, for a quick snack or a gift to bring back home to Mom
  • Whitfield Grill, with a classic diner-inspired menu

Additional on-campus locations:

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.

Jones Avenue
Discover All-You-Care-To-Eat dining, where you’ll find flavorful food from local, regional, and international cuisine. The menus, which change daily to offer you variety and choice, provide a variety of healthy options including plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan fare.

1101 N. Fee Lane
Discover All-You-Care-To-Eat dining, where you’ll find flavorful food from local, regional, and international cuisine. The menus, which change daily to offer you variety and choice, provide a variety of healthy options including plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan fare.

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

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.

1316 E. Third Street

Located on the Northeast side of campus, Bear's Place has many options, from a quick lunch of a Bear Burger and fries, to a spinach melt. Show your VIP Badge for a 10 percent food discount.

113 N. Dunn Street

1316 E. Third Street 

238 N. Morton Street (next to the Hilton Garden Inn)

At Bloomington Bagel Company, the bagels are the stars, but the menu also includes salads, muffins, and other treats.

114 S. Indiana Avenue

USA Today named BuffaLouie’s one of the nation’s top 10 wing joints. Choose among 17 sauces.

430 E. Kirkwood Avenue

Falafels Middle Eastern Grill offers pita sandwiches, Greek-style sandwiches, and more.

2608 E. Tenth Street

A sister restaurant to Lennie's (below), Hive is an all-encompassing spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner offering comfort food with an international flair. Show your RCD Badge for a 15% food discount.

514 E. Kirkwood Avenue

For gourmet pizza, deliciously large sandwiches, and mini indulgence desserts, come to Lennie’sone of Admissions’ staff local favorites. Show your RCD Badge for a 15% food discount.

1428 E. Third Street

A Bloomington institution! Ranked best pizza in Indiana by Trip Advisor, Mother Bear’s offers specialty pizzas and lunch specials.

423 E. Kirkwood Avenue

Nick’s English Hut, a student and alum favorite, serves a range of burgers, sandwiches, strombolis, and pizzas.

430 E. Fourth Street

Siam House offers Thai cuisine and serves as an anchor to Restaurant Row, a series of international restaurants on Fourth Street.


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

One free bagel or up to $1.25 off your order at Bloomington Bagel Company

Show your RCD Badge at Lennie’s for a 15% food discount.

Enjoy a 15 percent dining discount at the following IU Dining eateries:

  • The Chocolate Moose (IMU)
  • Forest Eatery
  • Lantern (IMU)
  • McNutt Eatery
  • The Mix (IMU)
  • Quarry Pie Co. (IMU)
  • Sugar and Spice (IMU)
  • The Tudor Room (IMU)
  • Whitfield Grill (IMU)

A 20 percent discount on one apparel item at the IU Bookstore in the IMU

Dates and registration

If you’re ready to walk the red carpet at IU, choose a date below and sign up. Reservations are required and sessions fill up quickly. If our campus visit times are full, please note that the reservation system is updated in real time as cancellations occur. If your plans change and you need to change or cancel your reservation, please call us immediately at 812-855-0661.

  • April 4, 6, 18, 20, 25, 29

Register now