Bloomington-Normal spots to check for a reset

Isabella Parish

Image by Isabel Sperry

The semester is in full swing and progressively getting more difficult as the weeks go on. After a long week full of papers and exams, getting an escape from campus and school is almost essential. Lucky for us the Bloomington-Normal area is full of wholesome shops, cafes and trails. Here are five things to do in the area that will help you reset from school.


  • The Garlic Press is a women owned speciality cookware shop in Normal that has been a part of the community for 44 years. The store has expanded into fun, creative items as well. They offer cards, seasonal products, bath products, crafts and a section called “fun stuff”. While the store has many fun products they also offered cooking classes before the pandemic.


  • The downtown Bloomington farmers market is located on the Historic Museum Square. The farmers market is managed and staffed by the City of Bloomington’s Economic and Community Development Department. The market is open on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon from May to October. “In my hometown I loved going to the weekly farmers market so to find one in Bloomington was so exciting. I love the environment on a Saturday morning and it is such a cleanse after a crazy week of homework and class,” said junior Bobbi Davidson.  After October the market moves inside from November to April. Every week there are many vendors. From baked goods to glass art the farmers market has it all.


  • The Yoga Studio is a yoga studio owned by Sheri McCloskey. McCloskey has been teaching yoga in the Bloomington-Normal area for many years . The whole vibe of the studio is based on a relaxed and safe atmosphere. There is at least one class every day of the week. The main class they offer is Warm Vinyasa Flow where you focus and move with your breath from pose to pose. The other main class they offer is Movement and Meditation which will give you a peaceful space and focuses on breathing and meditation. Before the pandemic the studio offered a yoga trapeze class. The class consists of deeper yoga and body strengthening. The studio hopes to have them included on the schedule again.


  • Coffee Hound is a cafe that began in downtown Bloomington in 2002 and then expanded to Normal in 2007. In 2015, Coffee Hound expanded their roasting to an off site facility to keep up the demand for their shops and sales. The cafe goes beyond just coffee and they serve black, green and herbal tea. “I have never been a huge fan of coffee but I love all of their tea options and the overall environment of the cafe. It is great to get a tea and work on homework there,” said junior Ellen Stephens. Recently Coffee Hound has created their own roast called Sirius Roast. You can buy the coffee in the shop and even subscribe and get bags of the coffee delivered to you.


  • Hidden Creek Nature Sanctuary a small nature sanctuary located in Normal. The sanctuary is 5.5 acres located off Constitution Trail and Sycamore Street. The site was bought by the city of Normal in 1998 and its purpose is to preserve wildlife and for the community to enjoy. There have been a few different additions like picnic tables, paved trails and a connection to Constitution Trail. The sanctuary does not have the largest trails but they still have nice paths. This is the perfect spot to go for a short walk to decompress in nature.


If these spots in the community are not what you are interested in there is always somewhere you can go to reset. Preserving your mental health while class work is getting more intense is crucial to doing better in school and bettering your wellness.