Ready to have some quality and fun family time, but not sure what to do or where to go? Make your choice easy by selecting one of these free activities in Indiana.
Stroll through the themed gardens and natural areas with outdoor sculptures and monuments at Minnetrista. Some of the gardens include the Rain Garden where storm water is gathered and funneled to the other gardens, the Rose Garden with its beautiful hybrid tea roses and the Wishing Well Gardens with their bird and butterfly garden, herb garden and wishing well sculpture. The Nature Area represents Indiana’s native habitats of prairies, ponds and woodlands and Indiana’s indigenous trees. Younger family members will enjoy the Children’s Garden with its whimsically themed gardens like the Secret Garden, Pizza Garden, Farmyard Garden and more. The picturesque gardens are the prime location for a picnic.
Location: 1200 N. Minnetrista Parkway Muncie, Indiana 47303
Indiana War Memorial Plaza
The Indiana War Memorial Plaza is a five-block plaza memorial to the state’s and nation’s veterans comprised of commemorative monuments, sculptured gardens, awe-inspiring architectural design and military history museums. As you stroll through the peaceful grounds and observe the neoclassical architecture, you will be filled with a sense of pride in the sacrifice of the nation’s war heroes. Visit the Indiana War Memorial Museum to learn more about the state’s role in various national conflicts. At the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, learn more about the state’s involvement in the Civil War.
Location: 1 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Celebrate and interact with art, design and the natural environment at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Over 50,000 works of art from all cultures and time periods are displayed here. You’ll also enjoy wandering through the luscious gardens where you’ll see hundreds of types of plant life. At the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park, you’ll find 100 acres of woodlands, wetlands, lake and meadows interspersed with outdoor works of art, recreation and interactive art exhibits. Also on the grounds is The Lilly House and museum, a historic mansion that reflects the life and lifestyle of one of Indiana’s most prominent families in the 1930s.
Location: 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge
Over 7,000 acres of forest, wetland and grassland habitats make up the Mascatatuck National Wildlife Refuge located in South Central Indiana. Be on the lookout for various wildlife like white-tailed deer, river otters, bald eagles, turkey and raccoon. This wildlife refuge is also home to over 280 species of birds, making it a prime location for bird watching.
Location: 12985 E. U.S. Highway 50, Seymour, Indiana 47274
Indiana Railway Museum
Allow the history of the railway in Indiana to come alive at the Indiana Railway Museum. Step back to a time when the railway was the grand mode of transportation. View railroad memorabilia and historic artifacts, including more than 65 pieces of rolling stock and locomotives. Also on display are steam and diesel locomotives. The museum is free of charge but you can ride aboard the historic railway for a fee.
Location: 1 Monon St., French Lick, Indiana 47432
Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum
The Fort Wayne International Airport is more than just a place to take flight — it’s also where you can learn about the history of aviation in the tri-state area. The Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum features military, commercial and general aviation history. You’ll also see displays highlighting the feats of local military heroes Paul Baer, a World War I veteran, and Art Smith — also known as “The Bird Boy” for his daring flying acrobatics. Reservations are required to take this free tour.
Location: 3801 W. Ferguson Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809
Phone: 260-747-4146, ext. 439
Swope Art Museum
Almost 3,000 works of American art, including paintings, sculptures and other artworks, are housed in the Swope Art Museum. See the beauty and skill of a variety of artists firsthand. On display are works of art from some of the most famous artists of the 19th and 20th century, as well as lesser-known, yet still significant, artists. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, there are also temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Location: 25 S. Seventh St., Terre Haute, Indiana 47807