10 Fun Things To Do In Evansville, Indiana | Karta.com

10 Things To Do In Evansville, Indiana

Trip Ideas May 24, 2024

Evansville, Indiana, is a captivating destination brimming with history, cultural attractions, and family-friendly activities that make it a must-visit for travelers. Located along the Ohio River, this charming city offers a blend of small-town warmth and big-city amenities, making it an ideal spot for visitors of all ages.

Evansville's rich history is evident in its well-preserved architecture and vibrant museums. The Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science is a perfect place to start, offering a diverse array of exhibits and interactive displays. The Children’s Museum of Evansville (CMOE) is a hit with families, providing a fun and educational experience for kids. For those who enjoy transportation history, the Evansville Train Museum is a fascinating attraction that highlights the region's railroad heritage.

The city’s culinary scene is equally impressive, with local favorites like 10-8 Cafe Evansville and Bru Burger Evansville serving up delicious fare that will satisfy any palate. These eateries, along with many others, contribute to the city's reputation as a food lover's paradise.

Source: Britannica

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of activities available in Evansville. The Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden is a delightful destination for animal lovers, offering a chance to see exotic animals and beautiful plants. The Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve provides a serene environment for hiking and bird watching, while the scenic riverfront offers a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll.

For those traveling from Columbus, Ohio to Evansville, Indiana, the journey is well worth it. The city offers an array of attractions that cater to diverse interests. From the engaging exhibits at the Evansville Children’s Museum to the hands-on activities at Kid City USA Evansville, there’s something for everyone. Indoor playgrounds and free activities ensure that families can have fun without breaking the bank.

1. Visit the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden

Visiting the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is a must for anyone exploring Evansville, Indiana. As one of the top Evansville attractions, this zoo offers a fantastic mix of wildlife and horticultural beauty. Spanning over 45 acres, the Mesker Park Zoo is home to a diverse array of animals from around the world, including majestic big cats, playful primates, and exotic birds. The zoo’s botanical garden is equally impressive, showcasing a stunning collection of flora that enhances the overall experience.

The zoo isn’t just about observing animals; it’s also a place for interactive learning. Families will find numerous educational programs designed to engage children and adults alike. These programs include animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, and informative talks by the zoo’s knowledgeable staff. For those traveling with kids, the zoo’s interactive exhibits are a highlight, providing hands-on experiences that make learning about wildlife both fun and memorable.

Mesker Park Zoo
Source: Mesker Park Zoo

When planning your visit, consider stopping by the 10-8 Cafe Evansville for a bite to eat, or enjoy a meal at Bru Burger Evansville, both offering delicious local fare. If you’re visiting with young children, make a day of it by also exploring the nearby Evansville Children's Museum (CMOE). The museum, known for its engaging exhibits and hands-on activities, is another gem among the many Evansville attractions.

2. Explore the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science

The Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science is a captivating destination in Evansville, Indiana, perfect for families, history buffs, and science enthusiasts. As you step into this multifaceted museum, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world where art, history, and science seamlessly blend. 

The museum's art collections are a feast for the eyes, featuring an array of works from various periods and styles. Visitors can admire pieces ranging from classical to contemporary art, ensuring there is something to captivate every art lover. The historical exhibits take you on a journey through time, showcasing the rich heritage of Evansville and beyond. From local history to broader historical narratives, these exhibits offer a deep dive into the past, making history come alive.

Evansville Museum
Source: Explore Evansville

Science displays at the Evansville Museum are particularly engaging, offering interactive experiences that are both educational and fun. These exhibits are designed to spark curiosity and inspire learning in visitors of all ages. The Koch Immersive Theater is a highlight, offering breathtaking planetarium shows that transport you to the stars and beyond.

Whether you're coming from Columbus, Ohio to Evansville, Indiana, or exploring local Evansville attractions, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science is a must-visit. It’s one of those fun things to do in Evansville that promises a memorable experience for all. So, check the Evansville Museum hours, plan your visit, and get ready to dive into a world of art, history, and science.

3. Walk along the Ohio Riverfront

Walking along the Ohio Riverfront in Evansville, Indiana, offers a picturesque and engaging experience for all ages. This scenic area is one of the top Evansville attractions, drawing locals and visitors alike with its beautiful views and numerous recreational activities. The riverfront is a prime spot for dining, picnicking, and simply enjoying the serene ambiance of the Ohio River.

For those traveling from Columbus, Ohio to Evansville, Indiana, the riverfront offers a refreshing escape with its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Whether you're looking for things to do in Evansville for couples or seeking family-friendly activities, the Ohio Riverfront has something for everyone. Don't miss out on the free things to do in Evansville, Indiana, such as simply enjoying the natural beauty of the river and the vibrant atmosphere of the surrounding area.

4. Tour the USS LST Ship Memorial

Tour the USS LST Ship Memorial for an unforgettable experience steeped in history and adventure. Located in Evansville, Indiana, this floating museum offers a unique glimpse into the past, highlighting the crucial role of Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) during World War II. These ships were pivotal in transporting troops, tanks, and supplies directly onto shorelines, significantly contributing to the Allied forces' success.

As you step aboard the USS LST-325, the only operational LST in the United States, you’ll be transported back in time. The ship's interior has been meticulously preserved to reflect its wartime conditions, offering visitors an authentic experience. Guided tours, available throughout the week, provide an in-depth look at the ship's history, its missions, and the brave crew members who served on it. Knowledgeable guides share captivating stories and anecdotes, bringing the ship's history to life.

Source: USS LST Ship Memorial

During your visit, you'll explore various parts of the ship, including the tank deck, crew quarters, and the galley. Each area is filled with artifacts and exhibits that provide a deeper understanding of the ship’s operations and the harsh realities of wartime service. The guided tour also includes a visit to the ship’s bridge, where you can imagine commanding this mighty vessel through the treacherous waters of the Atlantic.

5. Discover the Children’s Museum of Evansville (cMoe)

The Children’s Museum of Evansville (cMoe) is a treasure trove of interactive exhibits and educational play areas designed to ignite the imaginations of young minds. Located in the heart of downtown Evansville, Indiana, cMoe Evansville is a must-visit for families seeking fun things to do in Evansville. This vibrant museum offers a variety of hands-on activities that engage children in learning through play, making it one of the top Evansville attractions.

Kids can explore Kid City USA Evansville, a miniature cityscape that allows them to role-play in different professions, fostering creativity and critical thinking. The Evansville Children's Museum features exhibits that cover science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), ensuring that learning is both fun and comprehensive. From a giant climbing structure that promotes physical activity to water play areas that teach basic physics principles, cMoe is designed to captivate and educate.

Children’s Museum of Evansville (cMoe)
Source: Children’s Museum of Evansville (cMoe)

Special programs and events at the museum make every visit unique. Seasonal activities, themed days, and workshops provide fresh and exciting experiences for visitors. The museum’s calendar is packed with events that cater to different age groups, ensuring there’s always something new to explore. Whether it’s a science demonstration, an art class, or a cultural celebration, cMoe keeps its offerings dynamic and engaging.

6. Experience the Evansville Wartime Museum

Experience the Evansville Wartime Museum for a profound journey into the region's rich military history. This remarkable museum in Evansville, Indiana, highlights the area’s significant contributions to various wars, offering a comprehensive view through its extensive collections of military artifacts and personal stories from veterans.

Evansville played a crucial role during World War II, with its industries pivoting to support the war effort. The museum showcases these contributions, including the production of LST ships, which were vital for amphibious operations. Visitors can explore detailed exhibits that narrate the local impact of global conflicts, providing an insightful perspective into the past.

The Evansville Wartime Museum is not just a repository of military hardware; it's a treasure trove of personal stories. Veterans’ accounts bring history to life, offering a deeply personal connection to the events that shaped the world. These narratives are preserved through letters, photographs, and memorabilia, ensuring that the sacrifices and experiences of those who served are never forgotten.

7. Enjoy the Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

If you're searching for things to do in Evansville, Indiana, a visit to Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve should top your list. This beautiful urban forest offers a unique escape into nature right in the heart of the city. As one of the largest urban old-growth forests in the United States, Wesselman Woods provides a sanctuary for both wildlife and visitors alike.

The hiking trails at Wesselman Woods cater to all skill levels. From leisurely walks to more challenging hikes, the preserve’s paths wind through dense woodlands, offering glimpses of local flora and fauna. The well-marked trails make it easy for families to explore, and children will be delighted by the interactive exhibits and programs at the nature center. If you're visiting with kids, consider stopping by the Evansville Children's Museum (cMoe) before or after your hike for a full day of fun and learning.

Wesselman Woods
Source: Wesselman Woods

8. Attend a Show at the Victory Theatre

The Victory Theatre in Evansville, Indiana, stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and architectural beauty. Originally opened in 1921, this historic venue has been a cornerstone of the local arts scene for over a century. Its striking neoclassical design, featuring ornate detailing and a grandiose auditorium, makes it a must-see for visitors and a beloved landmark for residents.

For those planning to visit Evansville, attending a show at the Victory Theatre is an experience not to be missed. The theatre hosts a diverse array of performances, from Broadway musicals and symphony orchestras to contemporary music concerts and comedic acts. This makes it a prime destination for both culture enthusiasts and casual visitors looking for fun things to do in Evansville. 

Victory Theatre
Source: Linkedin

Upcoming performances at the Victory Theatre are always eagerly anticipated. Whether you're interested in a dramatic play, a children's performance from the Evansville Children's Museum (cMoe), or a concert, there is something for everyone. Be sure to check the Victory Theatre's schedule for current and upcoming events to plan your visit accordingly. 

9. Shop and Dine in Haynie’s Corner Arts District

Haynie’s Corner Arts District in Evansville, Indiana, is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood that’s a must-visit for art lovers, foodies, and shoppers alike. This area, known for its dynamic arts scene, is brimming with galleries, unique shops, and cozy cafes, making it a perfect destination for a day out.

Start your exploration at the 10-8 Cafe Evansville, a local favorite known for its delicious breakfast and brunch offerings. The warm, inviting atmosphere is ideal for starting your day with a cup of coffee and a hearty meal. As you wander through the district, you'll discover a variety of art galleries showcasing local artists' work, offering a visual feast for the eyes and a chance to take home a unique piece of Evansville's creative spirit.

Haynie’s Corner Arts District
Source: Arts Council of Southwest Indiana

For lunch, head over to Bru Burger Evansville, where you can indulge in gourmet burgers and a great selection of craft beers. This spot is perfect for refueling before diving back into the artsy ambiance of Haynie’s Corner. Don’t miss out on the numerous boutique shops that line the streets, offering everything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing. These shops provide a unique shopping experience that you won’t find in mainstream malls, making it one of the top Evansville attractions.

If you're visiting from out of town, perhaps traveling from Columbus, Ohio to Evansville, Indiana, you'll find that Haynie’s Corner is a perfect representation of what Evansville is known for: a blend of creativity, community, and charm.  

10. Visit Angel Mounds State Historic Site

Angel Mounds State Historic Site is a remarkable testament to the prehistoric Native American civilizations that once thrived in the region now known as Indiana. Located just a short drive from the many attractions in Evansville, this site offers a captivating glimpse into the past, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in archaeology, history, or indigenous cultures.

The significance of Angel Mounds lies in its rich history and the extensive archaeological findings that have been uncovered over the years. This site was a major center for the Mississippian culture, which flourished from approximately 1000 to 1450 AD. The mounds themselves are believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes, administrative functions, and as elite residences. Excavations have revealed a wealth of artifacts, including pottery, tools, and ornaments, providing valuable insights into the daily lives and spiritual practices of the people who built and inhabited this complex.

Angel Mounds State Historic Site
Source: Flickr


Evansville, Indiana, is a treasure trove of diverse activities and attractions that cater to all interests and age groups. From historical sites to modern-day entertainment, there is always something exciting to explore in this vibrant city. 

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the 10-8 Café Evansville, known for its delightful menu and welcoming atmosphere. As you venture out, make sure to visit the Children's Museum of Evansville (CMOE Evansville), where interactive exhibits and educational fun await. This Evansville kids' museum is perfect for families looking for engaging and educational activities.

Indoor fun is abundant as well, with places like Kid City USA Evansville offering great options for younger visitors. For those seeking adult entertainment, the local breweries and dining spots provide ample opportunities for enjoyment. Couples can find romantic spots and activities that make Evansville a great destination for a getaway.

Whether you're traveling from Columbus, Ohio to Evansville, Indiana, or you're a local exploring your backyard, Evansville's charm is undeniable. The city's blend of history, culture, and modern attractions ensures there are always fun things to do in Evansville, making it a must-visit destination. So pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to discover what Evansville Indiana is known for – its welcoming spirit and unforgettable experiences.

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On weekends, Evansville offers various activities catering to all ages and interests. You can visit the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, one of the country's oldest zoos which offers a chance to see animals from around the world. For those interested in history, the Evansville Wartime Museum provides insights into the city's significant role in manufacturing during WWII. Additionally, families can enjoy the Children's Museum of Evansville, which provides interactive and educational exhibits for kids.

2. What are the operating hours of the Evansville Museum?

The Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science offers a diverse experience with its art, history, and science exhibits. It's important to check their official website or contact them directly as museum hours can vary, especially during special events or exhibitions.

3. Can you tell me about the Evansville train museum?

The Evansville train museum, often integrated with the broader exhibits at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, includes displays related to the historical significance of rail transport in the region. Visitors can enjoy a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits that detail the city's industrial and locomotive history.

4. Is there an indoor playground in Evansville?

Yes, Evansville has several options for indoor play, including the popular cMoe (Children’s Museum of Evansville) which features areas designed to foster play-based learning. Another venue, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, provides a fun and active indoor environment with various activities including a rock wall and dodgeball.

5. What is Evansville, Indiana known for?

Evansville is known for its rich industrial history, particularly during WWII, when it was a hub for manufacturing war supplies like the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes. It's also known for its educational museums like the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, and the Children's Museum of Evansville, which provide cultural and historical insights into the region.


Emily Carter

With over 10 years of experience, Emily is a seasoned expert in planning bespoke tours across the United States and Canada, with a specialization in eco-tourism and adventure travel.