10 Best Things To Do in Lafayette (Indiana)
By Waleed M | Updated May 13th, 2022
If you haven’t heard of Lafayette, Indiana, you’re probably thinking it’s just another small town in the Midwest with little to offer. This couldn’t be further from the truth! While this small city of only 70,000 residents might not get a lot of headlines, there are many reasons why you should visit Lafayette during your next trip to the Midwest or during your next trip to the South. Here are 10 reasons why Lafayette, Indiana is worth visiting!
Haan Museum of Indiana Art
Located on Mass Ave. in downtown Lafayette, Haan Museum has displayed over 2,000 years of art from all across America and beyond from the 19th century to the present day. The building itself, being a 1904 world fair mansion is amazing to look at.
Check out their Nature trail and Sculpture gardens for a relaxing stroll around the outside of the mansion. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for something to do with friends on a Saturday afternoon, check out Haan Museum of Art! No matter what your favorite type of art is, you’ll surely find something to enjoy at Haan.
Columbian Park Zoo
One of Lafayette’s oldest attractions, Columbian Park Zoo has welcomed visitors since 1904. The zoo houses more than 2,000 animals from all over the world in naturalistic habitats. Kids especially enjoy petting stations and camel rides.
For an extra fee, you can even meet some adorable meerkats up close. If you visit on a weekend, you might be able to catch one of their animal shows. A favorite among the little ones is looking at butterflies. Don’t miss out on that opportunity! It’s sure to be memorable! If you love animals and are looking for something fun to do with your family while visiting Lafayette, Indiana, make sure to check out Columbian Park Zoo!
Wildcat Creek Winery
Founded in 1999 by husband and wife team Greg and Tammy Rautenberg, Wildcat Creek Winery sits on a picturesque 20-acre homestead just outside of town. In addition to hosting music festivals throughout the year (including Great American Brass Band Festival and Music Under The Stars), Wildcat Creek also offers public tours.
There’s no better way to relax after a long day in downtown Lafayette than with a glass of fine wine at one of these relaxing events.
Clegg Memorial Garden
A must-see if you’re visiting Lafayette is Clegg Memorial Garden. Located in West Lafayette, it’s perfect for walking and discovering little nooks that reveal tranquil corners and stunning scenery.
It’s free to visit Clegg Memorial Garden when you go to Purdue University as well—but most students don’t take advantage of it. This lush oasis is not only beautiful but offers plenty of opportunities to learn about plant life and botany. On your next trip, be sure to stop by Clegg Memorial Garden!
Sell It Here Inc
There are many reasons why Sell It Here INC has become one of our region’s most sought-after independent merchants. Whether you are searching for a new adventure or looking to find something new at your favorite store, it’s time to Sell It Here!
Our locally owned and operated stores offer great products at fair prices—all with a smile. Stop by and browse around, to see what treasures you can find. Our business is different from any other in town: we believe in giving back to those who live here and have fun while doing it!
The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
Like many small American cities, Lafayette boasts an art museum. The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette is an impressive facility that sits on the banks of the Wabash River. It features pieces from French impressionists and Dutch masters alike, as well as contemporary pieces. Enjoy one of their free concerts. Many have called it one of the finest museums in America’s heartland—but don’t take our word for it; see for yourself!
You’ll find the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette at 1500 State Street in downtown Lafayette. (Note: This address is actually on the north side of the river, just across from downtown.) The museum hosts several events throughout the year. Check out its website to learn more about these special events or view its schedule to learn when you can enjoy one of its music series’ or exhibits!
Bask Aroma Co. located at 953 Park East Blvd Suite B Lafayette, IN 47905 offers a unique experience where you customize your own scents. Choose your personal favorites from their vast array of fragrances (with a little help from their personal scent stylist) and create your own branded candles, room sprays, and other toiletries.
They package your creations in such an eco-friendly way it will make each one look like a work of art. If you like their signature fragrances you can even find them on Amazon to keep the scents alive.
People’s Brewing Company
Established in 2010, People’s Brewing Company offers small-batch brews like their flagship Pilsner and Scotch ale. Head on over to People’s Brewing Company for an afternoon of great beer and good company. In addition to tours and tastings they also offer free beer! Free beer?! I’m in.
The Artists’ Own building itself has over 50 artists in-house at any given time. Artists’ Own also holds art exhibitions featuring works by local and regional artists throughout their three galleries, so that you can enjoy some of Indianapolis’ finest work up close.
You can find pieces from photography to sculpture to paintings and more. And if you like what you see? You can take home a masterpiece with you or arrange for an artist to create something special just for you!
If you want to do some quick shopping on your visit to Lafayette, Tippecanoe Mall is located in downtown Lafayette. Here you can find mid-range brands as well as major retailers such as Macy’s and JC Penney.
It’s also worth noting that most of Tippecanoe Mall have free WiFi. There are even a few restaurants within walking distance of Tippecanoe Mall if you need a break from walking around. The mall is also connected to several hotels, making it easy for travelers to stay close by while they shop.
Monster Mini Golf
Created with over-the-top and outlandish fun in mind, Monster Mini Golf was developed to challenge your putt-putt skills while also providing you with an entirely unique experience. Their glow-in-the-dark lights along with air conditioning give off the perfect ambiance for an enjoyable round of mini-golf.
Your imagination takes control as you tour through six different holes with themes such as Dracula’s Haunted Castle and Egypt. Make sure to have your camera ready—we’re almost certain that you won’t want to leave without some epic photos! This mini-golf course is simply one of a kind.
Main Street Amusements
If you’re traveling to Lafayette, Indiana with children in tow, prepare for an entertaining afternoon of arcade games and snacks at Main Street Amusements. This classic arcade has been operating since 1985 and offers up some new favorites alongside its original cabinets. With a range of both kid-friendly favorites and adult retro classics, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your tastes at Main Street Amusements.
If you’re looking for something more adventure-based when visiting Lafayette, I recommend taking your business colleagues to Rugged Xscape. This escape room provides an immersive game that tests your problem-solving skills as you work together to get out of a locked room in under 60 minutes. It’s well worth an afternoon trip from Indianapolis—and it might just give your team-building exercises new life.
The price includes one hour and five rooms (with varying levels of difficulty), so there’s plenty of time to bring friends or family along. In fact, groups are encouraged to bring multiple people so they can compete against each other during their time at Rugged Xscape. Afterward, head over to Bar Louie at Union Station for dinner and drinks!
Painting with a Twist
In addition to being known as The Gateway to Purdue University and Cradle of Astronauts, Lafayette is also home to what some call one of the coolest painting spots in town. Painting with a Twist features two locations—one in Tippecanoe Mall and another right across from The Chateau on Main Street.
Each hour-long session includes instruction and all supplies needed for you to create your own masterpiece. Enjoy with the kids or try their wine and painting night and enjoy with your friends.
Tee Off Golf Driving Range
This is not your average golf driving range. Tee Off offers 18 holes of miniature golf on real grass, complete with chipping and putting greens. There are also video games and other activities for those who aren’t into golf. Tee Off Golf Driving Range has been open since 1955 and continues to be family-owned today. This place will make you feel like you stepped into a time machine.
Lafayette’s Downtown district is also brimming with exciting and fun things to do. Stay in a hotel overlooking State Street or grab lunch at one of more than 30 restaurants. Grab some friends and spend an afternoon exploring Downtown Lafayette; you’ll be glad you did! On your next trip, skip the big cities on your itinerary and make sure to visit Lafayette Indiana, instead.