Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.
| |

17 Best Things to Do in Evansville, Indiana

Are you looking for the best activities to do in and around Evansville, Indiana? Whether you’re a fan of the arts, a history buff, or a foodie, this guide will help you discover the best things to do in Evansville.

From the bustling downtown streets to the serene woods of Angel Mounds, Evansville has plenty of fun things to do. Get ready to uncover Evansville’s hidden gems and top attractions!

Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, Evansville, Indiana

Top Things to Do in Evansville

1. Visit the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden

Giraffe at Mesker Park Zoo, Evansville, Indiana

Opened in 1928, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the state. This 45 acre zoo is home to over 700 animals from around the world.

As you make your way through Mesker Park Zoo, you’ll travel from South America to North America to Africa to Asia. Along the way, you’ll see thousands of exotic and regional botanic species adorning the zoo.

Some of the zoo’s best animals include howler monkeys, a tapir, a rhino, a double-humped camel, a Sichuan takin, ostrich, giraffes, zebras, Mexican gray wolves, a Komodo Dragon, and over a dozen Humboldt Penguins.

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

Train at the Evansville Museum Transportation Center at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, & Science, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

The Evansville Museum of Arts, History, & Science has its origins in the Ladies Literary Club formed in 1874, who encouraged the study of art in Evansville.

The museum’s permanent exhibits include: the Crescent Galleries, which highlights landscape, still life, genre works, and portraiture from American and European works from the 16th through the 20th centuries; Rivertown USA, which looks at 19th century life in this city on the Ohio River; the Humankind Gallery, which highlights anthropology and world cultures; Early Evansville Hisotry and Lincoln; Arms for Victory Gallery, which highlights Evansville’s role during WWII; and the Evansville Museum Transportation Center located just across the parking lot, exploring transportation in Southern Indiana in the 20th century.

You can also visit the Koch Immersive Theater & Planetarium for a trip through space, and the Welborn Baptist Hands-On Science Center for immersive discovery.

The museum features a regular schedule of rotating exhibits that explore different aspects of art, history, and science.

3. Tour the Reitz Home Museum

Reitz Home Museum, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

The Reitz Home Museum is a Victorian mansion located in Evansville’s Riverside Historic District in Downtown. This 1871 home is a beautiful example of the French Second Empire style.

Take a step back in time with the mansion’s silk damask-covered walls, hand-painted ceilings, molded plaster friezes, and hand-laid wood parquet floors. The home is mostly decorated with original period furniture.

The home is open for tours through the year. On a tour, you’ll get to see 12 rooms and two floors of the mansion.

4. See the USS LST-325 WWII Landing Ship

USS LST-325 WWII Landing Ship, Evansville, Indiana
Wikideas1, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the USS LST-325 Memorial at the Evansville riverfront to see the only operational LST (Landing Ship Tank) in WWII configuration that’s afloat in US waters.

The ship makes its home in Evansville and is open for tours 11 months out of the year. Every year in late summer/early fall, though, she sails to visit other ports, so be sure to check the calendar to be sure the ship is docked in Evansville when you visit.

You’ll get a guided tour of this fully operational ship, including a trip to the Main Deck, Troop Berthing, Tank Deck, Mess Deck, Galley, Stern of ship (Guns and Anchor), Wheel House, Officer’s Country, and the Captain’s Cabin.

5. Gamble at Bally’s Evansville

Bally's Evansville Hotel & Casino, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

If you’re a gambler, try out Bally’s Evansville, a casino in Downtown Evansville. Formerly the Aztec Casino then the Tropicana, this was the first casino in the state of Indiana.

The casino also used to be exclusively a riverboat casino, but the boat as since set sail from the city. (A riverboat cruise does make a stop in Evansville now though.)

The casino is coupled with the Bally’s Evansville Hotel and it connects to the Downtown Waterfront Entertainment District.

6. Find the Ghosts at Willard Library

Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana

Willard Library is the oldest public library in the state, and it may be the most haunted. Inside its beautiful Gothic Revival walls are local archives, standard publications, 19th century artwork, and the ghost of the Grey Lady.

Reports of the Gray Lady ghost date back to the late 1930s. She has made herself known to librarians, custodians, visiting lecturers, library patrons, psychics and ghost hunters, and even the Evansville police.

Many people report seeing the Grey Lady in the basement of the building near and around the children’s section.

Every year, the library hosts a Ghost Tour to search for the Grey Lady. You can even watch for her on their Grey Lady Ghost Cameras.

7. Enjoy the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival

West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, Evansville, Indiana

During the first full week of every October, the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival welcomes 200,000 guests a day to the city’s popular week-long street festival.

The west side of town has been hosting fall festivals since 1918, and the Nut Club took over organization of the festivals in 1921. The festival features carnival attractions, local entertainment, and a parade.

But the most important part of the Fall Festival is the food: donut burgers, brain sandwiches, and deep-fried everything are the fan-favorites. You’re going to want a Munchie Map for this.

8. Visit the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse

Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, Evansville, Indiana

The Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse is an 1888 German Beaux-Arts masterpiece. This massive building occupies an entire block in Downtown Evansville.

There are 14 statues surrounding the courthouse, which were all carved onsite. The bell tower dominates the city’s skyline at 216 feet tall. Both President Harry Truman and President John F. Kennedy have given speeches from the courthouse steps.

The city government offices moved from the old courthouse in 1969. The building has since become a home for private businesses and a highly sought-after events space for weddings. You can visit the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse during normal business hours to have a look around at the restored interior.

9. See a Game at Bosse Field

Bosse Field, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

Bosse Field is the home of the Evansville Otters, a Frontier League baseball team. Named for Evansville mayor Benjamin Bosse, Bosse Field is the third-oldest ballpark still in regular use for professional baseball (after Fenway Park and Wrigley Field). It opened in 1915 and was the first municipally-owned sports stadium in the US.

The Evansville Otters were established in 1995 and are the oldest current team in the Frontier League. They’ve won two championships and have reached the playoffs in 9 seasons.

And if you’re a fan of A League of Their Own you might recognize Bosse Field. It was used as the filming location for game scenes in the popular movie.

10. Visit the University of Evansville Campus

University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana

The University of Evansville has a beautiful campus (and I might be a little biased because it’s my alma mater).

The university was started in 1854 as the Moores Hill Male and Female Collegiate Institute, and it was the 5th co-ed college in the US. The college was in Moores Hill, Indiana near Cincinnati until 1917 when it moved to Evansville, since Evansville was the only city in Indiana without an accredited college within a 50-mile radius. It went by the name Evansville College until 1967 when it was renamed as the University of Evansville.

Now, it’s one of the top universities in the Midwest!

11. Spend a Day at Burdette Park

Burdette Aquatic Center, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

Burdette Park is 170 acres of scenic hills and fun recreation.

In the summer, you can cool off at the Aquatic Center with an Olympic-sized pool, diving boards, slides, and a spray park.

Year-round, you can camp at the park, the the 3-mile paved USI-Burdette Trail, visit the Upside Down House (or the Fantasy House) playhouse in the Magical Garden, play on the two playgrounds, or enjoy some pickleball.

12. Take a Walk in Wesselman Woods Nature Center

Wesselman Woods Nature Center is a National Natural Landmark and a State Nature Preserve that has nearly 200 acres of virgin bottom land hardwood forest. This is the largest old growth forest inside city limits in the US.

When you visit Wesselman Woods, you’re walking in the remnant of Southern Indiana’s original forest.

The nature preserve features over 6 miles of walking trails. The adjacent park features a golf course, basketball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, softball fields, and a playground.

13. Visit the Angel Mounds State Historic Site

Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

Angel Mounds State Historic Site is one of the best-preserved, pre-contact Native American sites in North America.

This ancient city was built between A.D. 1000 and 1450 and had over 1,000 residents. The original town covered 103 acres. The earthen mounds that remain today were built to elevate important buildings. This town was an important religious, political, and trade center.

The historic site includes an interpretive center, recreations of Mississippian buildings, and a reconstruction of the 1939 Works Progress Administration archaeology lab. There is also a nature preserve with hiking and biking trails, as well as a disk golf course.

14. Visit the Evansville African American Museum

Evansville African American Museum, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

The Evansville African American Museum is a cultural center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and educating about the history and traditions of African Americans.

The museum dives deep into the stories of local black histories from 1820 to the present. Exhibitions explore the 1960 & 1961 Indiana Jazz Festival, the Underground Railroad in Southern Indiana, and the history of Evansville’s primary African American neighborhood called Baptisttown.

The museum sits on the former site of the Lincoln Gardens housing development, the second Federal Housing Project created in 1938 under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. the apartments provided low-cost housing for African-Americans. The Evansville African American Museum was able to save a building from demolition in 1997, and now a preserved section of the original apartments showcases life during the 1930s.

15. Drink a Beer at Myriad Brewing Company

Beer at Myriad Brewing Company, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

Myriad Brewing Company has been brewing in Downtown Evansville in 2019 in the historic McCurdy building.

They have a myriad of choices (get it?), including their own in-house beer ranging from IPAs to Sours, cider, domestic beers, seltzers, wine, and spirits.

The brewery has an indoor taproom that is 21+ and an all-ages outdoor patio. They partner with local food trucks and have an on-going schedule of something delicious rolling through.

16. Play Some Games at the High Score Saloon

Pinball machines at High Score Saloon, Evansville, Indiana
Photography by Alex Morgan Imaging via e is for everyone

High Score Saloon is a fun arcade bar on Main Street in Downtown Evansville. This space is packed with your favorite arcade games, drinks, and light bites.

There are dozens of games you can play. Their arcade games are free to play, the pinball machines take quarters and vary in price, and they also have Nintendo consoles that are free to play.

At the bar, they have over 40 drink options, including beers on tap, rotating cans, cocktails, and mixed drinks. Their food menu has light snacks and bites like tots, hotdogs, sandwiches, pretzels, chips and salsa, and nachos.

17. Drive by the Roseanne House

Roseanne House, Evansville, Indiana

The home used for the opening shot of the hit TV show Roseanne was filmed right here in Evansville! The creator of the show is an Evansville native.

The exterior of this private residence was used as the facade of the Connor home. Only the exterior was used, though, and the interior was a set. Other scenes from the show include the exterior of 1200 Edgar St. as The Lobo Lounge, the Third & Delaware street sign at the intersection of 900 W. Delaware St. and 700 3rd Ave. (the sign has gotten an upgrade in years since, though), and the exterior of St. Boniface Catholic Church at 418 N. Wabash Ave. as the Connors’ church.

You can find the Roseanne house at 619 S Runnymeade Avenue. Please remember this is a private residence, so be respectful of the owners!

Things to Do in Evansville Map

Ready to explore all these fun things to do in Evansville, Indiana? Use the map below to help plan out your trip!

I hope you found this guide to fun things to do in Evansville helpful! Have a great time exploring Evansville!

Where to Stay in Evansville

Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Evansville, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

More Evansville Itineraries

Looking for more fun things to do on your trip to Evansville, Indiana? Check out these top posts:

Ready to visit Evansville, Indiana? Plan your trip with these tips.



7 Things to Do in Evansville, Indiana

What are your favorite things to do in Evansville, Indiana? Tell me about them in the comments!

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *