21 Fun Things to Do in Elkhart (Indiana)

In addition to being home to the county fair, Elkhart, Indiana, is also known for various events, such as the Jazz Festival. 

There are also several museums in the area, and the town is close to one of the largest known Amish communities in the world.

Besides museums, several other attractions in the city are designed to keep everyone entertained, including a botanic garden and Indiana’s largest garden center.

There are countless things to do in Elkhart, Indiana, and this article will highlight some of these things!

Where is Elkhart, Indiana?

Elkhart is located in Indiana’s Elkhart County. It is approximately 15 miles east of South Bend and around 110 miles from Chicago, Illinois.

It is also about 150 miles from Indianapolis, Indiana. Due to its location, it has the largest population of the two main cities in the area, which are part of a statistical region known as Michiana.

The city had a population of 53,923 during the census of 2020. Although it is the most populated city in the county, it does not have a county seat. 

The city has a total area of approximately 24.417 square miles. This includes land and water. 

The land area is around 23.45 square miles, while the water area is about 0.967 square miles.

Fun Things to Do in Elkhart, Indiana

1. National New York Central Railroad Museum

The National New York Railroad Museum was established in 1987 to commemorate the glory days of America’s railways. 

It was established to preserve the heritage of the New York Central System. The museum features a variety of artifacts related to the railroad system.

The National New York Central Railroad has approximately 11,000 miles of track and crosses through 11 states and two provinces in Canada. 

In 1851, the railroad made its way to the city of Elkhart, Indiana. It played a vital role in connecting the Midwest and Atlantic Coast.

Address: The National New York Railroad Museum is located at 721 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516.

See Also: Best Things to Do In Duluth, GA

2. Secret Door Games

One of the best places to visit in the city of Elkhart is Secret Door Games, which was established in 2015.

Over the years, this store has grown and is regarded as one of the leading books, graphic novels, and gifts retailers.

In addition to being a great place to browse for books, Secret Door Games offers a wide selection of toys and comics. 

This store’s staff is amiable and has a variety of great items to choose from.

Address: Secret Door Games is at 215 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516.

3. Antonio’s

Photo by Antonio’s

If you’re in the market for a good restaurant in Elkhart, look no further than Antonio’s, known for its authentic Southern Italian meals. 

This establishment uses the finest ingredients and serves its meals with passion.

The restaurant was founded in 1966 by the Cataldo family, who brought their Italian branch to the US. 

Antonio’s offers a variety of food options, such as chicken breast, burrata, and mozzarella sticks. 

It also serves various types of pizza, such as the Italian stallion, the margarita pizza, and the tony Russo pizza.

Address: Antonio’s is at 1105 Goshen Ave, Elkhart, IN 46516.

4. Signature Lanes

The Signature Lanes facility is a great place to spend time with family and friends. 

It offers various games and activities, such as laser light cosmic bowling. This facility is also known for its competitive leagues.

The restaurant also offers an arcade room that can be used for various games. 

It additionally has a meeting room that can be used for corporate functions. This facility features a variety of equipment such as a projector and a table.

Address: The Signature Lanes is at 1180 Fremont Ct, Elkhart, IN 46516.

5. Linton’s Enchanted Gardens

One of the best places to visit in the city of Elkhart is the beautiful and unique Linton’s Enchanted Gardens. 

This facility often called the Disney of Garden Centers, features over 9 acres of outdoor displays. 

This garden center is also known for its large indoor shopping area.

The store’s indoor location features a wide selection of women’s accessories, jewelry, and rare gifts. 

It also has a variety of seasonal and personalized items. In addition, the store’s staff members are amiable and can help you find the perfect gift. 

The store’s interactive feature, the Enchanted Gardens, allows children to explore the gardens through its train.

Address: Linton’s Enchanted Gardens is located at 315 County Rd 17, Elkhart, IN 46516.

6. Eastlake Athletic Club

The Eastlake Athletic Club is a fitness center that features a variety of equipment that can be used for different types of activities. 

It also offers tennis lessons and personal training sessions. This facility is additionally known for its basketball and racquetball courts.

Address: The Eastlake Athletic Club is located at 3400 Henke Street, Elkhart, IN 46514.

7. Wellfield Botanic Gardens

One of the best places to visit in the city of Elkhart is the Wellfield Botanic Gardens. 

This beautiful facility spans over 30 acres and features a pond with various sculptures, flora, and fauna. It also has a variety of seating areas and gardens.

The Wellfield Botanic Gardens is a nonprofit organization funded by donations, grants, and private donations. 

It also has various themed garden areas. Some of these include a Japanese island garden and a Children’s garden.

Address: The Wellfield Botanic Gardens is located at 1011 N Main St, Elkhart, IN 46514.

8. Ruthmere

Originally referred to as the city’s heart, Ruthmere underwent several renovations to attract more visitors. 

The facility features two historic properties that offer a unique experience of art, architecture, and history.

Ruthmere was built in 1908 and constructed in memory of Elizabeth and Albert Beardsley’s daughter, Ruth, who passed away at seven months.

Address: Ruthmere is at 302 E Beardsley Ave, Elkhart, IN 46514.

9. Five-Star Dive Bar

Photo from Open Table

If you’re planning on visiting the city of Elkhart for a family or group event, check out Five Star Dive Bar.

This local establishment was founded in 2012 and served a wide variety of food and drinks. 

It has been known to provide the public with high-quality meals made by the best local chefs. 

Some of the menu items that the restaurant has been known to serve often include chicken quesadillas, shrimp tacos, and the Atlantic cod basket.

The staff members of Five Star Dive Bar are amicable and professional when it comes to taking orders. 

The restaurant also hosts various live entertainment events. These include comedy shows and trivia nights.

Address: Five-Star Dive Bar is located at 526 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516-3237.

10. Quilt Gardens

Photo by JR P via Flickr

The Quilt Gardens is a multi-faceted facility with 16 large gardens and over a million blooms from May to September.

It also features hand-painted murals that are inspired by quilts. This unique event is held along the Heritage Trail. 

The gardens are located along a series of roads that are part of the trail. This unique combination of art, gardening, and quilting has formed a one-of-a-kind experience.

Indiana’s quilt garden has a unique design and pattern that sets it apart from the others. These gardens are known to have attracted thousands of visitors each year.

Address: The Quilt Gardens is at 3421 Cassopolis St, Elkhart, IN 46514.

11. The Lerner Theater

The Harry E. Lerner Theater was constructed on November 24, 1924, on Main St., in Elkhart. 

It underwent several changes before the city purchased it in 1990. 

The city purchased the facility from Ruth Miller in 1990 to save it from potential damages caused by the vacancy.

The people of the city of Elkhart came together to form a nonprofit organization that was able to operate the facility. 

The organization’s goal was to establish a performing arts center in the city.

Address: The Lerner Theater is at 410 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516.

See Also: Best Things to Do in Quincy IL

12. Midwest Museum of American Art

Photo by Paul Sableman via Wikimedia

The Midwest Museum of American Art is a prominent art facility that can be found in the downtown district of the city of Elkhart. 

This facility is a must-visit for anyone who is an avid art lover.

The museum features over seven thousand works of art mainly focused on the 19th and 21st centuries. 

It also has over a thousand other art pieces displayed throughout the year.

Address: The Midwest Museum of American Art is at 429 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516.

13. RV-MH Hall of Fame and Museum

The Hall of Fame for RV-MH features various historic vehicles, such as the Winnebago, and the iconic American brand, Airstream. 

The museum also shows the history of the manufactured housing industry, which started during the First World War.

The Rv Founders Hall features various artifacts from the 1920s to 1930s. These include ancient trailers and photos. 

The exhibit hall also features photos, illustrations, and products from the RV industry. One of the oldest exhibits in the museum is the 1913 Earl Travel trailer.

Address: The RV-MH Hall of Fame is at 21565 Executive Pkwy, Elkhart, IN 46514.

14. Southgate Crossing

One of the most significant construction projects in the country that’s made using the Amish method of peg-and-beam building is the Southgate Crossing. 

This facility is a retail center serving as a meeting point for locals and tourists.

The building, constructed in 2006, was worth over $4 million. It features a total of 51,000 square feet of retail space. 

It was opened in 2007 and had over 90 outdoor and indoor booths.

The facility is designed to provide the public with various goods and services. It also has a family-friendly atmosphere focused on delivering a great experience.

Address: The Southgate Crossing is at 27751 Co Rd 26, Elkhart, IN 46517.

15. Elkhart Environmental Center

The Learning Center was established in 1991 to provide various educational programs and events. It also has volunteer opportunities.

The Environmental Center in the city of Elkhart is also known for its wildlife. This facility is part of a larger river system over 120 acres.

It features five wetlands that are designed to provide habitats for wildlife. These wetlands also help reduce the amount of stormwater entering the area.

Address: The Elkhart Environmental Center is at 1717 E Lusher Ave, Elkhart, IN 46516.

16. Simonton Lake

One of the best places to fish in Indiana is Lake Michigan. It’s filled with various types of fish, such as largemouth bass, bluegills, and walleyes. 

You can also explore the area by hiking or going boat fishing.

Address: The Simonton Lake is at N Cassopolis Street Elkhart, IN 46514.

17. Walker Park

Walker Park is a charming park mainly visited by people who enjoy having fun. 

This facility features a fun playground that provides the kids with an exciting and safe environment.

This park also features a walking trail that can be used for different activities. It’s additionally equipped with a multi-purpose sports field.

Address: The Walker Park is at 3419 E Bristol Street Elkhart, IN 46514.

18. Island Park

Island Park is a beautiful park located in the city of Elkhart. It features various play equipment designed to provide the kids with an exciting and safe environment.

This park also features various areas that can be used for different activities, such as a volleyball court, a walking trail, and a drinking fountain. 

It additionally has picnic shelters that can be used for gatherings.

Address: The Island Park is at N Main St & E Sycamore St, Elkhart, IN 46516.

19. NIBCO Water and Ice Park

The NIBCO Water and Ice Park is an excellent place for families to gather and have a great time. It features various areas that can be used for different activities.

Besides the ice and water park, this facility also features a circular pond and a trail. 

It’s an excellent place for people to gather and have a good time. The staff members at the NIBCO Water and Ice Park provide a variety of snacks and beverages.

Address: This park is at 301 Nibco Pkwy, Elkhart, IN 46516.

20. Westwind Brewery

Westwind Brewery is a local business dedicated to providing its customers with the best possible experience. 

The staff members are friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere inside the facility will surprise you.

Westwind Brewery has a variety of different beverages that are available for purchase. 

Some of their offerings include the Persephone Amber, Twenty-Four Elders, and Better Days Raspberry Wheat.

Address: The Westwind Brewery is at 911 Plum St, Elkhart, IN 46514.

21. ETHOS Innovation Center

One of the best things to do in the city of Elkhart is to visit ETHOS Innovation Center. This virtual learning facility provides students with an opportunity to explore various subjects.

Students can connect science to everyday life through the facility’s various programs. 

In addition, it features a variety of interactive games and activities that encourage them to think critically and creatively.

Address: The ETHOS Innovation Center is located at 1025 N Michigan St, Elkhart, IN 46514.