Ready for another fun day trip? This month, we added another county to my Explore Indiana series. Delaware County has been on the list of upcoming visits for a while now, but I had been putting it off until the Bob Ross Experience at Minnetrista was open. It’s open, so the time had finally come to explore Muncie and Delaware County!
History and art come together
One of the jewels of Muncie is absolutely Minnetrista. Not only is Minnetrista a museum and community center of sorts, but it’s also the home of the former Ball mansions and gardens. And there is always something interesting going on at Minnetrista.
The grounds are lovely to walk and include a variety of different areas inclduing a nature area, rain garden, rose garden and more. There is even a community garden where visitors are welcome to pick and enjoy whatever is in season. We gathered a few winter greens to add to our next salad!
Oakhurst is the name of the former home of George and Frances Ball (yes, of the famous Ball jars) and it is a gorgeous home to tour. The woodwork is amazing and it’s beautifully restored. My favorite room was the library – so warm and cozy with a “hidden” door in one of the bookshelves that led to a delightful porch. Super cool.
Next door to Oakhurst is where Minnetrista is currently housing the Bob Ross experience. If you know and love Bob Ross (and who doesn’t), checking out this exhibit is a real treat. This home is where he filmed most of the seasons of his iconic “They Joy of Painting.” (1983 – 1988). The studio has been recreated with lots of little tidbits about Bob Ross and the show. There are also dozens of his paintings on display.
Grab a delicious bite to eat
Muncie has quite a few tasty options, but on this day trip, we decided to check out Elm Street Brewing. Located in an older part of town, at first we were a bit unsure about entering, but once inside we were blown away. The brewery is eclectically decorated with a variety of interesting items and has so many wonderful touches. Everything from unique lighting fixtures to the food served on thrift shop china. We loved it.
And the food. So good. My husband and I split a tenderloin (which I’d been craving for months) and a flight of beer. Both were delicious. So good that we brought some friends back the next week to enjoy another meal and flight! We decided to stick with their beers for our flight although they do have a really nice guest list. I especially enjoyed the Doom Zumba (kettle sour with honeydew, cucumber, and mint) – so refreshing.
Just down the street is another fun brewery, The Guardian, so we made a quick stop to check it out. Also located in an old building, this brewery served flatbreads (which looked and smelled delicious), their own beers, and a few fun beer cocktails. I loved the bar seating at the large open door and we enjoyed a bit of sunshine and a drink at this stop.
Kids love Muncie too!
We didn’t visit on this trip, but when our kiddos were younger we took them to the Muncie Children’s Museum and they really enjoyed the experience. It felt like it was geared towards ages 3 – 10ish so that might be a nice option instead of the breweries we visited if your kids are small.
Ball State University
Of course, if you visit Muncie, a tour of Ball State University is a must. As both my husband and I got our undergraduate degrees at Ball State (many years ago), we really enjoyed checking out the campus.
Although much has changed since we were there, a lot was still the same. Visiting college campuses is always something I enjoy and being back on one I spent several years at was a real treat! Plus Ball State is a beautiful campus to check out.
Chocolate and wine to end the day
With just a little free time left in the day, we headed over to Tonne Winery (rhymes with “sunny” ). I appreciated the way the tastings were done as flights (due to COVID). We selected 5 wines/ciders/slushies to try and they were put in glasses and numbered. We were then able to them outside and try them at our leisure while enjoying the expansive patio.
Whenever we visit Delaware county, a stop at Lowery’s is a must. This chocolate shop has been in business making homemade chocolates since 1941. When we were broke college kids, a box of Lowery’s chocolates was ALWAYS a much appreciated birthday or holiday gift.
Of course a variety of goodies made their way home with us – perfect to enjoy later and share with the kids!
What a perfect day in Delaware County, right? Definitely worthy of adding to my Explore Indiana series!
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