Are you looking for fun things to do in Greencastle Indiana? Well on our latest Indiana day trip (as part of the Explore Indiana series), we found plenty of fun things to do.
With just a few free hours, we targeted most of our time in Greencastle proper, but there are actually plenty of other things to do in Putnam County Indiana. Ready for some Greencastle Indiana things to do?
With a thriving downtown, 10K plus residents, and the home of DePauw University, there are actually quite a few things to do in Greencastle Indiana.
1. Shopping in Greencastle Indiana
What to do in Greencastle Indiana? Start in downtown Greencastle Indiana, which is home to a number of charming boutiques. I was pleasantly surprised at how many options for shopping we found. It was fun to walk around the courthouse and see what we could discover.
Downtown Greencastle even had a little bookstore and Starbucks on the corner – probably because it’s so close to a university – still not something you see in most small Indiana downtowns.
The Starbucks looks like a fantastic place to study – I especially love the seating overlooking the bookstore. And if you like college gear, it’s for sure the place to stock up on anything and everything related to DePauw University.
I love to support any local business, so we ducked inside all of the open boutiques we could find and even managed to contribute to the local economy a bit.
2. Spend time exploring DePauw University
Just a short drive (or even a walk) from downtown Greencastle is DePauw University. DePauw is a private liberal arts university with an excellent reputation in Indiana. There are about 2000 students on campus and it has all the activities you’d expect at a university – just on a smaller scale.
Just wandering around a college campus is always one of my favorite things to do. There is just something about a college campus, right? There is always something going on, and so much energy!
DePauw University, 313 S. Locust Street, Greencastle, IN
3. Periodic Museum of the Elements
A very interesting and unique display at DePauw University is the Periodic Museum. Located in the Julian Science Center, it’s at the top of the stairs on the third floor. I had a bit of trouble finding it as it wasn’t marked and none of the folks I asked knew! But it’s literally just at the top of the stairs – it just took me some time to figure that out.
For anyone interested at all in science, it’s worth a look. Taking up a portion of the wall, each element has a box that contains an example of that element – a very interesting and unique way to look at the periodic table.
Here’s a quick video to help you get a better feel for what it’s like.
Periodic Museum of the Elements, 602 S. College Ave. Greencastle, IN
4. Richard E. Peeler Arts Center
Another worthwhile stop at DePauw University is checking out the Galleries at Peeler. A striking building on campus, the Peeler Arts Center was designed by architect, Carlos Jimenez and contains three separate galleries.
The galleries host a variety of exhibitions (about ten different ones annually) that are open to the public for free. The building also has a 90-seat auditorium, so check out the schedule to see if anything is showing when you plan on visiting.
Richard E. Peeler Arts Center, 10 W Hanna St. Greencastle, IN
4. Putnam County Museum
A bit out of town we discovered the Putnam County Museum. Unlike many of the county museums that we’ve explored that were housed in historic buildings, the Putnam County Museum appears to be in an old store.
Although the building itself lacks the history of many other county museums we’ve explored, it makes up for it with its spaciousness. There is plenty of room for multiple exhibits sharing the history of the area, and it was probably my favorite attraction in Greencastle proper.
We learned quite a bit about Putnam County – for instance, apparently, there was once a large IBM facility. I’ve worked for IBM for 25 years and I had no idea there was once a site in Greensburg!
We also really enjoyed the exhibits about an old department store that used to be a big employer and was located downtown. The ads and pictures from that era were fascinating. I remember shopping at the downtown department stores in Indianapolis as a kid and they were just a whole different shopping experience than today’s typical malls.
Putnam County Museum, 1105 N. Jackson St. Greencastle, IN
5. Check out the beautiful Cataract Falls
If you like to be outdoors, there are quite a few wonderful options in and near Greencastle Indiana.
A short 15-minute drive from Greencastle is one of the loveliest spots in Indiana, Cataract Falls. Not to be confused with the beautiful Cataract Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains, Cataract Falls is located inside the Lieber State Recreation Area and consists of two sets of waterfalls.
It’s a short drive (or lovely walk) from the upper falls to the lower falls and both are absolutely gorgeous year-round. They are considered the largest waterfalls in Indiana.
Although not an Indiana State Park, Lieber State Recreation Area has most of the same amenities. Lieber offers hiking trails, a lake (with boat access), playgrounds, an aquatic center, and more. On a lovely summer day, it’s a great Indiana day trip all on its own.
Cataract Falls, Off Country Road 1050 North 2605 N. Cataract Road, Indiana
6. Murals in Greencastle Indiana
For my mural-loving friends, there are some outstanding ones in Greencastle – definitely ‘gram-worthy. If it had been a warmer day on our last visit looking for and taking pictures of the murals would have been my favorite activity of the many free things to do in Greencastle Indiana.
As you enter the town, you can’t miss the painted silos. They are vibrant (even on a grey winter day) and a wonderful first glimpse of what you’ll discover in Greencastle.
Downtown is also home to several striking murals. I always enjoy walking downtown and coming across gorgeous murals – and more and more small towns are making the most of their downtowns by adding them!
7. DePauw Nature Park
After exploring the lovely murals, head back over to campus to check out the DePauw Nature Park. Just a little bit past their athletic facilities you’ll find this wonderful spot for hiking, spotting wildlife, and more.
The park has miles of hiking trails that meander through wooded areas, creeks, and along a river. There is even a biking trail for those who prefer to ride versus hike. Many locals and visitors will name this as their favorite Greencastle attraction.
DePauw Nature Park, 1400 W County Road 125 S. Greencastle, IN
Restaurants in Greencastle Indiana
Since it’s a college town, there are some really fantastic places to eat in Greencastle Indiana – much more than many small towns in the state.
8. Moore’s Bar & Grill
We chose to have lunch at Moore’s Bar and it was an excellent choice. Moore’s is everything a small-town bar should be.
We thoroughly enjoyed the super-friendly service and outstanding bar food (at very reasonable prices) along with the cozy atmosphere. One of the specialties is their tenderloin, so we split that along with some really good fried pickles!
Moore’s has been in downtown Greencastle for 75 years – how’s that for longevity? It was a cozy and friendly place, perfect for a crazy cold winter day!
Moore’s Bar & Grill, 17 S. Indiana St. Greencastle, IN
If you love a college restaurant then Marvin’s is the place for you. Marvin’s has been on DePauw’s campus since 1972 so it’s definitely a local institution.
If you ask a current or former student where they hung out while at DePauw – most of the time you’re going to hear Marvin’s. Order a burger and fried mushrooms and fit right in with the college crowd.
Marvin’s, 202 S. College Ave. Greencastle, IN
10. BreadWorks by Bridges
Since I love a good local coffee shop, I knew BreadWorks by Bridges would be our first stop in Greencastle.
The building is stunning inside and outside with plenty of terrific places to sit and visit or even get a little work done.
I really enjoyed my Americano and we split a small blueberry donut, BUT, the place had no bread. Like, absolutely no bread. We tried to order a breakfast sandwich to split and the employee told me that they had no bread that day. Apparently, their bakery has been sending bread to a variety of places and just didn’t have enough for their restaurant.
So, although I enjoyed the coffee and atmosphere, I can’t share much about their food, so I guess I’ll have to try it again someday.
BreadWorks by Bridges, 2 E. Walnut St. Greencastle, IN
11. Bridges Craft Pizza & Wine Bar
I’ve already got my sights set on a return visit to Greencastle to check out Bridges Craft Pizza & Wine Bar. I mean pizza? Wine? I’m in.
Plus, check out the rooftop patio – it is just screaming for a date night with a glass of wine on a gorgeous summer evening, right? I think that means my next visit will have to be in warmer weather. What a fun addition to your list of things to do in Greencastle Indiana for adults.
Bridges Craft Pizza & Wine Bar, 19 N. Indiana St. Greencastle, IN
Where to Stay in Greencastle Indiana
Ready to extend your stay in Greencastle Indiana? Based on what we discovered, I can easily picture a perfect little Indiana weekend getaway full of shopping, hiking, and delicious dining – especially as the weather gets warm.
👉 Book your stay at the nearby Holiday Inn Express!
If you prefer you can find a few local B&Bs or AirBnBs to rent, or even camping at Lieber State Recreation Center.
Where is Greencastle Indiana?
Greencastle Indiana is located slightly southwest of Indianapolis in Putnam County. There are several smaller towns in Putnam, but the city of Greencastle Indiana is the largest. It’s just over an hour from Indianapolis, so a perfect location for an Indiana day trip!
Map of Greencastle Indiana Things to Do
Check out this map of all the BEST things to do in Greencastle Indiana. It should help you plan your trip to the region!
FAQs: Greencastle Indiana Things to Do
What to do when traveling through Greencastle Indiana?
Visit DePauw University and enjoy some good food at one of the local restaurants.
What is Greencastle County known for?
The township contains the county seat of Greencastle and the liberal arts University of DePauw.
Where to eat in Greencastle?
Grab a juicy burger at the college hangout, Marvin’s or indulge in a breaded tenderloin at Moore’s Bar & Grill.
Conclusion: Best Things to Do in Greencastle Indiana
Our Indiana day trip to Greencastle was nothing short of delightful, packed with diverse experiences that appealed to both the mind and the senses. From browsing quaint boutiques to engaging in a little campus life at DePauw University, and from marveling at the Periodic Museum of the Elements to appreciating art at the Richard E. Peeler Arts Center, Greencastle is far more than just a dot on the Indiana map.
And let’s not forget about the natural wonders! Cataract Falls proved to be a serene escape and a photographer’s dream, while DePauw Nature Park offered a closer look at Indiana’s great outdoors. As for the food scene, whether you’re hankering for bar food classics at Moore’s or in the mood for a college-town hang at Marvin’s, Greencastle delivers. It’s got the culinary diversity you might not expect from a small town, and that’s a big part of its charm.
If you’re looking to discover Indiana in a fresh way, I wholeheartedly recommend adding Greencastle to your list. Whether you’re a lifelong Hoosier or just passing through, Greencastle offers a slice of Indiana that’s as wholesome as it is intriguing.