Check out the theater at a college campus

Need an afternoon adventure? Visit a college campus!

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Why you should visit a college campus

Have a free afternoon and you are looking for a new everyday adventure? Do you have a college campus or University within an hour? If so, even if you don’t have a kid heading to college soon, jump in your car and go check it out!

There is something so inspiring about a college campus. The buildings are almost always beautiful, most campuses are very walkable and well-landscaped and it’s fun to see so many kids preparing for their future.

I’ve also found that every college has a few unique attractions that many of the residents don’t even know about. If you take an afternoon to check it out, I think you’ll be delighted with what you find.

What I discovered on a college campus near me

I had a free afternoon this week and decided to explore Butler University located in Indianapolis, IN. It’s the closest college campus near me, so an easy afternoon trip. I’ve been to this campus many times but never really took the time to check out everything it has to offer.

👉 Stay at the nearby boutique Hotel Broadripple if you are planning a visit to Butler!

Here’s what I discovered, hopefully, it will give you some ideas of what you might find on a college campus near you.

Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana

Enjoy the drive to campus

Butler is a pretty small University located near some absolutely gorgeous neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Just driving to campus and admiring the Christmas decorations and mansions (there is no other word for these homes) on Meridian Street was a lovely start to the afternoon.

Grab a drink

As it was bitterly cold outside, I stopped at the student union and picked up a mocha to enjoy while walking around campus. Most student unions house a coffee shop, a bookstore, and often a restaurant or two. They are definitely a great place to begin exploring.

It’s December and I’m in Indiana, so it’s cold and grey. When you look at these pictures – try to imagine how beautiful this campus will be in the spring and summer.

Stroll the campus

Butler is home to a 20-acre garden called Holcomb Gardens. There is a small driving loop and a few formal gardens with statues and benches. Not much to see this time of the year, but I was still able to enjoy the natural beauty and the carillon. If it was summer I could definitely see spending some time here with a book.

Most campuses have some type of garden or quad area, so you’ll probably find something similar at most universities.

Holcomb Gardens at Butler University

Exploring the Planetarium

I needed to warm up after wandering around the gardens so I walked over to the nearby Planetarium. This Observatory and Planetarium has been open for sixty years and contains a 38-inch Cassegrain reflecting telescope.

Since it was the afternoon, I was only able to explore the lobby, but I will definitely plan a trip back for a nighttime presentation. That will be an interesting adventure to look forward to!

J.J. Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler University in Indiana

Check out the Butler Arts Center

Butler University is home to several locations to enjoy visual arts. Clowes Hall often holds Broadway Across America shows, concerts, dances, etc. We hold season tickets to the Broadway series so I visit it often.

Next door to Clowes is the Butler Arts Center. The lobby was warm and inviting and I discovered interesting art on the walls along with a very cool display of The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo Costume collection.

Ballet de Russe costumes at Butler University

Conclusion: Visit a college campus

It was fun to explore Butler University in-depth today. I enjoyed it enough that I’m adding checking out college campuses to my list of things to do! We have several others nearby that I plan on visiting in the near future.


Have a free afternoon and you are looking for a new everyday adventure? Do you have a college campus or University within an hour? If so, even if you don't have a kid heading to college soon, jump in your car and go check it out!

Visiting Butler or Indianapolis anytime soon? Save this pin so you know what to check out: