What are the top things to do in Danville Indiana? If you’re searching for that small-town charm sprinkled with oodles of fun activities, then Danville Indiana is the place for you. Tucked away in the fabulous Hendricks County, just minutes from Indianapolis, this delightful spot is a well-kept secret that I’m now shouting from the rooftops—well, at least from this blog!
I had the BEST time on my recent weekend trip to Hendricks County, and many of my favorite outdoor activities were located in Danville. Add some amazing BBQ at Rusted Silo and unique local boutiques located right downtown and you’ve got a day trip or weekend getaway worth repeating.
So, if you’ve been craving a slice of Midwestern magic without the crowds, fasten your seatbelt because Danville Indiana in Hendricks County is the perfect destination.
👉 A special thanks to Hendricks County for hosting a recent visit to the area and sharing some of these special businesses with me. As always, all opinions are my own.
1. Have a fun family day at Beasley’s Orchard
First up, let’s head to Beasley’s Orchard. The moment you drive up, you can practically smell the fresh apples. We’ve spent many a fall day picking apples at Beasley’s Orchard and stocking up on goodies in the farm market.
Little ones will absolutely adore the corn mazes and the Barnyard Bonanza. But you know the real highlight for me? Their apple cider (and they’ve even got hard cider now!). A sip of that and you’re in autumn nirvana. Don’t even get me started on their fresh-baked pies!
The weekends can be busy, and they do charge admission, so be prepared. However, with all the activities and opportunities for family fun, it’s well worth it. Beasley’s Orchard is a place I’ve been visiting since I was a kid and with the way they keep expanding, it just keeps getting better and better!
2. Enjoy the outdoors at Ellis Park
Ellis Park stretches over 49 glorious acres. With shelters perfect for that family BBQ, playgrounds that’ll have the kiddos squealing with joy, and trails for hiking it’s a perfect spot for your next impromptu picnic. If you’re into disc golf, Ellis Park has you covered too, and it is one of the best FREE things to do in Danville Indiana.
Fun Fact Alert! Ellis Park is home to the ONLY public clay tennis courts in Indiana. And, speaking of history, the park dates back to 1913. Initially, it was designed to safeguard Danville’s water supply. Fast-forward to 1971, and it was renamed Ellis Park in honor of Harve Ellis, a man who poured 40 years into serving as Park Superintendent for Danville Indiana Parks and Recreation.
So, whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or just someone who enjoys a good day in the great outdoors, Ellis Park is calling your name. Seriously, put it on your Danville must-see list. It’s a great way to get out and relax.
Ellis Park, 600 E. Main St. Danville, IN
3. Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail
The Hendricks County Historic Museum & Old County Jail is like stepping into a time machine. The museum is a treasure trove of local history and the old jail—so intriguing. They even have several actual cells you can step into. Eerie but educational.
I’ve actually visited this museum twice and one of the best things is that each time was a little different! First of all, there are a few areas of the museum that change, so there will always be a few updated exhibits. Secondly, having a different docent walk us through led to a completely unique experience. Although all the volunteers are knowledgeable, they each have their areas of interest and their own stories – and that is pretty cool.
On our last visit, my kids each got to handle some of the artifacts which they thought was amazing. This time, we checked out the way the light switches worked (they twist!) which was fascinating. Plus, on both visits, we visited the jail and learned quite a bit about the life of the prisoners and how the Sheriff and his family lived in the house attached to the jail!
Hendricks Country Historical Museum & Old Jail, 170 S. Washington St. Danville, IN
💥Pam’s insider tip: in addition to their regular hours (Fri/Sat 11- 3 March – December) they are sometimes open for special events or festivals.
4. Get wet at the Gill Family Aquatic Center
If you are looking for things to do in Danville Indiana with kids, consider taking them to the Gill Family Aquatic Center. Located in Ellis Park, this place is a paradise for water lovers.
There’s a splash playground that is a blast for the younger set. Picture it: kids laughing, water fountains spraying, and the sun shining down. It’s the epitome of summer fun, and even adults won’t be able to resist getting in on the action.
There are TWO waterslides, diving boards, and even a lazy river (my personal favorite waterpark attraction). I love to drift along without a car in the world, letting the current take me where it may. Bliss! It’s open from the end of May through early August, so you can enjoy plenty of hot Indiana summer days cooling off at the pool!
Gill Family Aquatic Center, 450 Leedy St. Danville, IN
5. Catch a show at the Royal Theater
If you are looking for things to do in Danville Indiana this weekend, consider a movie at the Royal Theater – it’s only open Friday – Sunday, so weekends are where it’s at for visiting this historic spot.
The Royal Theater is located in downtown Danville Indiana. This hidden gem has been showing films since 1914, and each show is just $5. That’s less than a fancy coffee. Most of the films are family-friendly and often seasonal.
Going to a movie is always a fun thing to do on the weekends, and it’s a great evening activity – make it a historic theater and it’s even better. My last visit to Danville was during the day, so the theater wasn’t open but I still enjoyed peeking in the window and checking out the upcoming shows.
Royal Theater, 59 S. Washington Street, Danville, IN
6. Browse the downtown galleries & boutiques
One of my favorite free things to do in Danville Indiana is strolling the downtown galleries & boutiques. Downtown Danville is dotted with quaint local businesses that offer something unique at every corner. I picked up an adorable Halloween-themed t-shirt and a book written by a local author on my last visit – and I could have purchased so much more!
A fan favorite is the bookstore – I love a local bookstore and the one in Danville is cozy, and has TONS of used and new books for purchase and coffee (as every bookstore should have). I also really enjoyed a few of the boutiques surrounding the courthouse – they offered everything from fun clothes and perfect gift ideas to handmade jewelry.
And, there is even an Art Co-op on the square. When I was there, several of the artists were working, and they had just finished up one of their frequent art classes – which would be another fantastic way to spend an afternoon downtown!
7. Hendricks Civic Theater at Longstreet Playhouse
A show at Longstreet Playhouse is a must-see for theater buffs, and the perfect item to add to your list of things to do in Danville Indiana for adults.
Ready for a plot twist? This building used to be a church. From hymns to Hamlet, it’s safe to say this venue has seen its fair share of emotional moments. However, the real star of the show is the Hendricks Civic Theatre. With 40 years of experience, you know you’re in for a treat. From classic dramas to modern musicals there is something for everyone to enjoy each season.
So, next time you’re itching for some culture, a laugh, or perhaps a tearjerker, make a beeline for Longstreet Playhouse. Who knows? You might just catch a performance that’ll stick with you long after the curtain falls.
Longstreet Playhouse, 4998 N. CR 100 E. Danville, IN
Things to Do Near Danville Indiana
If you still have time to spare after spending the day in Danville – or more likely are having so much fun you want to expand your visit, consider these options for activities near Danville Indiana.
8. Enjoy visiting the animals at Oinking Acres Farm Rescue & Sanctuary
A visit to Oinking Acres Farm Rescue & Sanctuary has to be one of the most unique things to do in Danville Indiana (or maybe anywhere), but after you’ve visited once, you’re sure to want to return. I know I want to – and I want to bring all my friends and family too!
I had such a good time visiting this non-for-profit animal rescue farm. We got to meet some of the dozens of friendly pigs, goats, donkeys, and cats that call this farm home. After spending time with the founder of Oinking Acres, Olivia, it is obvious that her passion for animal (especially pigs) rescue has driven her to create an amazing place for so many animals in need of rest before being adopted, or living out their lives being wonderfully cared for.
You are welcome to visit the farm on the weekends – there is a $10 donation that goes directly to the care and well-being of the animals. It is an amazing experience and something most kids would really enjoy.
Just down the road, Olivia’s sister has created a lovely little farm store with a field of you-pick wildflowers. So, after spending time visiting the animals at Oinking Acres, be sure to check it out – you’ll find a tasty snack or be able to pick up a lovely souvenir of your experience.
Oinking Acres Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, 8420 N. County Road 650 E, Brownsburg, IN
9. Red Curb Comedy
A quick jaunt away from Danville, and you’re at Red Curb Comedy in Avon. Whether you love improv (I do!) or haven’t experienced it before, you’re in for a treat!
Red Curb is THE Saturday night hotspot. You’ve got two choices of shows. Bring the kids along for a family-friendly laugh-a-thon or make it a date night with the R-rated version. Trust me, you’ll be rolling in the aisles either way. They even offer classes, so if learning improv has been on your bucket list, here is your chance.
The cozy venue seats around 70 people. No giant auditoriums, and no impersonal vibes; this is intimate, interactive entertainment at its best. The comedians love audience participation and this small setting encourages it.
So, whether you’re a comedy veteran, a newbie (I’ve found improv is a terrific way to introduce older teens to comedy clubs), or just someone who loves to laugh, Red Curb Comedy is your go-to for a side-splitting Saturday night.
10. Have fun in Plainfield, Indiana
As if you don’t have enough to pick from in Danville Indiana, consider extending your visit to Hendricks County Indiana with a day or two exploring Plainfield. Geek out at the Who North America Museum or indulge in decadent chocolates. Those are just a few of the experiences to discover!
👉👉Check out all the details for the many fun things to do in Plainfield, Indiana
Places to Eat in Danville Indiana
11. Mayberry Cafe
A hearty meal at the Mayberry Cafe is like a hug for your stomach. The menu is FULL of Indiana favorites like meatloaf, breaded tenderloins, fried biscuits & apple butter, and more. So many delicious choices! And as you might expect from the name, the theme is the Andy Griffith Show and the show is playing all day long. There is even a replica police car parked out front.
On my last visit, I was with a group of friends and we decided to share a bunch of appetizers and it was the PERFECT lunch. The fried biscuits & apple butter were amazing – I’m still thinking about them. My other favorite dish was the potato wedges – it was a plate full of hearty deliciousness. We also thoroughly enjoyed the fried pickles and pretzel bites & beer cheese.
The cafe is located right downtown on Main Street, so it’s a terrific choice after a morning or afternoon of shopping and perhaps exploring the Historical Museum.
12. Rusted Silo
If BBQ is your jam, you can’t skip the Rusted Silo. Smoky, juicy, perfection! After my last visit, I told everyone who would listen about how amazing this joint was. I was part of a large group which made it possible for me to try almost everything on the menu. So now my issue will be narrowing it down when we go back!
My favorite meats were the pulled pork and the ribs, although everything was tasty. However, I REALLY loved the sides. Homemade mac & cheese, zucchini & tomatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and more. So good. And you’ll definitely want to leave room for dessert. The banana cream pudding was outstanding. This place is a don’t-miss if you are visiting Hendricks County.
13. Bread Basket Bakery & Cafe
Freshly baked goodies to start off your adventure? Yes, please! The Bread Basket Bakery & Cafe is a breakfast and baked goods lovers’ dream. Open Tuesday – Saturday for breakfast and lunch, it’s the perfect choice for a hearty breakfast or to pick up bread or a decadent pie to enjoy later.
On my recent visit, I enjoyed a tasty breakfast sandwich and the prettiest side of fruit I’ve ever seen. Some of the other highlights included specialty waffles, and the breakfast they are most well-known for (it was even on the TODAY show), their cinnamon roll french toast. Talk about indulgence.
The restaurant is owned by a mother-daughter team and it’s obvious they put their heart into everything they serve. They use local produce whenever possible (the apples are from Beasley’s Orchard) and compost kitchen scraps. Sundays are a day off for the employees and Mondays are baking days – everything you’ll enjoy at the place is baked in-house.
14. Courthouse Grounds Coffee Shop & Bakery
Everyone who knows me, knows I appreciate a good coffee shop. And, it’s always the first place I search out when I visit a new town. Downtown Danville has a real gem in its midst with Courthouse Grounds Coffee Shop & Bakery.
Located right across the street from the courthouse, this little coffee shop is the kind of place where you just feel your stress melt away as soon as you enter. With a full range of coffee drinks (and adult beverages too), a yummy menu, and some delicious-looking baked goods, you’re going to want to place an order, sit down and relax, or visit with friends for a while.
Map of Danville Activities
Wow – another packed town full of amazing experiences and good food, right? Check out this map to help you plan out your visit.
Where to Stay in Danville Indiana
Since Danville is located so close to Indianapolis (and the Indianapolis International Airport), there are plenty of places to stay. Most of them are not actually hotels in Danville Indiana, but they are a close 15 – 20 minute drive.
My Top 3 Picks: Hotels near Danville Indiana
Getting Around Danville
Navigating around Danville is a breeze, but if you’re looking to venture outside of downtown (and with all these great things to do you should), renting a car might be a good idea.
🚗 Consider Discover Cars for your car rental needs!
FAQs: Danville Things to Do
What is Danville Indiana known for?
Danville is known for its community spirit, rich history, and incredible orchards!
How far is Danville from Indianapolis?
Just a 30 minute drive!
What county is Danville in?
Danville Indiana is in Hendricks County.
What is the history of Danville Indiana?
Danville Indiana was established in 1827. Supposedly it was named after Daniel Clark who was a Justice of the Peace.
Conclusion/Final Thoughts: Things to Do in Danville
So I hope I’ve convinced you that if you’re craving a small-town experience with a big heart, Danville is where it’s at! From delicious eats to fun-filled adventures, there’s no shortage of memories to be made.
I’m lucky that Danville is so close to me – it makes for a fantastic day trip or weekend getaway – or even just an afternoon of fun. Whether you are looking for things to do in Danville Indiana this weekend, or planning a future trip, incorporate some of the fun activities I’ve shared (and experienced) and you won’t go wrong with making it your destination.