Are you looking for the best things to do in Greenfield Indiana? Nestled in the heart of the Hoosier State, just a short drive from Indianapolis, Greenfield boasts plenty of fun experiences that are waiting to be explored.
As I’ve ventured into this captivating town, I’ve discovered a town where history intertwines with contemporary delights, offering a blend of captivating stories and modern pleasures.
From its historic downtown district to the serene beauty of its parks, Greenfield revealed itself as a terrific place full of exploration and discovery. Join me as we delve into the myriad things to do in this enchanting Indiana gem.
Greenfield Indiana things to do
1. Stroll downtown Greenfield
I was pleased to discover that Greenfield’s downtown is one of the more vibrant areas I’ve encountered while exploring Indiana. It always makes me happy to see local downtowns thriving.
The downtown district showcases the rich heritage of the area with preserved historic buildings, statues, and landmarks. Lined with locally-owned shops, restaurants, and businesses, it provides both residents and those of us visiting with plenty of shopping and dining experiences.
We enjoyed strolling the streets, admiring the courthouse, shopping in Greenfield, and looking for the buffalo. A few years ago, every county in Indiana painted a buffalo and we easily found the one for Hancock County just off the courthouse block. This is a fun thing for the kids to look for as we explore Indiana.
2. Warm-up at Hithero Coffee and Gaming Parlour
Since Greenfield is so close to Indianapolis, I’ve made several visits to explore. On a winter day trip with the kids, it was so blustery and cold that our first stop (to help alleviate the cold weather) was the local coffee shop. Sadly, that shop has since closed, but Greenfield is now home to Hithero Coffee & Gaming Parlour.
I love this concept – a terrific coffee shop and a place to buy games. Sounds perfect and exactly like something my family loves to do.
Enjoy a warm, delicious specialty coffee and then pick up a game to purchase or sit and play one of Hithero’s demo games while you sip your drink. They are even okay with you bringing your own game to play while you visit!
Insider tip: Hithero is closed on Sundays (as are a lot of Greenfield businesses), so plan your visit accordingly.
3. Don’t miss the Riley Birthplace and Museum
Do you read poetry? I don’t read it often, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate good literature. Greenfield, Indiana is the hometown of one of Indiana’s most famous poets – James Whitcomb Riley. As such, you can visit his boyhood home to learn more about this interesting poet.
Visiting Greenfield, IN in Hancock County definitely made me curious about this poet as I love learning while I’m exploring. James Whitcomb Riley is best known for his dialect and children’s poems. Once he began regularly selling his poems he also started traveling around the country (mainly the Midwest and East Coast) giving performances and lectures.
These lectures did quite well for him and he was able to enjoy some success during his life, unlike that of many other poets. His most famous poems include “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphant Annie.”
While I was doing research for this day trip, I also discovered that there is ANOTHER James Whitcomb Riley home and visitor center located in Indianapolis in the Lockerbie Square area. He moved into this home as an adult and lived there until he died. I had no idea that this place existed, but for my next free day I plan on heading downtown to check it out – it was fun to find something new in my own backyard.
Insider tip: The first time I visited, the buildings were on winter hours until April 1st, so the times they are open seem to be a bit spotty and both buildings were closed the day we visited. So, be sure to check the hours before you head over to the museum.
4. Learn about Hancock County at the Chapel of the Park Museum
Don’t skip the Chapel of the Park Museum—a hidden gem that seems to hold stories waiting to be uncovered. Located on the edge of Riley Park, this building operated by the Hancock County Historical Society is a treasure trove of Hancock County history.
The inside of the museum is set up like a chapel (as it once was), with displays on the walls and in the basement. Each display describes a bit of local history, and I found myself captivated by the tales they told.
5. Visit the Old Log Jail Museum
As I continued my exploration of Greenfield, Indiana, I went to the building next to the Chape of the Park Museum to check out the Old Log Jail Museum. This unassuming structure stood as a silent witness to a bygone era, its weathered logs telling stories of a time when justice was served within its walls.
As I stepped inside, a chill ran down my spine, a reminder of the stories of inmates who had once occupied these confined spaces. The creaking floors seemed to echo with the footsteps of the past, and I could almost imagine the voices that had filled these halls long ago.
Although not as fascinating as the rotating jail in Crawfordsville Indiana, it was still interesting nonetheless, and there are more displays from the Hancock County Historical Society inside the Old Log Jail Museum, so allow yourself time to tour both buildings.
6. Cool off in the Riley Park pool
If it’s a hot summer day, heading over to Riley Park Pool in Greenfield, Indiana is like finding a cool oasis. On our last summer visit to Greenfield, the place was buzzing with energy—families splashing in the water, kids practicing their cannonballs, and friends enjoying a leisurely swim.
When the sun is beating down, nothing says family fun like a dip in a cool and refreshing swimming pool. As I was visiting the nearby museums, I couldn’t help but notice the relaxed vibe of the place. Riley Pool isn’t just a pool; it’s a local hotspot where people come together to beat the heat, create memories, and soak up the good times.
Riley Park Pool, Apple Street & US 40, Greenfield, Indiana
7. Play and picnic at Riley Park
I love checking out parks. When the kids were little, we’d always look for the local playground and I still enjoy seeing what a city’s parks have to offer. For Greenfield Indiana, Riley Park is a fantastic local resource.
We saw families picnicking on the lush grass and children playing on the playground. The pickleball courts were full and there was even a small skate park. The towering trees provided a canopy of shade, inviting me to slow down and savor the moment. If we’d had more time, we would have grabbed our discs and played a round of disc golf during our most recent visit.
Riley Park isn’t just a recreational space; it’s a testament to the simple pleasures of life, a reminder that sometimes all we need is a patch of green, a gentle breeze, and the company of those we cherish.
Riley Park, Apple St. and US 40, Greenfield, IN
8. Have some fall fun at Lark Ranch
Lark Ranch in Greenfield, Indiana is a wonderful place to visit in the fall. It is a bit like stepping into a lively fairground with a mix of attractions for everyone. From the pumpkin patch and corn maze to the hayrides and petting zoo, there is no shortage of things to do.
Families can enjoy quality time together outside in the sunshine. The wide range of activities (from apple cannons to pony rides) caters to different tastes, making it easy to find something that catches your interest, but there are probably the most activities for the younger set of kids.
Lark Ranch, 1611 N. Meridian Rd. Greenfield, IN
9. Head off on a hike at Thornwood Preserve
Thornwood Preserve in Greenfield, Indiana, turned out to be a real surprise. Tucked away from the busy streets, it’s a quiet and laid-back spot where you can enjoy some peaceful time outdoors.
The well-marked walking trails wind through the woods, giving you a chance to unplug and recharge, and I loved the swinging bridge over the creek. It’s not fancy, but that’s part of its charm.
The natural beauty of the area, with its trees and open spaces, offers a kind of serenity that’s hard to find in the city. Thornwood Preserve isn’t just a piece of land; it’s a simple escape where you can enjoy some quiet moments away from the noise.
Thornwood Preserve, 1597 South Morrison Pike, Greenfield, IN
10. Beckenholdt Park
Curious about native plants are terrain? Then Beckenholdt Park in Greenfield, Indiana is the local park you need to discover. Tucked away from the busy streets, the park exudes a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
You’ll discover the beauty of nature all around you—a serene pond, towering trees, and the soothing sound of rustling leaves. It is the perfect spot to unwind and connect with the outdoors.
I especially like the native tree walk as I love learning while I’m enjoying the outdoors. And, if you are a resident, there is a dog park too – note that you do need to join to gain entrance, but even if you are just visiting for the day, you can watch the pups having a blast.
Beckenholdt Park, 2770 North Franklin St. Greenfield, IN
11. Knock down the pins at Strike Force Lanes Bowling
Strike Force Lanes Bowling in Greenfield, Indiana, is a real blast. It’s one of those places where you can gather with friends or family for a fun and casual time. The sound of pins crashing and the laughter in the air creates a lively atmosphere.
Whether you’re a seasoned bowler or just there for a good time, the lanes offer a chance to channel your competitive spirit. With 32 lanes, unless there is league play going on, you’ll have no trouble playing for an hour or two. There is also an arcade and snack bar on site, so everything you need for a fun evening!
12. Indulge at Greenfield Chocolates
Greenfield Chocolates in Greenfield, Indiana, was a delightful discovery. The moment I stepped in, the aroma of freshly made chocolates enveloped me, instantly putting a smile on my face. The shelves were lined with an array of tempting treats, each one a piece of edible art.
From creamy truffles to handcrafted caramels, the chocolates showcase both skill and passion. The friendly staff is more than happy to guide you through the selection, sharing stories behind their creations.
Greenfield Chocolates isn’t just a chocolate shop; it’s a haven for anyone with a sweet tooth and an appreciation for the finer things in life. Since our last visit was in the summer, I was happy I had brought along a cooler so I could stock up on some decadent treats to enjoy later!
13. Catch a flick at Legacy Movie Theater
If you are looking for things to do in Greenfield Indiana at night, then how about catching a flick at the Legacy Movie Theater? With plenty of theaters, new releases, movie popcorn (the best), and comfy seats, it’s a great family night out.
Whether you’re there for a blockbuster or a cozy romantic flick, Legacy Cinema offers a space to escape into the world of cinema. If I’m traveling and can’t find something to do in the evening, or just want to get out instead of sitting in a hotel room, I’ll often look for a movie theater – it’s a sure-fire fun night out!
VIP Legacy 9, 2347 W. Main St. Greenfield, IN
14. Antique shopping at J.W. Riley’s Emporium
J.W. Riley’s Emporium is a massive antique shop! You could easily spend hours exploring it. It’s so large that when we visit we have to give ourselves a time limit.
Antique Shopping at J.W. Riley’s Emporium in Greenfield, Indiana, is truly a journey through time itself. The shelves are lined with a diverse array of artifacts, each with its own story to tell. From weathered books to ornate furniture, the emporium has just about everything.
Navigating through the aisles, I couldn’t help but imagine the hands that had touched these items and the lives they had been a part of. Antique Shopping at J.W. Riley’s Emporium isn’t just about finding unique pieces; it’s a way to connect with history and carry a piece of it into the present day. It’s a place where the old meets the new, and every item invites you to become a part of its journey.
15. Pick your own apples at Tuttle’s Orchard
As a huge fan of picking apples in the fall, Tuttle’s Orchard is high on my list of fun things to do in Greenfield Indiana. I like to vary which orchard I visit each year, so although I don’t hit Tuttle’s every year, it is definitely a favorite.
As you walk through the orchard on a sunny fall day, the crisp air is filled with the sweet scent of apples, creating an atmosphere of autumnal magic. The rows of apple trees stretch out in every direction, their branches heavy with ripe fruit.
Your family can pick your own apples, enjoy a hayride, and savor warm apple cider donuts. The market showcases a delightful array of fresh produce and homemade goodies, so be sure to plan to stock up. If an annual trip to the apple orchard is one of your family traditions, definitely consider Tuttle’s Orchard.
🍎 Insider tip: Tuttle’s Orchard is closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly.
16. Relax to live music at the Summer Concert Series
The Summer Concert Series in Greenfield, Indiana, is held on Friday nights at Depot Street Park in Greenfield. People of all ages gather, sharing blankets and lawn chairs, united by their love for good tunes. It’s a perfect way to start a weekend – pack a picnic or pick up carryout from a local restaurant and enjoy an Indiana summer night.
In addition to the Summer Concert Series, Depot Street Park has a variety of other live music events, so definitely check the schedule before your visit to see if you can enjoy a free show!
Depot Street Park, 251 Depot Street, Greenfield, IN
17. Raise a toast at the Wooden Bear Brewing Company
I love a local brewery, and Wooden Bear Brewing Company was a delight. They have a nice selection of their own beers (I especially liked the Blackberry ale that was on tap on our last visit) along with a guest cider on tap. You can also enjoy a glass of wine or a soda, and they are family-friendly.
There isn’t a kitchen, but you can order pizza, salads, and more from Greek’s Pizza inside the brewery – and personally, I think Greek’s pizza goes perfectly with beer. There is ample inside seating, but on our last visit, the weather was lovely so we sat outside on one of the picnic tables. With the garage door open, we still felt like we were “in the brewery” yet we got to enjoy the fresh air.
18. Riley Fest
Every year in early October, the town of Greenfield holds the annual Riley Fest. The festival boasts designated areas brimming with a variety of offerings, from enticing food stalls to bustling commercial and flea market booths, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With over 460 exhibitors setting up shop around the historic 100-year-old courthouse, the streets come alive with color and activity.
This cherished event carries forward years of legacy, honoring the birth date of the renowned “Hoosier Poet,” James Whitcomb Riley. Each year, the festival adopts a theme inspired by one of Riley’s poems; the 2023 theme being “Nine Little Goblins” – perfect for October, don’t you think?
A hallmark tradition, the Parade of Flowers, sees the elementary students of the Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation marching downtown to adorn Mr. Riley’s statue with bouquets—a custom that has persisted for over 65 years. This statue, erected in front of the courthouse in 1918, serves as the focal point of the Riley Festival. On Saturday, the main parade takes the spotlight, featuring more than 75 units that traverse from the high school through downtown to Riley Park.
Greenfield Indiana Restaurants
Looking for some yummy places to eat in Greenfield Indiana? You’ll find plenty of choices from fine dining to casual counter service – and all of it is delicious!
Insider tip: Check the hours before you plan your visit as many of the Greenfield restaurants seem to be closed on Sunday or only open a few days a week.
19. Carnegie’s – A Place to Eat
Carnegie’s in Greenfield, Indiana, is a culinary gem that beautifully marries fine dining with historical charm. The restaurant is housed inside a beautiful old Carnegie Library, which gives it a unique ambiance that transports patrons to a bygone era. There is also a romantic back patio if the weather is nice.
The menu is a testament to gastronomic excellence, showcasing perfectly crafted dishes that cater to foodies. From the moment you’re greeted by the courteous staff to the last bite of a decadent dessert, the dining experience is marked by attention to detail and a commitment to excellence. It’s truly fine dining that you would expect to encounter in a much larger city.
20. Griggsby’s Station
Griggsby’s in Greenfield, Indiana, stands out as a culinary destination that embraces the farm-to-table ethos with a contemporary twist. This restaurant takes pride in its “Pasture to Pub” concept, showcasing a menu that features locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms.
The atmosphere is inviting, striking a balance between rustic charm and modern comfort. The menu, which changes seasonally, highlights the region’s bounty and offers a diverse array of dishes crafted with care and creativity. Notably, the quality of the cuisine is matched by reasonable prices, and the drink specials further enhance the overall value.
There is a large outside patio for dining al fresco when the weather cooperates, which I think would be ideal. I love eating outside on a warm summer night!
21. Costa’s Grill
Costa’s Grill in Greenfield, IN presents an excellent mix of Greek and American food, but if you haven’t been before, go for the Greek! As you step into the restaurant, you’re greeted by an inviting and casual atmosphere, setting the tone for a relaxed dining experience.
The menu boasts a variety of options, with Greek-inspired classics and American favorites seamlessly coexisting. From gyros and souvlaki to burgers and sandwiches, the diverse range of offerings caters to various tastes. I love a good Greek restaurant, and this one doesn’t disappoint!
22. The Mug
The Mug in Greenfield, Indiana, is a true local gem that serves up a dose of authentic flavor and friendly service. Known for sourcing locally raised meat from Tyner Pond Farm, this eatery offers a menu that celebrates farm-to-table goodness.
The menu showcases a range of delectable options, from their signature burgers to a variety of comfort food classics like a breaded tenderloin and hand-cut fries. What sets The Mug apart from most hamburger/ rootbeer stands is its commitment to quality, evident not only in the taste but also in the freshness of its ingredients.
Beyond the savory fare, The Mug is renowned for its homemade root beer served right from the tap. Yum! You can choose to eat in your car or sit at one of the picnic tables. The location right across the street from Riley Park makes it an excellent choice for a fast but delicious meal after a day of swimming, playing disc golf, or Pickleball.
23. Sugar Rush
Craving something sweet after a day of exploring Greenfield? Stop in Sugar Rush for a decadent goodie. The atmosphere is cozy and reminiscent of an old-fashioned candy store, making it a favorite destination for both young and old.
You’ll find gorgeous cupcakes (tons of flavors that change daily), homemade pie, and candy galore. The staff’s friendly demeanor adds to the overall charm, creating a space where you can indulge in a bit of sweetness and enjoy a taste of tradition. It’s probably good that Sugar Rush isn’t down the street from me – I’d be way too tempted to become a regular!
Sugar Rush, 14 W. Main Street, Greenfield, IN
Map of things to do in Greenfield
Many of these attractions are located downtown, but there are a couple that are several miles out. This map will give you a good idea of where to go so you aren’t crisscrossing town multiple times (like we did on our first visit!).
Where to stay in Greenfield, Indiana
If you plan on an evening movie or a night listening to music during the summer concert series, you’ll want to book a place to stay in Greenfield Indiana.
Getting around Greenfield, IN
You’ll definitely need a car to get around Greenfield, Indiana. Yes, there are a number of attractions and restaurants located downtown where you could walk, but to really see everything you’ll need to drive.
🚗 Consider Discover Cars if you are looking to rent.
FAQs: Things to do in Greenfield, IN
Things to do in Greenfield, IN at night?
If there is a concert happening, that would be my top pick for things to do in Greenfield Indiana at night. Otherwise, enjoy a nice dinner, go bowling, or head to the theater for a movie.
Free things to do in Greenfield Indiana
Of all the free things to do in Greenfield Indiana, my favorite is Thornwood Preserve. However, all of the parks are free, as is browsing the downtown boutiques.
What should you not miss in Greenfield?
You should not miss the Riley Birthplace Home and Museum.
What is Greenfield Indiana known for?
In addition to being the hometown of the famous poet James Whitcomb Riley, it is also the birthplace of Olympic gold medalist Jaycie Phelps.
When was Greenfield Indiana founded?
Greenfield was founded in 1828 as the county seat of Hancock County.
Conclusion: Things to do in Greenfield, Indiana
As I wrap up this exploration of Greenfield, Indiana, I’m reminded that even in our own backyards, there’s a world of discovery waiting to unfold.
From the enchanting downtown district that resonates with echoes of the past to the lively parks and charming eateries, Greenfield stands as a testament to the beauty of the simple pleasures in life.
Whether you’re drawn to the nostalgic allure of antique shops, the exhilaration of a summer concert, or the indulgence of artisan chocolates, this town has something to offer everyone.
And as the seasons change and new experiences beckon, Greenfield continues to thrive, inviting us to join in its story, one adventure at a time. So, whether you’re a local like me looking for hidden gems or passing through on a family road trip, don’t miss the chance to uncover the lovely town of Greenfield, Indiana.