Boone County is full of adventures. There are so many fun things to do in Lebanon Indiana as well as the rest of the county. Most people (including me) automatically think of Zionsville when they hear Boone County. And while Zionsville is a wonderful town and a really fun place to visit, I also want to share what else Boone County has to offer.
The way Indianapolis is spreading, Lebanon is almost a suburb. It takes less than half an hour to get there from the city, and it’s about a 40-minute drive from my home in Noblesville Indiana.
We’ve made several day trips to Lebanon – and in fact, it used to be a spot I stopped in regularly on my trips from Purdue University to Indianapolis. Back in the day, it was just a few fast food restaurants along the interstate exits, but now, there is so much more to see and do!
1. Check out the courthouse square
Aside from Zionsville, Lebanon is the largest city in Boone County. With a population of around 16,000, it’s a large enough city to have a traditional downtown square with a gorgeous courthouse.
There are a few cute shops surrounding the Lebanon courthouse and quite a few fun restaurants. I suspect that based on the amount of construction I saw going on the downtown is in the midst of a revival – I hope so as I love shopping and dining in quaint downtowns! I did find a few lovely murals in the alleyways and plenty of choices for lunch or dinner.
2. Relax at Memorial Park
On a beautiful sunny day, the best place to spend at least part of your visit is Memorial Park. This wonderful 40-acre park has playgrounds, shelters, and a lovingly restored cabin called Herr Cabin. Herr Cabin was built in 1839 and was given to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1937 as a memorial to Abigail Herr.
If you like sports, Memorial Park is home to a 1.1-mile fitness walking trail, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, a baseball field, and even pickleball courts. There is also a small war memorial worth checking out. One of the great things I love about Memorial Park is that it doesn’t cost a dime. It’s one of the best free things to do in Lebanon Indiana.
Memorial Park, 130 E. Ulen Drive, Lebanon, IN
3. Get wet at Seashore Water Park
Located in Memorial Park, Seashore Water Park is the ideal spot to cool off in the summer months. With a lazy river, several water slides, a kids’ play area, AND a wave pool, there is something for kids of all ages to enjoy. That wave pool is one of the more unique things to do in Lebanon Indiana – I’m not aware of any other wave pools nearby.
Personally, I love a good wave pool, and I definitely love a lazy river – I can (and have) float for hours in one! And, if you just like to swim, you can do that too. Locals often buy season passes, but it’s quite affordable to just pack up the family and visit for the day.
4. Find treasures at local antique stores
On our last visit, we did a little search to see how many antique stores we could find and were pleasantly surprised at what we discovered. Although I bookmarked several, during this trip, we only visited one, but it was fantastic!
Tru-Finds Treasures wasn’t just an antique shop, it was a wonderful mix of antiques, crafts, new home decor, and more. In addition to tons of sections to explore, everything was beautifully presented – it was a joy to shop. I even found a few small treasures to bring home with me. I know I’ll be making return trips in the future to Lebanon just to visit Tru-Finds Treasures.
Tru-Find Treasures, 931 Indianapolis Ave, Lebanon, IN
5. Hop on the Big 4 Trail
The Big 4 Trail in Lebanon, Indiana, is a work in progress with big ambitions. This developing rail-trail aims to eventually stretch across 50 miles. The trail pays homage to its historical roots, named after the Big Four Railroad, a key player in the area since 1852. Abraham Lincoln even graced this route on his way to his presidential inauguration in 1861.
This particular section, running from Lebanon to Colfax in Clinton County, was formerly known as the Farm Heritage Trail. Don’t forget to look for the mural under the I-65 overpass near the Lebanon trailhead. Or do what I did and just enjoy a short section heading out of downtown Lebanon.
6. Visit the Old Boone County Jail Building
Constructed in 1938, the Boone County Jail in Indiana was built to withstand the test of time. With fortified walls and an air of impenetrability, it was designed to stand strong against civil unrest. A secret tunnel was even added to the architecture, allowing for quick entry and exit, enhancing the building’s already remarkable design features.
Fast forward to 1992, and the local Sheriff’s department moved to a new facility, leaving the old jail vacant but full of potential. Enter Nicki and Sean Stoller, a visionary brother-sister duo who saw the building’s stunning architecture as an opportunity to create something unique. They transformed the historic site into the Boone County Jail Distillery, blending the building’s storied past with a modern twist.
But the experience at the distillery doesn’t stop at just tastings. Alongside weekend sampling sessions, they frequently host special events that could be fun activities in Lebanon for couples. These events offer an opportunity to explore the intricacies of the building while enjoying their crafted liquors. It’s a captivating blend of history and contemporary distillery culture, making it a must-visit in Boone County.
Boone County Jail Distillery, 104 W. Washington St. Lebanon, IN
7. Enjoy one of the many festivals in Lebanon Indiana
Lebanon, Indiana, is a town that loves to celebrate. Throughout the year, the community calendar is filled with a variety of festivals that showcase the town’s rich culture, history, and sense of community. From seasonal favorites to unique local happenings, there’s often something festive in the air. We saw SO many flyers on the windows downtown highlighting all the fun festivals coming up in the next few months.
In the summertime, the Boone County 4-H Fair held at the Boone County Fairgrounds is a hit, drawing folks from all over to experience the best in local agriculture, crafts, and family-friendly entertainment. Fall brings the Heart of Lebanon Oktoberfest, where you can indulge in authentic German food, music, and of course, beer. If you’re around in winter, don’t miss the Christmas on the Square festival, complete with a tree lighting ceremony, holiday market, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
What makes these festivals particularly special is the blend of traditional elements with modern attractions. Whether it’s a pie-eating contest at the 4-H Fair or live bands rocking the Oktoberfest stage, these events offer a mix of old and new, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. It’s this diverse array of festivals that helps to make Lebanon not just a place to live, but a place to love.
8. Indulge at Donaldson’s Chocolates
If you find yourself in Lebanon, Indiana, with a sweet tooth, Donaldson’s Chocolates is your go-to destination. Established over 50 years ago, this family-owned chocolatier has been serving up hand-dipped, preservative-free chocolates that locals and visitors alike can’t resist. Using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients, each piece of chocolate is a small work of art. I stop every time I’m in town to pick up some goodies to enjoy later!
The charm of Donaldson’s Chocolates isn’t just in the flavors, which range from classic milk and dark chocolates to innovative concoctions like chocolate-covered strawberries and specialty nut clusters. It’s also in the ambiance of the shop itself, which welcomes you with a nostalgic vibe, delicious smells, and friendly staff who are passionate about their craft. The open kitchen concept even allows you to catch a glimpse of the chocolate-making process, adding a layer of experience to your visit.
💥 Pam’s insider tip: Donaldson’s Chocolates is closed on Sundays so try to plan your visit accordingly if you want to visit.
Donaldson’s Chocolates, 600 South State Road 39, Lebanon, IN
9. Enjoy a scoop at Ice Cream Paradise
One of my favorite stops in Lebanon is a nostalgic one for me. Getting a treat at Ice Cream Paradise. Growing up in West Lafayette, with grandparents living in Indy, the drive between cities was a frequent occurrence. As Lebanon is halfway, more often than not, my dad would pull off the I-65 exit for a stop at Ice Cream Paradise.
This family-owned ice cream stand has been serving affordable and delectable ice cream treats for 31 years and so as soon as I pull up I am always flooded with childhood memories of our many visits.
Nostalgia aside, it’s good ice cream – so grab a scoop if it’s summertime (Ice Cream Paradise is only open in the summer) and enjoy!
10. Stock up on baked goods at Titus Bakery
Even though there is a Titus Bakery & Deli right down the road from me in Westfield, when I’m in Lebanon I always stop at Titus Donuts. This family-owned bakery is renowned for its mouth-watering selection of donuts, made fresh daily. And, the Lebanon location is the original one.
The building has a fun mural on the side, so grab a picture or two before you stock up on your goodies. When you enter the shop, the fresh-baked donut smell will tempt you, so be ready! Pick up one to enjoy today and a dozen more to take home and enjoy tomorrow.
11. Soon you can grab a drink at Four Finger Distillery
One of my favorite places to grab a drink in Hamilton County is Four Finger Distillery North so imagine my delight when I saw the sign for the soon-to-open Four Fingers Distillery in Lebanon Indiana.
Founded in 2014 originally as 1205 Distillery, it got its unique name in a rather unexpected way. The distillery’s owner and main distiller, Brad, was setting up a door in the new distillery when a mishap with a saw led to the loss of his pinky. Despite this setback, the distillery pushed forward, keeping its original name but always contemplating the compelling narrative behind “Four Finger Distillery.”
In 2022, the team finally embraced their story, rebranding as Four Finger Distillery. The name serves as a testament to the resilience and sense of humor that go into making their whiskey, forging a connection between the distillery and those who appreciate both a good tale and a great drink. So, as soon as the Lebanon location opens, be sure to check it out!
12. Stroll the streets of nearby Zionsville Indiana
If the weather is nice and you have extra time, make a stop in nearby Zionsville Indiana. The downtown is truly one of the prettiest in Indiana. It used the be the place where we did ALL of our Christmas shopping, although many stores have closed in the past few years.
There are still enough businesses to make an enjoyable stroll possible, and there are plenty of restaurants (if you are still hungry after indulging all day in Lebanon). I always make a point to stop in the bookstore as well as the local meat market (another reason to always have a cooler in the car – just in case). If the weather is really nice, head over to the park on the outskirts of downtown as you’ll often find a fun festival or sporting event happening.
💥Pam’s insider tip: many of the shops are closed on Sundays and Mondays, so keep that in mind if you decide to stop in Zionsville Indiana.
Places to Eat in Lebanon Indiana
After checking out the many fun activities in Lebanon a food break is in order and although the downtown doesn’t have a lot in the way of shopping, there are several delicious restaurants in Lebanon located in or around downtown.
13. Greek’s Pizzeria
Greek’s PIzzeria is an Indiana-based chain with a very distinct pizza sauce – it’s slightly sweet and quite unique. With daily lunch specials, Greek’s is also a super affordable choice if you are in Lebanon at lunchtime. Although I often enjoy Greek’s pizza as carryout at home in Hamilton County, it’s ALWAYS a terrific choice when you visit Lebanon as well.
14. Raise a toast at Klooz Brewz
Klooz Brewz Brewery & Public House was a wonderful new find on our recent day trip to Lebanon. The prices are fantastic as are the variety of drinks available. We chose to enjoy several flights of beers, ciders, and even a soda flight (how fun is that?).
Although the menu looked fantastic, we just split a few appetizers so we could try a few more Lebanon restaurants on the same day. The fried pickles were hand-breaded and served with a tasty horseradish sauce, and we also tried the cheese & bread appetizer because it was unique. And that beer cheese was scrumptious. The bowl may have been licked clean …
💥Pam’s suggestion: between Four Finger Distillery, Klooz Brewz, and the Old Jail Distillery you could have a pretty fun little bar crawl on a Friday or Saturday evening in Lebanon!
15. Fill up at Backroads BBQ
When we recently visited Backroads BBQ in Lebanon, Indiana, we went all out and opted for the sample platter to get a full taste of what they offer. From brisket to pulled pork, each meat was cooked to smoky perfection, delivering the authentic Midwestern barbecue experience we were craving. But the experience didn’t stop at the meat; the sauces were a highlight, with a mix of Bourbon and Mustard stealing the show as our personal favorite.
As if the meats and sauces weren’t enough, we topped off our meal with a slice of Wick’s pie. Trust me, it’s an indulgence you don’t want to skip. The sweetness of the pie perfectly complemented the savory goodness of our main course, rounding out an already fantastic meal.
What makes Backroads BBQ special isn’t just its culinary mastery; it’s the overall vibe of the place. The rustic, community-centered atmosphere makes you feel right at home. Whether you’re a barbecue aficionado or just looking for a hearty, satisfying meal, this is one Lebanon spot you’ll want to add to your must-visit list.
16. Stop at Becky’s Market on your way out of town
My final stop on the way out of town is usually Becky’s Market. Although not a restaurant in Lebanon, it is food-related. Becky’s Market is a local family-owned Greenhouse market just outside of downtown. If you are looking for fresh fruits and veggies, it’s the place to stop. I like to leave it for the last part of the day so I can keep my haul as fresh as possible while I drive home.
Becky’s Market, 324 Indianapolis Ave. Lebanon, IN
Where to Stay in Lebanon Indiana
Even though this is a smaller town, there are still some terrific hotels in Lebanon. I think it’s because it’s close to Indy and right on the Interstate.
Map of Lebanon Indiana Things to Do
FAQs: Things to Do in Lebanon IN
What is Lebanon Indiana known for?
The courthouse has the world’s largest single-piece limestone pillars.
What is in Lebanon Indiana?
All kinds of fun attractions like Seashore Water Park, Donaldson’s Chocolates, and Titus Bakery.
What is the history of Lebanon Indiana?
It was founded in 1832.
Conclusion: Fun Activities in Lebanon Indiana
It was fun seeing what this little county just outside Indianapolis had to offer. Lebanon, just a stone’s throw from Indianapolis, offers plenty of experiences that make it ideal for a family day trip—especially in the summer if your crew enjoys the water (Seashore Water Park anyone?) or the Fall when the decorations and festivals hit an all-time high.
From long-standing family-owned establishments like Donaldson’s Chocolates to newer yet deeply rooted ventures like Four Finger Distillery, the community is filled with local flavor and history. With plenty of festivals, scenic spots like the Big 4 Trail, and must-try eateries like Titus Donuts, there’s no shortage of compelling reasons to plan a return visit. Trust me, we’ll definitely be making another trip.