Introducing Anderson (IN), the headquarters of the Church of God (Anderson) and home of Anderson University, which is affiliated with the Christian denomination. Highlights of the city include the historic Paramount Theatre and the Gruenewald Historic House.
One of Anderson’s greatest feats is its art and music culture, which has been developed and supported over the past several years. In downtown Anderson, the Burdock House fosters growth in the artistic and musical culture of the city, with concerts produced and sponsored every month.
Additionally, The Ribs Express hosts an open mic event once a month titled The Craft: Art, Music, and Poetry Showcase, which has been in existence for a few years as of now. Anderson Young Ballet Theater and Anderson Mainstage Theatre also contribute to the dance and acting culture of the city.
Anderson, Indiana has a unique blend of religious and industrial influences making this city an engaging place to explore.
Witness living history at Mounds State Park
Mounds State Park, located off I-69 east of Anderson, features 10 unique earthworks built by prehistoric Indians known as the Adena-Hopewell people. The largest earthwork, the Great Mound, is believed to have been constructed around 160 B.C.
Archaeological surveys indicate the mounds were used as gathering places for religious ceremonies, from where astronomical alignments could be viewed. Be sure to visit our Nature Center, which includes a wildlife viewing room, animal displays, interactive games, and more.
Mound Key Archaeological State Park is an exceptional place where you can enjoy nature surrounded by thousands of years of history. Being out on the waters of Estero Bay allows you to feel the quiet serenity of nature. Bring your kayak, canoe, or boat and travel from Estero Bay to Mound Key.
Comprehend how people used to live at Bronnenberg House
Close to the visitor center at Mounds State Park stands the handsome Bronnenberg House, a five-bay, four-story Federal-style residence built for the local landowner in around 1850.
This is the only surviving structure from a sprawling farm that once included a barn, smokehouse, corn crib, summer kitchen, and many more outbuildings.
Frederick Bronnenberg, Jr., who built this house, recognized the historical significance of the mounds on his land, avoiding plow damage and guarding them against looters.
That diligence created a legacy that eventually led to the foundation of the state park in 1930. There’s an interpretive board in front, and the preserved house is open for tours on weekends in the summer and during the holiday season when it has festive decorations.
Paint Downtown Anderson in Red
With the development of arts, cultural activities, fine dining establishments, and the growing retail market in the Central Business District, Anderson’s central commercial area has a real bustle, especially in the summer. The development of our arts, cultural activities, fine dining establishments, and the growing retail market in our Central Business District.
Looking around these streets, you can also trace the history of the city through its late 19th-century days, and into the mid-20th century. Downtown Anderson has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2006, with 32 contributing buildings.
We’ll cover the Paramount Theatre, Carnegie Library, and Gruenewald House below, but a couple of other sights to check out are the Art Deco Tower Hotel (1930), the Anderson Bank Building (1928), and the Union Building, which was the largest office building in the state when it was completed in 1902.
Dickman Town Center, a plaza opposite the Paramount Theatre is a prime spot for outdoor gatherings in summer, including the Anderson City Market.
Experience the classic at Paramount Theatre
One radiant landmark in downtown Anderson is this movie palace that opened in 1929. The Paramount Theatre was part of the Publix Chain of theaters, owned by Paramount Pictures, which is where the name comes from.
The Paramount was primarily built for vaudeville and movies, to escape the real world. The design was to give the illusion of a Spanish casa or villa complete with wrought-iron gates, statues, a ceiling painted like a sky with stars that really twinkled, and clouds projected onto the ceiling which slowly moved across the sky. A classic atmospheric theater, with a whimsical design in the auditorium evoking a courtyard in a Spanish village under a starry night sky.
It’s a stunning place to watch a classic movie or live show or concert by the Anderson Symphony Orchestra. The Festival of Trees gala auction here has been an Anderson Christmas tradition for decades.
Discover the 1900s at Anderson Museum of Art
One of downtown Anderson’s finest buildings, a Beaux-Arts Carnegie library from 1905, is the setting for a cherished museum specializing in contemporary art and the art of Indiana.
As an institution, the Anderson Museum of Art goes back to the 1960s, and an early benefactor at that time was Nellie Alford Hill, whose industrialist parents had arrived in Anderson in the 1890s during the gas boom.
There’s a busy schedule of exhibits all year, including themed shows drawn from the collection, regional competitive exhibitions, and annual displays like the Art Association of Madison County’s fall show.
The museum is also engaged in educational programs, putting on classes and workshops for adults and youth in Anderson.
Have a drink at Oakley Brothers’ Distillery
Oakley Brothers’ Distillery is a unique experience. You’ll find an onsite distillery, brewery, taproom, and drink lounge featuring locally sourced products to showcase the attention to detail found in all of our food and beverages.
Opened in 2018, the Oakley Brothers Distillery uses grains only from Indiana farms for its bourbon, rye, and corn whiskey. They also make fine-crafted limoncello, vodka, blackberry liqueur, agave spirit, and Indiana moonshine, with more on the way.
Oakley Brothers Distillery also offers live music on the weekends and games (shuffleboard, cornhole, and janga) for guests. The tasting room is a great place to unwind at the end of the day, or as a stop on your night out.
Place your bet at Harrah Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino offers world-class harness racing, simulcast wagering, an All-American steakhouse, and spacious indoor & outdoor family-friendly seating.
April through November, live harness racing is still a big draw here, and the big date in the calendar is the Dan Patch Stakes, which had a $325,000 prize at the time of writing.
In the 2000s the track became a full-fledged, year-round racino, with the opening of a gigantic single-level casino floor.
This is open 24 hours a day and has 2,000 state-of-the-art slots, with denominations ranging from a penny to $100. There’s also a high-limit gaming area, with new multiplayer electronic blackjack, high-stakes slots, and video poker.
Visit the Museum of Madison County History
MCHS was organized in 1884 and incorporated in 1926. From these humble and early beginnings, the Society has continued through the years with vigor, energy, and dedication to its mission to collect and preserve objects, artifacts, documents, and photographs pertaining to the history of Madison County, Indiana.
The interactive WWII County Heroes and Home Front, examined local life and prominent military figures during World War II, while there’s a compelling new permanent exhibit about the Delaware village that gave Anderson its name.
Enjoy past architecture at Gruenewald Historic House
For nearly 150 years, Anderson’s Gruenewald Historic House has graced Main Street with its stately Victorian charm.
But the charming atmosphere inside the house occasionally shifts to a mysterious and mischievous persona when things disappear, lights turn on by themselves, and items are moved by someone other than the staff.
When visitors view the house from the outside, they see its grand French Second Empire style with a mansard roof and protruding gables. But when they step inside, it becomes apparent that the structure is actually two houses in one.
The back portion of the house is the original two-story cabin, built in 1860. The front portion, which can be seen from Main Street, is a three-story addition, which was completed by Martin in 1873.
Relax at Shadyside Memorial Park
Shadyside Memorial Park was purchased by the city in the 1920s and dedicated to Madison County war veterans. The park’s most celebrated memorial was added a few years later when a grand stone terrace was landscaped by local nurseryman Milton H. Gaar.
Enjoy a fun day out with your loved ones at Shadyside Memorial Park. This park features volleyball, baseball courts, and bike trails for enthusiasts. This park houses multiple picnic areas, picnic tables, pavilion, activity center, playground, and grill areas making it the perfect family outing spot. You can even fish in the scenic water body of Shadyside Memorial Park.
Get haunted at Indy Scream Park
When spooky season approaches, you may be pleased to know that one of the top haunted house attractions in Indiana is a few minutes south of downtown Anderson. With six attractions at one location, Indy Scream Park is the work of two pros with years of experience in the haunted house industry.
One attraction, Nightmare Factory plunges you into pitch darkness as you negotiate your way through a power plant over the gates of hell, while Killgore’s 3D Circus is big top nightmare fuel, even if you don’t already have a clown phobia.
Finally, Zombie Paintball Assault is the closest thing you can get to fight your way through a zombie apocalypse.
Sharp-shooting at White River Paintball
On the same property as Indy Scream Park is the largest outdoor paintball facility in the state. Open for more than 20 years now, White River Paintball is a paintball go-to for the Indianapolis area, with as many as 12 immersive themed fields to play in.
These have evocative names like Omaha Beach (with a full-size landing craft), Skid Row, The Alamo, Jungle, Cambodia, and Airstrip, which has a genuine Sikorsky helicopter that saw action in Vietnam.
A full range of rental equipment is available for players, and there are open play sessions every weekend so you can get right into the action playing games like president, capture the flag, medic, ambush, and freeze tag.
Bike through Rangeline Nature Preserve
The 180-acre nature area has mountain bike trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The preserve contains a range of vegetation, topography, and water amenities, enhancing the mountain biking experience. The preserve is also enjoyed by hikers, fishermen, and nature enthusiasts.
These trails have received a great deal of care and hard work over the past few years and have made it into one of the most technical trails in Indiana. There are numerous bridges, teeter totters, log crossings, skinnies, and a couple of drops all included in the expert trail.
The six-mile expert trail (black) is one of the most technical in Indiana, with drops, skinnies, log crossings, teeter totters, and other crossings. There’s also an intermediate (blue) and a novice trail (green), three miles and two miles long respectively. All trails are clearly marked with arrows.
Speeding through Anderson Speedway
For fans of stock car racing, there’s a quarter-mile, steeply banked oval less than five minutes southwest of downtown Anderson.
During the summer season, Anderson Speedway attracts big crowds for Saturday evenings loaded with action from several divisions, including legends, mini cups, late models, midgets and winged and non-wing sprint cars.
It was here in 2010 that a winged sprint car set a quarter-mile paved oval world-record lap time of 10.28 seconds.
There’s always a big event at this track to celebrate the 4th of July, with fireworks after dark and a crowd-pleasing race schedule that even features school buses and trailers.
Follow the locals to Anderson City Market
Anderson has had a farmers’ market since the early 2010s, and it’s a weekly institution, May through mid-October.
You’ll find a great choice of vendors every Saturday 9 am to 1 pm, at Dickmann Town Plaza by the Paramount Theatre.
The selection changes during the course of the summer, but as a rule, you can grab local fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, coffee, plants, and a variety of handicrafts.
Here are the 15 activities that are highly recommended fun things to do in Anderson, Indiana. HyannisHoliday hopes you will have the best experience while traveling there. Share with us your wonderful stories in the comment section down below. Have a nice Holiday!