Established in 1824, the town of Danville is one of the oldest towns in the Indianapolis area. As you drive or stroll through, you can see all the beautiful architecture showcased in each building. The town is warm and inviting, and offers families a chance to both see and learn about the town’s significance in Hendricks County. Further west, we come upon West Hendricks County, with cities such as Pittsboro, North Salem, Amo, Coatesville, and Lizton. Even though these towns are small, they offer a great deal of activities for families to enjoy indoors and out.
The Royal Theater
59 S. Washington Street, Danville
The historic Danville royal theater is a great place to take the entire family to watch some of the latest movies. This isn’t your typical movie theater, opening in 1927 the original royal theater had live-entertainment and played the pipe organ. Today, the theater was restored to its original 1920’s appearance and features a one-screen that showcases new up-coming movies and classic films. During summer, the royal theater hosts family film series. This theater is a great historical marker of how much our technological advances have come and is a wonderful location for kids, parents, and grandparents to enjoy a movie.
Gill Family Aquatic Center
451 Leedy Street, Danville
The Gill Family Aquatic Center has become a fun destination for Danville and surrounding residents to visit during those warm Summer months. Located within Ellis Park, the Gill Family Aquatic Center offers a splash playground, two water slides that are over 120-ft, a lazy river, vortex diving boards, swimming lanes, hydrotherapy, and a splash pad. Tickets can be purchased for a single pass or as a membership. The aquatic center also offers swimming lessons and rentals for birthday parties. This is a water park that’s loads of fun for the whole family.
2304 E. Main Street, Danville
If you love apples, pumpkins, cider, corn mazes, hayrides, and to have a good family outing, then Beasley’s Orchard is the place to go in Danville. Beasley’s Orchard was founded in 1946, by a family who enjoyed gardening and raising animals, and tending to a small apple orchard. Today, Beasley’s has exploded into the Westside go-to outdoor venue during Fall season. Beasley’s is one of our favorite orchards to visit all year round, especially during their apple festival, when there are lots of great family activities to do, and some great tasty eats, too. Whether you live in Hendricks County or just want to visit, this orchard is a must-see during Fall.
Gallery on the Square
51 S. Washington Street, Danville
Do you or your child have an artistic side? Whether you love the arts or simply enjoy looking at art pieces, Gallery on the Square offers introductions to drawings, paintings, and how to use the different forms of art to make a masterpiece. Along with classes, the gallery also showcases pieces of art made by residents. The art isn’t simply paintings or drawings, there are also an array of pottery pieces, quilts, and hand-sewn items to be admired. It’s a great place to take teens who will like seeing all the different creations, and maybe contribute as an artist, as well.
Historic Courthouse Square
1 Courthouse Square, Danville
The center of downtown Danville hosts a beautiful courthouse, with lovely columns and a great level of detailing, all made of Indiana limestone. The historic square area has been updated in subtle ways over the years, but the area continues to have its historic charm. This charm can be enjoyed by families of all ages. My family has loved walking on the square and checking out all the historic buildings, shops, eateries, and courthouse. During Christmastime, there are lights strung all around the area, making it feel as if you’ve stepped into a vintage Hallmark movie. Each year in mid-May, the town celebrates with the Mayberry and Midwest festival on the courthouse square. During these events, various nationally recognized artists and celebrities attend to perform. There are also various arts, crafts, and vendors to enjoy. The area is a great place for those Instagram worthy pictures and offers a quaint atmosphere.
Enchanted Fairy Trail
Various Locations throughout Hendricks County
If your kids love something different and fascinating, this trail is not like anything else, with 40 location stops around Hendricks County and other parts of Indiana. The fairy trail will leave your little fairy-loving kid wanting to explore more locations. It includes 21 locations within Hendricks County, and allows families to explore new locations of enchanted fairy bliss. Each location is adorned in all things tiny and fairylike, and is adored by the many people who have visited.
Hendricks County Historical Museum
170 S. Washington Street, Danville
Our family visited the historical museum years ago and loved our experience. The historical museum was once a Sheriff’s house, with a jailhouse, and served as the county jail from 1866 to 1974. The building is listed on the national register of historic places. The museum preserved many aspects from that time frame, and it can be seen within each room. There are several rooms, each with its own unique story to tell visitors. Some of the rooms include a military room, the Sheriff’s office, a kitchen with an old wood burning stove, a parlor with a great pump organ, a children’s bedroom, an adult bedroom, and the old jail. The museum is open from 11am-3pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March through December.
625 N. Washington Street, Danville
Purchased by the town of Danville, this home is an elegant Georgian Colonial-style mansion, which has still retained its historic aspects presently. A neat aspect of the home is its reading room, with a phonograph machine. The Blanton House can be used for various rentals such as birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and various ceremonies. While it’s not fully open to the public, you can schedule a private tour to see the inside of the house.
Deer Creek Golf Club
7143 State Road 39, Clayton
What kid doesn’t love a game of golf? Deer Creek Golf is committed to providing a great golf experience for all, also providing junior golf. They are committed to growing the game of golf with several clinics, tournaments, and junior golf leagues. Families can also visit for daily play with 9- or 18-hole options, as well as walking or cart options. This is a great way to spend a day outdoors with kids.
Danville Public Library
101 S. Indiana Street, Danville
Built in 1903, the Danville public library is among one of the libraries that was funded by the Carnegie Foundation. The Carnegie Foundation is one of the oldest foundations, where libraries receive special funding to provide books and resources to the town. The library also showcases its vintage style in the building, with columns and beautiful architecture made of limestone. The library offers many programs, especially for kids: there are storytimes, crafts, and an art gallery where you can display your works of art.
Longstreet Playhouse-Hendricks Civic Theater
4998 N. County Road 100 E., Danville
The Hendricks Civic Theater is one of the greatest places to watch a live performance of classic and new plays. The Hendricks Civic Theater has given many people in Hendricks County their first theater experience. Each season, there are plays and musicals performed by local adult and child actors. There are kid-friendly play such as “I’ll be home for Christmas”, “Matilda” and “Mamma Mia.” Tickets can be purchased individually or for an entire season, which includes 6 plays.
Hot Blown Glass LTD
3717 S. County Road 200 E., Clayton
Hot blown glass is a beautiful art form, and if you have been to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, you has seen the beautiful Chihuly creation displayed there. No doubt kids and parents will find that making these glass forms doesn’t come easy, but Hot Blown Glass offers opportunities and classes for families wanting to learn more about how to make these incredible works of art. The studio offers private lessons, or you can rent your very own skill glass blower for one of your private event, something that will dazzle all your guests.
Hendricks County 4-H
1900 E. Main Street, Danville
The Hendricks County 4-H has offered numerous events over the years we have enjoyed visiting. Each year, the Hendricks County Fair takes place in July. It has all the fun of your typical state fair, but just a smaller scale. Each month, different groups host various fairs. One of our favorites has been Touch-a-Truck, where various cars and trucks from our community are showcased for kids to see, touch, and get inside to explore. The Hendricks County 4-H also hosts a Safety Fair for families to learn about ways to be safe at home, in the car, and outside. through this, my boys had a cool opportunity to go into a simulated home that was “on fire” and be able to practice safe and effective ways to get out with a firefighter. It was a great, real-life learning experience for our entire family.
McCloud Nature Center
8518 Hughes Road, North Salem
McCloud Nature Center features restrooms for visitors, interactive exhibits, a bird-viewing room, and a resource library. The interactive exhibit space has animal specimens, live reptiles, a greenhouse, computers with great information, and a rotating art exhibit. The McCloud Nature Center offers lots of great information for all ages and learners, and the best part is its free to visitors. The center is open November-March: Friday & Saturday: 10am to 4pm, and April-October: Wednesday- Saturday: 10am to 4pm and Sunday: 1-5pm
The park also offers yearly classes and programs to all ages, some being free and others requiring a small fee. There are programs for everyone, including family programs on weekends, homeschool programs, baby and toddler programs, and adult programs. The Hendricks County Parks and Recreation also hosts major annual events, including their Maple Syrup Day. My family has loved visiting this beautiful park over the years, and even as my boys grow, there is always something new for all of us to learn and explore.
White Lick Creek
Various locations throughout West Hendricks County
White Lick Creek runs through the majority of Hendricks county. This is a perfect spot for creek stomping with kids during the Summer months. It’s a great place to cool down, or as my kids like to do, create a “construction site” with their dump trucks and cars.
Belleville Farm Market
1882 Highway 40, Clayton
“Bringing Fresh, Local products to the community since 1952” is Belleville’s motto. This Farm Market takes visitors back in time to the 50’s and 60’s with its fresh local seasonal produce. This is a large store selling candy, baked goods, local honey, local fudge, and jams. It’s opened from April through September, seven days a week. It’s a great place to take the kids to choose a pumpkin during Fall or fresh flowers for Spring.
226 N. Maple Street, Pittsboro
Like U-paint studios, Sally’s Ceramics is a fun and creative way for families to connect and paint together. At the end of the program, families get to keep their pottery art and display it, or gift it to loved ones. The studio in Pittsboro offers a variety of ceramics to paint. The studio also offers homeschool and various pottery painting classes for families who want something a little different, as well as a spot for birthday parties or other private parties, both with different pottery choices.
5042 South Street, Amo & 7963 Main Street, Coatesville
The Vandalia Trail is the longest open component of the National Road Heritage Trail, and it spans 12 miles from Greencastle to Amo. The trail is perfect for running, walking, jogging, bike rides, and much more. It’s made with smooth pavement and is well-maintained, allowing those in wheelchairs to easily access it. It’s a great trail to take kids bike riding or to simply walk to enjoy nature. The Coatesville trail is uninterrupted with wildflowers, bluebirds, finches, and other birds, who love to take in the farm fields.
Pittsboro Golf Course
2227 US Highway 136, Pittsboro
Another great golf course in Hendricks County is the Pittsboro Golf Course. It was designed and developed over 50 years ago, and currently includes a 9-hole golf course and a driving range. The 9-hole course consists of three sets of tees, depending on the skill level and golf challenge your family desires. The golf course also offers lessons to junior golfers and advanced golfers as well.