Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Shelbyville, IN

  • Published 2022/07/26

Shelbyville is a relatively small city found in Shelby County, Indiana.

However, it is the ideal vacation destination for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

Despite its small size and population, Shelbyville offers its tourists and visitors a variety of fun and exciting activities.

For example, you can enjoy museum visits, park dates, and trips to their local diners and eateries.

You can also enjoy active and passive recreational activities at one of their many parks for a fulfilling day outdoors.

This city also hosts several events and concerts open to visitors.

You can even do some shopping at their farmers’ markets or shop for local goods and produce.

Otherwise, explore the woods and forests found within the city.

Here are the best things to do in Shelbyville, IN:

Visit the Grover Center: Museum and Historical Society

Exterior of the Grover Museum

Grover01museum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Often shortened to “Grover Museum,” the Grover Center: Museum and Historical Society is Shelbyville’s local museum.

Showcasing a significant number of exhibits, this museum tells the rich history and the origin of Shelby County.

Likewise, aartifacts, testimonies, and other memorabilia show the contribution of Shelbyville to the country’s military history.

One of their featured exhibits is a walkable display of a life-sized, circa-1900 replica of Shelbyville.

Check out the decor and aura and admire the artifacts they’ve displayed inside this exhibit.

The Grover Center: Museum and Historical Society also hosts a variety of events that you can join and attend.

To make things even better, admission to the museum is free.

The Grover Center: Museum and Historical Society is a great place for first-time visitors and tourists of Shelbyville.

Watch a Horse Race at Horseshoe Indianapolis

Horseshoe Indianapolis hosts thrilling, neck-in-neck horse races in the entire city that’ll send your heart racing.

You can reach this racetrack after a short drive from the heart of the city.

This establishment offers more than just horse racing.

They also have a casino, restaurant, and hotel.

Previously, Horseshoe Indianapolis went by the name “Indianapolis Grand Racing & Casino” before rebranding to “Horseshoe Indianapolis.”

Don’t worry, though, because they offer the same fun levels of adventure and excitement, if not more.

After watching an exciting horse race, you can head to their casino and play poker, blackjack, or slot machines.

You can grab dinner at one of their many restaurants that sell favorite American meals.

Check out the surrounding eateries within walking distance from the track and casino.

Get in the middle of the action at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

See a Movie at the Skyline Drive-In

If you’re looking for a relaxing activity in Shelbyville, try the Skyline Drive-In.

See a movie within the comfort of your vehicle at this drive-in theater.

Guests can park in front of their giant cinema screen for the showing of their choice, recline their seats, and enjoy the movie.

In addition to showing the latest movie releases, this theater also screens classic movies and films.

This vintage-inspired drive-in also has a cafe serving cinema snacks such as popcorn, pizza, sloppy joes, pretzels, sodas, and more.

On certain days, they even give out free popcorn, so keep an eye out for that!

This facility is also pet-friendly.

Feel free to bring your furry friends to the Skyline Drive-In.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Blue River Memorial Park

Shelbyville is home to many great parks, but the Blue River Memorial Park has to be at the top of the list.

Situated next to the Little Blue River, this park offers recreational activities for a day of fun and excitement for you and your family.

You can go fishing, kayaking, canoeing, or play sports at their softball and soccer fields.

This park also commemorates the heroes of Shelbyville who fell in America’s many wars.

You can also check out their quail and butterfly habitat and see these beautiful little creatures up close and personal.

Whether you’re looking for a great place to do some sports or wish to soak in the outdoors, Blue River Memorial Park has got what you need.

Go on a Hike at Blue River Trail

Blue River Trail is another popular tourist destination in Shelbyville, right next to Blue River Memorial Park.

It attracts hikers, bikers, cyclists, and nature lovers.

This trail stretches approximately 3.8 miles, and you can explore this park on foot or a bike.

Its location next to the Little Blue River also makes for great scenic views, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

The Blue River Trail also connects the different parks found within Shelbyville.

This network of multi-use trails continues to grow, making this city easier to tour.

This trail winds between forested areas and green spaces.

Get back in touch with nature and take a hike at Blue River Trail.

Explore the Meltzer Woods

Meltzer Woods is said to be one of the last-known old-growth forests over a century old in Indiana.

In these woods, you can find trees as old as 150 years old, with some planted as early as the 1600s.

Spanning over 48 acres, Meltzer Woods gets its name from the Meltzer family, who acquired the land.

This same family continues to protect and preserve these trees.

Due to the age of this forest and its historical significance, it landed on the list of Indiana’s Classified Forest Program in 1928.

It became a National Natural Landmark in 1974.

Explore this vast land, admire the giant and majestic trees, and have a great day outdoors at Meltzer Woods.

Shop at Shelby County Farmers Market

There’s nothing better than going on a shopping spree on vacation.

Head over to Shelby County Farmers Market and see what they have on sale.

In downtown Shelbyville, you’ll find a farmers market that opens every Saturday from May to September.

This market attracts locals and tourists looking for high-quality fresh produce at great, affordable prices.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, this market also sells a variety of other items.

These items include homemade pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Food stalls also line the streets in case you get hungry.

You can also purchase flavored jams, popcorn, fresh meat, other delis, dairy products, and much more.

Shelby County Farmers Market sells only locally-made items and community-made products to support the local economy.

Whether you want to shop or simply browse, you will enjoy your trip to Shelby County Farmers Market.

See a Live Show at the Strand Theatre

Since 1916, the Strand Theatre has hosted live shows to entertain the community and visitors of Shelbyville.

From comedy shows to movie screenings and even concerts, this theater stages a variety of live shows!

This establishment is also a historic structure in the city with both floor and balcony seating to accommodate several guests.

Despite this theater’s age, it is still a community staple.

Guests continue to visit the theater for entertainment, whether it’s a comedy show, the latest movie release, or a concert by their favorite artist.

Don’t forget to purchase tickets and secure your seat at the Strand Theatre.

Enjoy Delicious Pastries at Linne’s Bakery & Cafe

In downtown Shelbyville, a historic bakery known as Linne’s Bakery & Cafe serves the best glazed donuts in the entire city.

Linne’s Bakery & Cafe is an award-winning pastry shop, receiving recognition in 2021 as the Best Bakery in Indiana.

Since 1930, this cafe has attracted guests with its delicious selection of pastries such as donuts, danishes, cupcakes, cookies, and more.

You can even pair your favorite pastry with your coffee of choice for a heavenly combination.

Before leaving Linne’s Bakery & Cafe, bring some takeout home or an entire box of donuts to snack on for later.

Beat the Heat at Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center

When it gets warm in Indiana, head over to Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center to beat the heat.

This aquatic center was one of the first water complexes in Shelbyville, opening in 1998.

Featuring a public pool, a splash pad, and a water playground, the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center will give you a fun day with friends and family.

They also have different water slides, some even twisted, drops, and more, to cater to teenagers and adults.

You can rent a shaded cabana, too, if you wish to rest from spending several hours soaking in the water.

Bring the whole family to Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center.

Join the Music in the Park Concert

Music in the Park Concert is a popular and free event that attracts community members and visitors.

This concert features several local and international artists that perform, sing, and dance to provide entertainment to the audience members.

This event takes place in Blue River Memorial Park and is an excellent opportunity to hang out and spend quality time with friends and family.

Kids can enjoy running around and playing at the playground while the adults can watch the many performances all night long.

This concert covers a broad genre of music, such as pop, rock, country, alternative, and more.

The Music in the Park Concert only gets better each year, so drop by while you’re in the city.

Drop by Kendall’s Tavern

The oldest bar and grill in Shelbyville, Indiana, is Kendall’s Tavern.

It has served the community since 1953.

You can grab a refreshing beer from the bar and enjoy classic American dishes such as chicken wings and other appetizers.

They also host local bands and artists for live music.

Hit the dance floor and dance with friends while the band plays, or sit back and enjoy the show.

This bar also has a pool table and occasionally hosts 8-ball tournaments for skilled players.

Wind down for a nightcap at Kendall’s Tavern.

Grab a Bite at Grandma’s Pancake House

Since 2006, Grandma’s Pancake House has served the community of Shelbyville.

It has built a reputation for serving fresh homemade meals straight from the kitchen.

If you’re missing your grandmother’s cooking, try choosing a delicious meal from their extensive menu.

True to its name, this restaurant also serves breakfast meals all day.

Enjoy a pancake or a waffle no matter what time it is.

From crepes to sirloins and even frittatas, this restaurant serves your favorite dishes that’ll leave you smiling.

You can even choose to eat mixed-and-matched food called “Granny’s Combos” and combine your favorite dishes.

Stop by Grandma’s Pancake House and enjoy a delicious meal with the whole family.

Shop for Antiques at Me and My Sisters Flea Market

If you love shopping for antiques and one-of-a-kind decors, check out Me and My Sisters Flea Market.

In 2012, Ana and Kizme started the flea market.

Today, it features over 75 vendors who sell various items that appeal to all shoppers.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or new house decor, this flea market should have what you need.

Besides antiques and vintage pieces, they also sell collectibles, furniture, repurposed and preloved items, and so much more.

Spanning over 70,000 square feet, the market will give let you explore the different stalls at your own pace.

Shop ’til you drop at Me and My Sisters Flea Market.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Grab Local Produce at Harker Family Farms and Orchard

If you’re looking for a shop that sells fresh, hand-picked fruits and vegetables straight from the orchard, head to the Harker Family Farms and Orchard.

You can find it in Waldron, Indiana, 12 minutes from Shelbyville.

Joe and Debbie Harker bought the land and turned it into a fully-operating orchard with over 2,000 trees.

Get your hands on a variety of locally-grown produce, especially when they’re in season.

They’re best known for their peaches; over two-thirds of their orchard grow peach trees.

You can also get apples, strawberries, cucumbers, sweet corn, zucchini, and so many more.

They also sell freshly pressed apple cider which you should try.

Buy only the highest quality fruits and vegetables at Harker Family Farms and Orchard.

Final Thoughts

Shelbyville is a lovely city in Indiana with many tourist attractions and destinations.

The city also houses many state parks for outdoor enthusiasts, and you can indulge in various active and passive recreational activities with the whole family.

You can also go on a food trip and try the many local diners and family-owned restaurants.

This city isn’t one to shy away from fun and excitement, hosting many events and concerts year-round.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or fun and adventure, Shelbyville has all that you’re looking for.

Book your next vacation there and create lasting memories.

Enjoy the best things to do in Shelbyville, Indiana!

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