This bustling city, nestled in the heart of the Midwest, is often overlooked on the travel radar.
Still, its unique blend of history, innovation, and charm piques every visitor's curiosity.
Let me take you on a journey through some of the best things to do in Kokomo, Indiana, where every visit reveals something new and exciting.
Experience the Magic of Kokomo Opalescent Glass
There's something truly magical about walking through the doors of Kokomo Opalescent Glass.
I was awestruck the first time I stepped foot in this fantastic place.
It's a living, breathing showcase of the artistry of glassblowing.
The tours are nothing short of fascinating – not only do you get a comprehensive understanding of the process, but you also get to see it happening right in front of your eyes.
Not every day do you get to watch artisans at work, deftly manipulating molten glass into beautiful works of art.
No matter how often I visit, it's a mesmerizing sight that never gets old.
From the wide variety of glass pieces available for purchase to the scraps of glass that can be used for art projects, there's something for everyone.
I've lost count of the number of times I've walked out of there with a bag full of colorful glass scraps, each a tiny masterpiece in its own right.
Trust me, the skills of the glassblowers here are unrivaled, and you won't find better elsewhere.
So, if you haven't already, do yourself a favor and visit Kokomo Opalescent Glass. You won't be disappointed.
Discover Art at IU Kokomo Art Gallery
Unexpected treasures often lie in our backyards, and for me, one such gem is the IU Kokomo Art Gallery.
I make it a point to visit regularly, always excited to uncover the latest exhibit on display.
It's a pleasure to view the diverse range of artwork, not only from our talented local artists in Kokomo but from creatives across the nation.
The IU Kokomo Art Gallery's schedule is always filled with exciting exhibits, such as the yearly student and biannual faculty exhibitions.
Moreover, the latter offers a peek into the creative minds of those shaping the next generation of artists.
These exhibits serve as a reminder that art really can be found anywhere, especially here, in Kokomo.
Travel Back in Time at the Howard County Historical Society
There's something about old things that have a way of calling to me.
They whisper stories of centuries past, and I find myself drawn to them.
For example, the Howard County Historical Society, housed in the Victorian Sieberling Mansion, is a gem I frequent.
The mansion, a peek into the luxury of the past, is filled to the brim with antiques - hats, glassware, stoves, you name it.
It's impressive how the Society has meticulously preserved these pieces, creating a vibrant tapestry of history.
There are rooms upon rooms to explore, each with a unique story.
It's almost like stepping into a time machine and being transported back to the past.
The mansion itself, an architectural marvel, is a testament to the grandeur of the bygone era.
Unearthing details about my ancestors was like unraveling a thrilling mystery novel, and I have the Society to thank for this unforgettable adventure.
The Howard County Historical Society, an authentic slice of Hoosier high society, starkly contrasts local conditions.
It's a gentle reminder of our roots, and I revel in the inexplicable comfort it brings. That's what makes it one of the best places to visit.
The mansion's charm and the antiques' silent stories create a magical experience.
Discover the Marvels at Elwood Haynes Museum
Step into a world of historical charm and genius at the Elwood Haynes Museum.
The museum, nestled within the elegant 1916 estate of the famed inventor Elwood Haynes himself, offers a rich tapestry of his inventions, intriguing photos, and enlightening exhibits.
Walking through the bright museum, it's a far cry from the relatively dim ambiance I remember from my visit in the late '60s.
Today, the information placards are crisp and clear, making it easy for anyone to soak in the museum's wealth of knowledge.
The warm hospitality here is like a breath of fresh air.
Apart from the fascinating exhibits and artifacts, the museum also piques your curiosity about the lifestyle of the wealthy from a bygone era.
This quaint little museum might seem small, but it still packs a punch for history buffs, car enthusiasts, and engineering geeks.
Like many, I initially associated Elwood Haynes primarily with cars, but visiting this museum will reveal how his genius transcended far beyond automobiles.
The best part? Admission is free!
Donations, however, are welcome, and I gladly contribute to the maintenance of this historical gem.
If you're planning a visit, do note the parking space is a tad small, especially for larger vehicles.
I usually find it convenient to park my truck in the larger park behind the museum and take a short stroll.
The drive under the short overhang to the parking lot, though, is quite an experience!
Enjoy Unforgettable Evenings at Kokomo Municipal Stadium
Every summer, my evenings are filled with the crack of bats, the cheers of fans, and the smell of popcorn lingering in the air.
That's right, I'm talking about the unforgettable experience of watching a baseball game at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
The stadium plays host to our beloved local team, the Kokomo Jackrabbits.
Indeed, the thrill of the game is enough to make anyone a baseball fan, even those who have never been into the sport.
That's the kind of charm the Jackrabbits bring to the field.
Moreover, the stadium boasts cleanliness and a well-organized setup, which is always a plus.
Sometimes, they even have fun promotions like a Halloween theme for a change of pace.
The prices are pretty reasonable, too.
I usually go for the stadium seats that cost only $11, but if you prefer a more laid-back vibe, the lawn seats are just $8.
These are perfect for evening games when the stadium is drenched in shade.
And if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of their adorable Bat Dog, who retrieves the home team's bats.
Visiting the Kokomo Municipal Stadium for a Jackrabbits game is always an absolute treat.
It's about the atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the sense of community.
So, if you haven’t been there yet, I recommend you check it out at your earliest convenience. It’s something every Kokomo resident should experience.
Step Back in Time at the Seiberling Mansion
Have you ever felt like you've been transported back in time?
That's how it feels every time I step into the Seiberling Mansion.
Built in 1889 by a local entrepreneur, this grand home now serves as a museum and a real testament to our town's rich history.
Every intricate detail of the period is preserved in this mansion, making it a living piece of history that we locals are proud of.
Walking through the entrance hall and going up to the third floor is like embarking on a historical journey.
The exhibits in the house are well-curated, offering an informative and engaging window into the local history.
Meanwhile, the mansion and its exhibits provide a unique walkthrough experience that everyone should take at least once.
Moreover, the grounds surrounding the mansion are well-kept and offer a serene atmosphere, except for the grassy patch between Elwood's house and the villa that occasionally needs a trim.
It's especially magical around Christmas when the mansion is adorned with lights; sometimes, even a sleigh ride is offered.
One can't help but be swept away by the holiday spirit.
My kids also enjoyed their visit and often ask when we can return.
The Seiberling Mansion is a local treasure, and I feel fortunate to experience its charm regularly.
Enjoy Saturdays at Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market
If there's a place where my Saturdays feel complete, it is undoubtedly the Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market.
The area's rustic charm has its allure, and despite its oddities, it has become a part of my weekly routine.
It's not your typical farmers market crowd, but once you get the hang of it and make the first move, they open up.
What I love about this farmers market is its variety.
The taste of fresh fruits and vegetables, free of harmful pesticides, is simply unbeatable.
And an exotic find or two always makes the trip worthwhile.
Among the stalls, you find homemade jewelry that isn't just artsy but is also wearable for daily use.
Then, there are samples of natural honey that are pure and unadulterated, a sweet reminder of how things should be.
One of the highlights of this place is the authentic Amish food on the grill.
The mouthwatering aroma wafts through the air, drawing you towards it like a magnet.
It's as if an entire culture is captured on the grill, inviting you to take a bite and be a part of their world.
The ambiance of the area is another plus.
It's beautifully set up and inviting, and you can find lots of interesting things if you take the time to look around.
Moreover, it's like a weekly adventure, a treasure hunt.
Yes, Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market has its quirks, which makes it unique.
It's where community, culture, and commerce merge, creating an experience uniquely Kokomo.
Enjoy a Time Traveling Experience at Treasure Mart Antique Mall
I can't get enough of the Treasure Mart Antique Mall.
Every visit feels like I'm stepping into a time machine, with a unique array of vintage items and antiques that transport me back to simpler times.
The aisles are dotted with vendor booths; each spotlessly maintained and filled with distinctive pieces perfect for my home or personal collection.
I must say, the pricing here is pretty reasonable, especially considering the quality and uniqueness of the items.
There's something for everyone, whether it's dining ware, historical pieces, or overpriced coins.
One of my favorite finds has been specialty candles sold right next to the office.
Their diverse flavors and strong smells are mood boosters, and they have good wicks, too.
Just be mindful of the white ones on a different aisle.
If you're ever looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, I recommend making a trip to Treasure Mart Antique Mall.
The assortment of items changes every few weeks or months, so there's always something new to discover.
I found some fantastic vintage toys, trinkets, and even a half-priced Ouija board on my last visit.
All I can say is I left with big smiles that day, and I'm sure you will, too.
Explore the Natural Beauty of Jackson Morrow Park
There's no place I love more than Jackson Morrow Park.
It's the perfect spot to unwind, whether a stroll or a get-together with family and friends.
Light posts were recently added around the walking path, making evening walks more inviting.
The soft, warm glow from the lights casts long shadows, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere that's hard to resist.
My most memorable evening at the park was spent with my family.
We had a picnic in the Pavilion, a beautiful space in the park's heart.
Part of the charm of our picnic experience was the joy it brought to the kids as they ran around, their laughter echoing through the park.
Jackson Morrow Park is not just about picnics and playgrounds.
One of the most fulfilling experiences you can have here is a walk through the woods.
Little Wildcat Creek meanders through the park's heart, adding to its natural beauty.
The trail options are numerous; most are stroller-friendly, which is a thoughtful convenience.
You can even indulge in wildflower viewing, which all ages can enjoy.
This park is a haven for nature lovers and a great place for community engagement. I wouldn't trade my experiences here for anything.
Splash Around at Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center
Every summer, my family and I eagerly await the opening of our favorite spot - the Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center.
This place is an oasis of fun and relaxation, perfect for everyone, regardless of age.
Believe me when I say it has everything you could wish for in a waterpark - multiple slides for thrill-seekers, a splash pad for the little ones, and leisure and lap pools for those who want to swim or relax.
Over the years, the Aquatic Center has only improved.
They're constantly adding new features and expanding the facility.
A recent addition has been more seating and lounge areas, perfect for kicking back after a long swim.
Another great thing about this place is its cleanliness and organization - it's evident how much effort the staff put into maintaining the facility.
My personal favorite is the lazy river.
While it may not be the largest around, it offers a peaceful respite from the busyness of life.
Floating along the gentle current helps you unwind and enjoy the day.
One thing you can't miss is their snack shack.
After a day of swimming and playing, nothing beats grabbing a quick bite from their food court.
Sitting in the eating area, enjoying the food, and watching the fun is a delight.
The Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center remains a favorite for my family and me.
I'm incredibly grateful to have such a fantastic waterpark in Kokomo. It's one of the best Indiana has to offer.
Spend the Day at Highland Park
There's nothing like spending a day in Highland Park, a local haven for recreation and relaxation.
Nestled in our beloved city, this park is a green space offering much more than just a breath of fresh air.
It's our go-to place for family outings, with a well-maintained playground that keeps the kids entertained for hours.
Our journey usually starts at the playground.
The kids love the tiny tots' area, perfectly tailored for their size and capabilities.
And when it's not too crowded, the bigger kid area is their playground paradise.
While they’re playing, it gives the adults time to unwind and take in the park's beauty.
One of the park's unique features is the self-assertive squirrels.
They are not shy about coming up to us asking for food.
Their audacity is quite entertaining and always brings a smile to our faces.
The park is also home to a vibrant pond populated with ducks.
A stroll by the pond to watch these lovable creatures is always an enjoyable conclusion to our park visit.
A stone's throw away from the park is a historic covered bridge.
We often take a detour for a quick visit and to snap some photographs.
It adds a touch of history and nostalgia to our relaxing day out.
And let's not forget "Old Ben," the huge, taxidermied steer that will catch your eye.
It's a quirky addition that adds a unique flavor to Highland Park.
The park's infrastructure is well thought out, with bathrooms specifically for park-goers.
These little details make Highland Park a favorite among us locals.
Tee Off at Wildcat Creek Golf Course
Regarding golfing in our town, few experiences match the time spent on the Wildcat Creek Golf Course greens.
The course is a gem, a well-manicured oasis of emerald fairways and tricky hazards that always promises an exciting round.
From the moment you step foot on the first tee, the expansive views of the front nine holes grab you by the collar.
The open fairways are easy to find, making for a pleasant opening round. But don't get too comfortable.
However, the back nine holes are a different story. They're tighter, more challenging, and can test your accuracy.
I've often been caught in a tricky spot, my ball lost in a sand trap or hidden in the underbrush. It's all part of the charm.
The Wildcat Creek Golf Course is a must-play.
Whether you're a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to improve your game, there's something here for everyone.
Remember to keep your balls on the fairway and outside the neighbors' yards!
Enjoy the Day at Foster Park
There's just something incredible about spending a day at Foster Park.
Imagine yourself surrounded by towering trees that have stood majestically for decades, providing ample shade for a relaxing day out in the open.
It's one of those places in Kokomo where you can truly escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
As I strolled along the stream that gracefully runs through the park, I was greeted by the delightful sight of playful fish swimming around and wild ducks paddling peacefully on the water's surface.
These simple sights make you appreciate the park's natural beauty even more.
One of the highlights of my year is when the Haynes Apperson Festival rolls into town every late June to early July.
This year, I saw Here Come The Mummies perform live at Foster Park for the first time—their energetic performance and the park's serene atmosphere made for an unforgettable experience.
If you're ever in Kokomo and looking for a place to relax and unwind, visit Foster Park.
It's a sanctuary where you can enjoy nature's simple pleasures.
Explore the Sycamore Stump & Old Ben
Occasionally, I find myself drawn to the park visitor center to indulge in a little piece of Kokomo's history - our centuries-old Sycamore Stump.
This giant relic towers in all its glory, a testament to the sheer power of nature.
While it's a sight to behold any day, it's particularly mesmerizing in the soft glow of dawn.
The massive stump stands silently, whispering untold tales of yesteryears to those who care to listen.
A certain sense of wonder washes over you as you observe the sheer magnitude of the stump.
Then there's Old Ben.
Standing next to the stump and ignoring the enormous steer is hard.
Seeing local folks and visitors marvel at Old Ben's size is always a joy.
A recent trip to the park had a pleasant surprise in store - a beautiful covered bridge I hadn't noticed before.
With camera in hand, I spent a delightful afternoon capturing the rustic charm of the bridge and the park's lush scenery.
Just a heads up, if you're planning a visit, the park isn't open on Thursdays.
But any other day of the week, you can enjoy a serene day, soaking in the beauty and history.
The Sycamore Stump and Old Ben allow for a stroll through time you won't want to miss.
Explore a Tranquil Refuge at Wildcat Creek Reservoir Park
A long week at work always leaves me feeling drained and desperate for peace and relaxation.
That's when I head over to my favorite hideout, the Wildcat Creek Reservoir Park, which feels utterly detached from the world's hustle and bustle.
The moment you step into the park, you're immediately surrounded by the serene beauty of nature.
It's a super convenient spot for me, located in the heart of the town, yet it feels like a different world altogether.
A place so tranquil you can almost hear your heartbeat.
The reservoir park is always kept neat, and the quietude is a pleasant relief from the city's din.
If you have children or pets, they will love the expansive space that lets them run free and wild.
My children spend hours chasing each other, giggling and shrieking with delight.
The park has a fishing pier, too, that's pretty popular amongst the locals.
I'm not much of a fishing enthusiast, but I've seen quite a few folks spending lazy afternoons with their fishing poles, enjoying the peace.
A charming little spillway on 400E is just south of the boat ramp.
It's a lovely spot for a bit of family time.
The park also has a playground, which may seem a little rusty but never fails to keep the kids entertained.
I love watching them explore the trail along the water, their faces lighting up as they discover frogs and sticks, turning them into treasures.
The park also has a covered picnic area, perfect for those sunny afternoons when you want to have a little outdoor family lunch.
I particularly enjoy the long, even trail that leads you on a fantastic walk through nature.
It's about a mile and a half long, and walking it back and forth is my favorite way to exercise while enjoying the beautiful view.
So come on out and enjoy some quality family fun time in the lap of nature. You won't regret it, I can promise you that.
Enjoy a Night at the Races at Kokomo Speedway
There's a certain exhilaration within me every time I see those bright lights shining down on the beautiful track at the Kokomo Speedway.
Situated right here in our backyard since 1947, this seasonal speedway has become a cherished part of our community's fabric.
It's the kind of place where your heart races in sync with the roaring engines and crowd cheers.
Kokomo Speedway is also about shared experiences, camaraderie, and love for the sport.
It feels like yesterday when I attended the HighLimit Winged Sprint Car event.
What an experience that was! It was almost surreal to be seated in the grandstands finally, the same ones I had watched on TV and simulated races in iRacing.
I can't describe finally checking off that bucket list item.
What's great about the speedway is that it has maintained its historic charm while integrating modern enhancements.
The latest improvements have elevated the experience.
Moreover, the pits are now easy to navigate, creating a smoother race day experience for everyone involved.
The view from the family seating section is just perfect, rewarding early arrivals with the best seats in the house.
And let's not forget about the concessions and the beer garden!
The food is always mouthwatering, and the beer is ice cold—just the perfect accompaniment to a night of racing.
No matter your age, this is a place where you're never too old to get dirty!
Explore Treasures at Vendor City
What's a weekend without a bit of treasure hunting? That's right, folks. I'm talking about my regular jaunts to Vendor City.
It's a flea market in Kokomo, and let me tell you, it is just brimming with all kinds of goodies.
My day usually starts with a stroll through the myriad vendor stalls, never knowing what I'll stumble upon.
I've found everything from power tools to vintage signs and even some old money!
The range of items is extraordinary, and the staff is always friendly and knowledgeable.
They almost always have something interesting on display.
But I also adore the thrill of uncovering something unique that speaks to me.
On each visit, I inevitably find a few things I can't live without each visit.
The prices are fair, and every once in a while, I manage to snag some great deals!
I believe everyone should visit Vendor City at least once.
As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure!
So, why not swing by and see what treasures you can find? You might even make it a regular habit, just like me.
Check Out KokoMantis
Not every day, you come across a giant mantis on your daily commute.
Well, unless you're from my part of the woods.
Located right here in our town, KokoMantis is an attraction that never fails to spark wonder among locals and tourists alike.
My morning jaunts often lead me to this colossal creature and trust me when I say the novelty never wears off.
It's hard to miss - a vast, meticulously crafted, realistic representation of a mantis looming over the landscape with its majestic aura.
Moreover, it's also a popular spot for some unique photo ops.
I'd recommend a visit if you're ever in the vicinity.
Even if you're passing through, stop by and marvel at the giant KokoMantis. It might just be one of the coolest stops on your journey.
Visit Markland Mall
Markland Mall is my go-to place whenever I need good old retail therapy.
It might not be the biggest mall, but it has a charm that keeps you returning.
The Mall is always as clean as a whistle, making your shopping experience all the more pleasant.
Likewise, the variety of stores will cater to your whims and fancies.
You won't be disappointed if it's a new pair of shoes or a trendy handbag.
And if you want to take a break from your shopping spree, there's always the food court to rely on.
Various food and drinks are available, and every bite is a treat to your taste buds.
The Markland Mall is full of memories and experiences.
With its clean environment, variety of stores, and food choices, it's no wonder it continues to be the one-stop shopping destination for us locals.
Plus, the added security makes me feel safe and secure while indulging in my shopping adventures.
Here's to many more shopping sprees at Markland Mall!
Discover Sun King Kokomo
Discovering Sun King Kokomo was like uncovering a hidden gem in the heart of Indiana.
The fact that this brewery is nestled inside a converted railroad station in downtown Kokomo adds to its unique charm.
Picture a blend of steampunk decor flowing seamlessly from the main area into the bathrooms.
It gives the place an eccentric yet welcoming vibe, like something from a modern-day fantasy novel.
But the main attraction here is, of course, the beer.
I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of brews they offered, and I'm not just talking about the typical IPAs.
One standout feature that excited me was the 'mix your sour beer' option.
They had mango, cherry, and berry flavors the day I visited. Now, where else would you get to play mixologist with your beer?
Another feature I appreciate is the freedom to order food from local restaurants to enjoy at the brewery.
Since they don't serve food, this is a fantastic workaround.
Plus, it's a great way to sample some of Kokomo's other culinary delights while sipping your beer.
Here's a tip for dog owners: your pets are welcome here if they're on a leash.
It's another reason Sun King Kokomo has become one of my favorite hangout spots.
Whether you're just passing through town or looking for a new place to unwind, pay a visit. Just remember, they're closed on Mondays!
Kokomo is not a lace of residence; it's a treasure trove filled with a blend of the past and the present.
It's truly a city with something for everyone - from antique lovers to nature enthusiasts to sports fanatics, Kokomo never disappoints.
One thing is for sure: it's the mosaic of experiences that make Kokomo home.