8 Fun Things to do in Valparaiso, IN: A Newcomer’s Guide

Updated on September 6th, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nestled in the northwest part of Indiana, the charming city of Valparaiso is home to many unique activities and experiences. From its rich cultural heritage to its vibrant arts scene, Valparaiso offers an array of attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a theater aficionado, a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a wine connoisseur, this picturesque city has something special in store for you. If you are new to the area and looking to rent an apartment in Valparaiso or purchase a home in the area, this Redfin article will cover 8 fun things to do in Valparaiso, IN, so you can get out and start exploring.

Low angle view of female animal trainer doing a training session of obedience with a red standard poodle in a public park.
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1. Explore the Brauer Museum of Art

The Brauer Museum of Art is a distinguished cultural institution that holds a large collection of American art. Established in 1958, the museum is situated on the campus of Valparaiso University and boasts over 4,000 artworks spanning various mediums, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and decorative arts. The museum offers a comprehensive overview of American artistic expression from the 19th century to the present. Notable highlights from the collection include works by acclaimed artists such as Grant Wood, Frederic Edwin Church, and Edward Hopper. 

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2. Go ice skating at Central Park Plaza 

Central Park Plaza Ice Skating is an enchanting ice skating rink that transforms Valparaiso’s Central Park into a winter wonderland. Open during the colder months, the rink boasts a charming atmosphere with twinkling lights and festive decorations, creating a picturesque setting for a memorable outing. Skaters of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced skaters, can feel free to take to the ice. The rink often hosts special events, such as themed skating nights and holiday celebrations, adding an extra layer of excitement to the experience. 

Couple skating during winter season
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3. Sip wine at Anderson’s Winery & Vineyard

Established in 1994, Anderson’s Winery & Vineyard has cultivated a reputation for producing high-quality wines crafted from locally grown grapes. Visitors are welcome to explore the lush vineyards, participate in guided tours highlighting the winemaking process, and enjoy tastings of an impressive variety of wines, each reflecting the region’s distinct terroir. The winery’s rustic ambiance and scenic surroundings make it an ideal setting for events, gatherings, weddings, and memorable moments. 

4. Catch a show at Memorial Opera House

The Memorial Opera House is a historical and cultural landmark that was originally constructed in 1892. This architectural gem has been a focal point for the performing arts, hosting various theatrical productions, musical performances, and cultural events. The opera house’s ornate and beautifully preserved interior transports visitors to a bygone era. With its remarkable acoustics and intimate seating, the Memorial Opera House provides an ideal setting for local and touring productions, showcasing the talents of actors, musicians, and artists from near and far. 

Young Female opera singer performing solo on stage
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5. Watch a movie at 49er Drive-In Theatre 

The 49er Drive-In Theatre is an iconic destination that harkens back to the golden age of cinema. Visitors can watch films from the comfort of their own vehicles, complete with classic concession treats and community. The drive-in frequently screens a mix of current blockbuster hits, timeless classics, and family-friendly features. 

6. Smell the roses at Gabis Arboretum

Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest is a sprawling sanctuary that celebrates the beauty and diversity of plant life. Spanning over 300 acres, this living museum is a haven for nature enthusiasts, students, and families alike. It features an extensive collection of trees, shrubs, and other plants, carefully curated to showcase various species and ecosystems. 

Watering garden flowers with sprinkler
xijian via Getty Images

7. Enjoy a musical at Chicago Street Theatre

Established in 1954, Chicago Street Theatre has been a cornerstone of artistic expression with a diverse range of performances. Housed in a charming and historic building, Chicago Street Theatre has showcased many different genres, from classic plays to contemporary works, musicals, and experimental productions. 

8. Roam around Valparaiso University 

Valparaiso University is a higher-educational institution known for its commitment to academic excellence, faith-based values, and vibrant community. As a Lutheran-affiliated institution, Valparaiso University also values spiritual growth, ethical development, and a sense of social responsibility. Valparaiso University’s campus is a blend of historic charm and modern innovation. Lush green spaces and elegant architecture create a picturesque backdrop for academic pursuits, fostering an atmosphere of inspiration and learning. From the iconic Chapel of the Resurrection that graces the campus skyline to state-of-the-art facilities that facilitate cutting-edge research and collaborative learning, Valparaiso University’s campus embodies a fusion of tradition and progress.

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Ryan Castillo

Content Marketing Manager

Ryan is part of the Content Marketing team and enjoys writing about market trends and local insights. His dream home would be a large cape cod-style house by the beach.

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