Jeffersonville is home to Schimpff’s Confectionary and Candy Museum. Open since 1891, it’s the oldest family-owned candy business in the U.S., famous for its cinnamon red hots, hard candy fish and modjeskas (carmel-dipped marshmallows).
Visitors can enjoy lunch in Jeffersonville’s historic district at Schimpff’s 50s soda fountain beneath the original tin ceiling. The candy museum and demonstration area features old-fashioned candy jars, cases and turn-of-the-century equipment that offer a glimpse into the history of candy-making, packaging and advertising.
Free tours are available. Visit schimpffs.com for more information.
Step into history
The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science recently underwent a $14 million dollar renovation to include an outdoor classroom, a museum shop and a new 360-degree immersive theater.
Current exhibits include the wooden assemblages of artist Rob Millard-Mendez , an interactive exhibit on space and astronomy and Rivertown, a recreation of 19th century Evansville.
“It’s an overview of what the whole city would look like back in the 1800s,” said Jacob McCalister, marketing assistant for the museum.
The museum also features a calendar of fun events including a family board game night and a comic book collage workshop. For more information, visit evansvillemuseum.org.
In this year of Indiana’s bicentennial, you can’t go south without a visit to Indiana’s first state capital, Corydon. The original capitol building, constructed in 1814, still stands, as does the governor’s headquarters and the first state office building.
Corydon also is the site of the only Civil War battle to be fought in Indiana. A monument to the 30-minute battle stands on the outskirts of town.
Visit thisisindiana.org for more information.
A slower pace
A trip to the Amish country of Northern Indiana can be a relaxing way to slow down life’s busy pace with a journey back in time to Shipshewana, the heart of Amish county.
Jody Hooley, director of leisure group experiences for the LaGrange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, recommends the first stop should be at the Menno-Hof, a museum and information center dedicated to the history of the Amish and Mennonites in America.
“It’s an interpretive center that explains a lot about the Amish culture, why they dress the way they do and why they don’t drive cars and so forth,” she said.
Interactive and multimedia exhibits trace the history of the Amish from their 17th century origins in Switzerland to today’s agricultural communities spread across Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The museum addresses many misconceptions about Amish life and offers a gift shop featuring Amish-made handiwork.
Visit mennohof.org for hours of operation and admission information.
History of hoops
With March Madness in full swing, why not take a sports-themed road trip?
Look no further than Indianapolis for the first stop: The NCAA Hall of Champions for Basketball Saturdays, March 19 and 26.
After touring the exhibits, visitors are invited to watch tournament games in the second floor media rooms. Get a dollar off admission for wearing your favorite NCAA team shirt and enjoy 50-cent popcorn. Visit ncaahallofchampions.org for more information.
Head the other direction on Interstate 70 to visit the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle.
A visit to the hall of fame is a trip down memory lane for anyone who grew up following a high school team. Visitors can sift through memorabilia and revisit the careers of high school players. Visit hoopshall.com for more information.
If you prefer a touch of Hollywood for your journey, take a short drive to Knightstown to the Hoosier Gym, where the movie “Hoosiers,” starring Gene Hackman, was filmed.
Built in 1922 and used for 44 years, the gym stood mostly empty until it became the location for filming the movie that ESPN called “the greatest sports movie of all time.”
After the filming, a nonprofit organization took over the gym, renovated it and turned it into a community center, said Neil Shaneyfelt, president of the Hoosier Gym Community Center of Knightstown.
“People didn’t want to see it torn down,” Shaneyfelt said.
The gym is now open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and volunteers are usually on hand for a free tour. Because the gym is still an operating community center, Shaneyfelt suggests visitors call ahead to schedule a tour at 800-668-1895.
Let’s Go Somewhere is an occasional series about travel destinations across Indiana.