Reliable Richmond – This small, Indiana city packs a big punch for families

Things to do in Richmond, Indiana with kids

I’ve traveled to Richmond, Indiana twice in the past year and both times I’ve been impressed with the number of things there are to do in the small city. Richmond has plenty of museums and parks, a thriving mural scene, and delicious dining options. Maybe my favorite thing about Richmond is how friendly the locals are – full of Midwestern hospitality and willing to help visitors.

Located approximately 75 miles east of downtown Indianapolis and 100 miles west of downtown Columbus, Ohio; Richmond is the perfect getaway for Midwest families. Without further ado, here’s my guide to all things Richmond – where to stay, eat and play!

**My family’s March 2019 stay in Richmond was hosted by Visit Richmond. All opinions are my own.**

Paint the Towne

Looking for something unique to do while on your Richmond getaway? How about painting a piece of pottery? I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Paint the Towne because it allowed us to slow down together and work on our artistic skills. The kids loved being able to pick out what they would paint and choosing their own colors. If you’re short on time, the owner Maria will even ship your creations to you after they are fired in the kiln.

Pottery items start around $5 and you’re sure to find something that will please everyone! I painted a coffee mug, while my daughter painted a unicorn and one son created his own pizza plate! If our path takes us to Richmond again, Paint the Towne will be at the top of our list, as the kids already know what they want to design next time!

Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.  Paint the Towne offers pottery painting that the entire family will enjoy.
Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.  Paint the Towne offers pottery painting that the entire family will enjoy.

Levi & Catharine Coffin State Historic Site

Visitors to the Richmond area should not overlook a trip to the Levi Coffin House. Levi & Catharine Coffin’s home was considered the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad. They helped numerous Freedom Seekers by hiding them in their home and transporting them onward.

The tour includes a short film, an interpretative center, and a guided tour of the Coffin home. You can read much more about our visit HERE.

Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.  The Levi & Catharine Coffin House State Historic Site is a destination that you don't want to miss.  This was known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.
Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.  The Levi & Catharine Coffin House State Historic Site is a destination that you don't want to miss.  This was known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.

Hayes Arboretum

Plenty of hiking trails and an indoor nature center make this a family retreat focused 100% on the Great Outdoors. I only wish the weather would have cooperated so that we could have spent more time hiking!

The indoor Nature Center offers learning activities for kids. My children were pretty tied to the marble run, but there is also a working beehive and other stations that young ones can learn about trees, plants, and animals. This would be a fantastic place to complement your hike or a homeschool science curriculum.

Things to do in Richmond, Indiana with kids - The Hayes Arboretum offers a Nature Center and numerous hiking trails.

Joseph Moore Museum

Truth be told, I didn’t have high expectations for this small museum on the campus of Earlham College! However, I was pleasantly surprised by the exhibits and how they entertained my children! If you’re visiting Richmond with kids, this should be at the top of your list of things to do!

The Joseph Moore Museum offers a Planetarium and wildlife handling. While it wasn’t the fanciest Planetarium show I’ve been to, it definitely turned on some lights in little brains (the kids, not mine – lol). I measured the guides’ success by how much was retained by little minds.

The upstairs is also filled with other creative exhibits. I loved how this was geared to children ages 4-12. In one area, kids can find the toy animal that best resembles its skeleton. In a nearby sandbox, they can create animal footprints to compare and contrast.

The Joseph Moore Museum is known for having one of the two Egyptian Mummies that reside in Richmond. While I geeked out on the mummy, my kiddos ran right for the reptiles! Thankfully, a museum worker appeared and let the kids touch the iguana and bearded dragon.

Joseph Moore Museum. Things to do in Richmond, Indiana with kids.
Joseph Moore Museum. Things to do in Richmond, Indiana with kids.

Abbott’s Candies

If you have an incurable sweet tooth like me, you must visit Abbott’s Candies in Hagerstown, Indiana! The 20-minute drive from downtown Richmond is well worth the trip!

W.C. Abbott started the candy company out of his home in 1890. Abbott’s famous caramels are mixed in the same copper bowls that were over 100 years ago – the only difference is the automatic mixers. Each day, 4500 of the classic caramels are produced and individually wrapped by hand!

We were given a tour of Abbott’s by Jay Noel, owner of the company. I have to say, the men and women we met in the showroom and factory were some of the kindest people I’ve met during my travels!

Abbott’s Candies is one stop along Richmond’s Chocolate Trail. Each visitor showing a Chocolate Passport gets a sample of their delicious cream chocolates. While you’re there, I also recommend trying a Gizmo (similar to a turtle). I couldn’t leave without purchasing a bag of my own.

Abbott's Candies. Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.
Candy-makers pour the hot caramel onto the water table, which allows for it to cool and harden.
Abbott's Candies. Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.

Thistlewaite Falls

A man-made waterfall from the 1800s, this is a beautiful spot to stop for a few moments and allow the sound of the water to help you get over some of those family travel moments. Lol!

Thistlewaite Falls.  Things to do in Richmond, Indiana.

Best Richmond, Indiana Restaurants for families

AJ’s Diner

A cute spot for breakfast or lunch, this is the place where the locals go for inexpensive eats! I tried my first Indiana tenderloin (holy sandwich!) and I wasn’t disappointed! We had friendly and quick service.

Firehouse BBQ & Blues

Located in an 1860s fire station and voted one of Indiana’s top BBQ joints. You have to try the Brunswick Stew!

Little Sheba’s

Great kids’ meals, indoor or outdoor dining, and a bar! I loved my taco salad and the kids were delighted the kids’ meals came with Oreos for dessert!

Snack time

Do not miss a stop at Ullery’s Homemade Ice cream! Their ice cream tastes just like the ice cream that my uncle used to spend hours toning arm muscles to crank! Ullery’s has numerous flavors and also make sundaes.

Ullery's ice cream.  Places to eat in Richmond, Indiana.  Things to do in Richmond, Indiana with kids.
I saw this sundae on Instagram the week before our visit and already knew what I’d be ordering! The power of marketing!

If you love donuts, I recommend a visit to Cinnamon Spice Bakery in Centerville! We made a quick stop on our way to Abbott’s Candies (don’t judge our sugar intake) and picked up some donuts. If you have a little longer to spare, they have a very cute sitting area with a wood stove.

I did it for the ‘gram – Richmond’s Mural Scene

Downtown Richmond is home to nearly 90 murals! These are the perfect way to learn more about the historic nature of the downtown area, but they also look pretty sweet on Instagram.

Where to stay in Richmond

We had a great experience at the Hampton Inn & Suites. Our room was clean and very large, and the kitchenette was helpful for heating up leftovers! The hotel provides a hot breakfast, plus plenty of grab-and-go items. For more hotel prices in Richmond CLICK HERE! P.S. I do not recommend the Quality Inn.

Are you ready to visit Richmond? I’m ready for another tenderloin and ice cream!

Thanks again to Visit Richmond for sponsoring our stay.

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Things to do in Richmond, Indiana - Kid-friendly things to do in Richmond!  Best restaurants and attractions.  Here's my complete guide to Richmond.  #MidwestTravel #familytravel

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