Looking for fun places to go with kids? Add New Harmony, Indiana to your list of family vacation ideas. Whether you’re making a day trip or an extended stay, you will find plenty to see and do.
Take a seat in the Oculus where, inside one of the two small log cabins on West Street, a camera obscura has been created. Learn about its background from the plaque outside, then enter, shut the door, sit down, and wait for your eyes to adjust as the outside is magically projected on the inside walls and ceiling. Experience this optical phenomenon to understand how and why it helped with the development of photography.
Check out the Tree of 40 Fruits Installation near The Atheneum Visitors Center. Two trees there are part of an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken. Adults and kids alike will delight at these living sculptures which have undergone a multi-year chip grafting to add sections from various stone fruit trees. Van Aken’s project intertwines nature and art. The kids can even learn a bit about botany in the process!
New Harmony is home to two noteworthy outdoor labyrinths, both admission-free and open from sunrise to sunset. The Harmonist Labyrinth is made up of meticulously sculpted hedges that will make your kids WANT to shift their focus from their phones to concentrate on finding their way through the complex paths leading to the round stone building in its center. The Cathedral Labyrinth across town is an ancient single path labyrinth carved in granite that provides an opportunity to walk and meditate.
Pack a picnic lunch (or grab carry-out from a local restaurant) and enjoy a relaxing meal at a picnic table in one of the local parks.
Rent a golf cart, pack your bicycles, or simply walk along the trails through the woods and down to the banks of the Wabash River. Look up and you may see an eagle’s nest in one of the tall trees above. In May through early July, watch as the trees come alive with the blinking glow of fireflies.
Experience the majesty of the Roofless Church, an architectural monument designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson. This artistic and architectural marvel was originally envisioned as a church where the only roof large enough to encompass a world of worshippers was the sky. This open air interdenominational church has been delighting visitors for 60 years and is often the site of weddings and occasionally a concert.
Those are just a few of the “fee-free” wonders of Historic New Harmony, one of the most beautiful places to visit.