25 Best Things to Do in Goshen (IN)

Source: Flickr / Samuel A. Love | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Also referred to as the Maple City, Goshen is located in the northern part of Indiana, near the Michigan border, nicknamed as Michiana. Goshen is your typical small town with just over 30,000 friendly inhabitants and a large Amish community.

Being so close to Michigan, the city is known for its recreational vehicle scene. It is also home to a creative community, Goshen College, and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Goshen (IN)

Source: Map data @2022 Google

1. Fidler Pond Park

Fidler Pond Park
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One of Goshen’s treasures, Fidler Pond Park has an 80 acres pond where you can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats. Located right on the main road track goes all the way around the lake with just over a mile and a half. You can walk your dog, cycle around it, sail, and even go fishing. However, fishing is only for “catch and release” and from designated areas along the bank.

During the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, one of the largest in the USA, the Chiddister Pavilion in Fidler Pond is the place to be to enjoy one of the local bands performing. Fidler Pond Park also hosts the Goshen’s annual Rock the Quarry Triathlon, nature talks and campfire sing-alongs.

2. The Old Bag Factory

The Old Bag Factory-1
Source: Unsplash / Ant Rozetsky

This century-old brick building, right in front of the Fort Wayne St. Bridge, started being revitalized in 1984 after the abandoned factory was purchased, and artists and merchants began exhibiting their work and making it their home.

Nowadays, The Old Bag Factory is an entertainment space. Some of the attractions include artisan shops like pottery, hardwood furniture, musical instruments, an escape room, and a virtual reality center, not to mention a few restaurants. Nonetheless, this is an essential piece of Goshen’s history, and up until today, the owners are still discovering tools and memorabilia from the 19th century when the factory was first built.

3. Goshen Art House

Goshen Art House
Source: Pexels / Tiana

Goshen Art House is a unique space in Downtown Goshen is a small and cozy environment with an artsy vibe. Formed as a non-profit space in 2005, the venue has two areas. The one-screen cinema shows independent movies and festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, and South by Southwest.

The Black Box theater is the live-theater space, home to the local improv group, GoProv. They also host concerts, staged readings, live theater, art galleries, stand-up comedians, magic shows, burlesque, and more. It is worth visiting the Art House to support the local artists and enjoy the free popcorn refill!

4. Ox Bow Park

Ox Bow Park-1
Source: Flickr / Steve | CC BY-SA 2.0

On the banks of the Elkhart River, Ox Bow Park provides outdoor activities for the entire year. The well-maintained park includes eight picnic areas, out of which one is a winterized shelter. The sports and recreation facilities involve volleyball courts and athletic fields, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, a paved bike trail, an archery range, observation tower, canoe launch, an open-air chapel, and a disc golf course.

During the winter months, you can practice cross-country skiing in one of the groomed trails or even go sledding. Be aware that you might have to pay an entry fee with a motorized vehicle.

5. Goshen Farmers Market

Goshen Farmers Market
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Goshen Farmers Market is the typical small town gathering place where you can buy fresh produce, baked goods, jellies, and Amish food. Besides low-cost, basic food, you can also find gluten-free, keto, vegan, dairy-free options, and exotic imported cheeses.

Apart from food, they sell handmade soap products, pottery items, plants, clothes and during winter it functions as a flea market. As you walk among the vendors looking for your tasty goods, listening to local artists play their music, Goshen Farmers Market turns into a welcoming and cozy place.

6. Goshen College

Goshen College-1
Source: Wikimedia / Mennonite Church USA

Located on the south side of town and founded in 1894, Goshen College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA. Goshen College has been named one of America’s Greenest Colleges, and Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center is a leading institute in its field.

The College has always been acclaimed for its emphasis on peace and justice issues and its unique approach to education. And it does not hurt to study in such a beautiful campus with the brick buildings surrounded by all that green area.

7. The Hawks

The Hawks
Source: The Hawks

Built in 1870 as a furniture factory along the Millrace Canal, The Hawks turned into a live-work residential building in 2015. But what is special about this place is the fact that it is now a space for artists and entrepreneurs, where they can live, work, and entertain the local community. Amongst the residents are musicians, designers, chefs, painters, photographers.

You can walk along the hallways to admire their artwork or even buy a piece. The non-profit housing agency LaCasa, Inc. manages the space and determines which ones of the many applicants get to live in this affordable housing facility.

8. Abshire Park

Abshire Park-1
Source: Wikimedia / Bbeachy2001 | CC BY-SA 3.0

Donated to the city in 1986, Abshire Park is the second largest park in Goshen after Shanklin Park. It is on East Lincoln Avenue, next to (and accessible from) the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail.

The Abshire Park Trail, bordering the Rock Run Creek, takes you from the park to East Monroe Street with a well-shaded path that runs through the countryside of Goshen. The park includes several attractions such as prairie restoration, wetlands, traditional forest, Abshire Cabin, and a rentable enclosed pavilion.

9. Maple City Market

Maple City Market
Source: Pexels / John Lambeth | CCO

In the early 1970s, Goshen College students and faculty formed a buying club, which is now the co-op Maple City Market. This consumer-owned cooperative grocery store is focused on economic and environmental sustainability by selling mainly locally produced and organic food.

The Maple City Market is a place of gathering where many locals work, and the entire town goes shopping. This might be just what you need during a touristic day in Goshen, given their “to-go” section stocked with fresh sandwiches and baked bread, as well as soup available for carry-out.

10. Elkhart County Circuit Courthouse

Elkhart County Circuit Courthouse-1
Source: Wikimedia / Derek Jensen | Public Domain

Between 3rd and Main Streets, Elkhart County Circuit Court is where you can find the main square in Goshen. The building itself is a historical landmark surrounded by history. With its clock tower and accurate bell mechanism, the edifice is considered one of Indiana’s unique courthouses.

Elkhart County Circuit Courthouse is the center of Goshen’s picturesque downtown with the square surrounding the building being so green and welcoming. While visiting the area check out the ornate Neptune fountain and the famous Goshen police booth.

11. Ignition Music Garage

Ignition Music Garage
Source: Pexels / Anna Savelieva

Ignition Music Garage is a music store, radio broadcast center, and concert venue in a former mechanic’s garage. They base their motto on offering the community a way “to listen to music the way artists intended it to be heard: recorded, live and broadcasted”. Thus, Ignition Music Garage hosts concerts for various genres with live performances by national and local artists.

Take your time strolling through the store in search of new or used CDs and vinyl 2-channel audios. And if they do not have what you are looking for, they will always order it for you.

12. Millrace Park

Millrace Park
Source: Wikimedia / Stickman42 | CC BY-SA 4.0

Between the Elkhart River and Millrace Canal, Millrace Park is known for its floodplain and the Millrace Canal 3 miles trail. The path is made of asphalt and crushed stones having an excellent bicycle, pedestrian, and wheelchair access. Goshen Brewing Company is next to the trail on Washington St. and makes for a perfect resting place after your exercise.

Besides the Millrace Canal trail, there are various trails through the Beachy Classified Forest. Millrace Park is also home to the Rieth Interpretive Center, a bird-viewing area and other nature and environmental exhibits, and large events such as the Maple City Arbor Day Celebration.

13. Goshen Public Library

Goshen Public Library
Source: Unsplash / Luisa Brimble | CCO

With nearly 200,000 items, the Goshen Public Library is a free lending library on the Main Street. Taxes from the City of Goshen and Elkhart Township support the library. The main level of the building provides Adult and Young Adult Services, and a section with the Indiana Collection.

The lower level gathers material focused on Children’s, Audiovisual and Technical Services, and meeting rooms. Goshen Public Library also offers events such as Baby & Me Lapsit, Preschool Storytime, Teen Café and book clubs. And for the dog lovers, the library organizes the Greyt Readers, where people can read to Greyhounds.

14. Linway Cinema 14

Linway Cinema 14
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In 1994, the Maple City Investment Company established the cinema, which grew from a small corporation into a larger movie theater accompanying the development of the filmmaking business. Nowadays, the cinema has fourteen screens and offers RealD 3D technology.

To please even more those who attend the Linway Cinema 14, they also offer free refill of soda or popcorn. The cinema streams both old movies and new releases and all their schedule is updated on their website, where you can also purchase your tickets.

15. DeFries Calendar Gardens

DeFries Calendar Gardens
Source: Pixabay / AnnieSpratt | CCO

Located within the River Preserve County Park, DeFries Gardens is a unique landscaping experience laid out in a circle that follows the calendar. All the plants are planted, so they bloom in order, based on the time of year they thrive. Along the path, bricks tell you the dates of the year and when the full moons occur each month.

You can spend fifteen peaceful minutes walking the circle or two hours exploring the details. There are also some small trails to walk in the woods around the garden. In the middle of this hidden gem of rural Elkhart County, there is a small pond, home to fish and frogs.

16. Goshen Environmental Center

Goshen Environmental Center
Source: Goshen Indiana

Goshen is also known for its environmental initiatives, and at Goshen Environmental Center, residents can take their organic waste to be recycled and composted. Since 2018, Goshen’s city government has focused on becoming more sustainable by growing the city’s tree canopy by 45%.

Interestingly, in 2019 alone, Goshen outranked big cities such as Phoenix, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver with its production of 116 watts of solar power per capita. At the environmental center, you can buy finished compost and a variety of landscape mulch and bulk soil.

17. The Goshen Theater

The Goshen Theater
Source: Flickr / Andy WetherillFollow | CC BY 2.0

The historic Goshen Theater is the heart of the Goshen’s culture scene, hosting meetings, performances and special events. The former Jefferson Theater, the Goshen Theater, opened in 1905 only to be destroyed by a fire the next year. Even though the theater was closed from 1986 to 2014, it was rebuilt and remodeled a few times since then.

Nowadays, it comprises the intimate 700-seat historic auditorium, concessions area, Jefferson Bar, second-story offices and third-story ballroom. In other words, the Goshen Theater is the classical small-town theater with free family nights.

18. Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Pumpkinvine Nature Trail
Source: Flickr / Ken Ratcliff | CC BY 2.0

The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, a leg of the Maple City Greenway Trail Network, covers 17.6 mile of lush woodland corridors surrounded by rolling farmland connecting the towns of Goshen, Middlebury, and Shipshewana. Some activities you can practice along this trail are hiking, cycling, inline skating and cross-country skiing.

This linear park and greenway, on the former Pumpkinvine railroad corridor, is made of asphalt and packed limestone. The trail, which comprises urban areas, small towns, and agricultural communities, is also wheelchair accessible. The expansive trails add up to over 25 miles, including detours and many encounters with wildlife.

19. LaunchPad

Source: Unsplash / Yolk CoWorking – Krakow | CC BY 2.0

At this coworking space for freelancers and entrepreneurs, you can find 24/7 speedy internet and several working areas. Since there no assigned seats, you can take one of the places to work during your stay in Goshen.

Some of the small businesses you might find there are start-ups, creative developers, designers, artisans, writers, and professional office nomads. LaunchPad is made of 12 seated desks, 4 standing desks, a large-screen projection unit, three conference rooms with video-conferencing capability, and a gallery of the original artwork.

20. Rêverie Yarn & Décor

Rêverie Yarn and Décor
Source: Unsplash / Mehrad Vosoughi | CC BY 2.0

Founded in 2013, Rêverie Yarn & Décor is a beautiful boutique on the Main St. owned by seven women. There you can find children’s gifts, home decor, textiles, needle art supply, Polish pottery and environmentally friendly products, such as Bees Wraps.

And in case you feel adventurous and creative, they also offer knitting classes for all ages and levels, as well as knitting groups and knit-along events. With an extensive selection of high-quality yarns and knowledgeable staff, this might be the perfect stop to buy gifts when visiting Goshen.

21. Goshen Municipal Airport

Goshen Municipal Airport-1
Source: Unsplash / Bao Menglong

Even though the Goshen Municipal Airport is tiny with only a few commercial flights, it is the seventh busiest airport in the State of Indiana. It is a great place to attend small private flight lessons since there are no terminals and only a few hangers. They host events to celebrate important dates, such as Independence Day.

You can expect a fantastic airshow and fireworks exhibition filled with motorcyclist stunts, helicopter and plane rides, and food vendors. In addition, two major aerial events take place every year at Goshen Municipal Airport, the Freedom Fest, and the Air Supremacy over Goshen.

22. Elkhart’s 4-H Fairgrounds

Elkharts 4-H Fairgrounds-1
Source: Acsmith3 | Public Domain

Separated from Fidler Pond Park by the Rock Run Creek, the Elkhart’s 4-H Fairgrounds hosts over 150 events per year and one of the largest county fairs in the country, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, with over 200,000 visitors. The fair is known for its free grandstand entertainment and concerts and the 8,000 projects displayed by 4-H members, a tradition in the Midwest.

Within its nearly 400 acres of land, Elkhart’s 4-H Fairgrounds is also home to a year-round public campground with permanent RVs. This is also a great place to buy your Goshen souvenir, given the importance 4-H has on promoting agriculture and youth development in the Michiana region.

23. Venturi

Source: Pexels / Ponyo Sakana | CC BY 2.0

Venturi offers a certified Neapolitan Pizza with handmade mozzarella. The non-profit Vera Pizza Napoletana, based in Naples, Italy, is the only organization allowed to offer this courtesy. At Venturi, you can eat real Neapolitan pizza, which was also voted by Esquire’s readers as one of the top 15 most life changing pizza in the USA.

There, you can expect your pizza to be handmade from flour, with tomatoes that come from the Naples region, no sugar or oil in the dough, and made in a wood-burning oven. All this effort means it might take a while to get your pizza ready so sit down and enjoy one of their famous craft cocktails or imported Italian wines.

24. Anna’s Bread

Anna’s Bread
Source: Pexels / Flo Maderebner | CC BY 2.0

Originally opened as Rachel’s Bread 30 years ago, the local bakeshop became Anna’s Bread after the former owner sold the bakery to one of her employees. Located on West Washington Street and attached to the Goshen Farmers Market, Anna’s Bread specializes in fresh bread, pastries and treats for all tastes.

An extraordinary hint is to go for the fresh-baked multigrain sourdough loaf or their frittatas! Besides the fresh coffee and tasty baked goods, you can also find multiple local art, jewelry, and ceramics for purchase. And to top it all up, the service always comes with a smile!

25. Electric Brew

Electric Brew
Source: Pexels / Porapak Apichodilok | CC BY 2.0

After graduating from Goshen College in 1995, the Kauffman’s opened a family-owned coffeehouse specialized in house-roasted beans and handcrafted food in a solar-powered historic building. There are many cozy seating areas, including the patio, which perfect for those nice weather days, the open space with gorgeous wall art and the smaller back room to focus when you are looking for a comfier atmosphere.

The Electric Brew also offers services like catering, a mobile espresso bar and bulk orders of coffee grains. Nowadays, the coffeehouse is owned by a different family, you can take your roasted coffee as a Goshen souvenir and there is a branch of the Electric Brew in Elkhart as well.