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The Coolest Museums in Northern Indiana

There is so much more to Northern Indiana’s history than farming and football, though we have to admit—we’re pretty big fans of both. Indiana’s Cool North is home to some seriously unique museums and historic sites. Where else could you see massive mastodon bones, visit the first Amish settlement in the state, or let your inner comic book nerd loose at the world’s only superhero museum? Read on to learn about Northern Indiana’s coolest museums.

Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

Where: Elkhart County/Elkhart
When: Monday to Friday 2 - 5 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 - 4 p.m.

Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

Holy comic book history Batman! The only museum of its kind in the world, Hall of Heroes boasts a collection of over 60,000 comic books and 10,000 action figures, toys, and props from beloved super hero television shows and films. Channel your inner caped crusader in a replica of the Bat Cave set from the 1960’s Batman TV series or fend off foes with the original shield used in the film Captain America: First Avenger.

 

Potawatomi Zoo

Where: South Bend Mishawaka
When: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. everyday

Leopard at Potawatomi Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side at Indiana’s oldest zoo. Home to over 400 animals, including large cats, primates, poison dart frogs and a menagerie of Australian wildlife, the zoo promises an entire day of fun for the whole family. Take a ride around the 23-acre complex on the Zoo Train and get up close and “fur-sonal” with some barnyard pals at the Farm Feeding Area.

 

Porter County Museum

Where: Indiana Dunes/Valparaiso
When: Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Porter County Museum

Also known as PoCo Muse, this museum is as eclectic as Indiana’s Cool North—and just as interesting! Going as far back as the prehistoric era in Porter County, check out mighty mastodon bones that were found in a local farmer’s field. The World War II exhibit includes artifacts belonging to local soldiers. Relive the Wild West at the exhibit of stunt performer Broncho John Sullivan.

Marshall County Historical Society Museum

Where: Marshall County/Plymouth
When: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Marshall Country Historical Museum front window

Hoosier history comes to life at the Marshall County Historical Society Museum. What looks like three separate storefronts on the outside houses over 25,000 square feet of Northern Indiana heritage. Learn how Indiana earned the nickname “The Crossroads of America”, hear the personal stories of local WWII veterans at a living history exhibit, and step back in to the nineteenth century in the Marshall Gallery. Looking to trace your Hoosier roots? Ask one of the research specialists at the genealogy research library to help shake your family tree.

Hesston Steam Museum

Where: Michigan City LaPorte/LaPorte
When: Most weekends and holidays, 12 - 5 p.m.

Hesston Steam Museum

More than just railroads, steam power revolutionized the way Americans worked, traveled, and lived during the Industrial Age. At Hesston Steam Museum, see a variety steam locomotives in action—from the Shay locomotive once used for hauling lumber from the west to the one-eighth scale miniature railroad that’s fun for kids and adults alike. Other highlights include the sawmill, steam crane and rustic blacksmith shop.

Amish Acres Historic Farm & Heritage Resort

Where: Elkhart County/Nappanee

Amish Acres Historic Farm with flowers in front of building

You can’t get closer to authentic Amish culture than this. Home to the first Amish settlers in Indiana, the Stahly-Nissley-Kuhns farmstead is the only Amish farm listed in The National Register of Historic Places. In addition to traditional horse and buggy rides, and engaging craft demonstrations, enjoy a hearty family style meal and try some free wine samples at The Tasting Loft. Stay for a showing of Plain & Fancy at the Round Barn Theatre—a Broadway musical about Amish life and love.

Hallmark Ornament Museum

Where: Kosciusko County/Warsaw
When: Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Man showing Hallmark Ornament museum display to girl next to him

It’s Christmas all year round at the Hallmark Ornament Museum! Marvel at the only complete collection of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments produced since 1973. What started as a simple collection of glass ball ornaments has evolved to include over 4,000 designs from Elvis to I Love Lucy to the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. One thing is for sure, you’d need more than one tree to hold all of these!

 

The History Museum

Where: South Bend Mishawaka
When: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

St. Joe Copshaholm

The J.D. Oliver family certainly left their mark on South Bend and beyond, creating plows that had a major influence agriculture. Tour their elegant 38-room Victorian man­sion, known as Copshaholm, which retains its original furnishings, plus a charming cottage reflecting the 1930s, a gallery that chronicles local history, a gallery of Notre Dame history, and a children’s museum all in this one location just west of downtown. On the historic house tour, docents provide interest­ing facts about both the mansion and the family so deeply rooted in Northern Indiana. The museum grounds also include two acres of historic gardens for an ideal outdoor stroll.

Studebaker National Museum

Where: South Bend Mishawaka
When: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

St. Joe Studebaker Museum

The craftsmanship and design of the Stude­baker family’s transportation creations is on full display when you roam past more than 100 painstakingly restored vehicles, such as the 1934 Bendix and the 1935 Commander Roadster. The Conestoga wagon that first brought the Studebakers to South Bend in 1852 is on display, as well as carriages the family created for presidents, including the carriage Abraham Lincoln took to Ford’s theater on his last ride.

Hostetler Hudson Museum

Where: LaGrange County/Shipshewana
When: Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
April 5th to December 1st

LaGrange Peach Hudson

Step back in time with a leisurely stroll through a showroom full of magnificent Hudson vehicles that will delight both the young and the young at heart. This shining tribute to Hudson automotive history is a must-see on your visit to Northern Indiana!

The museum is the ideal venue for classic car enthusiasts, car clubs, families, or anyone interested in taking a closer look at the largest collection of Hudson products in the world. Want to create your own night at the museum? Let museum staff and their partners at the Shipshewana Event Center customize an event to meet your needs.

These are just a few of the awesome, interesting, and eclectic museums and attractions you’ll find when you visit Northern Indiana. Explore our Things to Do page to find more fun in Indiana’s Cool North.