10 Things to do in Merrillville Indiana – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to Merrillville, Indiana, a hidden gem waiting to be explored by travel enthusiasts. This vibrant town offers a plethora of exciting things to do in Merrillville Indiana, making it a must-visit destination for all types of travelers. From shopping at the upscale Southlake Mall to exploring the scenic beauty of Deep River Waterpark, Merrillville has something for everyone. Join us as we uncover the top attractions, delicious dining spots, and unique experiences that make Merrillville a standout destination in the heart of the Midwest. Get ready to be captivated by the charm and allure of this dynamic town!

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Deep River Waterpark:

Essential Information

– Address: 9001 E Lincoln Hwy, Crown Point, IN 46307
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (seasonal variations)
– Fee: $25 for adults, $20 for children
– Visit Duration: Half-day
– Ideal for: Families, thrill-seekers


Deep River Waterpark in Merrillville, Indiana, is a thrilling destination for families and adventure enthusiasts alike. With a variety of water slides, lazy rivers, and splash zones, this waterpark offers a fun-filled day for visitors of all ages. The park’s convenient location and affordable entrance fees make it a must-see attraction in the region.

Whether you’re looking to cool off on a hot summer day or seeking an adrenaline rush on the water slides, Deep River Waterpark has something for everyone. Families can enjoy the wave pool and kiddie play areas, while thrill-seekers can brave the towering slides and high-speed attractions. With ample seating areas, food concessions, and attentive staff, visitors can relax and enjoy a day of aquatic fun in a safe and welcoming environment.

Don’t miss out on the excitement and entertainment that Deep River Waterpark has to offer. Plan your visit today and experience the thrill of this popular waterpark in Merrillville, Indiana.

Albanese Candy Factory:

Essential Information

– Address: 5441 E Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville, IN 46410
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 10am-6pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, candy enthusiasts


When it comes to sweet indulgence, the Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville, Indiana is a must-see destination for anyone with a sweet tooth. This iconic candy factory offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the magic behind the creation of some of the world’s most beloved candies. From gummy bears to chocolate-covered treats, Albanese Candy Factory is a paradise for candy lovers of all ages.

Stepping inside the factory, visitors are greeted with the irresistible aroma of freshly made candies and the sight of skilled artisans crafting delectable treats right before their eyes. The guided tours provide a fascinating insight into the candy-making process, from the meticulous selection of ingredients to the intricate techniques used to create each mouthwatering confection. Guests can also sample a variety of candies along the way, making it a truly immersive and delightful experience.

Whether you’re looking to satisfy your sweet cravings or simply curious about the art of candy-making, a visit to the Albanese Candy Factory promises a fun and educational experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the world of sweets.

Star Plaza Theatre:

Essential Information

– Address: 8001 Delaware Pl, Merrillville, IN 46410
– Opening Hours: Varies based on event schedule
– Fee: Ticket prices vary
– Visit Duration: Depends on event
– Ideal for: Music and theater enthusiasts


Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana, is a vibrant cultural hub that attracts music and theater enthusiasts alike. With its prime location and diverse lineup of events, this venue offers a unique entertainment experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking to catch a live concert, comedy show, or theatrical performance, Star Plaza Theatre has something for everyone.

The theater’s intimate setting allows for a close connection between performers and the audience, creating a memorable and engaging atmosphere. From legendary musicians to up-and-coming artists, the lineup at Star Plaza Theatre is always impressive, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment. Whether you’re a local resident or a traveler passing through, a visit to Star Plaza Theatre is a must for anyone looking to enjoy top-notch entertainment in Merrillville.

Turkey Creek Golf Course:

Essential Information

– Address: 6400 Harrison St, Merrillville, IN 46410
– Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
– Fee: Varies based on tee time and day
– Visit Duration: 3-4 hours
– Ideal for: Golf enthusiasts and outdoor recreation seekers


Turkey Creek Golf Course in Merrillville, Indiana, is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a challenging yet scenic course. With its well-manicured fairways and lush greens, this 18-hole course offers a rewarding experience for players of all skill levels. The course’s strategic layout, complete with water hazards and bunkers, provides a test of precision and strategy that will keep golfers engaged throughout their round.

Aside from the golfing experience, Turkey Creek Golf Course boasts a welcoming atmosphere and top-notch amenities. The on-site pro shop offers a selection of equipment and apparel for players to enhance their game. Additionally, the clubhouse provides a comfortable setting for golfers to relax and enjoy a meal or refreshments after their round.

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer looking to improve your game or a casual player seeking a fun day outdoors, Turkey Creek Golf Course is a must-visit destination in Merrillville. Plan your visit to this picturesque course and enjoy a memorable day on the greens.

Southlake Mall:

Essential Information

– Address: 2109 Southlake Mall, Merrillville, Indiana
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Shopaholics, families, and tourists


Southlake Mall in Merrillville, Indiana, is a bustling shopping destination that offers a wide array of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment venues all under one roof. Whether you’re a local resident looking for the latest fashion trends or a visitor seeking a unique shopping experience, Southlake Mall has something for everyone.

With over 160 stores to choose from, including popular brands and specialty boutiques, shoppers can indulge in a day of retail therapy. From clothing and accessories to electronics and home goods, the mall caters to a diverse range of tastes and preferences. After browsing the shops, visitors can refuel at one of the many dining establishments offering a variety of cuisines to satisfy any craving.

In addition to shopping and dining, Southlake Mall also hosts events and activities throughout the year, making it a vibrant hub of entertainment for the community. Whether you’re looking to update your wardrobe, enjoy a delicious meal, or simply explore the local shopping scene, Southlake Mall is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Merrillville, Indiana.

Merrillville Community Planetarium:

Essential Information

– Address: Merrillville, Indiana
– Opening Hours: Vary, check website for details
– Fee: Admission is affordable
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, astronomy enthusiasts


The Merrillville Community Planetarium in Merrillville, Indiana, is a must-see attraction for families and astronomy enthusiasts alike. Offering a unique and educational experience, the planetarium provides visitors with a fascinating journey through the cosmos. With affordable admission fees and varying opening hours to accommodate different schedules, it’s a convenient and enriching destination for all ages.

Step inside the planetarium and be transported to the depths of space through captivating shows and interactive exhibits. Learn about the wonders of the universe, from the planets in our solar system to distant galaxies millions of light-years away. Whether you’re a seasoned stargazer or just curious about the night sky, the Merrillville Community Planetarium offers a memorable and enlightening experience that will leave you in awe of the vastness and beauty of the cosmos.

Hidden Lake Park:

Essential Information

– Address: Hidden Lake Park, 6355 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410
– Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, families, outdoor enthusiasts


Hidden Lake Park in Merrillville, Indiana, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This picturesque park offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With its serene lake, lush greenery, and scenic walking trails, Hidden Lake Park provides the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful picnic with family and friends.

Visitors to Hidden Lake Park can enjoy a variety of recreational activities, from birdwatching and fishing to simply relaxing by the water’s edge. The park’s well-maintained facilities and easy accessibility make it an ideal spot for a quick getaway or a day of outdoor fun. Whether you’re looking to unwind in nature or explore the local flora and fauna, Hidden Lake Park offers something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your visit today and discover the beauty of this hidden oasis in Merrillville, Indiana.

Oak Ridge Prairie County Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 301 S Colfax St, Griffith, IN 46319
– Opening Hours: Daily from 7:00 am to sunset
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, families


Oak Ridge Prairie County Park in Merrillville, Indiana, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts seeking a peaceful retreat. The park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, with its vast open spaces and diverse ecosystems. Visitors can explore the park’s well-maintained trails, perfect for hiking and bird watching. The park is home to a variety of bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts looking to spot some feathered friends in their natural habitat.

With its picturesque landscapes and tranquil atmosphere, Oak Ridge Prairie County Park is an ideal destination for a relaxing day out with family or friends. Whether you’re looking to unwind amidst nature’s beauty, get some exercise, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, this park has something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the beauty of Oak Ridge Prairie County Park on your next visit to Merrillville, Indiana.

Lake County Fairgrounds:

Essential Information

– Address: 889 S Court St, Crown Point, IN 46307
– Opening Hours: Varies depending on events
– Fee: Admission prices vary
– Visit Duration: Typically a few hours
– Ideal for: Families, event enthusiasts


The Lake County Fairgrounds in Merrillville, Indiana, is a vibrant hub of community events and entertainment. Hosting a variety of fairs, festivals, and exhibitions throughout the year, this venue is a must-see for those seeking a taste of local culture and fun. From agricultural showcases to craft fairs and live music events, the fairgrounds offer something for everyone.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of the fairgrounds, where the scent of funnel cakes and the sounds of laughter fill the air. Families can enjoy a day out exploring the different attractions, from petting zoos to carnival rides. Event enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse range of activities and performances that take place here.

Whether you’re a local looking for a fun day out or a traveler wanting to experience authentic Indiana entertainment, the Lake County Fairgrounds is a dynamic destination worth adding to your itinerary. Plan your visit to coincide with one of the many exciting events happening throughout the year and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Crown Point Sports Complex:

Essential Information

– Address: Merrillville, Indiana
– Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
– Fee: Varies based on activities
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Sports enthusiasts and families


The Crown Point Sports Complex in Merrillville, Indiana, stands out as a premier destination for sports enthusiasts and families alike. With its state-of-the-art facilities and wide range of activities, this complex offers a dynamic experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking to engage in friendly competition on the basketball courts, soccer fields, or baseball diamonds, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds, the Crown Point Sports Complex has something for everyone.

One of the key reasons why this complex is a must-see place is its commitment to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. The well-maintained facilities provide the perfect setting for individuals to engage in physical activity and enjoy the outdoors. Additionally, the variety of sports programs and events hosted at the complex create a vibrant atmosphere that fosters community spirit and camaraderie.

Overall, the Crown Point Sports Complex offers a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors looking to stay active and have fun. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast looking to hone your skills or a family seeking a day of recreational enjoyment, this complex is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Food and Cuisine

Deep Dish Pizza

Why is it so special:

Deep dish pizza is a signature dish in Merrillville, Indiana, known for its thick, buttery crust filled with layers of gooey cheese, savory tomato sauce, and various toppings. This hearty pizza is a must-try for its unique texture and rich flavors that burst in every bite. The history of deep dish pizza dates back to the 1940s in Chicago, and it has since become a beloved comfort food across the Midwest.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic deep dish pizza experience, head to Aurelio’s Pizza, a local favorite that has been serving up delicious pies for decades. If you’re looking for a more upscale setting, try Gino’s East, known for its classic deep dish pizza and cozy ambiance.

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Why is it so special:

The pork tenderloin sandwich is a classic Midwestern dish that has found a special place in Merrillville’s culinary scene. This sandwich features a tender and juicy pork cutlet, breaded and fried to perfection, served on a soft bun with traditional toppings like lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The pork tenderloin sandwich is a delicious and satisfying meal that showcases the region’s love for hearty comfort food.

Where to Try It:

For a taste of the best pork tenderloin sandwich in Merrillville, visit Schoop’s Hamburgers, a local diner known for its generous portions and flavorful sandwiches. Another great spot to try this dish is at Miner-Dunn, a beloved restaurant that has been serving up classic American fare for over 80 years.

Chicken and Waffles

Why is it so special:

Chicken and waffles is a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors that has become a popular dish in Merrillville. This unique dish features crispy fried chicken paired with fluffy waffles, drizzled with maple syrup for a delicious contrast of textures and tastes. The dish has its roots in Southern cuisine but has gained widespread popularity across the country for its delicious and comforting qualities.

Where to Try It:

To savor a delicious plate of chicken and waffles in Merrillville, head to The Toast and Jam, a cozy breakfast spot known for its creative twists on classic dishes

Events and Festivals

Merrillville Independence Day Parade

The Merrillville Independence Day Parade is a beloved annual event that takes place on July 4th. The parade features colorful floats, marching bands, and community groups, creating a festive atmosphere for all attendees. Visitors can line the streets of Merrillville to enjoy the parade and celebrate Independence Day with the local community.

Pierogi Fest

Pierogi Fest is a unique and quirky festival held in downtown Whiting, just a short drive from Merrillville. This popular event celebrates Eastern European heritage with a variety of delicious pierogies, live music, and fun activities for the whole family. Visitors can sample different types of pierogies, enjoy traditional folk music and dancing, and browse through artisan vendors selling handmade crafts.

Merrillville Oktoberfest

Merrillville Oktoberfest is a lively celebration of German culture and traditions that takes place in the fall. The festival features authentic German food and beer, live music, and traditional Bavarian dancing. Visitors can enjoy bratwurst, pretzels, and beer while immersing themselves in the festive atmosphere of this popular event.

Interesting Facts

– Merrillville, Indiana is home to the Star Plaza Theatre, a popular entertainment venue that has hosted numerous famous performers and events over the years.
– The town is known for its diverse dining scene, offering a wide range of culinary options from traditional American fare to international cuisines.
– Merrillville is located near the Indiana Dunes National Park, providing residents and visitors with easy access to beautiful beaches and outdoor recreational activities.

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