Although known for Ball State University and Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie has a surprising number of “hidden treasures” we encourage you to explore during your visit.
The Muncie community has worked hard to preserve and restore both the natural surroundings and its unique historical heritage.
If you are making a return visit after an absence of even a few years you will find new places to see, things to do in Muncie, and an ever-changing calendar of events to attend.
Garfield the Cat shows up often around Muncie. He has adopted our city, and we have adopted him. Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis has both his art studio and his international franchising interests under one roof just outside of town. Learn more about Garfield and Jim at Garfield.com.
Downtown Muncie is now a destination. Downtown merchants have worked very diligently to revitalize the central core of the city. Specialty shops, restaurants, galleries and pubs are now thriving downtown. The old Army Corps of Engineers floodwall along Wheeling Avenue has been upgraded and a walkway along the White River has been added to welcome visitors.
Muncie is also the home of two of Sculptor Cyrus Dallin’s finest bronze statues. Appeal to the Great Spirit has welcomed visitors to Muncie since the early 1900’s. It was a gift to the city of Muncie by the Ball family. Its twin is found on the lawn of the Boston Museum of art.
A second bronze, The Passing of the Buffalo has recently been repositioned downtown on Walnut Street after spending several years in the lobby of the Minnetrista Cultural Center.
The Cardinal Greenway is a former section of a railway line that has been converted into a discovery trail. It is a 12-foot wide asphalt surface with a crushed limestone shoulder on each side. There are trailheads and rest areas along the trail. The old Muncie B and O depot serves as a visitors center, gift shop and bicycle check out point (they’re free on a first come, first served basis), during the summer months. A horse trail runs alongside the trail to the south of town around Prairie Creek Reservoir.
Prairie Creek, a 1,252 acre stream-fed lake that is well stocked with a variety of game fish. Activities available include pontoon and sail boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking.
Annual events have also added to Muncie’s civic life. Hundreds of world class athletes arrive in Muncie for the Muncie Endurathon. Each fall Muncie hosts Magna Cum Murder, a crime writing festival attracting authors and mystery fans. 2007 marks the first year for the Harvest Moon film festival, featuring films submitted by local and regional filmmakers shown in multiple downtown venues, educational seminars, filmmaker Q&A sessions, and more.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics is the world's headquarters for model aviation. The National Model Aviation Museum, open year-round, houses the largest collection of model aircraft in the United States. Discover how aeromodeling helped change the world of aviation and examine the astonishing craftsmanship and artistry of its masters while visiting Muncie.
Surprises around Ball State University
If you have not visited the campus in the new millenium, you will find that the landmarks have changed. McKinley Avenue is the new gateway to BSU. Driving south on McKinley, you can't miss seeing Shaffer Tower, complete with carillon. To the west of the tower is the state of the art David Letterman Media and Telecommunications Building.
David Letterman’s campaign to rename Ball State’s football stadium in his honor was fought almost as hard as his campaign to appear on Oprah. He also suggested that Indianapolis rename its I-465 beltway Dave's Interstate. On September 7, 2007 the state of the art David Letterman Communication and Media Building was dedicated. It was one of Dave’s proudest moments…and he didn’t even have to ask!
Another new addition to the BSU campus is the Music Instruction Building located on the southeast corner of Riverside and McKinley Avenues. The MIB houses the 600-seat Sursa Performance Hall. The auditorium itself is “tunable”; it houses a 50-stop Goulding & Wood pipe organ.
Inside the Music instruction building is a wall of light. First Symphony is a 23’ x 40’ x 1’ combination of light, glass and stainless steel. This art form is called a lightpainting, and represents the first new art form of the 21st Century. Artist Stephen Knapp says First Symphony was created to reflect the music in the building and to inspire creativity and collaboration among the arts at Ball State.
Ball State’s football team now has a home it can be proud of. Renamed after a loyal alumnus, the Scheumann Stadium now offers additional fan seating and corporate boxes, and the stadium has one of the best facilities for the press in the MidAmerican Conference.
Christie Woods is a familiar landmark at the corner of Tillotson and Riverside Avenues. It was part of the original land gift to the State of Indiana from the Ball Brothers in 1918. Both an arboretum and botanical garden, it focuses on Indiana’s native plants and ecosystems. Although visitors are welcome daily, guided “Tree Walks” are conducted Saturdays each October. Did you know that Christie Woods is home to the Wheeler Orchid Collection? The collection contains over 1,200 plants from over 85 genera, represented by 500 different species and 100 hybrid orchids. For more information call the Christy Woods office at (765) 285-2641.