|HIGHLIGHT CITY: Muncie, IN |
FEATURES: Garfield Statue Trail - Have fun discovering all of the different theme painted statues. Jim Davis is the creator of the comic strip Garfield. He was born in Fairmount, Indiana and graduated from Ball State University. His headquarters, PAWS, INC, was located in Delaware County for decades. There are 16 unique statues of America’s favorite lasagna-loving fat cat, Garfield. Located in and around Muncie, the statues are molded in rigid polymer and situated on a 31 inch base. Each statue measures approximately 48 inches in height and depict Jim Davis’s Garfield in fun outfits or playful situations. We will be up close and personal with three of the statues. • Minnestrista - In 1887, the Ball family - makers of the famous Ball mason jar - moved their glass manufacturing business from Buffalo, New York to Muncie, Indiana. The Ball brothers and their families left a lasting impression on the Muncie community, creating philanthropic organizations (like Ball Brothers Foundation and George and Frances Ball Foundation), an educational institution (Ball State University), and the year-round gathering place of Minnetrista. The current site of Minnetrista is located on the same property where the Ball family lived. In fact, many of the original Ball family homes stand today; all but one of the brothers’ homes are still standing and they make for a beautiful walk along the Boulevard, and a few are open to the public for various programs and events. Due to its location along the White River, the family chose to name the property Minnetrista, meaning “a gathering place by the water.” The name is derived from the Sioux word “mna” (pronounced “mini”), which means “water,” and the English word “tryst.” Be sure to check out the large collection of Ball Canning Jars on display. Enjoy a catered lunch.• Bob Ross Experience - Explore the life, philosophy, and art of the iconic American painter inside the historic home where The Joy of Painting was filmed. The immersive exhibit features original paintings and artifacts, inspiring visitors with Bob’s message of fearless creativity. You can step into the restored television studio and stand where Bob stood, at the iconic easel where he beat the devil out of his brushes. Across the hall, you will be transported to a 1980s living room, the setting where much of the world discovered and enjoyed Bob. Upstairs from the Experience, visitors can enjoy even more original Ross artwork, with shows specially curated to highlight a specific theme or aspect of Bob’s work. • The Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse - Experience a small tropical environment in the middle of Indiana! With over 2,000 orchids, the Greenhouse contains the largest university-based orchid collection in the United States. The collection is a living museum which provides opportunities for education and conservation of rare and endangered orchid species and is used for orchid research. The collection also provides opportunities to learn about orchids, edible tropical plants, poison arrow frogs, birds and other tropical creatures that are on display in a small tropical conservatory. The 3,400-square-foot greenhouse is a resource used by students in biology, natural resources, art, technology, landscape architecture and photography.